Communites across the state are being recognized for their commitment to economic development by Main Street America.
Each year, Main Street America and the Mississippi Main Street Association (MMSA) announce the list of accredited programs to recognize their exceptional commitment to preservation-based economic development and community revitalization through the Main Street Approach™. The 2021 Accredited Main Street Communities in Mississippi 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, Nettleton, New Albany, Ocean Springs, Okolona, Pascagoula, Philadelphia, Picayune, Pontotoc County, Ripley, Senatobia, Starkville, Tunica, Tupelo, Vicksburg, Water Valley, West Point, and Woodville/Wilkinson County.
“Receiving National Main Street Accreditation is a prestigious designation and we congratulate each of these communities in Mississippi for this significant achievement,” said Chris Chain, MMSA Board President. “Main Street programs play a strategic role in making Mississippi more competitive by being a catalyst for economic development.”
In addition, several Mississippi communities were recognized among the Main Street America affiliate programs in recognition of their commitment to creating meaningful improvements in downtowns and commercial districts across the country using the Main Street Approach™, including Crystal Springs, Forest, Greater Belhaven, Long Beach, Meridian, Moss Point, Saltillo and Sumrall.
The MMSA staff evaluate each local Main Street organization’s performance annually and work in partnership with Main Street America to identify the local programs that meet the 10 performance standards. Evaluation criteria determines the communities that 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 2020, Mississippi Main Street’s Designated Communities generated 191 net new businesses, 52 business expansions to existing businesses, 584 net new jobs, 74 building rehabilitations, and 746 downtown residential units. In addition, 75 public improvement projects were completed as well as 26 new construction projects in historic downtown business districts. More than $227 million was invested by the public and private sectors in 2020, and more than 22,185 volunteer hours were recorded.
MMSA currently has 51 active Main Street programs that includes 47 Designated Community members and four Network Community members.
Across the country, there are 889 nationally accredited Main Street programs. In 2020, Main Street America programs generated $4.14 billion in local reinvestment, helped open 4,356 net new businesses, generated 14,988 net new jobs, catalyzed the rehabilitation of 8,488 historic buildings, and clocked 983,702 volunteer hours.