Residents and business professionals with ideas about how Newtown and the region can attract and retain various economic development projects are being sought to participate in four focus groups being organized for June 18 and June 20. As part of the region’s Comprehensive Economic Development Strategy (CEDS), the Western Connecticut Economic Development Alliance (WCEDA) is participating in a series of public outreach meetings. These include issue-based meetings, focus groups, and a survey to a cross section of businesses in the region.
Wells Fargo Bank will host a Newtown Chamber Business Gathering on Wednesday, June 19, from 5:30 to 7:30 pm, in the local branch at 26 Church Hill Road. Along with a networking reception, guests will have the opportunity to meet Wells Fargo representatives from the banking group, mortgage group, and financial advisory group at the Newtown branch. Appetizers and wine will be served. There is no charge for this event, however, reservations are requested.
After unanimous approval by the Boards of Selectmen and Finance, two local Business Incentive Plan (BIP) applicants will be making their final appeals to the Legislative Council at a regular meeting scheduled for Wednesday, June 19. Both projects are being recommended for the town's limited tax abatement program by the Economic Development Commission and Elizabeth Stocker, Newtown's director of economic and community development. The program is designed to spur both new economic development as well as improvements to existing commercial properties to spur business retention and expansion.
The next Working Women’s Forum (WWF) gathering, on Wednesday, June 12, will be a networking only event. The meeting format traditionally is networking at 6, followed by appetizers and cash bar, and usually a presentation. This month, attendees will participate in a discussion with the theme “Two things you might not know about me,” which is meant to be a fun time for women to get to know each other better. Meetings are generally completed by 9 pm.
Kenny Kong and Lily Liu, a licensed aesthetician for more than ten years, opened the Newtown Bella Nail Spa on Valentine’s Day, February 14. The Nail Spa offers the latest in nail care, including gel color and sculpted nails; massage services; facials; and waxing, in a relaxing atmosphere. Eight pedicure stations and eight table stations mean that there is rarely a long wait for walk-in customers. Appointments are also taken by calling 203-501-9799.
The Northern Fairfield Professionals (NFP), a networking group focusing on people in transition, is meeting Tuesday, June 11, from 5:30 to 8 pm, at the Knights of Columbus building at 46 Church Hill Road behind St Rose church. Professionals are welcome to attend for networking, followed by a presentation at 6:15 pm by Melanie Szlucha on “How to Fix a Broken Resume.”
Unique Blessings Spiritual & New Age Gift Shop opened in March. Located at 111 Church Hill Road, in a compact brick building that formerly housed Mr Turtle’s School, partners Starr Boch and Jeriann Rabbitt are pleased to offer an array of healing opportunities and gifts to soothe the soul of any recipient.
The Big Brothers Big Sisters (BBBS) Donation Center at 127 South Main Street opened in March, and donation center attendant Mike Thomas said that he is “real happy” with the response the collection center has generated in Newtown. From a first week count of 27 donors, that number has rapidly grown. In the final week in April, Mr Thomas said, 119 people had stopped by to donate everything from clothing and shoes to children’s bicycles, furniture, games, and more.
“We are seeing a lot of repeat customers, and that’s a good thing,” Mr Thomas said.
Big Brothers Big Sisters is an organization matching children between the ages of 6 and 15 with a volunteer mentor at least 18 years of age or older. The “Bigs” as they are known, are asked to commit to meeting once a week, twice a month, or once a month with their “Littles” for three to five hours at a time, for a year. The one-on-one mentoring program provides at-risk children with positive role models, and is supported by professionals that offer guidance.
In the three years that Tracy Lefebvre has been owner and director of Misty Morning Child Center on Commerce Road, she has created a cultural shift “to a child-focused program that meets the needs of 21st Century childhood development,” she said, building on the 15-year-old business’s foundation.