New Jobs in 2016? Let Small Business Express Help!

According to the U.S. Small Business Administration small businesses make up 63 percent of new private-sector jobs in the United States. Understandably, while job creation is essential for small business success, the cost of hiring an employee is expensive. To help small business in Connecticut, the DECD created the Small Business Express Program to cover some of the costs of job creation, working capital, and expansion.  The three facets to this program are the Revolving Loan Fund, Job Creation Incentive Loan and Job Creation Matching Grant program.

The Small Business Express Revolving Loan Fund provides amounts from $10,000 to $100,000 at up to a 4% interest for a maximum 10-year term to assist businesses with capital expenditures.  Eligible expenditures are working capital, purchase of machinery and equipment, construction or leasehold improvements, relocation within the state, or other business related expenditures authorized by the Commissioner of the DECD.  The DECD will determine loan terms, conditions, and collateral requirements in a manner that prioritizes job growth and retention.  Qualified applicants must employ less than 50 employees, be Connecticut based with operations in Connecticut, have been registered to conduct business in the state for at least 12 months and be in good standing with state and local taxes.  Priority is given to economic-based industries.

The Small Business Express Job Creation Incentive Program provides loans to small businesses that meet eligibility requirements for expenditures to support job creation such as training, marketing or working capital at a minimum of $10,000 and a maximum of $300,000. Prioritization is for loans that will assist in maintaining job growth. Additionally, the Commissioner of the DECD may offer loan payment deferral as well as some loan forgiveness upon assessment of the small businesses’ attainment of job goals. This loan is at a rate of up to 4% for a term not more than 10 years.

The Job Creation Matching Grant Program makes dollar-for-dollar matching grants available at a minimum of $10,000 and a maximum of $100,000 to provide money for specific job creation, capital investment and working capital goals.  Eligible expenditures are training, working capital, purchase of machinery and equipment, construction or leasehold improvements, relocation within the state, or other business related expenditures authorized by the Commissioner of the DECD.  Qualified applicants must employ less than 50 employees, be Connecticut based with operations in Connecticut, have been registered to conduct business in the state for at least 12 months and be in good standing with state and local taxes.  Priority is given to economic-based industries and businesses likely to maintain growth.

For more information or to apply for any of these programs, please contact Michelle Peters at 860-270-8052 or via email at michelle.peters@ct.gov. NCDC would also love to help step you through the process, just Ask NCDC 860.887.6964.

Norwich Releases “Doing Business in Norwich A Resource Guide”

The City of Norwich is proud to announce the release of the Doing Business in Norwich Guide.  This guide takes a process that has not always been well defined and creates a map for businesses to follow.  The guide is the culmination of a year of work between the City of Norwich, Norwich Public Utilities, NCDC and The Greater Norwich Area Chamber of Commerce.

“The City is proud to be able to collaborate to develop a process that is easily understood and better positions businesses to be able to open or expand in the City,” said Mayor Hinchey.  The booklet, which has been printed, is currently available at NCDC and City Hall as well as digitally on the City, NCDC, and the Greater Norwich Area Chamber websites.  This guide will assist businesses in writing a business plan and working through approval processes, to hiring employees and scheduling a ribbon cutting.  (Find the guide digitally here: bit.ly/1QxyHbi)

“This is a much needed piece of the puzzle,” says Robert Mills, NCDC’s President.  “We frequently have people asking about the process, which can be confusing.  We want businesses to be confident with the procedure and be able to walk away with the ability to complete the project. Helping business needs a team approach and all the players need to be using the same playbook.  Now that is possible.”

“We are very pleased to partner up with the City, NCDC and NPU on this guide,” says Greater Norwich Area Chamber of Commerce Chairman, Andrew Nollman.  “This document is designed to help businesses navigate through those hurdles that we’ve all gone through, as the new business is getting ready to launch.  Our hope is that this document helps makes that process smoother and ultimately helps more businesses have quicker success.”

