Norwalk celebrates new business center

Norwalk Chief of Economic and Community Development Jessica Vonashek speaks Thursday outside the Norwalk Business Development Center. (John Levin)

The Norwalk Business Development Center. (John Levin)

NORWALK, Conn. — Federal, State, local and community leaders joined Mayor Harry Rilling on Thursday to celebrate the grand opening of the City of Norwalk’s Business Development Center at 3 Belden Ave.

“Small businesses are the foundation of our community and enrich all of our lives,” Rilling is quoted as saying in a news release. “They create jobs, attract people to our incredible City and contribute to the vibrancy of what makes Norwalk so authentic. We are always looking for new ways to support our local businesses and I’m grateful that our local, state and federal leaders understand the importance of investing in our small business community. Through a combination of funding streams, we successfully launched our Business Development Center, where entrepreneurs and business owners can go to gain the tools and expertise they need to start, operate or expand their businesses.”

“This week also marks the third anniversary of the launch of the City’s Small Business and Main Street (SBMS) program. Leaders highlighted how federal, state and local investments have impacted the small business community since the inception of the SBMS and how the Business Development Center will continue to support this commitment,” the news release said.

State Senate Majority Leader Bob Duff (D-25) peaks Thursday outside the Norwalk Business Development Center. (John Levin)

The Norwalk Redevelopment Agency had been prominent at 3 Belden, a First Taxing District building, but has moved much of its operations into 50 Washington St. Redevelopment still maintains a presence in the building, according to Norwalk Director of Communications Michelle Woods Matthews.

“The Norwalk Business Development Center is the first of its kind in Fairfield County and designed to be a continuous resource that various entrepreneurs and business owners can depend on throughout the life cycle of their businesses,” the news release said. “This all-inclusive resource acts as a one-stop shop by providing services to support entrepreneurs and business owners, which include financial education guidance, loan or grant application assistance, and technical support for local, state, and federal permitting and licensing.”

It was made possible through federal and local revenue sources, including the American Rescue Plan Act (ARPA), Community Development Block Grant (CDBG) funds, and local funds, the release said.

The Greater Norwalk Hispanic Chamber of Commerce (GNHCC) said Friday it will be part of the center, “which will centralize efforts of different non-for-profit groups such as ourselves which sole purpose is to help our community thrive!”

Updated, 3 p.m.: More information.

Thursday, outside the Norwalk Business Development Center. (John Levin)

One comment

Johnny cardamone November 4, 2022 at 1:01 pm

This looks like something positive perhaps at some point they could restore the park to the left of the building that was there when I was a kid with a flag pole in trees but was paved over around 1970 to make room for the post office jeeps🥵👎🏽 The post office seems to be about going out of business so let’s plant some trees🌴🦔🍁

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