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Tag: economic development

CivicLift

CivicLift

Technology to build community and grow culture.

CivicLift specializes in enhancing community engagement and economic growth for towns and cities.

They offer two products: CommunityHUB and MUNI. CommunityHUB collects and showcases the heart of your town – Events, Places, Stories, and Jobs. This not only enriches community engagement but also supports economic development and municipal business growth.

MUNI is their ADA-compliant content management system that is simple for municipal staff to manage on the backend and easy for residents to navigate on the front end.

Services

Services include: Community & Economic Development

Visit their website

Contact

Taylor Funk
114 Vanderpoel Avenue
Bantam, CT 06750
435-512-0875

taylor@civiclift.com

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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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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

December Main Street Connect

Main Street Connect is here,
Exclusively for Connecticut Main Street Center members!

Discuss key challenges & opportunities with your peers in a group environment led by
Carl Rosa, CMSC Field Services Director and Main Street Waterbury veteran.

Main Street Connect is a monthly program focused on bringing Main Street Leaders from across the state together in an informal setting for group coaching and peer mentoring.

What to expect:

  • Member-led. Most of the hour-long program will be for attendees to discuss their opportunities and challenges to get feedback from their peers and guidance from CMSC.
  • Small group. Each monthly session has a limited number of attendees to allow for robust conversation and dialogue.
  • Be with your peers. Each month is segmented to meet the needs of different members: Professionally Managed, Municipalities, Small/Rural Towns, and Urban Main Streets. Self-select the session(s) that best describe your Main Street program.
  • Convenient virtual format; engaged participants. Sessions will be held on Zoom and will not be recorded for replay. Attendees are encouraged to be present and engage live.

Upcoming schedule:

Main Street Connect is held on the First Friday of every month, from 9:00-10:00 am.  Click on the date to register for the session(s) that best fit your Main Street program:

 *Registration is available to current Connecticut Main Street Center members.

 

November Main Street Connect – Urban Main Streets

Main Street Connect is here,
Exclusively for Connecticut Main Street Center members!

Discuss key challenges & opportunities with your peers in a group environment led by
Carl Rosa, CMSC Field Services Director and Main Street Waterbury veteran.

Main Street Connect is a monthly program focused on bringing Main Street Leaders from across the state together in an informal setting for group coaching and peer mentoring.

What to expect:

  • Member-led. Most of the hour-long program will be for attendees to discuss their opportunities and challenges to get feedback from their peers and guidance from CMSC.
  • Small group. Each monthly session has a limited number of attendees to allow for robust conversation and dialogue.
  • Be with your peers. Each month is segmented to meet the needs of different members: Professionally Managed, Municipalities, Small/Rural Towns, and Urban Main Streets. Self-select the session(s) that best describe your Main Street program.
  • Convenient virtual format; engaged participants. Sessions will be held on Zoom and will not be recorded for replay. Attendees are encouraged to be present and engage live.

Upcoming schedule:

Main Street Connect is held on the First Friday of every month, from 9:00-10:00 am.  Click on the date to register for the session(s) that best fit your Main Street program:

 *Registration is available to current Connecticut Main Street Center members.

 

Spotlight On Main Street Networking Event – Middletown

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

DOWNTOWN MIDDLETOWN: LOVEABLE & LIVEABLE
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

4PM-4:50PM – PROGRAM

  • 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.

Main Street Connect – Small & Rural Towns

Main Street Connect is back,
Exclusively for Connecticut Main Street Center members!

Discuss key challenges & opportunities with your peers in a group environment led by
Carl Rosa, CMSC Field Services Director and Main Street Waterbury veteran.

Main Street Connect is a monthly program focused on bringing Main Street Leaders from across the state together in an informal setting for group coaching and peer mentoring.

What to expect:

  • Member-led. Most of the hour-long program will be for attendees to discuss their opportunities and challenges to get feedback from their peers and guidance from CMSC.
  • Small group. Each monthly session has a limited number of attendees to allow for robust conversation and dialogue.
  • Be with your peers. Each month is segmented to meet the needs of different members: Professionally Managed, Municipalities, Small/Rural Towns, and Urban Main Streets. Self-select the session(s) that best describe your Main Street program.
  • Convenient virtual format; engaged participants. Sessions will be held on Zoom and will not be recorded for replay. Attendees are encouraged to be present and engage live.

Upcoming schedule:

Main Street Connect is held on the First Friday of every month, from 9:00-10:00 am.  Click on the date to register for the session(s) that best fit your Main Street program:

 *Registration is available to current Connecticut Main Street Center members.

 

CMSC Webinar: How to Fill Vacant Storefronts

JOIN US FOR OUR EXPERT-LED WEBINAR

Every Main Street will face vacancies from time to time, and COVID only exacerbated this challenge across Connecticut and the country. Not only are persistent vacancies detrimental to creating and sustaining a vibrant downtown, but they also have a negative economic impact on the community.In this webinar, our presenter Ilana Preuss – international speaker, and fierce advocate for creating great places and small-scale manufacturing – will share:

  • Innovative approaches to filling vacant storefronts from around the country
  • Programmatic ideas to collaborate with property owners
  • Long-term solutions to keep storefronts full by supporting local small business ecosystems

This webinar is approved for 1 CM credit for certified planners. 
With thanks to our AICP Certification Maintenance partner FHI Studio.

Register here


About the Presenter

Ilana Preuss is the founder and CEO of Recast City and the author of the new book “Recast Your City: How to Save Your Downtown with Small-Scale Manufacturing.”

Preuss’ passion for great places grew out of her experience working with small and large cities all over the country when she led the technical assistance program at the U.S. EPA Smart Growth Program, and as the Vice President & Chief of Staff at Smart Growth America. She has a Bachelor of Arts in Urban and Regional Studies from Cornell University and a Masters of City Planning from the University of Maryland.


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