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Picayune Main Street maintains accreditation

Picayune Main Street has been designated as a 2020 Accredited Main Street America program. Main Street America classifies accredited status as its top tier of recognition.

Picayune was first designated as a Main Street Community in 1996. Main Street America is comprised of a growing number of communities focused on downtown community revitalization.

Picayune Main Street Director Reba Beebe said the program was negatively affected this year by the unique challenges brought about by COVID-19.

“We had to cancel the April street (festival),” Beebe said. “It’s our main money-maker.”

“It did cause problems for our program,” Beebe said.

Beebe said she worked from home for weeks as a result of COVID-19. She said she used webinars and Zoom videos when she was not able to be in the office in-person.

Despite the challenges, as an accredited program, the Picayune Main Street program is recognized by Main Street America as a leading program in 2020 in the national network of more than 1,200 communities, which comprise Main Street America.

Main Street America Accredited programs must meet the National Accreditation Standards of Performance, which include quarterly reports and annual training for directors and board members.

According to a press release from Picayune Main Street, its mission is to work toward implementation of goals established annually and follow a four-point approach method for downtown revitalization as outlined by the National Main Street Center.

In 2019, Picayune Main Street focused on downtown design and beautification by partaking in curb painting, aiding in the creation of murals and the restoration of a clock in downtown Picayune, the release states.

Picayune Main Street focused on organization and community outreach by organizing multiple meetings, fundraisers and events throughout the year. The organization focused on promotion of the history of Picayune and the people and businesses that comprise its community, and it focused on economic vitality by receiving and approving grants to aid in downtown revitalization and beautification efforts.

For 2020, Picayune Main Street plans to again use the four-point approach to focus on design, organization, promotion and economic vitality. The organization will be, among other things, working to increase community support for downtown events, improving the condition of alleyways in downtown, designating an Event Sponsorship Chair and a Membership Chair, encouraging more art activities in the community and promoting the Keep Picayune Beautiful Campaign.