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Facade grant recipients work to improve buildings in downtown Ocean Springs

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From October to December 2007, more than 30 business owners submitted proposals to the Ocean Springs Chamber of Commerce-Main Street for the facade grant program. Candidates' projects ranged from assistance with the purchase of paint, to fence work, to help to decorate and detail the exterior of their buildings. After a thorough decision-making process, 13 candidates were awarded with individual amounts totaling $20,000, making the first facade grant program in Ocean Springs a success.

A facade is described as the front part of a building, especially an imposing or decorative one or any side of a building facing a public way (http://www.dictionary.com). According to some of the most successful small towns, Main Street communities, a professional and attractive store front and an appealing modern downtown can add value and visitor traffic to any small town. All candidates that submitted their proposals to the Ocean Springs Chamber - Main Street understood the need and market of improving the facade of their buildings.

Thanks to the City of Ocean Springs Mayor and Aldermen, this program was made possible for the first time. The City allocated $20,000 to be used by local businesses with the intent if improving the facade of their businesses, but the Main Street hopes to open the program to more businesses throughout Ocean Springs as the program continues to grow.

As of this month, several businesses have begun or either completed facade improvements. The building located at 1311 Government Street is one building that used the facade grant money to transform a dilapidated building in the heart of downtown into an ideal retail space. The 2600 square-foot building is complete with rustic colored cement flooring, warehouse space for storage and plenty of room for retail display. The exterior lighting, painting, and details were completed through the help of the facade grant program.

"It has been a dream of mine for a long time," said Chris Marx.

If you have not driven by or seen the building or any of these buildings, then make a point to drive around downtown. Thanks to all the participants and individuals involved in understanding the need and making the program a success. Keep watching and listening for more information on future facade programs. Call 228-875-4424.

From the Ocean Springs Chamber of Commerce - Main Street - Tourism Bureau Newsletter
February 2009

Mississippi presents at National Main Street Conference

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Chicago, IL -- More than 40 people from 18 Main Street towns in Mississippi attended the 2009 National Main Street conference in Chicago. Mississippi Main Street Association continually ranks among the highest in the nation in private and public reinvestment and efficiency of the state coordinating programs. The theme of the conference, "Becoming Main Street 2.0," centered on technological tools that can help run our Main Street programs more effectively and improve our communication efforts.

Three of our very own staff presented sessions at the conference. MMSA Program Service Directors Stacy Pair (Southern District) and Jan Miller (Central District) conducted two seminars together: "Mission Possible: Sustaining Viable Organizations" and "Flying Monkeys and Other Magic Tricks: Using Technology to Market Main Street." Randy Wilson, MMSA Director of Design Services, conducted a seminar on "Facade Grant 2.0: Comprehensive Approaches to Facade Improvements." Stacy and Randy also helped lead the session, "Resource Team 2.0: Getting Everything You Need." Copies of the presentations may be found at the following links:

Mission Possible: Sustaining Viable Organizations
Flying Monkeys and Other Magic Tricks: Using Technology to Market Main Street
Facade Grant 2.0: Comprehensive Approaches to Facade Improvements

Moss Point 57th Main Street Community

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Moss Point a Main Street City
By Jay Hughes

MOSS POINT — Joining a select group of Mississippi communities, Moss Point was certified a Main Street City on Wednesday — the state’s only city to earn the honor this year.

The designation was made official at a short ceremony held at the base of the Downtown Clock along the edge of Main Street/Highway 613. Mayor Xavier Bishop said that Moss Point joins just seven certified Mississippi Main Street Association in South Mississippi.

“It means we take the economic development of the city of Moss Point very seriously,” he said. “You see, we’re not willing to leave economic development to chance.”

With the designation, Bishop said, comes a commitment to pursue self-reliance, local empowerment and rebuilding the city’s traditional business district, loosely identified as a block east and west of Highway 613 from Jefferson Street to I-10.

