Three Main Street America Staff members standing in front of a mural in Marion, Iowa.

Marion, Iowa © Tasha Sams

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We work in collaboration with thousands of local partners and grassroots leaders across the nation who share our commitment to advancing shared prosperity, creating resilient economies, and improving quality of life.

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Two community members in Emporia Kansas pose with a sign saying "I'm a Main Streeter"

Emporia, Kansas © Emporia Main Street

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Made up of small towns, mid-sized communities, and urban commercial districts, the thousands of organizations, individuals, volunteers, and local leaders that make up Main Street America™ represent the broad diversity that makes this country so unique.

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Dionne Baux and MSA partner working in Bronzeville, Chicago.

Chicago, Illinois © Main Street America

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Looking for strategies and tools to support you in your work? Delve into the Main Street Resource Center and explore a wide range of resources including our extensive Knowledge Hub, professional development opportunities, field service offerings, advocacy support, and more!

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People riding e-scooters in Waterloo, Iowa

Waterloo, Iowa © Main Street Waterloo

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Woman and girl at a festival booth in Kendall Whittier, Tulsa, Oklahoma.

Kendall Whittier — Tulsa, Oklahoma © Kendall Whittier Main Street

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Three Main Street America Staff members standing in front of a mural in Marion, Iowa.

Marion, Iowa © Tasha Sams

About

We work in collaboration with thousands of local partners and grassroots leaders across the nation who share our commitment to advancing shared prosperity, creating resilient economies, and improving quality of life.

Overview Who We Are How We Work Partner Collaborations Our Supporters Our Team Job Opportunities Contact Us
Two community members in Emporia Kansas pose with a sign saying "I'm a Main Streeter"

Emporia, Kansas © Emporia Main Street

Our Network

Made up of small towns, mid-sized communities, and urban commercial districts, the thousands of organizations, individuals, volunteers, and local leaders that make up Main Street America™ represent the broad diversity that makes this country so unique.

Overview Coordinating Programs Main Street Communities Collective Impact Awards & Recognition Community Evaluation Framework Join the Movement
Dionne Baux and MSA partner working in Bronzeville, Chicago.

Chicago, Illinois © Main Street America

Resources

Looking for strategies and tools to support you in your work? Delve into the Main Street Resource Center and explore a wide range of resources including our extensive Knowledge Hub, professional development opportunities, field service offerings, advocacy support, and more!

Overview Knowledge Hub Field Services Government Relations Main Street Now Conference Main Street America Institute Small Business Support Allied Member Services The Point Members Area
People riding e-scooters in Waterloo, Iowa

Waterloo, Iowa © Main Street Waterloo

The Latest

Your one-stop-shop for all the latest stories, news, events, and opportunities – including grants and funding programs – across Main Street.

Overview News & Stories Events & Opportunities Subscribe
Woman and girl at a festival booth in Kendall Whittier, Tulsa, Oklahoma.

Kendall Whittier — Tulsa, Oklahoma © Kendall Whittier Main Street

Get Involved

Join us in our work to advance shared prosperity, create strong economies, and improve quality of life in downtowns and neighborhood commercial districts.

Overview Join Us Renew Your Membership Donate Partner With Us Job Opportunities

October 29, 2020 | Downtown Tupelo Main Street Association: 2020 Great American Main Street Award Semifinalist Spotlight |

One of Downtown Tupelo's many murals welcomes folks to the district.

On Oct. 30, we’ll announce the three winners of the 2020 Great American Main Street Award (GAMSA). In anticipation of the big reveal, we’re highlighting one GAMSA semifinalist per day on our blog, Facebook, Instagram, and Twitter from Oct. 20 -29. We’ll not only spotlight their impressive efforts from previous years, but we’ve also checked in with each community to hear about how their downtowns have been impacted by the pandemic, how their programs have responded, and advice they’d give to other Main Street communities. 

Downtown Tupelo Main Street Association • Tupelo. MS

Year Founded: 1990 | Population: 38,200 | Square Blocks in Commercial District: 43

Downtown Tupelo has built on its legacy as the home of Elvis Presley and transformed its Main Street from a buttoned-up corridor that that shut down after 5pm to a bustling district with live music, art galleries, and farm-to-table restaurants. Thanks in part to a $14 million streetscape project that changed the face of Main Street and a new development that doubled the footprint of their downtown, Tupelo is now thriving, with 83 businesses opening in the last five years, which has generated over 1,300 jobs. A three-time GAMSA semifinalist, Tupelo Main Street embraces the “Tupelo Spirit” with a range of inclusive community events and festivals.

Keep reading to hear from Downtown Tupelo Main Street Association’s Executive Director, Debbie Brangenberg, about how the Main Street program has pivoted since the pandemic.

How has COVID-19 affected your district?  

COVID-19 has had a definite impact on the district as usual, but so far our business owners have persevered. Fortunately, we have only lost one restaurant, which wasn't a total loss as partners from the previous restaurant concept have brought a new concept to the existing property. Our restaurants have been extremely creative in re-inventing themselves and adapting to the times.  A couple of examples are from our fine dining restaurant that offered pre-orders on special meats and seafood for pick up to their customers, as well as a twist on a weekly trip around the world featuring cuisine from different countries and regions of the US.  The last of our restaurants impacted by the pandemic opened after Labor Day for curbside delivery.

Our locally owned version of Uber Eats, Tupelo 2 Go, has been a strong support for restaurants during our shelter in place. State and local alcohol laws were relaxed to allow purchases of drinks to go with an entrée order or a bottle of wine. As the shelter in place was lifted, we worked with the City and business owners to relax some restrictions for on-street parking to allow parklets for outdoor dining every day and nighttime live entertainment Thursday-Saturday.

Describe one of the ways your program has responded to those effects. 

In the early days, DTMSA was able to work with one of our downtown businesses to provide downtown businesses with masks, gloves, and sanitizer by buying in bulk when supplies were difficult to find. We have also launched a re-branded website that was specifically for business assistance: tupelospirit.com. We are helping businesses go online, conducting trainings on social media, and providing free website analysis and updates. The one-on-one contact has strengthened relationships with the organization as well as business to business support. Just recently, we launched a t-shirt sales campaign to fund a mini grant project for our businesses.

What is one piece of advice you would give to Main Streets struggling to pivot in the time of COVID-19? 

It is not just about survival of the business and the economy. It's about relationships. Stay in touch - let your business know you are there for them. Lead by example with adaptive ways to reinvent ourselves to stay relevant. What you do now will be remembered with members and sponsors alike. It is a great time to tell our story of what we mean to our communities.

Follow DTMSA on social media to keep up with their efforts:

Facebook: @DowntownTupelo

Instagram: @DowntownTupelo

Join us as we announce the GAMSA winners on Oct. 30 at 12pm EST during a special Main Street plenary at PastForward, the National Trust for Historic Preservation’s digital conferenceThe plenary is free to attend but registration is required! Tune in to the awards ceremony by registering  for the session via Zoom or the PastForward site. We will also be streaming the ceremony via Facebook Live.

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