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#ShopSmall on Small Business Saturday – November 24th

#ShopSmall on Small Business Saturday – November 24th


Adapted from 

By Carrie Cullum


On November 24th, the Saturday after Thanksgiving, we will celebrate Small Business Saturday.


For decades we’ve rushed off to the big chain stores on Black Friday to crowd the aisles in search of that one great deal, or this year’s must-have Christmas toy.

Sometimes, in the excitement of it all, we forget that some of our most enjoyable shopping experiences can be found at a local shop, far from the hustle and bustle of the crowded department stores.


Small business owners pour their hearts into every detail of their business.  They strive to create an enjoyable and unforgettable shopping experience for their guests.  Now it’s time to celebrate these entrepreneurs who put so much love into every detail of their business and the experiences they provide for their customers.  


Be a Part of the #ShopSmall Movement

On November 24th businesses all over Mississippi will not only open their doors, but will welcome shoppers with special events, giveaways, promotions and more! 

Business owners, As a Laurel Main Street member your business can join the #shopsmall movement and receive the attention of our nationwide audience as well as customized promotional tools and tips. You don’t have to be a Main Street member to participate, but we’d love to have you as a part of our #shopsmall team.


Shoppers, do you believe in supporting small businesses?  The #shopsmall movement is a great way for you to support local entrepreneurs while enjoying a unique shopping experience. The effect of an event like Small Business Saturday has a direct impact on the goals and dreams of local folks just like you. When you support Mississippi’s small business owners, you’re telling them that you appreciate the work they are doing to further our city’s growth, and that you believe in them. So invite friends to shop with you.  Share your shopping experiences on social media using the hashtag #shopsmall.  Let small business owners know you value their efforts.     


Why #ShopSmall?

The impact of an event like Small Business Saturday can’t be limited to a tally of a single day’s sales, or a list of great deals. The value of an event like this represents something much bigger — an appreciation and support of small business owners, and the impact on the local economy.


Small businesses help communities thrive.  There are 252,019 small businesses operating in Mississippi.  They make up 99.3% of all businesses in our state.  Small businesses in Mississippi created over 5,000 new jobs in 2014 alone.  That means that almost half of all employees in the state of Mississippi work for a small business.  Small businesses help ensure local economies stay strong and vibrant.  When small businesses succeed, we all do.


Consider this: When you spend $100 at a locally-owned small business, $68 stays in the local economy. Compare that to the same $100 spent at a chain store where only $43 remains locally. With the average American shopper likely to spend over $684 on holiday gifts this year, shopping at independent businesses in your hometown has the potential to make a major impact on the health of the local economy.


Mississippi Main Street Communities have worked to bring together incredible groups of local retailers who are ready to welcome you during the November 24th event!


So join us on Small Business Saturday to get great deals, find some incredible and unique local gifts, and enjoy a fun shopping experience, but, most importantly – to support the folks who are trying to make a difference for our city!


Small Business Saturday is a national initiative aimed at helping local businesses compete during the critical holiday shopping season and aims to drive shoppers to local small merchants the Saturday following Thanksgiving. In 2017, an estimated 108 million consumers reported shopping or dining at local independently-owned businesses on Small Business Saturday — generating roughly $12 billion in reported spending. Join the movement and shop local on November 24th this year! 


#ShopSmall #ShopLocal #ShopMississippi







Snipes, Miller selected to speak at 2019 National Main Street Conference in Seattle, Washington

Snipes, Miller selected to speak at 2019 National Main Street Conference in Seattle, Washington
JACKSON, Miss. – Brantley Snipes of Main Street Greenwood and Jan Miller of the Mississippi Main Street Association (MMSA) have been selected to present at the 2019 Main Street Now Conference in Seattle, Washington on March 25-27, 2019.

Snipes and Miller submitted a session proposal in a competitive selection process, and their session, “Aligning Your Plan of Work with Your Community’s Vision for Downtown,” was selected to be part of the conference programming. 
The session is based on a community visioning process that Snipes and Miller led in Greenwood in 2017 called "How Downtown." The successful community engagement program won a Main Street state award in the category of Organization for Outstanding Community Education Campaign this year. 
The purpose of the "How Downtown" program was to re-organize Main Street Greenwood's plan of work and ensure the organization was aligning projects with the visions of the community.

 The "How Downtown" Visioning Process consisted of a brief survey sent to community members allowing them to express their concerns or issues with downtown. The results were tallied and organized into talking points on how Main Street Greenwood could achieve change in downtown and then discussed during the "How Downtown" community meeting. More than 50 community members attended the public meeting and provided real, tangible ideas, goals and objectives for Main Street Greenwood to pursue over the course of the next five years.

Snipes and Miller will be sharing about this process at the National Conference where more than 1,600 downtown revitalization professionals are expected to attend from across the nation.
“It is quite an honor to be selected, and we are excited to share our ideas from Mississippi with attendees from all over and be able to learn from them as well," said Brantley Snipes, Director of Main Street Greenwood.

