New London Main Street is a nonprofit ( (501 ( c ) ( 3 ) ), volunteer-driven organization committed to revitalizing New London's historic downtown. The goal of Main Street is to build community through activities and programs that enrich the cultural fabric, preserve and enhance historic streetscapes and support and expand the economic base of the city center. It is one of five Main Street programs in Connecticut and is among the 1,200 programs nationwide developed from an initiative of the National Trust for Historic Preservation in the 1970's. Main Street receives strategic assistance from the National Main Street Center in Washington, DC and the Connecticut Main Street Center in Hartford. New London Main Street has been recognized as one of the top National Main Street Communities that meets the strict criteria set by the national program. It has consistently won statewide awards for its work and received numerous citations from the Governor's Office.
- Governance and Operations: The Main Street Board of Directors and Executive Committee will continue its focus on improving the capacity of the total organization to fulfill its mission, to include efficient and effective functioning of board, committees, staff, and volunteers; appropriate and timely acquisition of financial resources to accomplish programs and services; expert conduct of programs and services within The District; effective and efficient internal and external communication strategies; and effective liaison with public and private organizations and individuals who share purview and commitment to the revitalization of New London's Historic Waterfront District.
- Economic Base: Main Street seeks to support continuing development of financially sound properties and commercial establishments. To this end it will provide technical support for restaurants and shops; help to achieve the right mix of restaurants and shops; collaborate in the development of incentives for owners to improve properties, including the identification of new sources of capital; and seek to provide accessible, accurate, and timely information describing condition and opportunities in The District.
- Design Focus: Main Street will focus its design initiatives to improve way-finding for both pedestrian and vehicular traffic while advocating and providing support for those responsible to maintaining a clean, safe, and well-illuminated district.
- Promotion Focus: The Main Street promotional focus, while continuing to attract the episodic visitor to special events, will shift its promotional efforts to recruit other sponsors/operators for on-going special events initiated by Main Street, while seeking to build year-round, daily use of downtown.
- Organization Focus: Main Street will collaborate with other local stakeholders to attract new development capital to The District through previously un-tapped resources, such as HomeConnecticut, Community Preservation Corporation, banks, utilities, foundations, etc. Main Street will continue its priority of building consensus and cooperation among public and private groups and individuals with purview within The District.