JACKSON – Local Main Street communities have been designated as accredited Main Street America™ programs for meeting rigorous performance standards. 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™.
Amory and Nettleton were included as 2022 Accredited Main Street Communities in Mississippi. Other Main Street communities listed in this designation were Baldwyn, Batesville, Biloxi, Booneville, Byhalia, Cleveland, Clinton, Columbia, Columbus, Corinth, Crystal Springs, Greenville, Greenwood, Gulfport, Hattiesburg, Hernando, Holly Springs, Kosciusko, Laurel, Louisville/Noxapater, Meridian, New Albany, Ocean Springs, Okolona, Pascagoula, Philadelphia, Picayune, Pontotoc County, Ripley, Saltillo, Senatobia, Starkville, Tunica, Tupelo, Vicksburg, Water Valley and West Point.
“We are extremely proud to recognize this year’s 863 nationally Accredited Main Street America programs that have worked tirelessly to advance economic vitality and quality of life in their downtowns and commercial districts,” said Patrice Frey, president & CEO of Main Street America. “During another incredibly challenging year, these programs demonstrated the power of the Main Street movement to respond to the needs of their communities. I am inspired by their steadfast leadership and innovative solutions to drive essential local recovery efforts, support small businesses and nurture vibrant downtown districts.”
In addition, several Mississippi communities, including Aberdeen, 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™. Other affiliate programs were Forest, Indianola, Itawamba County, Leake County, Moss Point, Pearl, Sumrall and Woodville/Wilkinson County.
MMSA currently has 48 Designated Main Street Communities, three Network Communities and 13 Associate members.
In 2021, Main Street America programs generated $5.76 billion in local reinvestment, helped open 6,601 net new businesses, generated 30,402 net new jobs, catalyzed the rehabilitation of 10,595 historic buildings and leveraged 1,427,729 volunteer hours. On average, for every dollar that a Main Street program spent to support their operations, it generated $19.34 of new investment back into Main Street communities.
In 2021, Mississippi Main Street's Designated Communities generated 193 net new businesses, 49 business expansions to existing businesses, 603 net new jobs, 58 building rehabilitations and 241 downtown residential units.
In addition, 95 public improvement projects were completed, as well as 14 new construction projects in historic downtown business districts. More than $186 million was invested by the public and private sectors in 2021, and more than 28,452 volunteer hours were recorded.
“Receiving National Main Street Accreditation is a prestigious designation, and we congratulate each of these communities in Mississippi for this significant achievement," said Michelle Jones, MMSA board president. "Main Street programs play a strategic role in making Mississippi more competitive by being a catalyst for economic development."
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.
"MMSA evaluates each of our local Main Street program's performance annually, and we work in partnership with Main Street America to identify the local programs that are committed to comprehensive revitalization and achieving meaningful community outcomes," said Thomas Gregory, MMSA executive director. "We congratulate all of our nationally accredited programs and remain committed to assisting every community to achieve this status of recognition."