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Our mission is to be the catalyst that ignites Connecticut's Main Streets as the cornerstone of thriving communities.
With Gratitude From CMSC
During this season of thanks, we'd like to extend our gratitude to our members, partners and sponsors. As you know, downtowns are best when they encourage people to interact in various ways, sharing ideas and time together. This also very much describes the style with which CMSC approaches our work teaching people how to cultivate great downtowns. We couldn't do what we do without a group of terrific collaborators and supporters around us, and we thank you for your hard work and dedication to Connecticut's Main Streets.   

Hartford BID Wins 2 IDA Awards
The Hartford Business Improvement District, a CMSC member community, was recently recognized with two awards from the International Downtown Association (IDA) at their annual conference in San Antonio, Texas. The Hartford BID received a prestigious Pinnacle Award for their efforts to mitigate the negative effects of street-level construction. The BID designed, printed and provided non-traditional signage to draw attention to local businesses impacted by the construction, and to change public perception about such construction projects.
The BID also received an Award of Excellence for its free on-site Bicycle Roadside Assistance program to acknowledge its innovative response to an industry challenge. CMSC too recognized the BID's Bicycle Roadside Assistance program as part of its 2018 Award of Excellence for Great Placemaking in Hartford.

Learn more about the Hartford BID's Pinnacle Award and Award of Excellence from IDA, and CMSC's Award of Excellence 
New Funding Opportunity to Make Art More Accessible
The Connecticut Office of the Arts (COA) is launching the ARTE-accesible grant program to support proposals that enhance program offerings and provide greater participation in, and understanding of, the arts by people of all abilities. Eligible applicants include CT Arts Organizations and municipal art departments who can apply for $500-$3000 to support:
  • Program and service offerings to improve the experience for audience of all abilities, such as language translations, safe space, screen reader capability, mobility services, etc.
  • Staff training and internal resource support to carry out accessible programs and services, such as emergency preparedness planning to evacuate individuals with disabilities and customer service training.
 Applications are due by Friday, December 14th.  Read the full guidelines.
New Data Shows Tourism Generates Dollars
New data from the CT Office of Tourism shows that more funding for tourism means more tax revenue for the State. The Office of Tourism is using a new marketing measurement tool called Arrivalist that shows the economic impact their marketing is having in driving visitors to the state. Arrivalist does this by using cell phone data to capture how many consumers view CT's ads or social media posts on their smart phones. Then they're able to use phone location data to see how many of those ad-viewers arrived in the state compared to those who didn't see the ads.
The results show their primary audience from NYC visited Connecticut 6.4 times more than those who didn't see the ads and stayed in Connecticut 3.5 times longer. For every $1 Connecticut invested in tourism marketing, the state received an estimated $14 in state and local taxes from marketing-influenced travelers who would not have otherwise visited.
Support Your Local Businesses by Shopping Small On November 24th

Thanksgiving is almost here, and that means Small Business Saturday is right around the corner!
You'll get as good as you give when you buy at local businesses on November 24th, Small Business Saturday. Not only will you enjoy all of the many goods and services your community has to offer, but studies have shown that money spent downtown stays downtown, as the tax revenue goes to support local services. Many communities, like CMSC members Mansfield Downtown Partnership and Westville Village Renaissance Alliance (WVRA), are also hosting fun events and passport promotions to entice shoppers to CT's downtowns and Main Streets, adding another reason to shop local!.
Learn more at
Re-Mains of the Day
Yuletide Event in Meriden
- Kick off the holiday season in historic downtown Meriden! Join the fun at Meriden's first-ever YuleFest & Holiday Marketplace event on November 24th. The community celebration includes a variety of food trucks and market vendors selling everything from holiday decorations, jewelry and crafts. The day's events will also feature raffles and prizes, kid's activities, a tree lighting ceremony, festive holiday music, and other local talent. Come to shop and stay to see Santa Claus arrive by train to help light up downtown Meriden! Check out the full schedule of events! 

Opportunity Zone Workshop in Norwich - Last December, federal lawmakers created the federal Opportunity Zones program for investors to reinvest their unrealized capital gains into Opportunity Funds - private investment vehicles dedicated to community, business, real estate, and economic development activities in America's lowest-income communities. On November 27th, CERC, Pullman & Comley, seCTer, and Norwich Community Development Corporation will host a workshop with information on the new federal Opportunity Zones program and how to grow business through long-term investments in low-income communities. This event will provide a comprehensive background and expert analysis of the new program, as well as recommendations for cities, philanthropies, advocates, and private sector representatives interested in Opportunity Fund creation, operation, management and more. Click here to register.
Spotlight on 2018 Award of Excellence Winner
The Connecticut Main Street Founders Award 
presented by Eversource
To R. David Genovese, Baywater Properties

In 2018, CMSC bestowed the Founder's Award presented by Eversource to R. David Genovese, founder of Baywater Properties, in recognition of his extensive work in Darien. David and his team have committed themselves to transformational projects in Darien, remaining thoughtful, creative, flexible, innovative, and respectful of the community.
For more than a decade, David has led numerous key developments in the downtown that breathed new life into the area, revitalizing buildings and reinvigorating its residents. The fundamental goal for David and his team is to create a community asset that will be cherished now and for generations to come, improving the quality of life for all Darien residents. 

Connecticut Main Street Center

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

And our Partner Organizations:

CT Chapter, American Planning Association
Cultural Alliance of Fairfield County
CT Economic Development  Association
Institute for Sustainable Energy
CT Economic Resource Center
Local Initiatives Support Corporation
CT Housing Finance Authority
Main Street America
CT Preservation Action
Partnership for Strong Communities
CT Urban Legal Initiative
Pro Bono Partnership