NEW ALBANY, Miss. (WTVA) -- If traffic is an indicator of success then downtown New Albany has achieved it.
This historic town continues to capitalize on charm.
It is a typical Friday in downtown New Albany. Traffic is heavy. Shops and restaurants are buzzing with activity.
"We've come a long way. The retail has doubled within the last three years so, right now things are really good. Of course we have a couple of things we'd like to see fixed. I think everyone does," New Albany Main Street Manager Vicki Duke said.
New Albany became a Mississippi Main Street Community back in 1996.
Duke says timing is everything.
"I feel like we were able to get established very early before a lot of other towns. That's just helped us in keeping it alive and keeping it going for years and many years to come," Duke added.
"I've noticed that people are being drawn into our town more. We've enjoyed coming back downtown to shop. The very fact that people are living here has been pretty exciting because it seems better up to date, but it still has a homey feel," New Albany business owner John Hickey said.
"It's a big thing because it makes (a difference) how your city looks and how people view your city, so I think it's very important that people restore the buildings that have been here for a long time," Amanda Webb said.
"I think it's better for them to keep the old buildings than to tear them down for the tourists and visitors that are coming through New Albany to keep them (and) to have something as far as the history to look forward to as far as the town," Elliott Collins said.
"I think we are in a lifestyle of disposable things that to me it's just a great thing when you are able to preserve something, reuse it and keep it as it was, but make it very usable for the current times," Hickey added.
Duke says low-interest loans have been made available to those who want to restore buildings-a move that has proved successful.