THE DAY (June 19, 2019) — City leaders, business owners and enthusiastic advocates hosted a Connecticut Main Street downtown preservation conference Wednesday highlighting the varied efforts to revitalize downtown Norwich, from festivals to financial incentives to free consultations with city permitting agencies to help entrepreneurs with business plans.
More than 100 participants attended the morning conference in the historic Wauregan Hotel ballroom prior to walking tours of downtown with four tour leaders pointing out new and mainstay businesses, renovations underway and troubled long-vacant properties.
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NORWICH BULLETIN (June 19, 2019) — At a conference Wednesday in the city’s downtown, Chelsea Groton Bank President and CEO Michael Rauh explained that redevelopment efforts often have been stymied by a Catch-22.
Businesses are reluctant to open here because there aren’t enough customers, and customers are reluctant to shop here because there aren’t enough businesses.
Then the problem is compounded by a supply of old deteriorated buildings that may need expensive renovation work that can’t be profitably paid for.
“We knew the building owners were struggling,” Norwich Community Development Corp. President Robert Mills told about 80 people at the conference held in the ballroom of the Wauregan. “We recognized part of this market’s weakness is lack of feet on the street.”
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