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Meet Our 2024 Cohort

Meet Our 2024 Cohort

2024 Main Street Accelerator Cohort

Teams from six Connecticut communities were chosen for the inaugural class of CMSC’s new Main Street Accelerator program – a virtual, 6-month program where participants learn and practice the nationally proven Four Point Main Street Approach and apply it to a specific challenge their community is facing. 

The teams and their projects represent a diverse array of Connecticut towns and cities:

  • East Side NRZ

    Representatives from the NRZ and the City will create an accessible document that provides actionable solutions for businesses to revitalize their storefronts.

    Team members:

    • Tatiana E. Urena, President, East Side NRZ
    • Kellie Taylor, VP, East Side NRZ
    • Jonathan Delgado, Econ Dev, City Bridgeport
  • Georgetown Village Restoration, Inc.

    GVR team members will examine how to increase exposure and foot traffic in Georgetown to help support businesses and the community.

    Team members:

    • Kate Perry, Secretary, Redding EDC
    • Lisa Devine, VP, GVR
    • Nic Palazzo, President, GVR
  • Downtown Windsor

    A local business owner and Windsor’s First Town Downtown director will reimagine the ground floor VFW ballroom into a beer hall-type facility.

    Team members:

    • Annisa Teich, Founder, The Small Business Collective
    • Ken Fredette, Exec Dir, First Town Downtown
  • Town of Haddam

    Municipal economic development commissioners, the town’s selectwoman, and local business owners will work together to improve signage, mapping, and the overall visual appeal between the town’s two village centers.

    Team members:

    • Kate Anderson, Selectwoman
    • Curtis Browne, EDC Member
    • Mike Karam, EDC Member
    • Bridget Marshall, Oh Fudge and More
    • Courtney Emshwiller-Swokla, HK Health and Fitness
  • Norwich Community Development Corporation

    Planners and local development organizations will collaborate on how to change the perception of downtown Norwich by enticing tourists through cooperative marketing and events with local groups.

    Team members:

    • Bobbie Braboy, Director Global City Norwich
    • Kevin Brown, President, Norwich Community Dev Corp
    • Lucas Kaiser, Community Dev. Specialist, Norwich Community Dev Corp
    • Dan Daniska, City Planning and Zoning
    • Nicole Haggerty, Planner, Southeastern CT Council of Gov.
  • Town of Thomaston

    Municipal officials and downtown volunteers will work collaboratively to create a strong network of downtown businesses and begin revitalizing Downtown Thomaston’s historic and visual assets.

    Team members:

    • Stacey Sefcik, Land Use Administrator, Thomaston
    • Susan Holway, Secretary, Thomaston EDC
    • Lissa Jennings, Member, Thomaston EDC
    • Alissa Monteleone, Member, Thomaston EDC
    • Mary Lacilla, Member, Thomaston Beautification Committee

Learn about the Accelerator program

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Everything Old is New Again: How the Windsor Historical Society is making the town’s past modern & accessible

Everything Old is New Again:

How the Windsor Historical Society is making the town’s history modern & accessible

CMSC recently talked to Doug Shipman, Windsor Historical Society’s Executive Director to learn how they’re engaging Windsor’s diverse residents, partnering with the downtown, and going viral on Facebook.

As a New England state, Connecticut has a long history, and as home to the first English settlement, Windsor lays claim as Connecticut’s first town, and correspondingly the state’s first downtown. So it’s not surprising that like other Connecticut towns, Windsor has a Historical Society to preserve and share the stories of its past. What is surprising is how proactively this historical society is working to bridge its history with its present, making a point to tell everyone’s stories – not just offer the traditional perspectives – in addition to spotlighting the town’s current diverse demographics. They’re also refreshingly open to embracing new technologies and working with a myriad of partners to reach new audiences.  


Celebrating All Residents & Their Stories

Windsor Historical Society (WHS) was established in 1921 to prepare for Windsor’s 300-year anniversary in 1933. At the time, the Historical Society was focused on preserving its colonial past, buying their first building – the current Strong-Howard House – within their first four years. That focus on preserving colonial era history would remain until only very recently. Doug Shipman, WHS Executive Director, notes that as the town edges towards its 400-year anniversary, they’ve been changing their focus to be more representative of the town’s current demographics and to celebrate and share the histories of all of Windsor’s residents.

