In the year ahead, city officials hope to boost current businesses and attract new ones

Published on Monday, 1 January 2018 22:44
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This is the first in a series of stories on the year ahead.

By Lorenzo Burgio

@BURGIOBP

BRISTOL - In the New Year, the city’s development authority will focus on being united, and creating an environment of economic growth.

Mark Thomas, marketing and public relations specialist, explained that the development authority will maximize the city’s existing resources and strengthen its relationships. They will do this with its state partners and the Central Connecticut Chamber of Commerce.

For example, he said, the development authority will utilize the state tourism website to promote new and existing businesses and city attractions. He added that it will also work with the chamber on welcome packets for businesses interested in locating in Bristol.

The “being united” theme will help the development authority continue to “create an environment of economic growth,” a focus of the authority in 2018, said Justin Malley, executive director.

That environment of economic growth will be created through many channels and efforts of the development authority to help support existing and new businesses, Malley said. He cited continuing to promote shopping local and making it easier for new and existing businesses to navigate City Hall.

Furthermore, that environment “starts with marketing the community,” Thomas said, which is why the development authority will continue to market the city as whole in the new year, and helping businesses with marketing and receiving community feedback.

A marketing tactic that will continue into the new year, Thomas added, is the development authority’s Uniquely Bristol show that will be in its second year and will continue to highlight “everything good about Bristol.”

“Being united” in an environment of economic growth will attract development, according to Malley, which is why another aspect of that marketing will be to promote development through the city’s grants for small businesses, downtown development and manufacturing. It will also continue with plans for tax increment financing.

“We want responsible development, but we also want to be development friendly,” he said.

Specifically, he said, these marketing strategies could attract responsible development to Centre Square and the Southeast Bristol Business Park.

An aspect of that environment will be focused on manufacturing, Malley said, in particular to attract development to the business park. The development authority hopes to increase available local manufacturing opportunities for the public, and make it easier to gain a foothold on careers and stable jobs, Malley said.

He explained that along with Bristol’s long history of manufacturing, communities that do the little things, such as promote manufacturing training, shows the company they are invested and helps attract manufacturers to the area.

Lorenzo Burgio can be reached at 860-973-1801 or by email at lburgio@centralctcommunications.com.

SIDEBAR

BRISTOL - Part of the city’s visions for economic development in the New Year will be managing and leveraging resources to create a cohesive plan to foster growth.

Mayor Ellen Zoppo-Sassu said economic development in the city is percolating.

She cited the hospital being ready to break ground in the spring on the new Ambulatory Care Center in Centre Square and the Connecticut Department of Transportation realigning intersections in the city.

“The hospital is a catalyst for downtown,” she said, and the intersection realignments will help direct traffic downtown. She explained that these factors have led to “slivers of activity” and tenants interested in various buildings in or around downtown.

Additionally, Zoppo-Sassu said, governing boards will “choose projects that will positively impact the quality of life of the community” and that will be done on time and efficiently.

“I feel strongly about connecting the dots. There are so many things in the process or about to start,” she said. She feels “strongly” about connecting these projects to create a cohesive plan that fosters economic growth.

However, because of the state’s current economic climate, she hopes to balance and create a budget that is not reliant on state and federal aid. At the same time, she explained, the city will meet with various state legislators to make sure Bristol gets its fair share of grants, and state and federal aid.

Lorenzo Burgio can be reached at 860-973-1801 or by email at lburgio@centralctcommunications.com.



Posted in The Bristol Press, Bristol on Monday, 1 January 2018 22:44. Updated: Monday, 1 January 2018 22:47.