Downtown Natchez Alliance thanks mayor, aldermen for financial support; announces availability of new grant funding

Published 10:35 pm Wednesday, May 31, 2023

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NATCHEZ — Mickey Howley, executive director of the Downtown Natchez Alliance, a Mississippi Main Street community, thanked the mayor and board of aldermen for its support of state legislation, recently signed by the governor, which provides significant grant opportunities for downtowns in the state.

The grant funding will provide up to $500,000 per community for downtown revitalization projects in Mississippi’s designated Main Street communities.

Natchez re-joined the Mississippi Main Street program in June 2022 after a number of years away from the program.

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Going forward, each year the Mississippi Legislature will be provided a list of prioritized projects from Main Street communities. The grant funds will be awarded to eligible projects on a competitive basis.

Communities with populations above 10,000 will be required to provide a 20 percent local match. Communities with populations less than 10,000 will be required to provide a 10 percent local match on the first $100,000 and 20 percent local match on amounts greater than $100,000.

In addition to the Main Street Revitalization Grant funding, the legislature passed House Bill 1719, which allocates $3 million in ARPA funding for eligible projects in Main Street designated communities. Main Street communities with populations less than 25,000 will receive $61,400; communities with more than 25,000 will receive $68,000. These funds are in addition to the $5 million in ARPA funding allocated last year to Main Street communities. Last year, the Downtown Natchez Alliance received $100,000 from the program.

Mississippi’s Main Street program includes 50 communities in the state and approximately 1,200 communities nationwide. The program specializes in downtown renewal and revitalization.

“I want to make special note of what this council has done recently, what this administration has done recently in providing money to Downtown Natchez Alliance, which is the seed money that got this program going and is the leadership money that has allowed us to go out and get other grants,” Howley said.