Plaquemine Main Street receives national accreditation

Staff Report

The Plaquemine Main Street program has been designated as a nationally accredited Main Street program by meeting rigorous performance standards and maintaining an exceptional commitment to preservation-based economic development and community revitalization through the national Main Street Approach.

Plaquemine Main Street has received national accreditation.

The 10-point evaluation criteria used in accreditation includes standards such as fostering strong public-private partnerships, documenting programmatic progress, and actively preserving historic buildings.

The Plaquemine Main Street program has been working for two years toward national accreditation, which makes Main Street district properties eligible for restoration grants and other programs.

“Main Street programs work tirelessly to advance economic vitality and quality of life in their downtowns and commercial districts,” said Patrice Frey, President and CEO of Main Street America. “During an incredibly challenging year, the Plaquemine program 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.”

The Main Street Program helped several property owners file applications for historic property restoration grants, and one property recently received a grant: the Lozano Home on La. Hwy. 1 South. The Main Street Program has not received word on the grant application of the old Kinberger grocery on the corner of Railroad Avenue and Plaquemine St. In addition, the Friends of the Plaquemine Lock received a grant in 2019 for re-sealing and painting the windows.

Also, several news businesses have moved into the Main Street corridor:

  • Gifted Variety - 23440 Railroad Avenue - Suite A;
  • Oub'Decor, 23440 Railroad Avenue - Suite B;
  • Geaux Bayou Nutrition - 23440 Railroad Avenue - Suite C;
  • Opening Soon - Gumbo - previously Ms. D's Soul Food – 23440 Railroad Avenue, Suite D;
  • Hookah Lounge - 23408 Railroad Avenue, and
  • Mary's House of Hope LLC - 23827 Eden Street.
Plaquemine Main Street Director Charley Robinson

“We are very excited to earn national accreditation, but the goal is to increase the number of businesses and help the existing businesses be successful,” said Plaquemine Main Street Director Charley Robinson. “We have everything we need here to make our city what it could and should be, we just have to rework and revise to USE what we have. We have to give people a reason to turn and visit our City.”

Mayor Edwin “Ed” Reeves, Jr. added, “Reinvigorating our downtown corridor, especially Railroad Avenue, is a challenging task, but the Main Street program has made great progress. We thank the Main Street Board and its Director, Charley Robinson, for their efforts, and support their hard work. Watch for more to come in downtown revitalization in the coming year.”

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.