A parade, a dinner and a small business grant program

“When worms(b) and germs(c) compete, who wins(a?)?” Find out at the 15th Annual Darwin Day Dinner. (Contributed)

Announcements of interest.

NORWALK, Conn. — Some Norwalk announcements for you:

  • Saint Patrick’s Day Parade scheduled
  • Darwin Day dinner moves to Westport
  • COVID-19 Small Business Grant Program open for applications

Saint Patrick’s Day

Norwalk’s Saint Patrick’s Day Parade will take place on Saturday March 11 under the auspices of Norwalk Police Emerald Society, a 501(c)(3) charity. Starting at 11 a.m. at Veterans Park, 42 Seaview Ave., the parade will head west over the river onto Washington Street, turn right onto North Main Street and end at Pine Street. A ceremony will follow immediately, under the tent at O’Neill’s Pub, 93 North Main St.

A news release said marchers will include Fairfield County Police Pipes and Drums, Greenwich Pipe Band, “community leaders, first responders, and much, much more.”

Darwin Day

Yale University Ecology and Evolutionary Biology Department Professor Vanessa Ezenwa, Ph.D. (Peter Frey, University of Georgia
Photographic Services)

Enjoy a gala festive party where you’ll learn about evolutionary biology and how science impacts society at the 15th Annual Darwin Day Dinner, planned for Saturday Feb. 11  at 6 p.m. at The Inn at Longshore, 260 Compo Road South, Westport. If you can’t be there in person, Zoom attendance is also available, according to a news release.

Touted as “the best science party this side of the Kuiper Belt,” the festivities will include a cocktail hour, dinner, science quiz with prizes, and an enlightening presentation by Yale University Ecology and Evolutionary Biology Department Professor Vanessa Ezenwa, Ph.D.

Ezenwa, who studies infectious diseases in wild animal populations, will offer fresh insights derived from her research, in a talk entitled “Concurrent Infections.”

High school and college students with a passion for science are encouraged to attend for free, courtesy of paid attendees and committee benefactors.  Consider supporting  this initiative by adding on a donation when you buy your ticket(s).

The invitation is at 2023 Darwin Day Invitation.  Admission for either live or Zoom attendance costs $69 per person  ($75 if not received by February 6th).  You can register and pay with a credit card at  www.darwindayct.org, or use the invitation response form to pay by mail with a check.  Prompt response is advised because seating might be limited.  Regrettably, the admission fee is not tax deductible.

Email questions or suggestions to John Levin at [email protected] or call (646) 221-9134, or visit: www.DarwinDayCT.org.

Applications invited for grant program

Norwalk’s COVID-19 Small Business Grant Program, which helps qualifying businesses defray such expenses as rent, utilities, payroll, and personal protective equipment, is swinging into its third and final round.  A news release says that $375,000 will be spread across at least 50 for-profit enterprises, as part of an “$8.7 mil commitment to economic and community development in Norwalk.”

Applications are being accepted now through Friday Feb. 17 for review by the City during the following week.  Applicants will get an email confirming their eligibility and will then be entered into a lottery, with a live public drawing on Zoom during the week of March 20.  The entries will be split into three tiers according to employee headcount, and each tier will have a separate drawing for women or minority owned businesses (WMB).

It breaks down thusly:

  • A minimum of 31 Grants of $5,000 each for businesses having 2-5 employees (10 reserved for WMB)
  • A minimum of 13 Grants of $10,000 each for businesses having 6-15 employees (4 reserved for WMB)
  • A minimum of six Grants of $15,000 each for businesses having 16-20 employees (2 reserved for WMB)


Sole proprietors are ineligible.

If a previous grantee has since increased its headcount to a higher threshold and is once again chosen, the grantee will get the difference between the amount previously received and the amount mandated for the grantee’s new higher level.

“Throughout the pandemic, Norwalk has continued to support as many small businesses as possible,” said Mayor Harry Rilling. “Since 2021, our COVID-19 Small Business Grant Program has invested over $520,000 in nearly 70 local businesses, of which over 75% have been women or minority-owned businesses. We know that the business community was hit hard by the pandemic, and we encourage those adversely impacted to apply to enter the lottery. We are incredibly proud of our robust and vibrant business community and want them to thrive here in Norwalk. While this is the last phase of our COVID-19 Small Business Grant Program, the City’s support doesn’t end here. We are always identifying new ways to assist our local businesses and encourage anyone seeking additional resources to visit our new Norwalk Business Development Center at 3 Belden Avenue.”

Get full details and apply at Financial Resources – Norwalk for Business.  Email questions to Norwalk Director of Business Development & Tourism Sabrina Godeski at [email protected], or call her at (203) 939- 2202.

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