Laurel Main Street Recognized at Mississippi Main Street Annual Awards

Laurel Main Street was recently honored for Outstanding Creative Placemaking at the Mississippi Main Street Association’s annual awards. Leontyne Price musical park was a collaboration among multiple businesses and community organizations.

Laurel loves Leontyne Price. The Lauren Rogers Museum of Art’s (LRMA) year-long celebration of the beloved opera singer and Laurelite’s 90th birthday proves that, along with Laurel’s new musical park. Leontyne Price Park represents the collaboration of almost a dozen different entities including the City of Laurel, Laurel Main Street, LRMA, the Price family, Laurel Machine and Foundry (LMF), Sonny & Cille Screen Printing, The Knight Butcher, and Central Creativity.

The “Treble Makers,” a Leadership Jones County team, raised over $15,000 to fund the project and worked hard to reach out to the community for both input and arts education. The park was built to enable people of all ages—but especially formative youth—to experience the enrichment that music can provide through both sheer enjoyment and gaining an understanding of musical concepts. The many students who come to the park to play and learn will be inspired by Laurel’s most famous daughter.

What is Creative Placemaking?

This award recognizes a creative placemaking endeavor that involves artists, arts organizations, and community development practitioners who have deliberately integrated arts and culture into community revitalization work. The placemaking project should show how it enhances quality of life for existing residents, increases creative activity, and creates a distinct sense of place.

The Mississippi Main Street Association (MMSA) celebrated achievements of Mississippi Main Street Communities with a special virtual awards presentation this year. MMSA staff presented the 2020 awards from the Old Capitol Inn in downtown Jackson via Facebook Live. The annual awards honors Main Street directors, board members and volunteers and recognizes the most outstanding downtown development projects from Main Street communities in Mississippi.

“Mississippi Main Street is excited to celebrate the achievements of our Main Street communities,” said Steven Dick, MMSA Board President. “Our local leaders have worked tirelessly to provide economic opportunities, increase quality of life, and preserve what makes our downtowns special.” Thomas Gregory, MMSA State Coordinator, Jennifer Prather, Director of Community Development, and Jeannie Zieren, Director of Communication and Marketing, presented the awards.

MISSISSIPPI MAIN STREET ANNOUNCES 2020 AWARD WINNERS

JACKSON, Miss. (August 19, 2020) – The Mississippi Main Street Association (MMSA) celebrated achievements of Mississippi Main Street Communities with a special virtual Annual Awards presentation this year.

MMSA staff presented the 2020 awards from the Old Capitol Inn in downtown Jackson via Facebook Live. The annual awards honors Main Street directors, board members and volunteers and recognizes the most outstanding downtown development projects from Main Street communities in Mississippi.

“Mississippi Main Street is excited to celebrate the achievements of our Main Street communities,” said Steven Dick, MMSA Board President. “Our local leaders have worked tirelessly to provide economic opportunities, increase quality of life, and preserve what makes our downtowns special.”

Thomas Gregory, MMSA State Coordinator, Jennifer Prather, Director of Community Development, and Jeannie Zieren, Director of Communication and Marketing, presented the awards.

Laurel Main Street was honored with an award for Outstanding Creative Placemaking for the Leontyne Price Musical Park.
​​This award recognizes a creative placemaking endeavor that involves artists, arts organizations, and community development practitioners who have deliberately integrated arts and culture into community revitalization work. The placemaking project shows how it enhances quality of life for existing residents, increases creative activity, and creates a distinct sense of place.

In addition to announcing the 2020 award winners, all Main Street member communities were recognized as well as MMSA annual investors and MMSA board members for 2020-2021.

In addition, the 2020 nationally accredited programs were recognized, as well as new MMSA communities, and Main Street directors who have served for 10 years or longer in their communities.

The Mississippi Development Authority, Entergy Mississippi, and Mississippi Power were recognized as top investors of MMSA and sponsors of the annual awards.

