Amory Main Street, Inc. 2012 Year in Review

Downtown Amory experienced positive growth in 2012 with the expansion of several existing businesses, as well as the opening of 16 new ones. This past year, downtown had an influx of retail businesses open that deal in clothing, furniture and home décor.

COURTESY PHOTOPictured is Engine 1529 before its renovation.

COURTESY PHOTO
Pictured is Engine 1529 before its renovation.

The service sectors experienced growth with the opening of a dry cleaner, a clogging studio and heating and air company. The beauty sector also saw growth through the expansion or opening of several nail and hair salons. The professional sector saw the addition of a realty company and expansion of an attorney’s office downtown. New jobs were created in the downtown area as a result of this growth.
Tax revenue figures support that, economically, Amory saw increases during 2012. Local businesses reported that they had brisk holiday sales with not only local shoppers, but more out of town interest as well.
During 2012, The Amory Main Street, Inc., held many events and promotions that greatly benefited our downtown. Our organization has been able to reinvest capital, generate foot traffic and create excitement through these activities.  Our successes are in large part due to the support of our local businesses and residents through membership in Amory Main Street and participation in the organization’s volunteer committees. This past year Amory Main Street’s volunteer committees logged a total of 635 volunteer hours.
Our organization invested in several events and tools used to promote downtown and create a buzz during various holidays. Events included: May Open House, Amory Homecoming Parade and Pep Rally in the Park, “Fall Chili Fest,” Amory’s 125th Birthday and Art Exhibit, Holiday Open House in November and the Christmas Open House. We continue to distribute a downtown business directory and added a wonderful walking tour brochure focusing solely on the downtown district.
Amory Main Street committed $2,500 to its new Façade Grant Program and awarded three downtown businesses with grants. Two of the three businesses have already completed renovation. Plans are underway to make the grant available again this year.
Phase II of the Frisco Train Project was completed this past fall with a major facelift to the locomotive and coal car including replacement of rusted metal and a new paint job. This was in addition to the new historical signage and iron fencing around the train put in last year.

Pictured above is a photo of Engine 1529 after the renovation.

Pictured above is a photo of Engine 1529 after the renovation.

Grants totaling $12,900 were secured over several years by Main Street from The BNSF Foundation, Amory Railroad Festival Committee, the North Monroe County Community Foundation and Community Bank. These restoration grants, plus in-kind from the City of Amory, allowed for the completion of both phases.
Other beautification projects include the continuation of new seasonal flags, banners and plantings of all flower beds and planters on Main Street.
Amory Main Street, Inc. is committed to improving and promoting the physical appearance, the social environment and the commercial vitality of our historic downtown. Through the continued participation of large industries, lending institutions, local small businesses, churches, civic organizations and private individuals, downtown Amory will continue to grow and prosper, benefiting all residents of Amory and the surrounding areas.
Recently, Amory Main Street, hosted a community forum presentation put on by the Stennis Institute’s First Impression Program. The presentation highlighted “first impressions” of visitors and called for a plan of action. A date for a meeting to discuss the presentation and develop a plan of action is to be announced.
Lorie Bryant is the director of Amory Main Street. She can be reached at 256-8700.

About Ray Van Dusen

I've been with the Monroe Journal since Aug. 2009 as a staff writer, but took the role as news editor in late 2012. I'm always looking for interesting story ideas from around Monroe County. You can reach me via email at ray.vandusen@journalinc.com.