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Tag: economic development

Spotlight On Main Street Networking Event – Middletown

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
– Meet and Greet sponsored by the Inn at Middletown


  • Welcome remarks from Mayor Ben Florsheim & Lieutenant Governor Susan Bysiewicz
  • Downtown Business District Chairperson, Jen Alexander, will speak about The Downtown Business District’s roles and responsibilities
  • Our Community in Action presentation by Middletown Police Dept. Community Division
  • Presenters Domenick Demartino (Demartino Development) and JR Hargraves (Hargraves Development) will lead a discussion on A Vibrant & Residential Downtown
  • Closing Remarks from Larry McHugh, President of the Middlesex County Chamber of Commerce

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

6PM-7:30PM – Complimentary Cocktail Reception at the Rooftop of the Community Health Center

Additional Information:

  • PARKING: All guests should park in the parking lot off Union Street behind Mondo Restaurant and the Inn at Middletown
  • SHUTTLE BUS will be available and running between the Inn at Middletown and the Community Health Center following the walking tour


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


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