FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE: Wednesday, December 30, 2020

Application Period Will Be Open from February 1 to March 31, 2021

TRENTON – The New Jersey Department of Community Affairs (DCA) today announced the opening of a new application round for Main Street New Jersey (MSNJ) designations. For the first time since 2015, DCA is accepting applications and will be designating qualified communities to join the MSNJ program. The prestigious MSNJ designation allows communities to receive on- and off-site technical assistance and training in downtown revitalization and management. It also allows MSNJ communities to apply for grant opportunities to assist with physical improvement projects in their designated districts.

“We are incredibly excited to open this new applicant round as we welcome additional municipalities to join the Main Street New Jersey program, and look forward to reviewing the applications we receive,” said Lt. Governor Sheila Oliver who also serves as DCA Commissioner. “The MSNJ designation provides a great opportunity for towns to partner with local small businesses owners and entrepreneurs to foster public and private reinvestment in their historic New Jersey downtowns.”

The MSNJ program, within DCA’s Office of Local Planning Services, promotes the historic and economic redevelopment of traditional business districts in New Jersey by providing training and technical assistance to designated MSNJ districts. The purpose of the program is to assist the development of preservation-based downtown revitalization initiatives including strengthening the existing tax base, increasing sales, creating a positive community image with attractive and viable downtown buildings, attracting new businesses, creating new jobs, increasing investment in the downtown, and preserving historic architectural resources.

To apply, applicants must be a recognized 501(c)(3), (c)(4) or (c)(6) organization with the primary mission of revitalizing a commercial district and shall have municipal support codified by a resolution of the host municipality. Application guidelines and criteria can be found on the DCA website at: All documents must be sent via email to Applications will be accepted from February 1 through March 31, 2021 and will be evaluated independently by MSNJ staff and various state agencies. DCA will designate and announce the new MSNJ communities in May 2021.

In addition to the ongoing technical support and training provided by DCA, designated MSNJ district organizations may also be eligible for grant opportunities to assist with physical improvement projects that occur within designated districts as well as to support the development and implementation of their transformation strategies to the extent funding is available.

There are currently 21 designated communities in the Main Street New Jersey Program. Since the program’s inception in 1989, there has been more than $1 billion in public-private investment in Main Street designated communities with a net gain of 1,400 new and expanded businesses and a net increase of 6,680 jobs. Between 1997 and 2020, residents, merchants and property owners have also donated nearly $9.4 million in volunteer wage time to support their local Main Street programs.

For further information on the Main Street New Jersey Program and its participating communities, please call 609-633-9769 or visit:

The DCA offers a wide range of programs and services, including affordable housing production, fire safety, building safety, community planning and development, local government management and finance, and disaster recovery.

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Tammori Petty
Gina Trish
Lisa Ryan
(609) 292-6055