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CMSC Mourns the Loss of Rep. Q Williams

CMSC Mourns the Loss of Rep. Q Williams

January 5, 202

(Hartford, CT) – Connecticut Main Street Center (CMSC) is devastated to learn of the tragic passing of Rep. Quentin “Q” Williams. 

Q was a longtime friend and supporter of CMSC, most recently as a collaborator and advocate through his leadership on the Main Street Working Group of the legislature. Due to his outstanding accomplishments, CMSC recently honored Q and his Working Group co-chairs with the 2022 Jack Shannahan Award for Public Service. Q was also an attendee and speaker at CMSC’s recent Spotlight on Main Street event in Downtown Middletown, as well as a past webinar presenter. In addition to his work championing Connecticut’s main streets, he provided critical support on many other important issues, including education, housing, and workforce development.

“Q was changing the world. His passion, dedication to service, and his keen intelligence were special and rare. Not only did we enjoy working with him on behalf of our downtowns, but we enjoyed working with Q, the person. His smile lit up the room. I know he was excited for session to begin and was full of incredible ideas to benefit all the residents of Connecticut. We will miss him greatly,” said Michelle McCabe, CMSC Executive Director.

CMSC extends its deepest condolences to Q’s family during this difficult time, and to his many friends and colleagues across the state.

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Media Contact
Christine Schilke
Communications & Strategy Director
860-280.2356
christine@ctmainstreet.org


About Connecticut Main Street Center

CMSC is the expert resource for developing and sustaining vibrant downtowns that fuel our state’s prosperity. Our mission is to assess, educate, convene, and advocate to develop and grow our traditional downtowns, village centers, and urban mixed-use neighborhoods. We provide education and training, resources and technical assistance, and function as the statewide champion for downtowns and Main Streets of all sizes.

CMSC is supported by its Founding Sponsors, the Department of Economic & Community Development (DECD) and Eversource Energy. CMSC is also supported by its Growth Sponsors, UIL Holdings and the State Historic Preservation Office. More information is available at www.ctmainstreet.org

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CMSC Executive Director McCabe on For the People

CMSC Executive Director McCabe on For the People

Tune in to the award-winning For the People to hear CMSC Executive Director Michelle McCabe’s  interview with John Voket as they talk about the importance of a lively Main Street and how CMSC help Connecticut’s downtowns thrive. Ms. McCabe’s interview is the third segment, starting at 42:15.

You can listen to the latest For the People featuring Ms. McCabe here, or find the podcast through their social networks:


About Connecticut Main Street Center

CMSC is the expert resource for developing and sustaining vibrant downtowns that fuel our state’s prosperity. Our mission is to assess, educate, convene, and advocate to develop and grow our traditional downtowns, village centers, and urban mixed-use neighborhoods. We provide education and training, resources and technical assistance, and function as the statewide champion for downtowns and Main Streets of all sizes.

CMSC is supported by its Founding Partners, Eversource Energy and the Department of Economic & Community Development (DECD). CMSC is also supported by its Growth Partners, UIL Holdings and the State Historic Preservation Office. More information is available at www.ctmainstreet.org

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CMSC Executive Director on CBIA BizCast

CMSC Executive Director McCabe on CBIA BizCast

December 16, 2022

Connecticut Main Street Center Executive Director Michelle McCabe joined the CBIA BizCast team to talk about what the organization is doing to revitalize downtowns across the state.

The Connecticut native has been working for nonprofit organizations for many years and recently brought her skills and passion to CMSC. “Main Street itself is an ecosystem. It’s a place where so any different people, interests, and activities not only come together, but have to work together,” Ms. McCabe said. “It’s not just your business in your store. You are part of the fabric of a lot of businesses and entities. If they are all working together, that is what makes success.”

View the Recording


About Connecticut Main Street Center

CMSC is the expert resource for developing and sustaining vibrant downtowns that fuel our state’s prosperity. Our mission is to assess, educate, convene, and advocate to develop and grow our traditional downtowns, village centers, and urban mixed-use neighborhoods. We provide education and training, resources and technical assistance, and function as the statewide champion for downtowns and Main Streets of all sizes.

CMSC is supported by its Founding Partners, Eversource Energy and the Department of Economic & Community Development (DECD). CMSC is also supported by its Growth Partners, UIL Holdings and the State Historic Preservation Office. More information is available at www.ctmainstreet.org

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New Britain Issues RFP for 125 Columbus Blvd

New Britain Issues RFP for 125 Columbus Blvd

The City of New Britain is seeking responses to a request for proposals for the redevelopment of the 125 Columbus Blvd parcel, adjacent to the former Police Station site and the Columbus Commons Phase I project.

