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Our mission is to be the catalyst that ignites Connecticut's Main Streets as the cornerstone of thriving communities.
Beat the Summer Heat on Main Street
With the dog days of summer here, it's the perfect time to visit Main Street. Whether you're back to school shopping or cooling off with an ice cream or iced coffee, downtown has something for everyone. Read on to learn more about the latest downtown news from across the state. 

AARP Awards Community Challenge Grants
2 of 3 CT Winners Are CMSC Member Communities
AARP recently announced the winners of its Community Challenge grants. In total 129 "quick action" projects that will help make communities more livable for people all ages were chosen from more than 1,600 applications nationwide. The winning projects will deliver a range of transportation and mobility options, create vibrant public places and/or support the availability of a range of housing in the community. The Connecticut winners are:
  • Hebron: The Town Center Project
    The grant will fund the creation and placement of decorative chairs, hand-painted by local artists, to encourage more people to walk outside, relax, and engage with one another.
  • New Milford: Town of New Milford
    Grant funds will help purchase park benches and game-tables for use along an ADA-accessible walking path to encourage walking and social engagement.
  • Stafford: Citizens Advisory Committee and Town of Stafford
    This grant will help improve the River Walk Trail to better connect Stafford residents with the outdoors while expanding social opportunities for residents. The trail directly supports the town's plan for future growth.
COA Announces Funding for Good To Great Program
The CT Office of the Arts, a division of DECD, recently announced funding for the Good to Great grant program. This program provides funding for Capital Projects that link art, history and tourism in ways that enable cultural and historical sites to enhance the visitors' experience. This funding is targeted for small to medium-sized cultural organizations with an average annual income of $500,000 or less that have received limited state funding in the recent past. COA is looking for projects that tell the stories of cultural and historic sites in engaging, meaningful, and relevant ways. They're also prioritizing funding for collaborative projects that demonstrate a clear vision of how individual sites and organizations can effectively tie together local, regional or statewide cultural assets. 

Applications are due by October 1st. For more information or questions, email Todd Levine at
Purchase With Purpose: CMSC Joins Amazon Smile
As readers of Downtown Update, we know you care about CMSC and the work we do to strengthen and support CT's downtowns. We know you shop local whenever you can, but for those times you shop online, you can still support CMSC by signing up for AmazonSmile.
Here's how it works. AmazonSmile is the same Amazon you know. Same products, same prices, same service.  When you sign up for AmazonSmile and chose CMSC as your charity of choice, Amazon will donate 0.5% of the price of your eligible AmazonSmile purchases to CMSC. Simply click this link to support CMSC on AmazonSmile.

Now you can support downtowns even when you shop online. Shop AmazonSmile to purchase with a purpose and support CMSC.
Re-Mains of the Day
Former CMSC Board Member Jamie Bratt Chosen Young Economic Development Professional of the Year  The award, presented by the International Economic Development Council (IEDC), recognizes Jamie as a young, emerging leader of outstanding achievements in the economic development profession. Jamie serves as the Acting Deputy Director of Development Services for the City of Hartford. In congratulating her, Mayor Bronin said Jamie was a "rockstar" and he was lucky and proud to have her in Hartford.
IEDC is the largest organization serving economic developers. Their members create jobs, develop vibrant communities, and improve the quality of life in their regions.

Congratulations Jamie, from all of us at CMSC!
Click, Listen & Learn! CMSC Webinars  Available Online
Now's your chance to catch up on your knowledge of Main Street

Did you know CMSC has a catalogue of webinars on a variety of Main Street topics available at any time? Simply peruse our list of offerings and click to listen at your convenience! While the recordings are free, you will need to register (the webinars will then be available immediately). 

Connecticut Main Street Center

The Sponsors of our  
Main Street Forums for the 21st Century

And our Partner Organizations:
CT Chapter, American Planning Association
Institute for Sustainable Energy
CT Economic Development  Association
Local Initiatives Support Corporation
CT Economic Resource Center
Main Street America
CT Preservation Action
Partnership for Strong Communities
CT Urban Legal Initiative 
Pro Bono Partnership
Cultural Alliance of Fairfield County 
Young Energetic Solutions