While Windsor was ninety-eight percent white in 1921, it’s now forty-eight percent white, fifty-two percent people of color. In fact, Doug notes it’s one of the most diverse towns in CT. To help reflect this, the WHS had a nine-foot tall map of the town made that they bring to public events. They then took pictures of residents and added them to the map where the person lives. To date, over one thousand residents can now see themselves pictured on the map with friends and neighbors. To Doug, this exercise has dual achievements: it helps people see that they’re all a part of the Windsor community and also lets them know the WHS is there for them. “It’s kind of our way of bringing a little bit of the Historical Society into the downtown and people seeing, ‘hey, the Historical Society is kind of a cool, modern, history-is-fun kind of place, not this stodgy old brown furniture thing.”


Collaboration Over Competition

In addition to engaging residents and visitors directly, Doug is also quick to credit collaboration as one of the keys to their success. The Historical Society makes an effort to partner with downtown businesses and organizations like CMSC member First Town Downtown to amplify each other’s events and work. WHS has also been involved in the town’s tourism efforts for a long time, with WHS and other arts and culture organizations playing a large role in the overall nature and quality of the community. The Historical Society was one of the founders of the Windsor Arts and Museums Association (WAMA), a collection of seven museums and attraction sites people can visit, including art museums, the CT Valley Tobacco museum, a vintage radio museum, Loomis Chaffee Mercy Gallery, Oliver Ellsworth Homestead (the third U.S. Supreme Court Chief Justice and framer of the Constitution), and the Windsor Freedom Trail sites.

His approach is optimistic and pragmatic. “I endeavor to say yes to partnering with others. I try to avoid the idea of scarcity, but rather collaborate on funding,” Doug says, noting that they can do more by working together. He talks excitedly about UConn Department of History Professor Fionna Vernal who’s been working with WHS, South Windsor’s Wood Memorial Library and Bloomfield’s Wintonbury Historical Society to get grant funding for an online oral history collecting platform called Their Story.

He adds that this is a great example of why it’s important to collaborate, not compete. Each of the three organizations has a particular strength that they focus on. When someone is looking for something WHS doesn’t offer, they’re happy to recommend their colleagues, and they do the same in return for WHS.


Using New Approaches

Beyond partnering with local and regional organizations, WHS is open to using new technology to further engage audiences. Doug muses how people used to think they had to physically get people through their doors because they feared if you put something online no one would come. Now it’s the opposite. To meet this new mindset, they offer a lot of information online – Black histories and oral histories, even the last seventy-five years of Windsor High School yearbooks.  They also partnered with First Town Downtown and the Chamber of Commerce to create a virtual walking tour that bridges attractions separated by the town’s geography. With their proximity to Bradley Airport, the walking tour also occasionally attracts travelers who may have long layovers and want to get out of the airport for a little while.

Doug notes that their staff does a great job of posting to Facebook, with the archivist, curator, community history specialist, and the office manager taking turns so it’s not overwhelming for any one of them. And it’s working – several of their photos have gone viral, with tens of thousands of people seeing their images. Doug loves it. “It’s great because a lot of people see themselves in it and share it and that’s what we want, people relating to their history.” He adds, “That’s their memory. They’re trying to make a connection between what we’re doing, the history we’re presenting and their memory, and that’s how people learn and have an emotional attachment to history and become fans and love history, because of that personal connection.”

To learn more about the Windsor Historical Society or view their upcoming events, visit their website.


About CT 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 Webinar – Constructing Downtown: Storrs Center 20 Year Update

CMSC Webinar

Constructing Downtown: Storrs Center 20 Year Update

Webinar Summary

Twenty-four years ago, the Town of Mansfield and UCONN had a vision to create a vibrant, walkable, mixed-use downtown. Today, Storrs Center is home to 60 businesses, 1300 residents, and boasts civic space and multi-use buildings. So what’s next?

In this webinar, Cynthia van Zelm, Mansfield Downtown Partnership Executive Director, shares share her firsthand experiences and lessons learned in downtown management.