The Mississippi Main Street Association is a program of the National Trust for Historic Preservation and the Mississippi Development Authority. Moss Point began efforts to join about a year ago, with creation of the Moss Point Main Street Designation Task Force composed of city and business leaders and FEMA Long-Term Recovery.

Bob Wilson, executive director of Mississippi Main Street, said six communities applied for certification this year, but Moss Point was the only one accepted. He said the task force demonstrated the city is prepared to sustain improvement efforts.

“It’s so, so important that you have the support of the city and support of the private sector, as well,” he said.

Wilson added that through the national Main Street program, Moss Point joins a network of more than 1,500 U.S. communities involved in similar revitalization and economic development efforts and can learn from their successes and failures.

Joy Foy, head of asset development for MDA, told community leaders they couldn’t have a better partner than the Mississippi Main Street Association.

“They will help you create a vision, but they will also hold you accountable,” she said.

Mardi Gras Parades to be held on the Coast

Friday, Feb. 20

Ocean Springs Ocean Springs Carnival Association presents the city's first night parade set to roll at 7 p.m. The route starts at the intersection of Ward Avenue and Government Street, east on Government to Magnolia Avenue, south to Porter Street, west on Washington Avenue, north to Government Street and east to Ward, where it will disband.

Saturday, Feb. 21

Pascagoula The Jackson County Carnvial Association parade will roll at 1 p.m. in downtown Pascagoula. The parade route has changed for 2009. The staging area will be along Canty Street and Ingalls Avenue. It will start on Ingalls Avenue at Pascagoula Street, go east along Ingalls Avenue, north onto the southbound lane of Market Street, west on Jackson Avenue, south on Pascagoula Street and disband at Ingalls Avenue.

Biloxi Children's Walking Parade will roll at 1 p.m.

Pass Christian Pass Christian Carnival Association's Krewe of Legacy parade will roll at 1 p.m.

Gulfport Krewe of Gemini will roll at 2 p.m.

Moss Point Krewe of River City, hosted by the Krewe of Essence, will roll at 3:30 p.m. It will feature Moss Point youth and civic organizations following the theme of "Mask Extravanganza." The parade will start at Southgate Shopping Center at Main Street and Jefferson Avenue and go north along Main Street to the Riverfront Center to disband. Call 228-219-4896, 228-475-7887 for details.

Sunday, Feb. 22

Pass Christian St. Paul Carnival Association parade to roll at noon.

St. Martin-D'Iberville North Bay Area Association parade to roll at 1:30 p.m. The parade starts on LeMoyne Boulevard near McCain Road, goes west into Harrison County, south on Central Avenue and west on Rodriguez Street and north on Automall Parkway to disband. Call 228-396-1869 for details.

Tuesday, Feb. 24

Biloxi Gulf Coast Carnival Association and Krewe of Neptune Mardi Gras parade will roll at 1 p.m. The parade goes south on Main Street, west on U.S. 90, north on Lameuse Street, west on Martin Luther King Boulevard, south on Reynoir Street, west on U.S. 90, north on Porter Avenue and east on Howard Avenue to disband near Caillavet Street. Call 228-435-6296 or 228-432-8806 for details.

Bay St. Louis Krewe of Diamonds to roll at 1 p.m.

Gulfport Krewe of Gemini to roll at 5:30 p.m.

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Ocean Springs, a town with a reputation as an “arts community” has several art galleries and was hometown to the late Walter Inglis Anderson, a nationally renowned painter and muralist.

Mississippi Main Street Association
P.O. Box 55747 | Jackson, MS 39296
Phone: 601/944-0113
Email: .(JavaScript must be enabled to view this email address)
District Offices:
P.O. Box 445 | Columbus, MS 39703 | 662- 364-0435
426 Northpointe Lake Dr. | Oxford, MS 38655 | 601-941-5409
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Mississippi Main Street is a program of the National Main Street
Center and the Mississippi Development Authority