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Partnerships for Community Revitalization

By | NMMS Organization Program Associate
September 24th, 2014 | Category: Organization

Building healthy partnerships is essential for multi-year development projects or large-scale events. Public and private sector entities must work together to advance common goals, creating a vibrant MainStreet district. There are two primary types of partnerships to consider:

1. Public-Private Partnership
Public sector investment can help launch catalytic revitalization projects and stimulate private investment. At the state level, public sector investment begins with MainStreet technical assistance.

Additionally, capital outlay funds allocated by the Legislature can be directed for “bricks and mortar” projects and development plans.  These funds must be directed through a local government due to New Mexico’s anti-donation clause which prohibits awarding of public funds to corporations (including tax-exempt organizations).  Local governments can adopt a variety of financing tools to support revitalization projects (LEDA, MRA, TIF, TIDD’s and BID’s).  Keep in mind these tools are subject to the political process; advocacy can be useful.

The public-private partnership for MainStreet communities is formalized via a Memorandum of Understanding between local government, the New Mexico MainStreet program, and local MainStreet affiliates. Even with formal agreements in place, nurturing these relationships is critical – take the time to communicate with your elected leaders on a regular basis!

2. Local Revitalization Partnerships
Collaborating with local revitalization entities can benefit the implementation of a comprehensive community economic development strategy.  Working with a local Economic Development Corporation or Chamber of Commerce can enhance your data collection efforts, advocacy, and mobilizing activities.  It can also provide a larger pool of funds and volunteers for promotional events and design projects.

Key principles for creating good revitalization partnerships:

  • Partnerships are established for specific purposes and may assume new goals over time.
  • Partnerships are based on mutual trust, respect, and a commitment to performance. Partners make clear and open communication an ongoing priority.
  • Partners commit their respective strengths and assets to support each other’s capacity needs.
  • Strong partnerships balance the power among collaborators and enable sharing of resources to complete tasks and projects; the best partnerships are reinforced via shared decision-making.
  • All partners share the benefits of the partnership’s accomplishments.
  • Partnerships can dissolve and require a dedicated process for closure.
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