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Tag: downtown

Case Study: The Beatrice, NE, Approach to Defeating Negativity

The community of Beatrice, Nebraska had been struggling with negative perceptions and apathy due to economic setbacks in recent decades. Community leaders needed to take action to push back the perception of negativity and defeatism.

In 2015, they came together and developed a plan to help facilitate change. By 2018, Beatrice was named the #1 micropolitan community in Nebraska—#14 nationally—for large scale (mostly manufacturing) economic development projects by Site Selection Magazine. Now, post-COVID Beatrice is working to gain back the momentum they had been building.

In this webinar, Michael Sothan, the Executive Director of Main Street Beatrice, will share the journey of changing the perception of Beatrice and six lessons learned along the way.

Sponsorship opportunities available! View the flyer

About the Presenter

Michael Sothan is the Executive Director of Main Street Beatrice in Beatrice Nebraska (pop 12,300).  He has been with Main Street Beatrice since 2013 and has been a part of Downtown Beatrice’s efforts to become listed on the National Register of Historic Places, undertake façade improvement programs, and regularly guides downtown improvements, events, and economic development efforts.

Michael is a graduate of the University of Nebraska at Kearney. He resides in Steele City, NE (population 60) where he and his wife Megan have purchased an 1890’s grocery store with plans for its rehabilitation.  Michael enjoys living history interpretation and the outdoors when not working on community development efforts.

CMSC Members-Only Webinar: How to Collect, Maintain, and Leverage Your Main Street Inventories

Critical to any Main Street initiative is understanding your community’s assets. This is done by collecting information on various assets and documenting the information for it to be updated over time.

In this CMSC member-only workshop, we’ll cover:

  • The importance of Main Street inventories
  • The types of inventories to maintain beyond common assets
  • What information you should collect
  • Strategies and tactics to collect and maintain information
  • How to use inventory data to market your Main Street.

This is a tactical how-to workshop including templates for live attendees.

Sponsorship opportunities available. View the flyer

Spotlight On Main Street Networking Event – Middletown

This event is rescheduled due to weather.
The new date is Thursday, October 20th. 

Presented by


Join CMSC & CEDAS as we explore Downtown Middletown!

The seven walkable blocks of Middletown’s Main Street are home to nearly 200 independent businesses from family-owned for generations to brand new. Visitors can sample the world at restaurants with a dozen different ethnic cuisines. This charming business district nestled along the Connecticut River is home to music, art, dancing, playtime, and even the movies, making it the perfect place to explore as a visitor or resident.

Schedule of Events – Thursday, October 20th
3PM-4PM – Welcome Reception & Registration – Community Health Center Rooftop


  • Welcome – Jen Alexander, Chair, Downtown Business District
  • The DBD’s Roles & Responsibilities – Sandra Russo-Driska, DBD Coordinator
  • Our Community in Action – Presented by Middletown Police Dept. Community Division & Chief Erik Costa
  • A Vibrant & Residential Downtown – Presentations by Dominick DeMartino, DeMartino Development, and JR Hargraves, Hargraves Development 

5PM-6PM – Guided walking tours along Main Street

6PM-7:30PM – Government Officials’ Reception – sponsored by the Inn at Middletown

  • Featuring Lieutenant Governor Susan Bysiewicz , Middletown Mayor Ben Florsheim, and Larry McHugh, President, Middlesex County Chamber
  • Complimentary food, beer and wine will be served along with a surprise parting gift!

Additional Information:

  • PARKING: Guests can park in the parking lot off Union Street behind Mondo Restaurant and the Inn at Middletown OR at the Community Health Center.
  • A SHUTTLE BUS will be available at the Inn at Middletown beginning at 3:30 PM and will run a continuous loop to the Community Health Center until 7PM.


This event is approved for 2 credits for certified planners
With thanks to our AICP Certification Maintenance Provider FHI Studio.

CMSC Webinar: Supporting Small Businesses on Main Street

We all know small businesses are the lifeblood of Main Street, but are we giving them the support they need or actually want?

Supported by Main Street America’s 2022 Small Business Survey, we’ll review the findings and highlight the top three types of support small businesses want: incentives & financial support, increased district-wide marketing & promotion, and stronger organization of businesses in the area.

Learn how to take these findings and create effective programs to support your small business.

  • Implement a façade improvement program that energizes vacant spaces and encourages new business starts
  • Strengthen your district branding to change perception, involve everyone, and engage new partners
  • Upgrade Merchant Meetups with informal storytelling events that bring the business community togethe

Meet the panelists:

This event is free, but registration is required.

This event is approved for 1 credit for certified planners
With thanks to our AICP Certification Maintenance Provider FHI Studio.

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