Speaking at a business meeting, Phil Hardwick discussed the philosophy of Main Street Mississippi.
"What happens is that Main Street comes into a community, is invited into the community, takes the community through a strategic planning process to find out what the community wants to become and then helps the community achieve that," said Hardwick.
His four-point program includes design, what does the community look like, organization, getting the community involved, promotion, telling others what is unique about your community and economic restructuring, what businesses and organizations should be downtown.
Hardwick said he is impressed with what is happening in downtown Meridian.
"Downtown with the Grand Opera House, the railroad station, a lot of new businesses moving into downtown and the housing that's going into downtown are the things that really impressed me," said Hardwick, "especially downtown housing. One of the things that I find is that communities that are successful downtown have downtown housing."
He said in all those aspects Meridian is doing very well.
"Somebody told me a while ago they thought Meridian was poised to move to the next level," said Hardwick. "I think Meridian was poised over a year ago. I think Meridian really is moving to the next level."