This guide is now available for all businesses currently in the City and any new businesses thinking of expanding to Norwich.

THESE GUYS BREWING OPENS IN NORWICH

Norwich’s long awaited brewpub is open and ready for your business! Owners Raymond and Rebecca “Becka” Alberts with their partners Greg and Scott Demetri signed a lease at 78 Franklin Street in March of 2015 and spent the next 6 months and hundreds of thousands of dollars on the project and officially opened their doors in August of 2015.  Tin panels still grace the walls and ceiling of the establishment and industrial style lights hang from the ceiling.  Although the elaborate bar with wooden sculpted figureheads has been replaced, it is in storage.  In its place is a beautifully simple wooden bar.  Original brickwork had to be removed in what was the old stable area, brick work had to be removed to make room for the brew tanks, but the utmost care was taken to make the repairs look like they had always been there.

Becka (one of two female brewers in the state of Connecticut) has praised all city agencies involved in the tedious process of renovating and getting their certificate of occupancy. NPU also provided services to the property, helping to install new water and gas lines to the supply the new brewing operations. Additionally the property owner Ausable River LLC was able to take advantage of the Code Correction program to help brace the second floor so that the first floor could be occupied and These Guys applied for and received a Lease Rebate for the business.

Since their doors opened These Guys Brewing has been getting rave reviews including a great food review by The Bulletin, (http://bit.ly/1H4LEli) but please don’t take our word for it.  Stop in today for lunch, dinner or drinks.

These Guys is open Mondays 4-10, Tuesday-Thursday 11:30-10 and Friday-Sunday 11:30 to 11:30.

CITY OF NORWICH RECEIVES BROWNFIELD GRANT

In April of 2015, NCDC began working with the City of Norwich to write a grant supporting the cleanup of the brownfield at Terminal Way along the west side of the Thames River. In July of 2015 the City of Norwich was awarded one of eight $200,000 statewide assessment grants through the Connecticut Remedial Action and Redevelopment Municipal Grant Program. This program administered by the Connecticut Department of Economic and Community Development (DECD) provides grants to municipalities and economic development agencies for environmental site assessments to support remediation, abatement, and demolition activities prior to redevelopment.
“Remediating and redeveloping these sites helps jump-start local economies by rehabilitating areas, putting them back into use for development, and creating jobs for residents,” Governor Malloy said. “Over the last few years we’ve made historic investments in remediating contaminated properties for redevelopment, and these additional projects further demonstrate our commitment to our cities and towns.”

Congratulations to Thayer’s Marine!

Thayer’s Marine has been named the Top Single Market Dealer for Stratos Boats. This honor is presented to the dealership with the highest average of purchases in a single market and was presented to Rich and Dolores Thayer by Stratos Brand Manager Jason Bragg at the National Dealership Conference on July 29, 2015.

We are elated that Thayer’s Marine is part of the Norwich business community and congratulate them on the outstanding work they put into the business and customer service.

To find out more about Thayer’s, please visit their website:

ThayersMarine.com

NCDC Adopts Prophet as CRM Tool

Customer care is a top priority for NCDC, we pride ourselves on customer service.  That being said with the multitude of projects going on all the time letting a ball drop is a real possibility.  To aid the office with customer and project tracking, NCDC has adopted Prophet as our new CRM tool.

Prophet is an Outlook add on, that seamlessly meshes with Outlook mail, calendar and contacts.  It allows individuals to track projects and report out on progress.  It all starts at inception.  When a client walks through the door, pertinent information is gathered with a customer intake form.  This allows the individual to gather data on a client without having to sit at a computer during a meeting. Then clients can be assigned to individual team members depending on their needs. The program also alerts team members to new projects and sends reminders to follow up.

We are excited about the new tool and our quarterly reports are a direct correlation of being able to accurately track current projects.  If you want to see how our CRM tool is working, please check out our reports found HERE.

