Workshop Slated To Create Action Plan For Sandy Hook

Newtown residents and visitors to Sandy Hook have undoubtedly noticed recent improvements in the business district. Phase II of the new streetscape, with sidewalks, pedestrian-oriented lighting and amenities, was recently completed, enhancing the visual impression and creating a more enjoyable and walkable environment.

Events and activities, such as Passport to Sandy Hook, The Great Pootatuck Duck Race, and the Sandy Hook Tree Lighting have been successful in bringing people to the commercial center to celebrate and enjoy each other’s company. A new branding and marketing program has been developed for "Sandy Hook Village," and the community is gearing up to launch new promotional material that will benefit small businesses with the impending hire of a brand steward. Now, the business district is working on the nuts and bolts of creating a strategic action plan, and the public is invited to participate.

A Sandy Hook Action Planning Workshop will be held on Wednesday, March 12, from 5:30 to 8:30 pm, in the meeting room of Sandy Hook Fire & Rescue Company main station, 18-20 Riverside Road.

Consultants from Connecticut Main Street Center and NetMark Associates will facilitate the workshop, sharing input they have received via meetings and interviews about the assets and opportunities in Sandy Hook Center, and involving workshop participants in creating an action plan that will focus the community’s ideas, identifying major goals, projects that will achieve those goals, timelines and resources needed, and partnerships and volunteers that will help carry out tasks and projects.

Sandy Hook Organization for Prosperity (SHOP) is hosting the workshop and invites the community to help craft this action plan.

In 2013, the Town of Newtown selected a team organized by Connecticut Main Street Center (CMSC) to coordinate an economic recovery consultancy for Sandy Hook Village.

CMSC is collaborating with Arnett Muldrow & Associates of Greenville, S.C., and with NetMark Associates of Canton to work closely with the town and with SHOP to examine the market for Sandy Hook for shopping, dining and gathering, to engage more people to come to Sandy Hook, and to craft a marketing and promotion toolkit for the village to better share its assets with residents, visitors, and investors. The goal is to assist Sandy Hook businesses and property owners with short-term steps to market the community alongside long-term initiatives to foster continued economic activity and investment in Sandy Hook.

“The Connecticut Main Street Center team has developed an effective set of promotional tools that we can use to market the destination of Sandy Hook. These same tools have been designed to be flexible and interchangeable, so that we can promote individual businesses and events in the village,” said Mike Burton, president of SHOP.

“We are about to hire a Sandy Hook Brand Steward, a point person who will establish relationships with business owners, helping them to tell their unique stories through this marketing program,” Mr Burton added. “At the same time, we are creating an operational plan, based on our goals and priorities, that will keep us organized, hold us accountable, and help draw in more partners and volunteers. We welcome the community’s input on the creation of this action plan.”

For more information on the Sandy Hook Market Study and Community Branding Program, visit ctmainstreet.org/our-communities/sandy-hook-village.

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