Denham Springs Main Street was one of 23 Louisiana communities to receive 2020 National Main Street accreditation, according to Lt. Gov. Billy Nungesser.
Accredited status is Main Street America’s top tier recognition. It goes to communities that demonstrate “a commitment to comprehensive, commercial district revitalization and a proven track record of successfully implementing the Main Street Approach,” according to a press release.
Across the country, 860 Main Street programs were recognized, said Patrice Frey, President/CEO of the National Main Street Center.
In a statement announcing the state’s winners, Nungesser said programs such as Main Street America and the Louisiana Main Street Network are “needed now more than ever,” especially during the current coronavirus pandemic.
He lauded the 23 Louisiana Main Street programs for “working diligently to revitalize their communities and remain Louisiana Strong,” saying that local communities were recognized “for exemplary commitment to preservation-based economic development and community revitalization.”
“Our small business owners are the heartbeat of our Main Street communities,” Nungesser said. “They give the community its sense of place and character and provide the uniqueness that sets one community apart from another.”
Nationally in 2019, Nungesser said $6.45 billion of public and private reinvestment was generated; 6,466 net new businesses were opened; 32,316 net new were jobs created; and 10,412 buildings were rehabilitated in Main Street America communities.
Overall, Louisiana’s Main Street communities have seen:
$956 million in Total Investment
$460 million in Private Investment
$496 million in New Construction and Rehabilitation
9,600+ Net New Jobs
2,000+ Net New Businesses
171,000+ Volunteers since 2004
Each local Louisiana Main Street organization’s performance is annually evaluated by Louisiana Main Street, which works in partnership with the National Main Street Center to identify the local programs that meet 10 national performance standards.
Evaluation criteria determine the communities that are building comprehensive and sustainable revitalization efforts and include standards such as fostering strong public-private partnerships, documenting programmatic progress, and actively preserving historic buildings.
The Denham Springs Antique Village was placed on the National Register of Historic Places in November 2018, giving the downtown area its third such recognition. Individually, Old City Hall and Crowder’s Antiques (formerly Brown Hotel and Café) are also on the National Register.
To date, Livingston Parish has 14 of the state’s 1,400-plus sites listed on the National Register.
Louisiana’s nationally-accredited Main Street America programs for 2020 include:
Abbeville Main Street
Crowley Main Street
Denham Springs Main Street
DeRidder Main Street
Donaldsonville Downtown Development District
Franklin Main Street
Hammond Downtown Development District
Main Street Homer
Houma Downtown Development Corporation
Leesville Main Street
Minden Main Street
Main Street Monroe
Morgan City Main Street
Natchitoches Main Street
New Iberia Main Street
Opelousas Main Street
Ruston Main Street
Olde Towne Slidell Main Street
Springhill Main Street
Francisville Main Street
Martinville Main Street
Thibodaux Main Street
Winnsboro Main Street