Business Spotlight: The Royal Punjabi

This summer, Norwich welcomed yet another new business: The Royal Punjabi! The Indian and chicken wing restaurant opened its doors July 16, 2018 and has been well received by the Norwich community—including NCDC! We highly recommend checking it out (if you have not done so already!) CLICK HERE to read the more about The Royal Punjabi opening!

A Sit Down with Julio Cancho


Q: Where were you born & raised?
Julio: Peru, South America.

Q: What is your role at Canggio?
Julio: I’m the owner, the executive chef, dishwasher, referee… everything you can possibly think of.

Q: When did you open Canggio Restaurant?
Julio: August 21, 2017

Q: When did you enter the restaurant business?
Julio: Right after high school, I started helping my dad in a restaurant. My first job was as a dishwasher at a restaurant in West Springfield, MA. From there, I began working for all kinds of restaurants—French cuisine in West Hartford, Mediterranean in Bloomfield, Greek/Italian in Hartford.

Q: What was your most fulfilling moment working in the food industry?
Julio: When I worked at J Restaurant and Bar in Hartford, my first executive chef job, I got to cook for a lot of people I never in my life would have imagined I’d have the opportunity to cook for. I’ve cooked for Andy Grammer, Jason Alexander, Bob Newhart, and John Leguizamo.

Q: Why did you decide to open in Norwich?
Julio: People here are great. Everyone gives you their hand and is so ready to help you succeed. One thing that we, as Norwich, have is that we work together.

Q: If someone was trying to open up their own business or restaurant, what advice would you give them?
Julio: Don’t give up. It’s easy to give up or walk-away. But follow your goals; you need to give yourself time to make it happen. There have been times that I’ve felt that it’s not worth the struggle, but at the end of the day, when I see customers loving the dishes we make for them that they come back for more—that makes it for me. You’re going to have people there to support you, keep working towards what you believe in.

Q: What are you most looking forward to within the next year or two?
Julio: Within the next two years, 1) I want to grow Canggio and make it self-sustaining with the crew that I have and 2) I want to open a prohibition-type bar (speakeasy)…with elegant appetizers and secret entrances, hopefully right here in Norwich. I like the idea of it because I feel it’s new and innovative, and it offers something different. Norwich has given me so much; I feel it’s important to give back to the community that believed in me in the first place.

Canggio’s can be found at 20 Lafayette Street, Norwich, CT 06360.

Featured Story: Foundry 66

Foundry 66 has opened its second floor! The addition features two large conference rooms, a yoga and dance studio, and media room. The new space features six offices and 12 designated desks. The design and color were inspired by Sedona Mountain Skyline. (We felt after walking up two flights of stairs you should be rewarded with a delightful array of colors & textures much like the scenery in Sedona!) F66 is hosting a variety of workshops, including Small Business Academy (collaboration with Liberty Bank) and Fall Lunch and Learns, “Creating Your Brand” and “Interactive Enneagram Workshops.”

To schedule a tour of Foundry 66 or to inquire about upcoming workshops, please contact Jill Fritzsche: jfritzsche@askncdc.com or call 860-887-6964.

Preston Riverwalk and Mohegan Sun Progress

It has been in the news for many months, but the Mohegan Tribe is investing heavily in the region. Of course, they are adding many venues and improving the assets at Mohegan Sun as good businesses do.  This showed up most recently as the addition of the $80MM Convention and Conference Center which is designed to draw thousands to the region for years to come.  This was the site of the 3rd of the Barrett-Jackson Auto Auction events since 2015. Many other recognizable trade shows will be hosted here, furthering eastern Connecticut as a destination for many people and organizations.

Additionally, the Town of Preston via the Preston Redevelopment Agency, and the Mohegan Tribe have agreed on the purchase of the former Norwich Hospital site in Preston, approximately 400+ acre development. The conceptual master plan shows the development including everything from residential housing and retail support services to large format entertainment and theme parks to indoor waterpark and hotels with banquet halls. In all, an estimated investment range of $200,000,000-$600,000,000 over the full buildout. If you pass by the site via automobile along RT12 or the Mohegan Pequot Bridge, or from the Thames River, you will see much of the overgrowth thinned out and huge stockpiles of clean fill accumulated on the southwestern corner of the site. This is all in preparation for environmental remediation of the soils under the old roadbeds.