The location provides easy pedestrian access to Downtown New Britain and will offer eclectic urban views from upper-story residential units. The site has undergone Phase II and III environmental assessment, which was completed in the first quarter of 2022. At approximately 0.85 acres, the site enjoys a level grade and access to municipal and public utilities. Bounded by Columbus Boulevard and Herald Square, both rights-of-way have undergone recent streetscape improvements. The parcel’s location in the City’s Central Business District (CBD) zone provides significant flexibility in regards to dimensional, density, parking, and allowable use requirements—giving the developer a wide range of construction options. View the Request for Proposals

Bids are due electronically by 4:00pm on Friday, January 27, 2023. 


About Connecticut Main Street Center

CMSC is the expert resource for developing and sustaining vibrant downtowns that fuel our state’s prosperity. Our mission is to assess, educate, convene, and advocate to develop and grow our traditional downtowns, village centers, and urban mixed-use neighborhoods. We provide education and training, resources and technical assistance, and function as the statewide champion for downtowns and Main Streets of all sizes.

CMSC is supported by its Founding Partners, Eversource Energy and the Department of Economic & Community Development (DECD). CMSC is also supported by its Growth Partners, UIL Holdings and the State Historic Preservation Office. More information is available at www.ctmainstreet.org

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Town of Mansfield Seeks Lead, Environmental Planners

The Town of Mansfield is seeking qualified candidates for two positions, Lead Planner & Environmental Planner.

  • Lead Planner – This position is accountable for performing highly complex, professional and technical work in the administration of the Town’s planning and development program. This position is responsible for coordinating the development, design, implementation, and monitoring of long-range, highly technical and critical planning having town-wide or regional impact.
  • Environmental Planner – This position is responsible for independently performing intermediate to complex, professional and technical work in the administration of planning and natural resources management activities. This class is also accountable for performing a full range of tasks in the technical review and analysis of environmental program data and issues, developing recommendations for courses of action and assisting with the implementation of policy and program decisions.

Find both position descriptions and apply on the Town of Mansfield website.

Towns of Bolton, Coventry, Mansfield & Tolland Develop New Regional Tourism Brand: Connecticut’s Countryside

Towns of Bolton, Coventry, Mansfield & Tolland Develop New Regional Tourism Brand: Connecticut’s Countryside – Adventure, Agriculture, Arts & More

December 3, 2022

The Towns of Bolton, Coventry, Mansfield, and Tolland are launching a new logo and brand positioning – Connecticut’s Countryside – that reflects the strengths of the four-town region to encourage visitors and support business growth.

Connecticut’s Countryside was selected from three potential brand concepts evaluated as part of a community input process, including a widely distributed survey. The Connecticut Countryside brand was the clear favorite and will be used in marketing the region. Dornenburg Kallenbach Advertising (DKA), the firm who designed the brand, also created a corresponding marketing implementation plan to guide the efforts to promote the region.

An Action Plan for Economic Vitality prepared in 2020 by AdvanceCT, in collaboration with the CT Department of Community & Economic Development, determined that the region has a significant opportunity as a desirable destination to dine, shop and play, based upon its distinctive combination of resources across the four towns. These resources include outdoor recreation, agriculture and agri-tourism, culture and entertainment, higher education institutions, and small businesses and entrepreneurs. 

This new collective brand for the region as a destination will be a supplement to each individual Town’s marketing, and will not replace each individual Town’s logo or branding


About Connecticut Main Street Center

CMSC is the expert resource for developing and sustaining vibrant downtowns that fuel our state’s prosperity. Our mission is to assess, educate, convene, and advocate to develop and grow our traditional downtowns, village centers, and urban mixed-use neighborhoods. We provide education and training, resources and technical assistance, and function as the statewide champion for downtowns and Main Streets of all sizes.

CMSC is supported by its Founding Partners, Eversource Energy and the Department of Economic & Community Development (DECD). CMSC is also supported by its Growth Partners, UIL Holdings and the State Historic Preservation Office. More information is available at www.ctmainstreet.org

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CMSC’s Kimberley Parsons-Whitaker Departing for State Agency

CMSC’s Kimberley Parsons-Whitaker Departing for State Agency

Longtime Downtown advisor headed to DECD

CMSC ANNOUNCEMENT
October 17, 2022

Connecticut Main Street Center announces the departure of Kimberley Parsons-Whitaker, Senior Director of Main Street Services & Projects, effective Friday, October 21st. Kim will be assuming a new post with the Connecticut Department of Community and Economic Development, where she’ll serve as Community Development Specialist, managing the CT Communities Challenge Grant Program.

