Local Main Street programs earn national accreditation

ACROSS MISSISSIPPI — Mississippi Main Street Association cities have been designated as accredited National Main Street Programs for meeting the commercial district revitalization performance standards set by the National Main Street Center.

The cities are Aberdeen, Amory, Baldwyn, Batesville, Bay St. Louis/Waveland, Belhaven, Biloxi, Booneville, Canton, Carthage, Cleveland, Clinton, Columbia, Columbus, Corinth, Greenville, Greenwood, Gulfport, Hattiesburg, Hernando, Holly Springs, Houston, Indianola, Kosciusko, Laurel, McComb, Meridian, Moss Point, Natchez, New Albany, Ocean Springs, Olive Branch, Pascagoula, Pass Christian, Philadelphia, Picayune, Pontotoc, Port Gibson, Ripley, Senatobia, Starkville, Tunica, Tupelo, Vicksburg, Water Valley, West Point and Woodville.

The Main Street organizations are evaluated annually by the Mississippi Main Street Association, which works in partnership with the National Main Street Center to identify the local programs that meet the 10 performance standards. These standards set the benchmarks for measuring an individual Main Street program’s application of the Main Street Four Point Approach to commercial district revitalization.

Evaluation criteria determines the communities that are building comprehensive and sustainable revitalization efforts and include standards such as developing a mission, fostering strong public-private partnerships, securing an operating budget, tracking economic progress and preserving historic buildings.

In 2012, Mississippi Main Street cities generated 228 net new businesses, 53 business expansions to existing businesses, 1,248 net new jobs, 111 facade rehabilitations and 160 upper floor housing developments. More than 57,005 volunteer hours were recorded.

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