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.”
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.
Outgoing MMSA President Michelle Jones was also recognized for her leadership throughout the 2022-2023 year.
Outstanding Retail Merchandising
This award recognizes a business that excels in creating an effective merchandising experience in a retail business in the downtown district. Alesia Lucas, owner of George-Mary’s received this year’s award.
Outstanding Private Downtown Revitalization Project
This award is granted to an individual or business that has completed a downtown revitalization project that continues the use of the building. This year’s winner was the Rex Theatre.
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.