Presentation Highlights


  • The Three Stages of Development

    Mansfield Downtown Partnership, Inc. has been involved in the construction of Storrs Center from the very beginning. Its role has changed to meet the needs of the project: planning, construction, and management

    Planning

    • 1999 – Mansfield Town Council forms “Town Green Committee”
    • 2001 – Mansfield Downtown Partnership, Inc. to oversee redevelopment efforts
    • 2003 – Partnership selects master developer
    • 2003-2006 – Partnership guides Town, UConn, and master developer through approval process
    • 2007 – Design guidelines approved

    Construction

    • 2011 – Construction Begins
    • 2012 – First building of Phase 1A Storrs Center opens
    • 2017 – Construction of “Storrs Center” complete

    Management

    • 2018 – DOWNTOWN STORRS introduced for whole district
    • 2018- Today – Key management activities include: providing business support, operations (e.g. enhancing public spaces, etc.) , working with property owners, promotion and marketing of the district, and hosting community events
  • Mansfield Downtown Partnership, Inc. Organization & Budget

    The Board of Directors is made up of:

    • 3 Town of Mansfield positions (appointed)
    • 3 UConn positions (appointed)
    • 2 Student representatives (selected)
    • 6 Elected positions (voted on by “membership” base)
    • 2 ex officio positions:
      • Mansfield Mayor
      • UConn President or designee

    Staff includes:

    • Executive Director
    • Senior Communications Manager
    • Event Coordinator
    • Administrative Assistant (part-time)

    Budget 

    Their annual budget is $405,000.

    • Town of Mansfield – $175,000
    • UConn Contribution – $175,000
    • Economic Development Service Fee – $40,000
    • “Membership” Dues – $15,000
  • Lessons Learned

    • Clear direction/everyone on same page as the mission
    • Dedicated and funded staff is key
    • Be ready to pivot
    • Bring on and mentor a staff team that meets evolving needs
    • Try not to take things personally

View the Recording


Additional Resources

Professional Affiliates

Several of the photos of Storrs Center were taken by CMSC Professional Affiliate Levin Aerial Works

About Cynthia van Zelm

Cynthia van Zelm, is Executive Director of Mansfield Downtown Partnership. She was involved in Downtown Storrs from its inception and now concentrates on managing and promoting the downtown and Mansfield’s economic development.

View other webinars

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CT SHPO: A Powerful Ally for Downtowns & Main Streets

CT’s State Historic Preservation Office:

A Powerful Ally for Downtowns & Main Streets

CMSC recently sat down with SHPO’s Jonathan Kinney to talk about the resources they offer & historic preservation’s important role in a changing future.

Historic preservation and downtowns go hand-in-hand, as so many of our beautiful, timeless treasurers are located amongst their lively streets. One ally in keeping these buildings maintained and for contemporary enjoyment is the State Historic Preservation Office. SHPO shares many values with Connecticut Main Street Center (CMSC), such as how our historic buildings have important links to sustainability, adaptive reuse, and nurturing connections among people.

SHPO’s work encompasses three main areas: regulatory, educational, and program administration. They are federally mandated – every state in the nation has a SHPO office. However, they also have several state programs and policies that mirror the federal ones, such as administering the state historic tax credit program, in additional to the federal historic tax credit program. While they have regulatory responsibilities pursuant to laws such as Section 106 of the National Historic Preservation Act and the CT Environmental Policy Act (CEPA), they’re also focused on designating new historic properties and incentivizing preservation and protection of our historic gems.

SHPO understands that while it’s important to maintain the characteristics of our historic buildings, it’s also important to allow them to evolve. “House museums are wonderful, and there’s certainly a place for them, but we don’t want every historic building to be preserved like a museum. We want these buildings to be viable, living pieces of the community that people can use, that they can live in, that they can work in, that they can enjoy because those are the best ways to preserve these buildings,” says Jonathan Kinney, State Historic Preservation Office and Director of Operations.

Mr. Kinney’s advice for downtowns is to reach out as soon as you can and talk to them about potential projects, whether you’re an economic development official or a business owner. This lets SHPO get in on the ground floor and identify where there may be concerns about historic properties and provide guidance up front so people aren’t searching around for what to do.

Engaging SHPO is easier than many may think. They encourage early dialogue with municipalities or developers so that they can help identify any potential obstacles and offer resources to assist in addressing them. SHPO also works with many partners across the state, including their statutory partner, Preservation CT, a statewide non-profit staffed with preservation professionals, including Circuit Riders, who travel the state providing boots-on-the-ground guidance and advice on SHPO’s grant and other programs.

SHPO is eager for people to know they are there to be a resource in protecting and preserving our historic assets, especially when viewed in the larger context of other pressing issues, such as sustainability, housing, and education. As they begin the statewide planning phase for their 2024-2029 plan, these issues are at the forefront of Mr. Kinney’s mind. “Historic preservation can’t singlehandedly address all of those issues, but it has a strong connection to each one and is a tool that is available to the people of Connecticut to help with each.” He notes how, “the greenest building is the one that’s already there,” notably the embodied energy savings of historic building; how historic mill buildings can be great tools to help construct housing units, including much-needed affordable units; and how these buildings offer us living connections to the past. “There’s something really neat about historic buildings in that they give us context and they allow us to experience something that goes beyond just one human life. It places us us into a longer timeline which I think people find comforting.”

