Opelousas, LA – Opelousas Main Street has been designated as an accredited Main Street™ program for meeting rigorous performance standards. Each year, Main Street America and its partners announce the list of accredited programs to recognize their exceptional commitment to preservation-based economic development and community revitalization through the Main Street Approach™.
“We are proud to recognize this year’s 889 nationally accredited Main Street programs that have worked tirelessly to advance economic vitality and quality of life in their downtowns and commercial districts,” said Patrice Frey, President & CEO of Main Street America. “During an incredibly challenging year, these programs demonstrated the power of the Main Street movement to drive impressive local recovery efforts, champion small businesses, and foster vibrant downtown districts. I am inspired by their hard work and confident that these accredited communities will continue to help their downtowns flourish in the next stages of recovery.” Twenty-five Louisiana main street communities were nationally accredited.
“Being named an accredited Main Street America community is an honorable achievement not only for the city, but also for our residents,” said Opelousas Mayor Julius Alsandor. “We are proud of our local Main Street program for the work they have done to achieve this status.”
In 2020, Main Street America programs generated $4.14 billion in local reinvestment, helped open 4,356 net new businesses, generated 14,988 net new jobs, catalyzed the rehabilitation of 8,488 historic buildings, and clocked 983,702 volunteer hours.
Over the last decade, Opelousas Main Street has developed itself into a public art community, working with several public art projects, including several murals and outdoor public art exhibits and activities. The Main Street program has encouraged the rehabbing of historic structures by working with business and property owners on building design projects, restoration grants and incentives and tax credit information. The program also supports small businesses through promotion activities such as ‘Shop Small,’ Shop Small initiative for many years. In 2017, Opelousas Main Street was chosen as one of two cities in Louisiana for a national place-making initiative called Sound Places. In addition, Main Street works hand in hand with various tourism and civic events.
“Thanks to the supportive efforts of the Opelousas City Council, parish government, downtown merchants, local organizations and volunteers, we have been able to work on making downtown Opelousas a better place,” said Melanie Lebouef, Opelousas Main Street Director.
The Opelousas Main Street’s performance is annually evaluated by Louisiana Main Street, which collaborates with Main Street America to identify the local programs that meet ten national performance standards. Evaluation criteria determine the communities that build meaningful and sustainable revitalization programs and include standards such as fostering strong public-private partnerships, documenting programmatic progress, and actively preserving historic buildings.