In 1995 The Connecticut Light and Power Company (CL&P), recognizing that the state was not yet seeing the benefits of a comprehensive approach to revitalization of our historic commercial districts, and concerned with protecting its significant investment in its infrastructure in downtowns, provided the funding and internal administrative resources to establish the CT Main Street Program. CL&P remains the only private corporation in the country to solely sponsor and administer a statewide Main Street initiative.
Recognizing that in order to grow CT Main Street it would be necessary to gather a combination of public and private support, CL&P proposed restructuring the program in 1999. With the support of then-Lt. Governor M. Jodi Rell Connecticut Main Street Center (CMSC) became a private nonprofit corporation with its own board of directors later that year. In 2000, and continuing through the present day, the State of Connecticut Department of Economic and Community Development (DECD) joined CL&P as a Founding Partner.
At its first Strategic Planning Retreat in 2000 the new CMSC Board developed the following vision statement: “The Connecticut Main Street Center will be recognized as the premier downtown revitalization and economic development program in the state, with a reputation for high standards of excellence and a record of developing and nurturing successful Connecticut Main Street Communities.” This vision has successfully guided CMSC through its first 15 years. CT Main Street Center has taken a leading role in recreating vibrant downtowns throughout the state. We are the central resource for technical information, regional cooperation, training and networking.