Beverly Main Streets is a 501(c)(3) nonprofit organization started in 2002 by a small group of downtown business and property owners. Now, almost 20 years later, downtown Beverly and the arts district has become a thriving center for the arts, culture & creative industry with renowned restaurants, unique retail businesses and innovative design and creative industries. The mission of Beverly Main Streets continues to be to promote and enhance Beverly’s downtown economic vitality, cultural and historic resources, and quality of life.
Rachel Borgatti, Executive Director – Rachel’s career path has been anything but linear. She started her career as a research scientist for the Smithsonian Institution, has fundraised for and managed sustainability programs for nonprofits and municipalities, and served as executive director for a placemaking nonprofit in downtown Boston. Most recently, Rachel worked as a self-employed consultant to social impact organizations, focused on growing and improving their marketing, operations, and community engagement. If there is any one thing that links these varied roles, it’s a love of place and place-based organizations. Rachel said, “I’ve long been intrigued by the intersection of art, environment, community and place, making Beverly, with its vibrant downtown life, thriving arts community and access to the ocean, the perfect place! Authentic place-based work cannot be done alone and I’m excited to collaborate with the board, the City of Beverly and community stakeholders to continue to ensure that Beverly’s main streets and the arts district continue to be vibrant, inclusive, and thriving places.” Read the press release.
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)