Design Committee


Purpose of the Design Committee

The Design Committee plays a key role in shaping the physical image of Main Street as a place attractive to shoppers, investors, business owners, and visitors. To succeed, your committee must persuade fiercely independent business and property owners and civic leaders to adopt a specific approach, and an ambitious agenda, for physical improvements to buildings, businesses and public improvements by:

-Educating others about good design- enhancing the image of each business as well as that of the district

-Providing good design advice encouraging quality improvements to private properties and public spaces

-Planning Main Street’s development – guiding future growth and shaping regulations

-Motivating others to make changes – creating incentives and targeting key projects

-Much of this work occurs in partnership with the program manager and in one-on-one relationships with members of the downtown community- property owners, business managers, city staff, and elected officials.

Committee Responsibilities

The Design Committee’s responsibilities specifically include the following:

-Direct design improvement activity relating to building maintenance and rehabilitation, historic preservation, new construction, public information and privately owned signs, graphic material, public improvements, visual merchandising, traffic & parking.

-Establish a sound relationship with local design and construction professionals, sharing technical information on historic preservation, rehabilitation and maintenance of traditional commercial buildings.

-Promote awareness of downtown design and historic preservation issues throughout the community and monitor design changes throughout downtown.

-Monitor local ordinances and other applicable regulations affecting downtown design issues and work toward developing a supportive regulatory environment for downtown revitalization activity.

-Allocate funds for design improvement activities in accordance with the Main Street program’s annual work plan and budget.

-Establish a sound working relationship with the state historic preservation office and other state and regional agencies that provide assistance in areas related to downtown design improvement through historic preservation.

-Conduct and maintain a thorough inventory of downtown properties.

Committee Goals

The Design Committee works with the City of Commerce, the Main Street Manager, local businesses, and property owners to facilitate a positive visual image of the Downtown Business District that will help retain, promote, and attract Downtown business. The Design Committee will focus on Downtown aesthetics & appearance, working on matters such as streetscapes, building façade, signage and/or banners, attractive window displays, parking areas, building improvements, street furniture, sidewalks, and landscaping. The Design Committee will instill good maintenance practices within the district and encourage the rehabilitation of historic buildings & appropriate new construction. The Design Committee will develop sensitive design management systems and long-term planning strategies.  If you would like more information or to join this committee please email Natalie Thomas at

Incentives offered for Downtown Businesses

Local programs as available through sponsorship

Facade Grant Program   
Enterprise Zone

State | Federal programs  
Rural Zone Tax Incentive

Opportunity Zone Tax Incentive

Historic Tax Credits