Mississippi downtowns shine at MMA awards celebration

Published 9:30 pm Tuesday, June 20, 2023

The Mississippi Main Street Association (MMSA) celebrated achievements of Mississippi Main Street communities at the Annual Awards Luncheon at The South Warehouse in downtown Jackson.

The Annual Awards Luncheon honors Main Street directors, board members, and volunteers and recognizes the most outstanding downtown revitalization projects and events from Main Street communities throughout Mississippi.

“Each year, the Annual Awards Luncheon highlights the people, projects, and initiatives that drive economic development in Mississippi’s Main Street communities,” said Thomas Gregory, MMSA Executive Director. “Our local Main Street programs are strategic in their downtown revitalization work, and we are proud to recognize their accomplishments over the past year.”

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MMSA staff presented the 2023 awards to recipients from Designated Main Street communities throughout the state.

This year’s award recipients are:

  • Aberdeen Main Street
  • Biloxi Main Street
  • Booneville Main Street
  • Team Cleveland Main Street
  • Main Street Clinton
  • Main Street Columbus
  • Main Street Crystal Springs
  • Main Street Greenville
  • Main Street Greenwood, Inc.
  • Downtown Hattiesburg Association
  • Holly Springs Main Street Chamber
  • Kosciusko Main Street
  • Laurel Main Street
  • Louisville Main Street
  • Meridian Main Street
  • New Albany Main Street
  • Ocean Springs Chamber – Main Street – Tourism Bureau
  • Main Street Pascagoula
  • Main Street Pearl
  • Picayune Main Street, Inc.
  • Pontotoc County Main Street Chamber
  • Senatobia Main Street
  • Sumrall Main Street Association
  • Starkville Main Street Association
  • Downtown Tupelo Main Street Association
  • Vicksburg Main Street Program
  • Water Valley Main Street Association
  • West Point Main Street
  • Woodville Main Street Association

New this year, six Main Street programs also earned the Main Street Circle of Excellence and were recognized for their notable efforts in running efficient local programs and excelling with all state requirements of a designated Main Street program. Medals were presented to: Team Cleveland Main Street, Nettleton Main Street, New Albany Main Street, Pontotoc County Main Street Chamber, Starkville Main Street Association, and Sumrall Main Street Association.

In addition, the 2023 Nationally Accredited Main Street programs were recognized, as well as new Associate members, and Main Street directors who have served for 10 years or longer in their communities.

This year’s Annual Awards Sponsors included Platinum Sponsor: Natchez Convention Center/Downtown Natchez Alliance; Gold Sponsors: Neel-Schaffer and SuperTalk Mississippi; Silver Sponsors: Belinda Stewart Architects, Hancock Whitney, Mississippi Department of Archives and History, Mississippi State University Extension, and Ten One Strategies; and Bronze Sponsors: Booneville Main Street, Cathead Distillery, The Cottage Industry, Kudzu Collective, Laurel Main Street, Fred Carl Jr. Small Town Center, Downtown Meridian, Main Street Pascagoula, New Albany Main Street, and Senatobia Main Street.

The Mississippi Development Authority, Entergy Mississippi, Mississippi Power, and Mississippi Hills National Heritage Area were recognized as corporate sponsors of the annual awards program.

In 2022, Mississippi Main Street’s Designated Communities generated 495 new businesses, 56 business expansions, 841 new jobs, 183 building rehabilitations, and 1,817 downtown residential units. In addition, 79 public improvement projects were completed as well as 24 new construction projects in downtown business districts. More than $242 million was invested by the public and private sectors in 2022, and more than 42,255 volunteer hours were recorded.

In 2022, every dollar invested in MMSA resulted in $189 of private investment in Mississippi’s Main Street communities, the highest return on investment of any economic activity in the state.

Since 1993, MMSA has generated more than $6 billion in private and public investment (including more than $1.8 billion in public investment).

MMSA currently has 48 Designated Main Street communities, one Network community, and 27 Associate members.