39 Mississippi cities gain Main Street accreditation

ms main st logoSpecial to the MBJ

Thirty-nine Mississippi 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, according to a news release by the Mississippi Main Street Association.

The cities are Aberdeen, Amory, Baldwyn, Batesville, Belhaven, Biloxi, Booneville, Canton, Carthage, Cleveland, Clinton, Columbia, Columbus, Corinth, Greenville, Greenwood, Gulfport, Hattiesburg, Hernando, Indianola, Kosciusko, Laurel, Louisville, New Albany, Ocean Springs, Olive Branch, Pascagoula, Philadelphia, Picayune, Pontotoc, Ripley, Senatobia, Starkville, Tunica, Tupelo, Vicksburg, Water Valley, West Point, Woodville.

“We congratulate this year’s nationally accredited Main Street programs for their outstanding accomplishment in meeting the National Main Street Center’s performance standards,” says Patrice Frey, President & CEO of the National Main Street Center. “Accredited Main Street programs create vibrant communities by using a comprehensive strategy to preserve their historic character and revitalize their commercial districts, which helps make these great places to work, live, play and visit.”

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.

“Receiving National Main Street accreditation is a prestigious designation and we congratulate each of these cities for this achievement,” said Bob Wilson, MMSA Executive Director. “Our Main Street programs in Mississippi play a strategic role in stimulating economic development in our state.”

Accredited programs were recognized on June 19 at the Main Street Annual Awards Meeting at the Old Capitol Inn in Jackson.

Since 1993, Mississippi Main Street Association has generated nearly $4.5 billion in private and public investment (including more than $1.1 billion in public investment).

In 2013, Mississippi Main Street cities generated 301 net new businesses, 93 business expansions to existing businesses, 1,710 net new jobs, 160 facade rehabilitations and 351 upper floor housing units. More than 64,629 volunteer hours were recorded.

Established by the National Trust for Historic Preservation in 1980, the National Main Street Center helps communities of all sizes revitalize their older and historic commercial districts.

Working in more than 2,200 downtowns and urban neighborhoods over the last 34 years, the Main Street program has leveraged more than $59.6 billion in new public and private investment. Participating communities have created 502,728 net new jobs and 115,381 net new businesses, and rehabilitated more than 246,158 buildings, leveraging an average of $33.28 in new investment for every dollar spent on their Main Street district revitalization efforts.

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