The Chelsea Groton Foundation makes $100K grant for establishing a Global City Initiative — supporting the revitalization of Downtown Norwich

NORWICH, Connecticut (April 12, 2018) – Today, The Chelsea Groton Foundation announced funding for a multi-year project of supporting the revitalization of Downtown Norwich through a Global City Initiative. This multi-cultural program will assist existing efforts to bring people together to participate in rich, diverse, multicultural experiences that the residents of Norwich and its surrounding communities have to offer. The Initiative will also assist entrepreneurs who are interested in occupying storefront spaces in the Downtown area.

“Just like we’ve seen in many small towns throughout New England, the more activity there is in downtown areas, the better the commerce is. Similarly, having attractive and interesting storefronts helps to drive activity. What’s unique to Norwich however, is the incredible cultural diversity of its’ residents,” explained Michael Rauh, President and CEO of Chelsea Groton Bank.

“Norwich is such a special place. Our goal with funding this program is to capitalize on the wonderful diversity, beautiful architecture and incredible waterfronts that are all already present in Norwich,” continued Rauh. “We’re thrilled to be working with NCDC on the project, and hope that the Global City Initiative will help to bring together existing programming, improve awareness of all Norwich has to offer, and revitalize Downtown Norwich through multicultural events, festivals, and small business activity.”

The principal objectives of the Global City Initiative are to:

1) engage the strength of a diversity of population uniquely available in Norwich to the benefit of all,

2) to fill empty spaces in a very impactful area of Norwich, concentrated in the downtown, and

3) activate multiple different cultures into being a critical part of the resurgence of their new home community.

The overall project will occur in many phases over the next few years. Initially, the Chelsea Groton Foundation is partnering with NCDC to focus on increasing demand through cultural activities and by increasing occupancy of retail spaces downtown. Demand will increase by enhancing existing parades, ethnic food offerings, art galleries, and other special events to ensure they have a larger, more positive economic impact on the community, and by introducing new cultural celebrations in order to improve the vibrancy of Downtown Norwich.  In order to increase occupancy of retail spaces, NCDC and the Chelsea Groton Foundation committee will identify the properties that should have a retail presence, determine what needs to be done to make them each viable spaces and assist entrepreneurs in getting set up in those spaces.

“NCDC is the development agency for the City of Norwich and has downtown revitalization as a key mission component” commented Bob Mills of NCDC. “This new funding and focus will add a creative new dimension to filling spaces and making Downtown more vibrant for everyone.”

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.

Norwich Named One of Countries Best Minor League Baseball Towns

 

Thomas Dodd Stadium photo courtesy of CT Tigers_thumb_201312021626348880

One of Norwich’s best kept secrets has always been it’s minor league team at Dodd Stadium.  It is a secret no more!  The Connecticut Tigers a minor league affiliate of the Detroit Tigers has been named one of America’s Best Minor League Baseball Teams.  How did they factor all of this you may wonder?  The answer may surprise you! The authors took into account Violent Crime, Property Crime, Disposable Income, Unemployment, and Dining and Entertainment. They also looked at team win percentage, stadium experience and minor league class.  Norwich came in 6th overall.  We recommend you take a look at the article yourself.  Congratulations Connecticut Tigers and City of Norwich!

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Norwich Has A Lot to Offer This Summer

photo (2)Featured Author: Evan Bilda

Historical Downtown Norwich has much to offer as summer is rolling in. From good music to delicious food to unique art, anyone can find something of interest.

The Norwich Farmers’ Market is set to kick off again beginning Wednesday July 2nd from 10-2. The market will run on Wednesdays all season until October 29th. Folks can come purchase the freshest local produce and baked goods from community farmers, try yoga on the waterfront, grab lunch and enjoy a relaxing day of sunshine.

Norwich’s summer concert series is back in action as Rock the Docks is right around the corner. On Wednesdays from 6-8pm family and friends can come hear some great live music at Howard Brown Park. With the summer atmosphere in full effect, feel free to bring your own picnic or purchase dinner and a beverage from one of Norwich’s bars and restaurants.

Lineup:

July 9th – EasyBaby

July 16th – Eight to the Bar

July 23th – Coyote River Band

July 30th – Johnny & the East Coast Rockers

August 8th – The Fat Cats

August 13th – Melaena

 

Norwich’s First Friday art program is offering a special event for their August showing. On August 1st starting at 6pm come check out August’s First Friday Summer Art Festival. Galleries will be open their normal 6-9pm. There will be live music, a Worship Skateboard’s art contest, a variety of craft and specialty vendors, and enough fun for the whole family to enjoy.

Harp & Dragon recently opened their outdoor deck. Come grab a bite to eat and a drink while still enjoying the outdoor summer atmosphere.  They are open for lunch, dinner and any time in between.

 

 

NCDC to Receive “Community Revitalization Leader of the Year” Award from The Chamber of Commerce of Eastern CT

Have you heard the news?

 

NCDC will be receiving an award from The Chamber of Commerce of Eastern Connecticut!

 

“Norwich Community Development Corp. and its executive director, Robert B. Mills, will receive the Community Revitalization award. Mills “has transformed NCDC,” according to the nomination form, investing in redevelopment and revitalization worth $6 million in economic activity in the private sector in the last year. Mills and his two staff members are on 30 committees and organizations throughout New London County, devoting hours outside of the work day to improving life not just in Norwich, but in the region.”

Gracie Mae’s Kitchen has moved to Norwich

Rodney Green, owner/operator of Olde Tymes Restaurant on West Main Street in Norwich, is proud to announce a new partnership with Gracie Mae’s Kitchen, LLC of Griswold. The venture will ensure that the New London County area will continue to be supplied with Gracie Mae’s famous pies and confections. Moving the bakery into the main production kitchen at Olde Tymes Restaurant will more than triple the capacity of Gracie Mae’s Kitchen and provide even more customers with the delicious, all‐natural pies that have made Gracie Mae’s so well loved. Increasing the bakery’s capacity will also allow the partners to expand in New London, Waterford, Salem, Lisbon, and Bozrah and make the products available at local farm markets. Continue reading “Gracie Mae’s Kitchen has moved to Norwich” »

25 Percent is Not Enough

On Tuesday May 14th, the Norwich Zoning Board of Appeals issued a strong pro‐business statement by granting a variance at 156 North Main Street. The Board was acting on a petition filed by Pietro Camardella who owns the property, which was formerly a Polish Club (private club) south of Greeneville. Pietro bought the property in 1999 and has only been able to use 25 percent of his building because the property has no off‐street parking spaces.

The city’s zoning regulations mandate that any change of use from a private club to a different activity be required to provide the off‐street parking. Because the property was developed decades prior to the adoption of zoning, parking was never considered in the site layout. There is no place to accommodate off‐street parking on Pietro’s property. Continue reading “25 Percent is Not Enough” »