It’s happening downtown: Big commitment coming for Mississippi’s Main Streets
Published 6:15 am Saturday, April 29, 2023
State leaders are making a large commitment to helping Mississippi’s towns and cities revitalize downtown districts.
On April 24, Gov. Tate Reeves signed Senate Bill 2359 that creates the Mississippi Main Street Revitalization Grant program. This program will provide funds for downtown revitalization projects in Mississippi’s designated Main Street communities.
Each year, the Mississippi Legislature will be provided a list of prioritized projects from designated Main Street communities. Grant funds will be available on a competitive basis for eligible projects up to $500,000 per community.
“Main Street is Mississippi’s leader in downtown revitalization, and we are truly grateful for the recognition of our efforts and the confidence of the Mississippi Legislature by entrusting our organization with this grant program that is unique to our state,” said Thomas Gregory, MMSA executive director.
Communities with populations above 10,000 will be required to provide a 20 percent local match, and communities with populations less than 10,000 will be required to provide a 10 percent local match on the first $100,000 and 20 percent local match on amounts more than $100,000.
In addition to establishing the new Main Street Revitalization Grant program, the Legislature passed House Bill 1719 that allocates $3 million in ARPA funding for eligible projects in MMSA designated communities. Main Street communities with populations less than 25,000 will receive $61,400; communities over 25,000 will receive $68,000. These funds are in addition to the $5 million in ARPA funding that was allocated to Main Street communities last year.
Designated communities of the Mississippi Main Street Association include: Aberdeen, Amory, Baldwyn, Batesville, Biloxi, Booneville, Byhalia, Cleveland, Clinton, Columbia, Columbus, Corinth, Crystal Springs, Greenville, Greenwood, Gulfport, Hattiesburg, Hernando, Holly Springs, Indianola, Itawamba County, Kosciusko, Laurel, Leake County, Louisville, Meridian, Moss Point, Natchez, Nettleton, New Albany, Ocean Springs, Okolona, Pascagoula, Pearl, Philadelphia, Picayune, Pontotoc County, Ripley, Saltillo, Senatobia, Starkville, Sumrall, Tunica, Tupelo, Vicksburg, Water Valley, West Point and Woodville.
“This year’s legislative success belongs to everyone in the Main Street family, and we look forward to working with all of our communities to prioritize and implement these projects in Mississippi’s historic downtowns and districts,” said Michelle Jones, MMSA board president. “Hopefully, this program will also inspire communities to become members of the organization so that they can eventually become designated Main Street communities and benefit from this ongoing program in the future.”