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Posted on: April 10, 2019

Natchez to Host Workshop on Leveraging Broadband Internet Access For Downtown Revitalization

Smart Growth


Natchez to host workshop on leveraging broadband Internet access for downtown revitalization


CONTACT:        James Johnston, 601.445.7518
Steve Davis,, 202-971-3902                                             

Natchez, MS – Natchez officials announced today that they will partner with representatives from Smart Growth America April 24-25, 2019 as part of a free, grant-funded technical assistance program. This workshop seeks to provide local officials and community leaders with the necessary strategies to help position Natchez for long-term economic growth and revitalization.

“Receiving this workshop is a testament to Natchez’s forward thinking and visionary leadership,” said John Robert Smith, Senior Policy Advisor at Smart Growth America. “Natchez should be very proud to be included as one of just six communities across the country participating in the program. We’re excited to work with community leaders to help leverage broadband Internet access to generate economic prosperity and downtown revitalization.”

Broadband—fast, reliable Internet service—can be an important piece of the digital puzzle for communities trying to find their place in the 21st-century economy. Many small cities like Natchez are actively seeking new opportunities to drive economic growth but may not be certain how to expand and leverage existing high-speed service to achieve their goals.

Broadband access can help communities revitalize their downtowns and attract and retain a new generation of workers. Retirees and younger Americans are looking for places to live that are affordable, walkable, and offer a high quality of life, something that many smaller cities and towns across the country have the potential to offer. Businesses need fast and reliable connection speeds to process payments and orders, participate in online commerce, and stay competitive in an increasingly tech-oriented economy. But fully leveraging that access to achieve its full potential is often misunderstood. The same is true for anchor institutions such as schools and hospitals.

Natchez’s residents are invited to join the workshop’s first evening for an introductory presentation by Smart Growth America’s team. The event will be held Wednesday, April 24, 2019 at 5:30 P.M. at the Natchez Council Chambers, 115 South Pearl Street.

Residents are also asked to complete a brief summary regarding their current internet and cell phone service to pinpoint existing issues and make the case for future improvements. The survey can be completed online at

“Natchez is excited to have been selected as one of six communities to participate in this program to help position our community for economic growth by leveraging our existing and new high speed internet access. I encourage our residents to come out and participate the evening of April 24, 2019 – and to complete the survey,” said Mayor Darryl V. Grennell.

The program, made possible through a Rural Community Development Initiative Grant awarded to Smart Growth America by the United States Department of Agriculture (USDA) Office of Rural Development, seeks to develop local planning solutions that help communities grow in ways that benefit families and businesses, while protecting the environment and preserving a sense of place.

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Smart Growth America, the workshop presenter, envisions a country where no matter where you live, or who you are, you can enjoy living in a place that is healthy, prosperous, and resilient. We empower communities through technical assistance, advocacy, and thought leadership to realize our vision of livable places, healthy people, and shared prosperity.

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