In downtown, shops keep the lights on for one last day

THE BULLETIN (March 20, 2020) — J.R. Chiappone stood behind the counter at his store, C&S Pawn Shop, wearing latex gloves. The sign on the front door of his longtime downtown Norwich business said that only one customer will be allowed in the store at a time.

Sitting a few feet from Chiappone while they practiced the art of social distancing was his friend and employee, Jeffrey Collins.

They are working and staying open during this world-wide pandemic because, “Our community needs us,” Collins said.

While many businesses continue to close their doors, Main Street in Norwich clung to signs of economic life on Friday afternoon.

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Emergency loans, tax extensions for Connecticut businesses

THE BULLETIN (March 19, 2020) — With all the shutdowns and voluntary closures related to the coronavirus, Gov. Ned Lamont said the economic situation is worse now than the recession of 2008.

“Back in a normal recession, we had 5,000 unemployment claims a week,” he said. “We had 12,000 unemployment claims yesterday.”

Lamont held a conference call with Department of Economic and Community Development (DECD) chair David Lehman and DECD Deputy Commissioner Glendowlyn Thames on Thursday. The purpose of the call was to communicate with businesses what the plans were at the state level to alleviate economic strain.

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Massage therapist, screen printing shop coming to Foundry 66

THE BULLETIN (March 10, 2020) — When Joseph Herndon was growing up in Ledyard, Norwich wasn’t much on his mind.

But when a cousin recently told him the city was on the rise, Herndon knew he wanted a business in the city.

“Anybody would be a fool to not be a part of the movement,” he said.

Two new businesses are coming to Foundry 66. American Stitch Lab, a screen printing shop co-owned by Herndon and Travis Chin, will open in April. Flowing Waters Massage, a massage therapy studio run by Tiara Waters, already has customers, but will formally open April 3.

Jason Vincent, senior vice president of the Norwich Community Development Corporation, said Foundry 66 is able to host a variety of different businesses

“It’s designed to help small businesses grow, expand and even emerge,” he said.

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Nordson manufacturing plant plans big expansion in Norwich

THE DAY (February 7, 2020) — Local and regional economic development officials on Friday cheered the submission of plans for the long-awaited manufacturing expansion by Nordson EFD LLC in the Norwich Business Park, expected to bring a variety of manufacturing jobs to the region.

Nordson, the former Plas-Pak Industries, manufactures precision measuring and dispensing devices for medical and manufacturing uses at its plant at 10 Connecticut Ave. in the Stanley Israelite Norwich Business Park. The company submitted plans this week for a 53,880-square-foot, or 37%, expansion to the existing 142,782-square-foot building.

The expansion plans come as the Concentra Urgent Care Center moved out of the building to the former Shoeniverse shoe store at 315 W. Main St.

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MelRose Denim leaves Foundry 66 for private studio

THE BULLETIN (February 4, 2020) — When Viking Fuel moved into the former Wonder Hostess Bakery Thriftshop on West Main Street in 2013, there was a lot of work to do on the building. This included fixing the heating and redoing the parking lot. However with so many things to do, owner David Spurgas said addressing the old sign by the road was not on his list of priorities.

“We would sell it, because people tell us it has value,” he said.

Throughout the city, there are numerous signs for businesses that aren’t around anymore. Some are freestanding, like the Wonder Hostess Bakery Thriftshop sign in front of Viking Oil.

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Bell to open new co-working space in downtown Norwich

THE BULLETIN (January 27, 2020) — Robert Bell, owner of Bell Logistics, LLC, has worked from his Norwich home for almost the entire time since establishing his company in 2009. He wanted to get an office space so he “can continue to look like a legitimate business,” while also offering opportunities to other businesses.

The Norwich B2B (Business to Business) Center will open on Saturday. Located at 65 Main St., The B2B Center has room for five offices, with space for one or two employees, a conference room, and a co-working common area. The building the B2B Center is in is not owned by Bell, but is owned by the Norwich Savings Society, LLC.

So far, the B2B center will be occupied by Bell’s company and UNIFY Business Solutions. However, Bell will let other businesses make use of just the common area and the conference room at a cheaper rate than having one of the offices.

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American Systems moving to larger location in Norwich

THE BULLETIN (January 20, 2020) — American Systems says it is moving into a larger home at the Stanley Israelite Business Park in Norwich.

Peter Smith, president and CEO of American Systems, said the company will move from its current 20,000 square foot location at 40 Wisconsin Ave. to 243 Vergason Ave., which is 30,000 square feet. He said the move should be completed by March with no interruption of service during the move.

“We were very pleased to remain in Norwich, and in the same business park,” he said.

Smith said the added space will allow American Systems to add to its labs, manufacturing, packaging, and inventory. Smith wants to add 50 more employees at the Norwich location, for a total of 150 employees.

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FW Webb to open in former Norwichtown Benny’s

THE BULLETIN (January 14, 2020) — Robert Mucciarone, of a wholesale plumbing supply company, has been interested in opening a location in town for a few years.

Now he has a chance.

Mucciarone, the chief operating officer of the Bedford, Mass.-based FW Webb Company, said the business is planning to purchase the former Benny’s building at 33 New London Turnpike to use as a distribution center and warehouse.

The company filed a zoning permit application Friday to renovate the 20,900-square-foot space. Mucciarone hopes to start work on the property in a couple months and to have the project completed by the end of 2020.

Deanna Rhodes, Norwich city planner, said the project includes adding green space in the parking lot, a fenced-in storage area, and new offices.

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Old signs tell business history of Norwich

THE BULLETIN (January 12, 2020) — When Viking Fuel moved into the former Wonder Hostess Bakery Thriftshop on West Main Street in 2013, there was a lot of work to do on the building. This included fixing the heating and redoing the parking lot. However with so many things to do, owner David Spurgas said addressing the old sign by the road was not on his list of priorities.

“We would sell it, because people tell us it has value,” he said.

Throughout the city, there are numerous signs for businesses that aren’t around anymore. Some are freestanding, like the Wonder Hostess Bakery Thriftshop sign in front of Viking Oil.

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Norwich marina to be auctioned this week

THE DAY (December 9, 2019) — A three-day online auction starts at 3 p.m. Tuesday to sell the Marina at American Wharf at Norwich Harbor either in its entirety or broken up into subsections.

The sale could bring to a close the city’s troubled relationship with current owner Joyal Capital Management LLC.

Joyal has had the marina property for sale for the past two years with an asking price of $1.8 million, and prospective buyers have come and gone without completing a deal. Joyal Capital Management now has enlisted the real estate auction firm Tranzon to conduct a three-day online only auction from 3 p.m. Tuesday through 3 p.m. Friday.

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