“I have been proud of the chamber,” said Billy Nowell, mayor of Cleveland. “They have really got a lot going on, and I appreciate all the hard work they have done to make Cleveland a better place for all of us.”
Main Street is a national organization that focuses on the revitalization and historic preservation efforts of commercial districts.
Judson Thigpen, executive director for the Cleveland-Bolivar County Chamber of Commerce, said the accreditation Team Cleveland Main Street received was actually a reaccreditation.
“We have been a Main Street community since the early 1990s,” said Thigpen.
The Main Street Program was created in 1990, but the name was changed to Team Cleveland Main Street in 1993 because Team Cleveland Main Street works to promote business in all of Cleveland and to revitalize all business, not just in the downtown district.
“We changed the name to encompass more of what we do,” said Thigpen.
Team Cleveland Main Street works with the National Main Street Center to identify programs that meet the performance standards.
These standards are the criteria for determining if a Main Street Program applies the Main Street Four Point Approach in revitalization efforts. These four points are: organization, promotion, design and economic restructuring.
Thigpen said Team Cleveland Main Street works to meet the criteria that is set by the National Main Street Center, but works more closely with the Mississippi Main Street Association.
Communities are evaluated by their revitalization efforts.
Communities that have viable downtown districts are also viable cities, Thigpen said, which is important for small towns.
“We congratulate this year’s nationally accredited Main Street programs for their outstanding accomplishment in meeting the National Main Street Center’s performance standards,” said Patrice Frey, president and CEO of the National Main Street Center.
“Accredited Main Street programs create vibrant communities by using a comprehensive strategy to preserve their historic character and revitalize their commercial districts, which helps make these great places to work, live, play and visit,” she said.