 

Global City Norwich Hosts Peruvian Fest

On July 29th, 2018 Global City Norwich hosted Peruvian Fest 2018, a community block party which celebrated the proclamation of independence for Peru. Over 1,500 attended from areas all over New England. We teamed up with the Peruvians United of CT and reached out to the large population of Peruvians (approx. 5,000) in the Norwich community to participate with traditional folk dances, traditional music, food and art. Peruvian and non-Peruvian people attended the festival and participated as vendors. The fest boasted a giant waterslide, a llama and two alpacas, and children’s games. The only two Peruvian restaurants within our county (New London) attended the festival as vendors. The minister for the Consulate General of Peru surprised us as well as honored us with his presence. Other public officials such as the Senator, State Rep, Mayor, City Council members attended as well as many community leaders of the Norwich area and local areas. The festival speaks volumes as a direct result of the festival is the gain of two new Foundry 66 members who will be utilizing the new space upstairs for MixxedFit and Zumba classes. Global City Norwich serves to unite the community together by celebrating, supporting and encouraging all facets of diversity and culture through global themed events. With the overall objective to stimulate economic growth, entrepreneurship and community building Global City Norwich is perfectly in line with the mission and spirit of the NCDC (Norwich Community Development Corporation) as we complete the first quarter.

In addition to creating community events, GCN also gears up other projects. One of our ongoing projects is hanging global flags throughout Downtown Norwich and mounting them to store fronts. Global Flags compass a range of flags from different countries as well as tribal flags. This project since starting in June, has had an overwhelmingly positive impact in our community as well as throughout neighboring regions. Engaging with business owners, landlords and residents as we ask permission, educate and give information about GCN and the purpose of the flags has sparked cohesiveness in Downtown in just the few short months of GCN’s existence.

Meeting and engaging with a variety of different organizations and communities such as Rotary, the local library, local churches, local schools, local Chamber of Commerce, tribal leaders and tribal members, City Council members, City employees and officials, veterans as well as small and large businesses in the early stages of building GCN is an extreme necessity. Learning about the needs of the community by meeting people at their places of worship or workplace or wherever is a best fit is true engagement and has organically developed friendships, ideas, and real human connections. These relationships and collaborations are the core of GCN and the upcoming projects for 2018 and 2019 are a direct result of conversations that have taken place in the past 4 months.

Upcoming GCN events:

Polish Fest 2018 – Oct. 21
A long-awaited Polish Fest is finally coming, and it will be held on Franklin Street. With the support of many members of the Polish Fest living locally in Norwich, Greenville all the way to Colchester and New Britain, the excitement is quickly growing daily as we progress with festival plans. The famous Polanie Polish Folk Dancers from New Britain, the hall of famed Maestro’s Men, The Divine Providence Church and many more other Polish community members are all on board for this great event.

Sunday Indoor Global Markets – Nov. 2018 to May 2019

2019 Festivals: Haitian Festival, Cape Verde, Tibetan Festival, International Zombie Run, Puerto Rico Festival, Filipino Festival, Pacific Islands Festival, Mediterranean Festival, Ellis W. Ruley Art Festival and much more in the works.

More Good News for Taftville!

On September 21, there was a Phase 1 Ribbon Cutting and Phase 2 Groundbreaking at the Lofts at Ponemah Mill. The new facility is currently 97% occupied, and by the time this newsletter comes out, the 116 units of the first phase of the redevelopment will be completely filled. That’s the ribbon cutting portion. The facility had its financial closing on July 12th for the second phase (121 units), the construction of which is already 48% complete at this time!  The owners expect the lease up to be equally as rapid due to the location, the magnificent facility, and its amenities. Combine the Ponemah Mill redevelopment and the new Hills at River View Apartments (300+ units) just a bit further up on CT RT 97, Taftville is turning out to be a great location for an entirely new generation of workers.

The tenants that are locating at these two large residential facilities are generally designed for studio, 1-bedroom, and 2-bedroom apartments. The prime targets for residents are single individuals, couples or some single parents with a child.  To date, there are less than 30 children residing within the two facilities. Approximately 40% of the occupants work at either EB or the Subase showing the regional nature of housing.

Other indications of improving condition of Taftville is the increase in the number of calls related to locating businesses and investors considering the area. Recently, the Coordinating Committee (made up of the City’s enforcement officials, the offices of the NPU, Assessor, and NCDC have met with several entities looking for locations in Taftville.

Sea-Legs to Come to Norwich

 

Sea-Legs, a non-profit that uses sailing to provide wider horizons for underprivileged youth in Southeastern Connecticut is moving to Falls Avenue and renting space froDSC04956m Thayers Marine. The space is still being worked on, but we are excited to see them move into the space soon.

Sea-Legs promises adventure and teaches young people key life skills. On-the-water and on-shore maritime activities provide real-life situations that help Sea-Legs cadets learn the importance of teamwork, gain self-esteem, and grow more independent.

On Thursday, June 16 Dick Lathrop Captain of the program sailed into the Norwich Harbor with students from Groton Youth and Family Services. NCDC was there, taking some photos.  Please visit our facebook page to see them all: FACEBOOK

You can find out more about the program by visiting their website: CLICK HERE

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.