Mr. Kinney was particularly proud of a SHPO project headed by Jenny Scofield, Deputy State Historic Preservation Officer/National Register Coordinator last year, in partnership with Preservation CT, which surveyed Frederick Law Olmstead projects around the state. While one of the nation’s most famous historic landscape architects, Olmstead was from Connecticut, but a comprehensive look at his projects in the state had never been undertaken before. In yet another fascinating example, Mr. Kinney also shared how work is underway in Simsbury to document Martin Luther King’s time working in tobacco barns there. It turns out that during both World Wars, southern seasonal workers were recruited to help, including through a partnership with Morehouse College students in Atlanta during WWII – where a young Martin Luther King attended. Dr. King’s time in the north working the Connecticut tobacco fields would prove to be a transitional time for him, and he would later say it was during this summer that he was called to service as a minister.

As one of the oldest states in the nation, with an even older indigenous history, it’s reassuring to know SHPO is deploying resources to preserve and protect our vibrant history, one that is deeply embedded in our downtown and village centers. We encourage you to reach out to them or Preservation CT if you have a project you’re considering, or if you would like more information on the resources and programs they offer.


About CT 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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Main Street Accelerator

Main Street Accelerator

Leadership Development Training

Main Street Accelerator

Main Street Accelerator is an action-oriented leadership development program focused on helping communities better their downtown by implementing a specific project, such as launching a new initiative or addressing a challenge.

During the virtual, 6-month Accelerator program, participants will learn and practice the nationally proven Four Point Main Street Approach; sustainable and inclusive development practices; project management; and community engagement.

Learn more about the program or view the curriculum outline for key dates.

View the Info Session


Meet our 2024 Accelerator Class!

Teams from six Connecticut communities were chosen for the inaugural class of Connecticut Main Street Center’s new Main Street Accelerator program, representing a diverse array of Connecticut towns and cities:

  • Georgetown Village Restoration, Inc. (GVR) – GVR team members will examine how to increase exposure and foot traffic in Georgetown to help support businesses and the community.
  • Town of Thomaston – Municipal officials and downtown volunteers will work collaboratively to create a strong network of downtown businesses and begin revitalizing Downtown Thomaston’s historic and visual assets.
  • East Side NRZ, Bridgeport – Representatives from the NRZ and the City will create an accessible document that provides actionable solutions for businesses to revitalize their storefronts.
  • Downtown Windsor – A local business owner and Windsor’s First Town Downtown director will reimagine the ground floor VFW ballroom into a beer hall-type facility.
  • Town of Haddam – Municipal economic development commissioners, the town’s selectwoman, and local business owners will work together to improve signage, mapping, and the overall visual appeal between the town’s two village centers.
  • Norwich Community Development Corporation – Planners and local development organizations will collaborate on how to change the perception of downtown Norwich by enticing tourists through cooperative marketing and events with local groups.

Application Information

Applications are open from September 21st – November 3rd

The application contains the following questions:

  • Point of Contact Information
  • Team Contact Information
  • Please describe your challenge or project. (500 characters)
  • Please describe your team. Have you worked on a project together previously? Why is this team the right team? (500 characters)
  • Why is now a good time to participate in Main Street Accelerator? (250 characters)
  • What do you hope to accomplish by participating in Main Street Accelerator? (250 characters)

Questions? Email Kristen Lopez or call her at 860-280-2074 to discuss whether this program is right for you.

Frequently Asked Questions

  • On our team, we don’t have “at least one individual who is a paid professional and has decision-making power/authority in their downtown.” Can we still apply?

    We recognize that every community has a different support structure for their Main Street. Our goal is to ensure that the work the group accomplishes during Main Street Accelerator can be implemented and will be supported in the community. As such, if your team does not include a paid professional or the direct decision-making authority but is confident that the work can be implemented and supported by the community, then we welcome your application, just please make note of this in your application.

  • What is the time commitment?

    It really depends on how active your team is, but we anticipate about 4-5 hours a month between self-paced lessons, monthly virtual meetings, and independent teamwork.

  • When are the monthly virtual meetings?