Kim joined CMSC in 2001, shortly after the then-Connecticut Light & Power Company (now Eversource) restructured the original CT Main Street Program into the Connecticut Main Street Center, an independent non-profit. Over that time, CMSC’s member communities relied on Kim as she guided them through community visioning and planning, in-depth consultancies, and countless training and networking events, in addition to her endless advice and encouragement.

Kim contributed enormously to the growth and success of CMSC, helping to grow membership to over 80 communities, more than doubling the staff, and most recently serving as Interim CEO. She leaves the organization with an expanded team of professionals to assist Main Streets across the state and in the capable hands of new Executive Director, Michelle McCabe.

Kim is looking forward to the opportunity to transition into a new role after many years with CMSC. “While my colleagues have known about this for a while, I’m glad I can finally share the news with everyone else. I’m proud of what CMSC has accomplished and thrilled with where it’s headed. I’m excited to see what they do next and excited about taking on this new challenge at DECD. It really feels like a natural evolution for CMSC and for me,” said Kim.

“Kim did an excellent job helming the organization through its transition and laying the foundation for me to be able to jump right in. DECD is a great partner of ours, and it will be a tremendous benefit to have Kim’s specific expertise at the State level. I am thrilled for Kim as she starts this exciting new chapter and look forward to working with her in her new capacity,” said Michelle McCabe, CMSC Executive Director.

“Kim has been a mainstay here at CT Main Street Center for decades. She was a go-to resource to myself when serving as the Mayor of Torrington and has remained so during my service on the Board of Directors. Her contributions to downtowns in Connecticut are incalculable. On behalf of the Board here at CT Main Street Center, we wish her the best in her new role with DECD and look forward to working with Kim for many years to come,” said Ryan Bingham, CMSC Board Chair.

CMSC is looking forward to celebrating Kim at a December event. In the meantime, please join us in thanking Kim for her service to CMSC and Connecticut’s downtowns, and wishing her much success in her new role at DECD.


About Connecticut Main Street Center

CMSC is the expert resource for developing and sustaining vibrant downtowns that fuel our state’s prosperity. Our mission is to assess, educate, convene, and advocate to develop and grow our traditional downtowns, village centers, and urban mixed-use neighborhoods. We provide education and training, resources and technical assistance, and function as the statewide champion for downtowns and Main Streets of all sizes.

CMSC is supported by its Founding Partners, Eversource Energy and the Department of Economic & Community Development (DECD). CMSC is also supported by its Growth Partners, UIL Holdings and the State Historic Preservation Office. More information is available at www.ctmainstreet.org

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Waterbury Accepting Applications for Central Business District Investment Program

Waterbury Announces Central Business District Investment Program

Now Accepting Applications

The Greater Waterbury Chamber of Commerce Foundation, in partnership with the City of Waterbury, is launching a new economic investment program aimed at helping central business district property owners lease their vacant storefronts.

The initiative, named the Central Business District Investment Program (CBDIP), uses $1.5 million of American Rescue Plan Act funds for a new matching grant program that is designed to help property owners within the district who were negatively affected by the COVID-19 pandemic.

Under the program, eligible property owners can receive up to $100,000 to be used for interior or exterior buildout costs for vacant ground floor-level retail space. Property owners with vacant storefronts are eligible for a grant of $50 per square foot, up to $100,000. Any grant awarded to a property owner must be matched at 100 percent by the owner of the property, the tenant, or a combination of both parties. Applications are now being accepted; to get started, click here.

The Greater Waterbury Chamber of Commerce Foundation is an affiliate of the Waterbury Regional Chamber. Waterbury Regional Chamber staff serve as GWCC Foundation staff and are directing and leading the program. An oversight and approval committee, compromised of City officials and Chamber Foundation officials are responsible for reviewing and awarding the grants.

More information


About Connecticut Main Street Center

CMSC is the expert resource for developing and sustaining vibrant downtowns that fuel our state’s prosperity. Our mission is to assess, educate, convene, and advocate to develop and grow our traditional downtowns, village centers, and urban mixed-use neighborhoods. We provide education and training, resources and technical assistance, and function as the statewide champion for downtowns and Main Streets of all sizes.

