Georgetown was one of six communities across Connecticut chosen for the Connecticut Main Street Center's Main Street Accelerator program, where participants will join a six-month program to learn and practice the Four Point Main Street Approach. Georgetown Village Restoration Inc. (GVR) members will join to find new ways to increase exposure and foot traffic in Georgetown to support businesses and the local community.
The Four Point Main Street Approach examines economic vitality, design, organization and promotion, focusing on community transformation. It focuses on building an economic base with new investment and appeal toward entrepreneurs; designing accessible public spaces with inviting, inclusive atmospheres; building leadership and fostering community engagement; and promoting defining aspects, benefitting local businesses and drawing new visitors.
The six-month program from Connecticut Main Street Center is designed for teams to learn how to utilize those four points to meet a challenge their communities are facing. Georgetown, comprised of the corners of Redding, Weston, Wilton and Ridgefield, was founded in the early 1800s. Georgetown’s Main Street and Gilbert & Bennett Wire Mill are located in Redding. GVR was founded in 1999 to support its restoration, revitalization and maintenance. Among other initiatives, it organizes the annual Georgetown Day and supports the Holiday Parade and is involved in ongoing work regarding the Wire Mill.
"Georgetown is an example of the best of our communities, especially highlighting our local history and community togetherness," said State Senator Ceci Maher (D-Wilton). "It's exciting to hear that GVR will work toward supporting its long-term vitality, benefitting businesses and the local region. I look forward to the long-term benefits this work will accomplish."
“GVR recently became a CMSC member community and is now jumping in with both feet by participating in this program, which we think is brilliant because managing a Main Street is a collective exercise. The Accelerator program is designed to equip local teams like GVR with the framework and knowledge they may need to move their project forward. I’m excited to work with them and see what results,” said Kristen Lopez, CMSC Education & Training Director.
“GVR is excited to participate in CMSC’s Accelerator program and learn how we can offer more support and strengthen Georgetown. Our village is a special place, and we are lucky to have the dynamic local businesses that serve our community. We look forward to better serving them and enhancing Main Street and the community,” said Kate Perry, who serves on the board of the nonprofit organization.
The Connecticut Main Street Center has an ongoing mission to assess, educate, convene and advocate to develop and grow Connecticut's downtowns, village centers and mixed-use neighborhoods, supporting Main Streets everywhere.