    The time of day isn’t set yet. On the application, there is a question regarding preference for time of day. We want to make sure we choose a convenient time for most people, but everything will be recorded if it can’t be attended live.

  • Can multiple different communities be accepted if they are focused on tackling the same project or challenge?

    Yes, absolutely. There are no restrictions on different communities working on the same goal.

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Annual Assessment for CMSC Members

CMSC Member Benefit

Annual Assessment

Annual Assessment for CMSC Members

Managing a downtown is a complex endeavor, with many components that must be carefully cultivated and addressed. CMSC wanted a way to quantify the work of our members, to give them a baseline of their efforts, track their successes year-over-year and be able to provide them more specific resources and guidance.

We spent several months developing the Annual Assessment matrix, a tool that measures the two overarching approaches CMSC espouses for cultivating healthy downtowns: the Four Point Approach to Main Street Management and the Six Core Components of a Vibrant Main Street.  The Four Point Approach – the how – is the nationally recognized model for managing a Main Street. The Six Core Components are the what – the foundational elements CMSC has identified as critical to a vibrant Main Street, such as lighting, public art and local businesses.


Assessment Overview

  • What is the purpose of the assessment?

    The purpose of the Annual Assessment is to help our members identify areas of strengths and weaknesses.

    Through the assessment, CMSC can pinpoint and recommend next steps based on the findings. It also provides a benchmark metric that can be measured year-over-year to track the progress of your district.

  • What is the methodology used for the scoring?

    CMSC member communities are scored on each practice area based on CMSC observations of your district and through interviewing your district’s point of contact. When complete, the Assessment results in two scores:

    • Four Point Main Street Management score – This is a cumulative score of Main Street America’s four components of Main Street Management as they are applied to your district.
      • Economic Vitality – Practices that restore the district’s economic value by building a diverse economic base, catalyzing smart new investment, and cultivating a strong entrepreneurial ecosystem
      • Design – Practices that restore the district’s physical value by creating an inviting, inclusive atmosphere, celebrating historic and unique character, and fostering accessible, people-centered public spaces
      • Promotion – Practices that restore the district’s social value by marketing the district’s defining assets, communicating unique features through storytelling, and supporting the buy-local experience
      • Organization – Practices that restore the district’s civic value by building leadership and strong organizational capacity, ensuring broad community engagement, and forging partnerships across sectors
    • Six Components of a Vibrant Main Street – This score quantifies the vibrancy of your district, while recognizing that each downtown has a unique mix of these vital components.
      • Placemaking – A district’s unique sense of place
      • Economic Vitality – A district’s diverse economic base
      • Stewardship – A district’s community engagement and policies that support appropriate growth
      • Inclusiveness – A district’s focus on cultivating equitable places and leading with inclusive practices
      • Sustainability – A district’s focus on protecting natural resources
      • Connectivity – A district’s focus on connecting people to places and economic hubs

    A score for each component is provided to show areas of strengths and weaknesses. The lowest score is 25% and the highest score is 100%. A score of 65% – 75% is satisfactory.

    • How will the scores be used?

      The information gathered through the assessment offers a powerful tool for you to see what’s working in your community, where to target your efforts, and a way to convey your impact to town leaders, funders, and key stakeholders. Doing the assessment annually will also allow you to see your progress year over year. It will also help us better help you, since as part of the follow-up, CMSC will provide you with targeted resources and guidance based on your results.

      Some additional ways to utilize the assessment and the resulting scores include:

      • Reporting to your Board or Town Commission on the success of your efforts
      • Demonstrating the depth and breadth of the work required to cultivate a vital downtown
      • Highlighting the impact of a managed downtown and identifying specific needs to funders
    • FAQ’s

      What does the Assessment process look like? How long will it take?

      • Plan to spend 2-3 hours meeting with CMSC’s Field Services staff. During this time, we’ll go over a comprehensive checklist of 82 data points, which will likely include a combination of walking tour and office visit.
      • Once the community visit is complete, we’ll input the data into the Assessment matrix which will generate overall scores for the 4 Point Approach to Main Street Management and 6 Core Components of a Vibrant Main Street. It will also identify areas that are high performing or need improvement.
      • Next CMSC will send you a letter within a week or so that includes your score, recommended next steps and specific CMSC resources to help you in specified areas. Our Field Services staff will also call you to go over the results of the letter.
      • We’ll check in with you 90 days later to see how it’s going implementing the recommended changes.

      Will members’ scores be kept private?