CMSC is supported by its Founding Partners, Eversource Energy and the Department of Economic & Community Development (DECD). CMSC is also supported by its Growth Partners, UIL Holdings and the State Historic Preservation Office. More information is available at www.ctmainstreet.org

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State Announces $150m Program to Assist Small Businesses

State Announces New $150m Program to Help Small Businesses

Public-Private Partnership Will Support Organizations in Historically Underserved Communities

Governor Ned Lamont announced the launch of the Connecticut Small Business Boost Fund, a public-private partnership that provides low-interest loans to small businesses and nonprofits in Connecticut. Businesses can now apply for loans ranging from $5,000 to $500,000.

The program is aimed at helping small businesses and nonprofits, particularly those in low-income and historically underserved communities, with access to flexible working capital. The loans have a fixed, 4.5% interest rate and are available to eligible small businesses and nonprofits with operations in Connecticut that have 100 or fewer full-time employees and annual revenues of less than $8 million.

The state is making a foundational investment of $75 million into this public-private partnership,  with the other $75 million coming from private banks, including CMSC Corporate Investor M&T Bank.  The goal is for the fund to become self-sustaining as more private funds are invested. 

Small businesses and nonprofits can apply online at CTSmallBusinessBoostFund.org, and if they qualify, they will be matched with a lender. Once matched, the participating lender will assist the business owner throughout the application process. This lending model has previously found success in programs based in California, New York, and Washington state.

The fund works with and through local community development financial institutions (CDFIs) and lenders that have decades of experience serving historically under-resourced and underbanked communities. The following CDFIs are participating in the program, including CMSC Corporate Investor Capital for Change:

  • Ascendus
  • Capital for Change
  • HEDCO
  • NDC Community Impact Loan Fund
  • Pursuit
  • Southeastern CT Enterprise Region (SeCTer)

It is administered by the National Development Council (NDC) with funding arranged by Calvert Impact Capital. In addition to funding from the Connecticut Department of Economic and Community Development (DECD), initial funding has been provided by Citizens Bank, M&T Bank, and First Republic Bank.

“We consider this program to be a one-stop shop for small-business owners,” DECD Commissioner David Lehman said. “What separates the Connecticut Small Business Boost Fund from other loan programs is that it offers support and guidance services, in addition to the financial assistance, that helps put recipients on the path to success.”

“At M&T we recognize that small businesses are the backbone of our local economies, especially in underserved and diverse communities,” Michael Weinstock, M&T Bank regional president for Hartford, said. “That’s why we’re proud to be joining the Connecticut Small Business Boost Fund to support small businesses and nonprofits that too often lack access to affordable, flexible credit. Our focus as a community bank has always been on providing resources that financially empower our customers. This partnership is another important action we are taking to further that mission.”

For more information and to apply, visit CTSmallBusinessBoostFund.org.

About Connecticut Main Street Center

CMSC is the expert resource for developing and sustaining vibrant downtowns that fuel our state’s prosperity. Our mission is to assess, educate, convene, and advocate to develop and grow our traditional downtowns, village centers, and urban mixed-use neighborhoods. We provide education and training, resources and technical assistance, and function as the statewide champion for downtowns and Main Streets of all sizes.

CMSC is supported by its Founding Partners, Eversource Energy and the Department of Economic & Community Development (DECD). CMSC is also supported by its Growth Partners, UIL Holdings and the State Historic Preservation Office. More information is available at www.ctmainstreet.org

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CMSC’s Carl Rosa Receives State Citation for Years of Service

CMSC’s Carl Rosa Receives State Citation for Years of Service

CMSC’s Field Services Director, Carl Rosa, recently received a State of Connecticut citation recognizing his years of service with Main Street Waterbury (a CMSC member community), where he served as CEO for 17 years.

Known as “Mr. Main Street” in the Waterbury community, the citation recognizes Carl for bringing the Brass City Brew and Que Fest to the downtown and improving the business environment for downtown merchants. The award also notes his, “Waterbury spirit was very evident in his work. His wisdom and experience from Main Street Waterbury will surely be a huge benefit to Connecticut Main Street Center.” 

Carl was presented the award by Rep. Ronald A. Napoli, Jr., 73rd district, Sen. Joan Hartley, 15th district, and Rep. Geraldo C. Reyes, Jr., 75th district during a recent event at Signature’s Restaurant in downtown Waterbury on May 25th.


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Connecticut Main Street Center

P.O. Box 270
Hartford, CT 06141
860.280.2337

© Connecticut Main Street Center 
P.O. Box 270, Hartford, CT 06141 | 860.280.2337