Picayune Main Street brings home award

Published 5:02 pm Thursday, July 1, 2021

The Mississippi Main Street Association celebrated achievements of Mississippi Main Street Communities at the Annual Awards Luncheon in downtown Jackson.

The annual awards luncheon honors Main Street directors, board members and volunteers and recognizes the most outstanding downtown development projects and events from Main Street communities in Mississippi.

Picayune Main Street Inc. won this year for its Facade Grant program, which helped eight businesses refresh the front of their buildings with new awnings. The campaign was called “Making Downtown More Lovable 2.”

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Picayune Main Street Director Reba Beebe said that of the $10,000 in grant funding that was part of the campaign, $6,000 went to facades, while the rest funded the creation of several murals on the sides of downtown area businesses.

Those murals can be found on the side of Picayune Drug, Stuart Insurance Company and a “Welcome to Picayune” greeting on the side of a building on West Canal Street. Additionally Beebe said the money was used to create a mural on one side of the clock stationed at the intersection of West Canal Street and Main Street.

All of those murals were created by local artist Ashley Mason, Beebe said. 

“After a year without face-to-face meetings, we are excited to celebrate the achievements of our Main Street communities again in person,” said Thomas Gregory, MMSA State Coordinator. “As difficult as 2020 was for our communities, we still saw economic growth in our downtowns and resiliency from the small businesses in our downtown districts.”

“Our local Main Street directors have worked tirelessly to provide services to small businesses and create innovative ways to connect people together during the pandemic, and we are proud to celebrate their successes at our annual awards,” Gregory added.

MMSA staff presented the 2021 awards to recipients from Designated Main Street programs throughout the state.

Other recipients this year include:

— Aberdeen Main Street

— Batesville Main Street

— Biloxi Main Street

— Team Cleveland Main Street

— Main Street Clinton

— Main Street Columbus

— Main Street Corinth

— Main Street Greenville

— Main Street Greenwood, Inc.

— Downtown Hattiesburg Association

— Hernando Main Street Chamber

— Kosciusko Main Street

—Louisville/Noxapater Main Street

— New Albany Main Street

— Ocean Springs Main Street

— Main Street Pascagoula

— Senatobia Main Street

— Starkville Main Street Association

— Tunica Main Street

—Downtown Tupelo Main Street Association

— Vicksburg Main Street Program

— Water Valley Main Street Association

— West Point Main Street

2020-2021 MMSA Board President Steven Dick of Mississippi Power passed the gavel to 2021-2022 MMSA Board President Chris Chain of Renovations of Mississippi during the general business meeting.

In addition, the 2021 nationally accredited programs were recognized, as well as new MMSA communities, Pearl and Itawamba County, several new associate members, and Main Street directors who have served for 10 years or longer in their communities.

The Downtown Tupelo Main Street Association was also recognized for winning the Great American Main Street Award in 2020, the most prestigious award given by Main Street America.

The Mississippi Development Authority, Entergy Mississippi, and Mississippi Power were recognized as corporate sponsors of the annual awards, and the Mississippi Department of Archives and History, Belinda Stewart Architects, and the Mississippi Urban Forestry Commission were recognized as event sponsors of this year’s awards program.

In 2020, Mississippi Main Street’s Designated Communities generated 191 net new businesses, 52 business expansions to existing businesses, 584 net new jobs, 74 building rehabilitations and 746 downtown residential units. In addition, 75 public improvement projects were completed as well as 26 new construction projects in downtown business districts. More than $227 million was invested by the public and private sectors in 2020, and more than 22,185 volunteer hours were recorded.

Every dollar spent in this organization results in $80 of private investment, the highest return on investment of any economic activity in the state.

Since 1993, MMSA has generated more than $5.8 billion in private and public investment (including more than $1.5 billion in public investment).