Vote Connecticut Main Street Center
for Economic Development
Connecticut Main Street Center
Connecticut Main Street Center
Organization/institution description (<500 characters)
We bring downtowns to life all across Connecticut by helping to revitalize them as the social and economic heart of the community. At the local level, we work with dedicated stakeholders including city employees, business owners, and even volunteers to help them craft an inviting, vibrant downtown. At the state level, we advocate for programs and policies that advance the Main Street way of life.
How are you engaged/involved in supporting/advocating for the CT entrepreneur ecosystem? (<500 characters)
By promoting vibrant downtowns and neighborhood commercial districts, we help create environments where entrepreneurs can succeed. We share information of importance to entrepreneurs and business start-ups. We do that through a robust e-mail distribution list of approximately 4000 people, as well as social media presence. Posts highlight events, workshops, programs, co-work spaces, makerspaces, etc. that are important to the entrepreneur ecosystem. There are significant small business resources available in the state. However, we often find that people do not know where to look for such information. We do our part to communicate those resources.
What improved in the CT entrepreneur ecosystem due to your involvement/advocacy in 2019? (<500 characters)
We held three statewide summits during 2019. The first was adaptive reuse of historic and older buildings. There are hundreds of vacant or underutilized buildings that would make for great new business locations. We brought national speakers to share tools to renovate these buildings into productive use. We had 250 people over the course of two days in Hartford and Norwalk. We worked with CTNext to bring the Incremental Development Alliance to the state to discuss small-scale development. This was designed to interest entrepreneurs who might consider owning and developing their own building rather than renting as part of their business plan. The third event was Retail in the Age of Disruption. We brought national speakers to discuss the challenges and opportunities for Main Street retail in light of on-line competition. The event drew over 100 people to Hartford and was filmed by CT-N. The topic was also featured on NPR's Where We Live.
What people are saying about Connecticut Main Street Center ...
At Connecticut Main Street Center, our mission is to be the catalyst that ignites Connecticut’s Main Streets as the cornerstone of thriving communities.CMSC works at both the local and State level to create and implement successful downtowns that meet the needs of residents and visitors. A successful downtown is one that incorporates housing, retail, social and business opportunities with transportation options for all users – walkers, cyclists, motorists and more. We encourage these dynamic downtowns through education, technical assistance and advocacy. Ryan Keating