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Picayune Main Street maintains accreditation

Picayune Main Street, Inc. once again received national accreditation from Main Street America.

Picayune Main Street, Inc. works within Picayune to preserve historic buildings and support downtown businesses, according to the website. The organization also works to promote other nonprofits, Director Reba Beebe said.

Out of 1,600 Main Street programs, only 840 were nationally accredited in 2019. National accreditation demonstrates Picayune Main Street’s commitment to the Main Street America four-point approach: organization, promotion, design, and economic vitality, Beebe said.

Beebe said the biggest challenge is convincing community members to shop local and convincing shop owners to offer longer store hours.

In order to earn the accreditation, Picayune Main Street, Inc. had to meet 10 national performance standards. Beebe said the organization had to stay on top of a lot of paperwork.  The organization has received national accreditation every year since 2013, Beebe said.

“Our volunteers are vital. We can’t do anything without our volunteers,” Beebe said.

Main Street America supported 5,310 new business openings in 2018. Locally, Picayune Main Street offers a façade grant program to encourage downtown businesses and building owners to improve their buildings, according to the site.