NOTICE OF INTENT TO PREPARE AN ENVIRONMENTAL ASSESSMENT FOR THE PLANNED ATLANTIC BRIDGE PROJECT, REQUEST FOR COMMENTS ON ENVIRONMENTAL ISSUES, AND NOTICE OF PUBLIC SCOPING MEETINGS

UNITED STATES OF AMERICA

FEDERAL ENERGY REGULATORY COMMISSION

Algonquin Gas Transmission, LLC                                                   Docket No. PF15-12-000

NOTICE OF INTENT TO PREPARE AN

ENVIRONMENTAL ASSESSMENT FOR THE PLANNED

ATLANTIC BRIDGE PROJECT,

REQUEST FOR COMMENTS ON ENVIRONMENTAL ISSUES,

 AND NOTICE OF PUBLIC SCOPING MEETINGS

(April 27, 2015)

The staff of the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission (FERC or Commission) will prepare an environmental assessment (EA) that will discuss the environmental impacts of the Atlantic Bridge Project (Project), which would involve construction and operation of facilities by Algonquin Gas Transmission, LLC (Algonquin) in New York, Connecticut, and Massachusetts.  The Commission will use this EA in its decision-making process to determine whether the Project is in the public convenience and necessity.

 

This notice announces the opening of the scoping process the Commission will use to gather input from the public and interested agencies on the Project.  You can make a difference by providing use with your specific comments or concerns about the Project.  Your comments should focus on the potential environmental effects, reasonable alternatives, and measures to avoid or lessen environmental impacts.  Your input will help the Commission staff determine what issues need to be evaluated in the EA.  To ensure that your comments are timely and properly recorded, please send your comments so that the Commission receives them in Washington, DC on or before June 11, 2015; however, this will not be the only public input opportunity for the Project.  Please refer to the Review Process flow chart in Appendix 1.[1]

 

If you sent comments on this project to the Commission before the opening of this docket on January 30, 2015, you will need to file those comments in Docket No. CP15-12-000 to ensure they are considered as part of this proceeding.

[1] The appendices referenced in this notice will not appear in the Federal Register.  Copies of the appendices were sent to all those receiving this notice in the mail and are available at www.ferc.gov using the link called “eLibrary” or from the Commission’s Public Reference Room, 888 First Street NE, Washington, DC 20426, or call (202) 502-8371.  For instructions on connecting to eLibrary, refer to the last page of this notice.

For Full Article Click Here

NORWICH’S STANLEY ISRAELITE BUSINESS PARK

The Stanley Israelite Business Park is a 450-acre business site located on the western side of the City.  It was envisioned early 1960’s as a modern industrial park.  Over the summer NCDC conducted interviews across the tenancy of Norwich’s Stanley Israelite Business Park in order to stay current with the businesses and to assess needs of the park overall.  We assembled a final report on the status of the park which you can see it here: CLICK HERE.  NCDC is proud to have played such a significant role to the contribution of the economy in Norwich over the last 50 years thorough the Business Park.  Some of you may recall that the Park has been labeled “the park on the hill where only billy goats work.”  Well, land is indeed hard to come by in Norwich and the Business Park may have less than ideal topography however, this is a perfect example of an absolutely fantastic success.  Here’s why we should all be proud of the businesses in the Park:

  • Businesses in the Park generate approximately $520,000,000 in revenues (self-reported)
  • The Park uses approximately 2% of Norwich’s land area (450 / 17,920 acres), yet the Park:
    • accounts for 8% of employment in Norwich (1,924 / 22,177)
    • accounts for 5% of the tax revenue for Norwich ( $3,196,079 / $66,134,833)
    • accounts for approximately 23% of utility revenue payments to Norwich ($1,474,000 / $6,250,494)
    • provide approximately $91,000,000 in average purchasing power within the region

 

New Opportunity

Now, for the first time in 35 years, due to some recent actions, the Business Park has room to grow, opening up new land for development.  In 2013 Dominion decided to site a $8-10 million remote emergency operations center here in Norwich.  While working with the Dominion Team, NCDC staff contacted many property owners in and around the Business Park about availability of land for development.  There were several prospective sites, but due to other restrictions and considerations, only two of those sites made the final list: the Easter Seals site on Stott Avenue and undeveloped land on Consumers Avenue.  Dominion decided on the Stott Avenue parcel. Since then, the owner of Consumers Interstate decided to place their excess land on the market.  See it here: http://pequotcommercial.com/property/2-consumer-ave/.

