About

Beverly Main Streets is a 501(c)(3) nonprofit organization started in 2002 by a group of Beverly residents and entrepreneurs. Now, more than 20 years later, downtown Beverly has become a thriving center for the arts and local economy, with renowned restaurants, unique retail businesses and innovative design and creative industries. Beverly Main Streets continues to promote and enhance downtown Beverly’s economic vitality, culture, and historic resources.

We are proud to participate in Mass Cultural Council’s Card to Culture program in collaboration with the Department of Transitional Assistance, the Department of Public Health’s WIC Nutrition Program, the Massachusetts Health Connector, and hundreds of organizations by making cultural programming accessible to those for whom cost is a participation barrier.

Beverly Main Streets events are free to attend. See the complete list of participating organizations offering EBT, WIC, and ConnectorCare discounts.

Our Mission

The mission of Beverly Main Streets is to promote and enhance Beverly’s downtown economic vitality, cultural and historic resources, and quality of life.

Main Streets Approach

The Main Streets Approach emphasizes community engagement as a tool for helping downtown districts prosper and thrive. By promoting and supporting the assets of our downtown, we can encourage tourism, drive economic vitality, and create a place of equal opportunity, inclusivity, and beauty for residents and visitors alike to enjoy.

Our work is fulfilled through the implementation of Transformation Strategies. A Transformation Strategy outlines a deliberate path to revitalizing or reinforcing a downtown or commercial district’s economy. Four key points illuminate these paths: Economic Vitality, Design, Promotions, and Organization. Each point has a corresponding committee that identifies and carries out its goals.

Current Committees

Arts District promotes the Arts District of Beverly. This committee is run in partnership with the City of Beverly and Montserrat.

Design works to create and manage the look and feel of a downtown that is inviting and accessible for visitors and community members alike. Taking on specific projects throughout the year to bring attention to all the visual elements in our district to convey all Beverly has to offer.

Creative Connection engages those with creative businesses, hobbies, or passions that inspire others through monthly meetups to connect with like-minded individuals,

Economic Vitality focuses on attracting new businesses and development while helping existing businesses thrive. Actively seeking membership.

Promotions aims to establish partnerships between various businesses in our Beverly Main Streets District. We accomplish this by creating and marketing annual events, effective advertising, and public relations.

Downtown 2030 aims to form a collective vision of the future of downtown Beverly, in partnership with City officials, business leaders, and residents with an ultimate focus of identifying key components we want to see in our downtown, and forming a strategic plan to take action on these collective goals.

HISTORY OF BEVERLY MAIN STREETS

Beverly Main Streets was started in 2002 by a small group of downtown business and property owners who were concerned that small, locally-owned small businesses might be pushed out by chain stores, and that would ruin the small-town feel that downtown Beverly enjoyed. The group researched possible solutions and decided to adopt the national Main Street model. The National Main Street Center is a subsidiary of the National Trust for Historic Preservation. The Center was started in 1980 response to the rise of suburban shopping malls, which pulled away shoppers and diners from downtown districts that found it hard to compete. The Main Street approach is centered around following a focused, deliberate path to revitalizing or strengthening a downtown, leveraging the district’s unique cultural, educational and historic assets to set it apart. The Main Street model is organized around four points:

Economic Vitality: Attracting new businesses and development while helping existing businesses thrive

Design: The look and feel of downtown

Promotion: Bringing people to the downtown

Organization: Building a sustainable organizational structure

Timeline

a new leaf cabot st
exterior of the cabot theater
aerial photo of beverly
people at the block party
art booth
a new leaf cabot st
burger and fries
clay dreaming front of shop

Beginnings

Beverly Main Streets began in 2002 when a small group of residents and entrepreneurs became concerned that small, locally-owned businesses were being threatened by gentrification. The group researched ways to protect downtown Beverly’s small-town identity and decided to adopt the national Main Street Model. The National Main Street Center is a subsidiary of the National Trust for Historic Preservation. The Center was started in 1980 in response to the rise of suburban shopping malls, which drew shoppers and diners from downtown districts that found it hard to compete. Today, there are close to 1,000 Main Streets organizations across the United States. The Main Street approach is centered around following a focused, deliberate path to revitalizing or strengthening a downtown, leveraging the district’s unique cultural, educational, and historic assets to set it apart.

Our organization’s work over the years has helped strengthen the assets of downtown Beverly and contributed to its character as a truly unique and creative destination. We support our business community by writing letters of support, providing resources for new and existing businesses, and holding monthly meetups where business owners can gather, share resources, and stay informed. We support our residents by giving them a platform, lending our voice at community meetings, and improving the built environment and facade of the city to make it a beautiful, equitable, and comfortable place to live. We support our local arts and culture scene by designing projects that create work for artists, holding gatherings that connect and inspire, and building collaborative relationships with the many cultural institutions that exist in Beverly.

What We Do

Some of our recurring projects designed to showcase artists and enhance the public art scene include the Red Fence Gallery, Art in the Park, our annual light pole banner program, and our Community Art Exhibition in collaboration with Endicott College. For the past 19 years and with the help of community sponsors, Beverly Main Streets has hosted and organized Arts Fest Beverly, which is a free street festival showcasing the work of 125+ artists from Beverly and beyond. This continues to be our biggest and best-attended event of the year.

Community events that celebrate local pride and drive residents downtown include our summer block parties that have been running since 2013, our annual celebration of Beverly’s New Year, and our seasonal Downtown Trick-or-Treat event, which connects businesses with the community and encourages families to spend time downtown.

Where We're Going

The Downtown 2020 Plan is a comprehensive revitalization program developed by Beverly Main Streets in 2010 and funded by local sponsors. This program was created after a series of surveys, streets interviews, and focus groups with a dedicated consultant. The final plan included initiatives such as the “Banking on Beverly” program, in which six local banks offered low-interest loans to aid with major building improvements, the Facade and Sign Improvement program, which supplied grants to help businesses improve their storefronts, and the STAR program, which helped businesses purchase flags, signage, and flower boxes. The Downtown 2030 Plan, developed from feedback collected in 2018, seeks to continue the work of the 2020 Plan and build on its achievements, as well as incorporate new initiatives such as forming a Downtown for All Committee, which seeks to establish accessibility, equitability, and diversity throughout our downtown district.

Today, Beverly Main Streets is led by a diverse and passionate Board of Directors and a small staff with a lot of heart. Our work is made possible by our sponsors, donors, committees, and volunteers–without whom none of this would be possible.