Several Main Street communities in Mississippi have been designated as accredited Main Street America™ programs.
The communities include Aberdeen, Amory, Baldwyn, Batesville, Biloxi, Booneville, Byhalia, Carthage/Leake County, Cleveland, Clinton, Columbia, Columbus, Corinth, Greenville, Greenwood, Gulfport, Hattiesburg, Hernando, Holly Springs, Indianola, Kosciusko, Laurel, Louisville/Noxapater, New Albany, Ocean Springs, Okolona, Pascagoula, Philadelphia, Picayune, Pontotoc County, Ripley, Senatobia, Starkville, Tunica, Tupelo, Vicksburg, Water Valley, West Point, and Woodville/Wilkinson County.
Each year, the National Main Street Center and its Coordinating Program partners announce the list of accredited Main Street America programs in recognition of their exemplary commitment to preservation-based economic development and community revitalization through the Main Street Approach™.
“Receiving National Main Street accreditation is a prestigious designation and we congratulate each of these communities in Mississippi for this significant achievement,” said Steven Dick, MMSA Board President. “Main Street programs play a strategic role in making Mississippi more competitive by being a catalyst for economic development.”
“We are proud to acknowledge this year’s nationally accredited Main Street America programs that have worked tirelessly to strengthen their communities,” said Patrice Frey, President & CEO of the National Main Street Center. “These programs deserve recognition for generating impressive economic returns, preserving community character, and celebrating local history. Main Street America accredited communities are part of a powerful movement of changemakers, and their dedication to improving quality of life in the places they call home is inspiring.”
In addition, several Mississippi communities were recognized among the Main Street America affiliate programs in recognition of their commitment to achieving meaningful improvements in downtowns and commercial districts across the country using the Main Street Approach™, including Belhaven, Crystal Springs, Forest, Long Beach, Meridian, Moss Point, Nettleton, and Saltillo.
The MMSA staff evaluates each local Main Street organization’s performance annually and works in partnership with the National Main Street Center to identify the local programs that meet the 10 performance standards.
Evaluation criteria determine which communities are building comprehensive and sustainable revitalization efforts and include standards such as fostering strong public-private partnerships, documenting programmatic progress, and actively preserving historic buildings.
In 2019, Mississippi Main Street’s Designated Communities generated 185 net new businesses, 62 business expansions to existing businesses, 633 net new jobs, 101 building rehabilitations and 331 downtown residential units. In addition, 178 public improvement projects were completed as well as 36 new construction projects in downtown business districts. More than $148 million was invested by the public and private sectors in 2019, and more than 43,211 volunteer hours were recorded.
MMSA currently has 50 active Main Street programs that include 44 Designated Community members and six Network Community members.
The Main Street America network’s 2019 reinvestment statistics reported some of the most impressive gains in more than 10 years. Main Streets generated $6.45 billion in reinvestment in 2019—the network’s highest annual reinvestment amount since 2006, and the third-highest amount in history.
With 6,466 net new businesses in 2019, the network saw the highest number of net new businesses since 1996. The national network also reached some major cumulative milestones, surpassing $80 billion reinvested cumulatively—from $78.98 billion in 2018 to $85.43 billion in 2019. The network also broke the 150,000 threshold for cumulative net new businesses—from 143,613 in 2018 to 150,079 in 2019.