JACKSON, Miss. — The Mississippi Main Street Association (MMSA) has awarded funds to 12 Main Street Communities that applied for Community Development Grants for 2021-2022 to incentivize development, improvement and revitalization in their historic downtown business districts throughout Mississippi.
MMSA Designated Communities were able to apply for individual funds of up to $2,500 with a required matching investment for shovel-ready brick and mortar projects as well as consulting services that may be used to carry out the local Main Street organization’s program of work.
The Community Development Grant may be used for a wide range of projects as long as the project’s purpose supports the revitalization goals of the community.
“MMSA is delighted to award these Main Street Designated Communities with community development project funds that will help them achieve their downtown revitalization goals,” said Thomas Gregory, MMSA State Coordinator. “Providing financial assistance to our communities is just one of many ways that MMSA supports and empowers our Main Street communities in Mississippi.”
The following Designated Main Street Communities were awarded grants for the 2021-2022 fiscal year:
Biloxi – 10 Mural Crosswalks
Booneville – Wayfinding Signage
Cleveland – Rooftop String Lighting
Gulfport – Façade Improvement Program
Nettleton – Wayfinding/Park Improvements
Pascagoula – Parking Lot Improvements and Banners
Philadelphia – Christmas Decorations
Picayune – Alley Renovation
Pontotoc – Tanglefoot Tinseltown Startup
Sumrall – Sumrall Cinema Equipment
Vicksburg – Gordon’s Alley Expansion
Water Valley – Lighted Mural
Biloxi Main Street will use grant funds to construct 10 mural crosswalks. The crosswalks will continue the use of public art in the downtown area and increase walkability and safety while continuing to develop the Arts District in downtown Biloxi.
Booneville Main Street will use grant funds to help purchase and install wayfinding signage along the city corridors that would improve the two main gateways into the downtown district and enhance beautification and positively impact future tourism growth and development for the city.
Gulfport Main Street will use grant funds on a façade improvement program that is part of a renewal plan for the Trackside Innovation District in downtown Gulfport. The program is an effort to draw businesses back to downtown Gulfport and improve the maintenance and rehabilitation needs of building façades in the district by offering grants to interested, qualified building and business owners. The selected owners will be invested with a match in the improvement to their properties.
Nettleton Main Street will use grant funds for wayfinding signage in the Central Business District to guide visitors through the community and to key assets and sites in a consistent and attractive manner. Grant funds will also be used for improvements to the City Park located on Main Street.
Main Street Pascagoula will use grant funds to make landscape improvements to the Krebs Avenue Parking Lot, which is the largest parking lot in the Main Street/Downtown area where many visitors park. Funds will also be used to purchase new Flagship District Banners, designed by local artist Alice Kate Berry, in the downtown area.
Philadelphia Main Street will use grant funds to purchase new Christmas decorations for the holiday season. The city has 50 pole decorations in need of replacement and upgrades.
Picayune Main Street will use grant funds to transform an unused alley into a creative and well-lit outdoor space for all ages. The proposed alley project is located on East Canal Street in downtown Picayune.
Pontotoc County Main Street will use grant funds for advertising, music, decorating and train rides with Santa at “Tanglefoot Tinseltown,” a holiday shopping event that will be held at the First Choice Bank Pavilion at the Tanglefoot Trailhead in downtown Pontotoc. Downtown stores will have pop-up shops at the event and the event will be marketed to out-of-town shoppers.
Sumrall Main Street will use grant funds to purchase a projector, outdoor screen and a portable audio system for use during “Sumrall Cinema” events that will benefit the downtown community. The purchased equipment and materials will also be used for other future events.
Vicksburg Main Street will use grant funds to expand Gordon’s Alley and increase economic vitality in downtown Vicksburg. This revitalization project will create pedestrian connectivity and walkability and improve environmental sustainability and public safety.
Water Valley Main Street will use grant funds to create a 12 x 80 foot painted mural on the upper parapet of a downtown restaurant to encourage locals and visitors to dine downtown on Main Street. The mural has been designed by local restauranteur Erika Walden and will be painted by local artist Bill Warren.