At its infancy, the Bel Air Downtown Task Force was established to oversee development of a Downtown Market Study. This process helped to identify business types and locations that are successful in Bel Air. From 1999 to 2001, under the directions of the Planning Director of the Town of Bel Air, the Task Force evolved into the Bel Air Downtown Revitalization Alliance, shifting its focus to supporting economic development in Downtown Bel Air.
In 2003, having achieved great early success, the Alliance was renamed once again as the Bel Air Downtown Alliance. The focus of the group is consistent with the four pillar structure of Maryland Main Street programs: Design, Organization, Economic Restructuring, and Promotion.