      • CMSC will not share your scores with anyone else without your permission. However, if you’d like to share them with your boards or commissions, that’s up to you. Please note, we may use individual or aggregate scores – without identifying specific members – in our advocacy or other work. 

      What happens if we get a low score? Is there a “failing” grade?

      • There are no right or wrong answers to the assessment questions, and there’s no “failing” grade. The scores are simply a way to benchmark your efforts, so you can determine which activities are working well and which can be improved, and for CMSC to tailor our assistance to best help you. To give an example of the range, a score of 65%-75% is considered satisfactory.

    View the Tutorial


    Next Steps

    You can schedule your Annual Assessment with CMSC’s Field Services Director, Carl Rosa. To be eligible for the assessment, you must be a member in good standing. 

    Questions? Email Carl Rosa or call him at 860-280-2075.

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    Small Business Boost Program

    CT Small Business Boost Program

    Program Overview

    The CT Small Business Boost Fund is a new resource to help small downtown & Main Street businesses move forward.

    Supported by the Connecticut Department of Economic & Community Development (DECD), the Connecticut Small Business Boost Fund links small businesses and non-profits to the financial support they need to thrive.

    The CT Small Business Boost Fund gives small business owners access to flexible funding for capital expenditures and working capital and connects them with support services. 

    • Small businesses and non-profits can borrow between $5,000 – $500,000 depending on eligibility and need.
    • Businesses can choose how they spend the money — on equipment, payroll, utilities & rent, supplies, marketing & advertising, eligible refinancing, building renovations and other expenses.
    • Loans are not forgivable. Businesses will need to pay back the full amount of the loan with interest over a 60- or 72-month term.

    Learn More

    Additional Information

    • Application

      • No origination fees
      • Streamlined application process
      • Quick application approval timelines
      • Support in multiple languages
    • Loan Terms

      • Borrow between $5,000 and $500,000 (subject to eligibility)
      • Fixed 4.5% interest rate
      • 60-month repayment terms for loans less than $150,000; 72-month repayment terms for loans over $150,000
    • Eligibility Requirements

      • Business and nonprofits must have operations in Connecticut
      • Have no more than 100 full-time employees
      • Have annual revenues of less than $8 million
      • Businesses and nonprofits must have been in operation for at least 1 year prior to the date of application. A small amount of financing is available for start-up businesses

    Resources

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    Capital for Change (C4C)

    Capital for Change (C4C) is a Community Development Financial Institution (CDFI) that provides high impact lending products and programs to increase energy efficiency, nurture small business development, finance multifamily and mixed-use developments, and create and preserve affordable housing. They champion projects of all kinds with an approach that one size does not fit all.

    They understand that as our downtowns go, so goes our state. C4C cares deeply about restoring vitality and community pride in Connecticut’s urban centers and legacy cities. Downtowns are underutilized economic engines that can create jobs and tax revenue, promote cultural activities, supply affordable housing, along with other benefits.

    C4C assists public and quasi-public entities by facilitating the implementation of publicly-funded programs and projects by providing loan underwriting services, portfolio management, loan servicing or program and funding administration.

    For more information contact Carolyn I. Gonzalez at cgonzalez@capitalforchange.org or (203) 332-7977 ext. 2407. You can also visit their website at www.capitalforchange.org.

    People’s United Bank

    Founded in 1842, People’s United Bank is a premier, community-based, regional Northeast bank with more than 5,500 employees offering commercial and retail banking, as well as wealth management services. Whether it is for personal or business needs, their customers and their needs come first.

    For more than 175 years, People’s United Bank has been an active member of the communities where they live and work, and a strong philanthropic partner committed to investing time and money to meet the needs of individuals, families, businesses, and entire communities. They take the responsibility to be good neighbors seriously, and are committed to a legacy of giving back to communities.

    For more information on People’s United Bank and how they can help you, visit their website at www.peoples.com/personal.

    UIL Holdings

    UIL Holdings (formerly the United Illuminating Company (UI)) has long supported CMSC, answering the call in 2008 for larger supporters so that CMSC could grow purposefully and further our mission of inspiring great Connecticut downtowns. They continue to be a consistent and generous supporter of our work providing education and on-the-ground guidance to Connecticut’s downtowns.

    UIL Holdings is a New Haven-based regional distribution utility established in 1899. They engage in the purchase, transmission, distribution and sale of electricity and related services to more than 324,000 residential, commercial and industrial customers in the Greater New Haven and Bridgeport areas.

    Learn more about UIL Holdings

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