MMSA Recognizes Laurel Main Street at Annual Luncheon

Posted on: July 7, 2015

Laurel Main Street (LMS) and Andrea Milham, owner of Southern Antiques, each received awards at the Mississippi Main Street Association’s (MMSA) 26th Annual Awards Luncheon. The ceremony recognizes the managers, board members, financial partners and volunteers who make Mississippi Main Street communities desirable.

“This year’s award winners reflect the commitment of many individuals and groups who champion what Main Street is all about – developing the heart of our communities, our historic downtowns, and enhancing quality of life for everyone,” said Bob Wilson, MMSA executive director.
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Laurel Main Street accepted the Best Collaborative Project award, which recognizes creative, joint ventures between a Main Street organization and another local, community non-profit, for Touch a Truck (TAT) 2014. Produced from the combined effort of Laurel Main Street, Laurel Friends of the Library, Laurel Junior Auxiliary and the City of Laurel, the one-day event allowed children and their parents to touch, sit in, climb on, and learn about a variety of trucks and machines from the people who operate them. Proceeds went towards designing and painting a new mural on the side of the Laurel-Jones County Library.

The award for Mississippi Main Street Merchant of the Year went to Andrea Milham. The successful owner of Laurel’s Southern Antiques received the honor for being a merchant who has been a “mover and a shaker” in downtown revitalization. She rents out spaces to vendors who eventually can start their own stores, passionately believing that this model produces new businesses, for that is how she started. Additionally, Milham painstakingly renovated her building, with help from a Laurel Main Street Façade Grant, seeking to make Laurel not only a viable, thriving business market but also a beautiful place to live.

Laurel Main Street, its volunteers and downtown businesses have a history of receiving these honors. In 2014 Erin Napier, local artist and entrepreneur, received the Spirit of Main Street award. Laurel Main Street also brought home honors for Best New Signage and and Best Public Improvement Project in 2013. Laurel Main Street executive director Judi Holifield won the Excellence in Main Street award in 2012 while Laurel Main Street won for the Best Capital Campaign that same year. Additionally, past winners included Agape Church for the Best Community Impact Project and Laurel Main Street for Best Newsletter in 2011.