In 2019, Mississippi Main Street’s Designated Communities generated 185 net new businesses, 62 business expansions to existing businesses, 633 net new jobs, 101 building rehabilitations and 331 downtown residential units. In addition, 178 public improvement projects were completed as well as 36 new construction projects in downtown business districts. More than $148 million was invested by the public and private sectors in 2019, and more than 43,211 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 $5.5 billion in private and public investment (including more than $1.3 billion in public investment).

MMSA currently has 45 Designated Main Street Community members, four Network members, and eight Associate members.

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Mississippi Main Street Association (MMSA) is a catalyst for the preservation and economic revitalization of Mississippi’s historic downtowns and districts. As a Main Street AmericaTM Coordinating Program, MMSA helps lead a powerful, grassroots network consisting of more than 40 Coordinating Programs and over 1,200 neighborhoods and communities across the country committed to creating high-quality places and to building stronger communities through preservation-based economic development.

For individual project photos and awards narratives, please email jeannie@msmainstreet.com. For more information about MMSA, visit www.msmainstreet.com.

Laurel Main Street Director Announces Retirement

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

LAUREL MAIN STREET DIRECTOR ANNOUNCES RETIREMENT

Board Begins Search for Replacement

[LAUREL, MISSISSIPPI, July 30, 2020] Laurel Main Street (LMS) announced that the organization’s executive director, Judi Holifield, will retire at the end of this year. Judi Holifield, who oversaw many beloved city events including the Loblolly Festival, Magnolia State Bank Chili Cook-off, Touch a Truck, Farmers Market and more during her tenure, joined LMS in the fall of 2011.

“Nobody has cared more about the mission of this organization, worked harder despite challenges or advocated more passionately on behalf of LMS than Judi,” said Truitt Taylor, president of Laurel Main Street. “She successfully managed the organization through a period of significant growth and set us on a great path programmatically.”

While Holifield was executive director, LMS received several Mississippi Main Street awards including Outstanding Community Transformation for a mid-sized town and she was named Outstanding Main Street Director in 2019.

“Working together with the membership and board at Laurel Main Street has been a highly rewarding experience and I’m very proud of what we’ve accomplished,” said Holifield. “I look forward to the next chapter of my life and the opportunities to take time for myself and my family, while continuing to support LMS and its endeavors as a volunteer.”

The LMS board is conducting a search for a successor as executive director.

For more information on the executive director position, please visit www.laurelmainstreet.com.

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The Main Street program executive director coordinates activities within a downtown or commercial district revitalization program that utilizes historic preservation as an integral foundation for downtown economic development.  He/she is responsible for the development, conduct, execution and documentation of the Main Street program.  The program director is the principal on-site staff person responsible for coordinating all program activities and volunteers.  This includes management and attendance of all Laurel Main Street festivals and events, many of which are held on weekends or evenings.  He/she should represent the community regionally and nationally as appropriate.  In addition, the program director should help guide the organization as its objectives evolve.

 

If interested please submit resume and cover letter to:

 

Truitt Taylor

President – Laurel Main Street Board of Directors

trtaylor@crcgroup.com

 

Deadline for applications is August 7, 2020.

Laurel Main Street Receives 2020 National Main Street Accreditation

 

For Immediate Release                                             Contact:       Judi Holifield, Executive Director

Laurel Main Street                                                                              601-433-3255

                                                                                                                    info@laurelmainstreet.com

 

Laurel Main Street Receives 2020 National Main Street Accreditation

Laurel, MS (June 30, 2020) Laurel Main Street has been designated as a 2020 Accredited Main Street America™ program.  Accredited status is Main Street America’s top tier of recognition and signifies a demonstrated commitment to comprehensive commercial district revitalization and proven track record of successfully applying the Main Street Approach™. 

“We are proud to recognize this year’s 860 Nationally Accredited Main Street America programs that have dedicated themselves to strengthening their communities,” said Patrice Frey, President & CEO of the National Main Street Center. “These Accredited Main Street programs have proven to be powerful engines for revitalization by sparking impressive economic returns and preserving the character of their communities. During these challenging times, these Main Street programs will be key to bringing economic vitality back to commercial districts and improving quality of life during the recovery process.”