Woodville to Receive Mississippi Main Street “Refresh” Visit, Oct. 28-30

Woodville to Receive Mississippi Main Street "Refresh" Visit, Oct. 28-30
WOODVILLE, Miss. – The Woodville/Wilkinson County Main Street Association will participate in a Community Visioning Workshop conducted by the Mississippi Main Street Association (MMSA) on Oct. 28-30 in downtown Woodville.  The staff and board of Woodville Main Street applied for this program earlier this year with MMSA. The two-day workshop will help continue the advancement of the downtown area. 

The workshop provides services to assist Woodville Main Street to define community-informed and market-driven strategies that can direct and strengthen its revitalization efforts. 
"Woodville/Wilkinson County Main Street looks forward to this Visioning Workshop with Mississippi Main Street," said Polly Rosenblatt, Director of Woodville/Wilkinson County Main Street. "Our hopes are to incorporate the ideas and input from local residents into a plan of work that will be realistic in our community's capacity to carry out this work, and that the MMSA staff will offer advice, observations, and education."   
"Woodville/Wilkinson County Main Street has done so much for its community, and we are confident that the public and private sectors will be actively engaged in this process to take downtown Woodville to the next level through the recommendations we present based on community input and market opportunities," said Jeannie Waller Zieren, MMSA Director of Training and Marketing.

The visit will involve community input by a pre-visit survey, meetings with focus groups, a public meeting on Monday evening (Oct. 29), research on market conditions, specific gaps, and key opportunities that can strengthen the downtown district.
Woodville has been a certified Mississippi Main Street Community since 2004.

For a workshop agenda and meeting locations, contact Polly Rosenblatt at or 601.888.3998. For more information on the Main Street program, visit Woodville Main Street on Facebook at, Mississippi Main Street Association at the National Main Street Center at

Mississippi Main Street Association (MMSA) has been improving the quality of life in Mississippi for more than 30 years by developing Mississippi's downtowns. Main Street is an economic development program based in historic preservation. The mission of the Mississippi Main Street Association is to provide visionary leadership, guidance and counsel to Mississippi Main Street communities through organization, promotion, design and economic development to make our cities and towns better places to work, live and play. Since 1993, MMSA has generated more than $5.3 billion in private and public investment (including nearly $1.3 billion in public investment), 37,547 net new jobs, 5,741 net new businesses, rehabilitated 3,321 buildings and added 2,883 downtown residential units. MMSA is a program of the National Main Street Center, with many public and private partners. 

New Officers elected to Miss. Main Street Board of Directors


JACKSON, Miss. – A new slate of executive officers has been elected to the Mississippi Main Street Association (MMSA) Board of Directors. The new member and officers were elected at the recent annual awards meeting held in Jackson.

Ed Gardner of Entergy Mississippi in Jackson has been elected as the MMSA Board President for 2018-2019.
“The Main Street program is essential to economic development efforts in Mississippi,” said Ed Gardner, MMSA Board President. “It is one of the key quality of life drivers that attracts new business and industry. I am honored to lead the state organization as we seek to lead and grow the visibility of the more than 50 cities and towns we work in.”

As Director of Business and Economic Development for Entergy, Gardner is an experienced economic developer with more than 20 years at the regional level in both the public and private sectors. 
Before joining Entergy Mississippi in 2015, Gardner served as the economic development representative in Florida for PowerSouth Energy Cooperative, which is a generation and transmission cooperative headquartered in South Alabama. Gardner led the development of a two-year targeted aerospace marketing campaign that resulted in a significant increase in project activity. While in Florida, Gardner served as Chairman of Florida’s Great Northwest and the Chair for Enterprise Florida’s Stakeholder’s Council.

Prior to joining PowerSouth, Gardner worked as Vice President of Economic Development and Workforce at the Birmingham Business Alliance in Birmingham, Ala. In this position, Gardner was responsible for recruitment, workforce development and leading a strategic planning process for the seven-county Birmingham metro area.

Gardner has a Bachelor’s Degree in Political Science from the University of Central Oklahoma and a Master’s Degree from Auburn University in Public Administration.

He is a Certified Economic Developer (CEcD), as well as a Certified Economic Development Finance Professional (EDFP), with more than 13 years of local economic development experience.

The newly-elected MMSA executive officers are: President Ed Gardner, Director of Business and Economic Development, Entergy Mississippi in Jackson; President-Elect Kevin Stafford, Vice President of Neel-Schaffer, Inc. in Columbus; Treasurer Steven B. Dick, Economic Development Manager for Mississippi Power in Gulfport; and Past President Allison Beasley, Economic/Workforce Development Division Director, Southern Mississippi Planning and Development District in Gulfport.

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Ed Gardner
Kevin Stafford
Steven Dick
Allison Beasley

As a Main Street America Coordinating Program, MMSA is part of a powerful, grassroots network consisting of 45 Coordinating Programs and over 1600 neighborhoods and communities across the country committed to creating high-quality places and to building stronger communities through preservation-based economic development. MMSA partners with the Mississippi Development Authority and many private investors in the state. 

MMSA provides training and technical assistance based on the Main Street Four-Point Approach® - Organization, Promotion, Design and Economic Vitality - to its Main Street communities. For more information, visit

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Mississippi Main Street Association
P.O. Box 55747 | Jackson, MS 39296
Phone: 601/944-0113
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426 Northpointe Lake Dr. | Oxford, MS 38655 | 601-941-5409
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