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

Facade Grant Program
Enterprise Zone
State | Federal Programs
Rural Zone Tax Incentives
Opportunity Zone Tax Incentives