To create a program that will encourage and promote the economic growth and welfare of the community through planning, beautification and preservation of our central business district, thus providing a competitive local and regional business market and serving our growing tourism industry.
The four-part Main Street plan is designed to work with all of the district's opportunities and problems. Volunteers make up the committees which work with these specific areas:
This arm of the program is involved with all the visual elements that shape the downtown's appearance, including buildings, streetscapes, signs, and window displays.
The creation of a Downtown Conservation District by the City of Vicksburg in October 1991 came about through the efforts of this committee. The Conservation Commission reviews proposed construction, additions, remodeling, demolition, signage and landscaping within a large in-town district.
Marketing the downtown area to potential visitors, customers and investors is a key part of the Main Street Program.
In addition to sidewalk sales, style shows and other seasonal events, the Main Street Program is a co-sponsor of "Riverfest." This 2-day festival, recognized as one of the "top twenty events in the Southeast United States" for the past several years, brings thousands of people into the downtown area.
The Main Street Program sponsors the annual Christmas Parade of Lights through downtown.
The Main Street Program is also the sponsor of following:
This part of the Main Street Program works to achieve consensus and cooperation from the various individuals and organizations who are working to help our city grow and prosper.
Main Street has been most fortunate to receive support from almost every group in our community. Most of the leaders working to help our town grow and prosper recognize that downtown, the heart of our city, does not exist in isolation.
This is the most complicated piece of the puzzle because it involves strengthening the downtown's economic base while building new market opportunities for the future.
The past few years have seen major changes in the make-up of the businesses in the area. While there are a number of retailers who have been in the area for half a century or more, the large "department stores" have either closed or moved. In their place, we have new specialty shops and service businesses. Old buildings that have stood vacant for several years are being renovated and leased to new businesses.
The Downtown Taxing District has seen 14 businesses open or relocate to the Downtown area and 6 existing businesses have undergone or are currently undergoing renovations.
The experience associated with shopping malls and chain stores are about the same anywhere. Downtown areas...like ours...on the other hand, offer one-of-a-kind shopping experiences and unmatched customer service.
The Main Street Program is not a "quick-fix." It is a long-range program that takes diligence and time. The goal is quality improvement and development for the downtown area.