There were 44 statewide designated as accredited Main Street America programs for meeting rigorous performance standards set by the National Main Street Center and the Mississippi Main Street Association.

The statewide programs accredited with the status include: Aberdeen, Amory, Baldwyn, Batesville, Belhaven, Biloxi, Booneville, Byhalia, Carthage/Leake County, Cleveland, Clinton, Columbus, Corinth, Crystal Springs, Greenville, Greenwood, Gulfport, Hattiesburg, Hernando, Holly Springs, Houston, Indianola, Kosciusko, Laurel, Louisville/Noxapater, Meridian, Moss Point, New Albany, Ocean Springs, Okolona, Pascagoula, Philadelphia, Picayune, Pontotoc County, Ripley, Saltillo, 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 cities in Mississippi for this achievement,” said Ed Gardner, MMSA board president. “Main Street programs play a strategic role in making Mississippi more competitive by being a catalyst for economic development.”

MMSA staff evaluate each local Main Street organization’s performance annually and work in partnership with the National Main Street Center 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.

“We are proud to acknowledge this year’s 840 nationally accredited Main Street America programs that have worked tirelessly to strengthen their communities,” said Patrice Frey, president and 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 288 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 Canton, Charleston, Forest, Long Beach, Nettleton, Olive Branch, Pass Christian and Winona.

In 2018 alone, Main Street America programs generated $4.93 billion in local reinvestment, helped open 5,310 net new businesses, generated 25,301 net new jobs, catalyzed the rehabilitation of 8,146 historic buildings, and clocked 2.2 million volunteer hours.

In 2018, Mississippi Main Street cities generated 247 net new businesses, 68 business expansions to existing businesses, 1,225 net new jobs, 84 façade rehabilitations and 309 downtown residential units. More than 45,312 volunteer hours were recorded.

MMSA currently has 53 active Main Street programs that includes 47 Main Street communities and six downtown network members.