In 2019 alone, $6.45 billion of public and private reinvestment was generated, 6,466 net new businesses were opened, 32,316 net new were jobs created, and 10,412 buildings were rehabilitated in Main Street America communities.

Laurel Main Street’s performance is evaluated by Mississippi Main Street, which works in partnership with Main Street America to identify the local programs that meet ten rigorous performance standards. Evaluation criteria determines the communities that are building comprehensive and sustainable revitalization efforts and include standards such as fostering strong public-private partnerships, documenting programmatic progress, and actively preserving historic buildings.

 

Since 2007, Laurel has seen over $40 million in private re-investments in downtown, which contribute to the renovation and rehabilitation of downtown properties. Laurel Main Street has facilitated 19 façade improvement grants, totaling over $47,ooo dollars in the past 24 months. Without the support of our partners, members, volunteers, and community, this work would not be possible.

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ABOUT LAUREL MAIN STREET

THE PURPOSE OF Laurel Main Street is to establish a vibrant commercial district in and around Downtown Laurel, enhance our community and heritage, foster a center of activity and ensure economic stability for the heart of Laurel, Mississippi through concentrated efforts of design, promotion, organization and economic revitalization.

ABOUT MAIN STREET AMERICA

Main Street America has been helping revitalize older and historic commercial districts for 40 years. Today, it is a network of more than 1,600 neighborhoods and communities, rural and urban, who share both a commitment to place and to building stronger communities through preservation-based economic development. Since 1980, communities participating in the program have leveraged more than $85.43 billion in new public and private investment, generated 672,333 net new jobs and 150,079 net new businesses, and rehabilitated more than 295,348 buildings. Main Street America is a program of the nonprofit National Main Street Center, a subsidiary of the National Trust for Historic Preservation.

Resources for Small Business Owners

To our dear business owners, Main Street supporters, members, and partners:

We understand that these are uncertain times and uncharted waters. We are working to compile a list of resources that may be beneficial to you and your business. If you have not already, please join the Laurel Main Street Members Facebook Group. We are sharing information there as quickly as we receive it. Additionally, we are listing resources here, on our blog, in the hopes that you’ll be able to find the information that is most helpful to you, all in one place. Laurel has always been a city known for its tenacity, and this time will be no different.

We Are Laurel!

For information about the coronavirus (COVID-19), please visit the following government public health organization websites:

For resources related to small business, please visit the following websites:

Mississippi Power Project Share & Community Connection

Mississippi Power, through its Foundation, has announced a $350,000 commitment to assist South Mississippi residents, local charities and small businesses during the COVID-19 pandemic.

The $350,000 will be dispersed via Mississippi Power’s Project Share and Community Connection programs:

·         $200,000 for Small Businesses – Businesses with 50 employees or less are eligible for this new Project Share program distributed through Catholic Charities.

·         $100,000 for Project Share – Distributed through Catholic Charities. Any Mississippi Power customer with a demonstrated financial need may be eligible to apply for Project SHARE by simply calling 1-855-847-0555.

·         $50,000 for Local Charities – Food banks, non-violence and youth shelters, and other agencies that count on Community Connection donations to operate, especially during a crisis.

We suggest that you call Catholic Charities at 1-855-847-0555 for more information or to apply. 

Help for Live Event Cancellations

If you feel led to assist in efforts to support members of our community who have been impacted through the cancellation of live events, here is sample language to send when writing or emailing elected officials.

Sample letter to Congress:

Subject: Protect Live Events Small Businesses
Dear Representative [NAME], 

As you consider relief legislation to assist Americans in responding to COVID-19, I am writing to urge you to include resources to assist those of us for whom congregating in large gatherings is actually our living. 

I work in the live events industry and we have seen our revenues dry up virtually overnight. I know we all have to do our part to fight this pandemic and that stopping large gatherings through social distancing is our best approach. My hope is that the assistance you are developing provides fast, substantial, and easily accessible aid for small businesses like mine.

Thank you for considering my request, and thank you for all you are doing to help us get back on our feet after this crisis.

Sincerely,

[CREATOR NAME], [TITLE]
[BUSINESS NAME]
[BUSINESS ADDRESS]

Reminders