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.”