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Small Towns Partnership

Small, rural towns often lack community and economic development staff, leaving the towns at a competitive disadvantage when competing for resources – especially in high poverty areas. Recognizing the need in these municipalities, HOPE initiated the Small Towns Partnership program, which provides strategic and focused community and economic development training and technical assistance for seven Mississippi communities – Drew, Moorhead, Itta Bena, Shaw, Utica, Yazoo City and Louisville – and four Hope Credit Union branches.

The ultimate goals of the Partnership are to advance key economic development projects, attract private and public resources, expand economic opportunity, and build the financial capability of the communities and their residents.

Hope Enterprise Corporation (HOPE) manages the Partnership and is working closely with the towns, community stakeholders, and residents to identify high priority projects, such as the redevelopment of schools, hospitals, grocery stores and high quality affordable housing. HOPE ensures community engagement and partnership through our relationships with Hope Credit Union members, through community meetings, community surveys, and ongoing meetings and conversation with community leaders and community partners. As projects are identified, HOPE partners with the communities to acquire the resources needed to implement the projects. Financial support has been provided by the Delta Regional Authority and the U.S. Department of Agriculture’s Rural Communities Development Initiative.