 

If that land is developed to its fullest extent, it could mean up to an additional 190 jobs, $146,000 in new utility payments to the City and new Norwich personal and real property taxes of $160,000 per year.  Considering the long revenue tail that is associated with this kind of economic development activity, this opportunity could provide a significant contribution to the community.  Combine this with prospective new development across the Business Park, and Norwich’s Stanley Israelite Business Park will continue to contribute more and more to the bottom line of the City of Norwich while providing a great place for an additional $51.75 million in business revenue and $9,000,000 in purchasing power in the region.  That is the beginning of real success by any standard!

 

ONE STEP AT A TIME

Fall is upon us and Wednesday is October 1st, which in Norwich means it’s also Walktober.  What is Walktober? Walktober is run by the Last Green Valley, a non-profit that promotes the 35 town National Heritage Park that Norwich is a part of.  The event is run for the entire month of October and features walking tours led by locals.  It also includes water events and bicycle rides.    This year’s Walktober events were organized by groups all over the city coordinated by Dianne Brown of the Norwich Historical Society.

What do walks through Norwich have to do with economic development you may ask?  Economic development is about concerted actions that promote the standard of living and economic health of a specific area.   The goal of the Walktober events that Norwich hosts is to educate people about all of the wonderful “hidden gems” the City has to offer.  In doing this we hope to enable an economic impact for local businesses through increased traffic and awareness.  For example did you know that Thayer’s Marine now rents kayaks?  With three rivers all converging on the Norwich Harbor it makes Thayer’s the perfect place to rent a kayak.  Thayer’s is sponsoring a Kayak/Canoe Tour of the Norwich Harbor on Saturday October 4th at 10 AM.  If this is of interest to you call NCDC today to register, spots are limited.

Also, did you know that there is a non-profit working to create a Botanical Garden in Norwich?  The Chelsea Botanical Garden has been in the planning stages for several years and they are now in the fundraising stage.  You can hike through the woods of Mohegan Park on October 25th at 1PM as the leader presents the vision for this multi-million-dollar project.  If you are interested meet the group at 25 Mahan Drive.

Norwich Public Utilities (NPU) has been powering Norwich since 1904.  Our municipal utility provides reliable vital services to the community and uses revolutionary ideas to make projects happen.  Have you seen the Shetucket River Fish Lift?  Dams were built across Norwich tributaries in the 1800’s to help harness the power of water, but blocked spawning runs of shad, alewife and other species.  NPU worked with the Connecticut Department of Energy and Environmental Protection to install a lift at the Greenville Dam in 1996 in order to help the fish spawn up stream. Join NPU on a tour of the hydroelectric station on October 4th at 10 AM or October 22 at 10AM and observe the fish lift first hand.  Meet the group at 7 Eighth Street.

How many restaurants do you think are in historic Downtown Norwich?  How many have you been to?  The 3rd Annual Grub Crawl in historic Downtown Norwich allows participants to tour several of them, get a sense of the history and learn about the diverse dining scene. You MUST REGISTER to take this free tour that includes samples from all the participating restaurants.  Join the Grub Crawl on October 26th at 3PM by Calling NCDC to register.

These walks plus over 30 MORE are all being led by various organizations throughout the City of Norwich.  With over 75 people attending the Downtown Zombie Walk last year and over 100 attending the Norwich Millionaires Triangle we are literally raising awareness about the great things in Norwich one step at a time.

Check out the calendar of Norwich walks so you too can join our amazing walk leaders to see all that Norwich has to offer!