The Newtown Economic Development Commission (EDC) is reminding Newtown community members that Small Business Saturday is November 30, Thanksgiving weekend. According to EDC assistant Betsy Paynter, when people shop at small, independent, locally owned businesses, 68 percent of what they spend stays right in their community supporting local organizations and services.
During his post World War II military service, Homer Bennett served in the precarious position of tail gunner in a fighter bomber flying from what was at the time the largest ocean-going craft on earth, the USS Franklin D. Roosevelt. So when he returned to his home town of Southbury, a growing suburban community tucked into the southern fringe of the Litchfield hills, he did what a lot of young returning veterans did — bought a car and got himself a job to pay it off. A short time later, Mr Bennett bought one of his first garbage collection routes in Oakdale Manor for $350, but balked at the $1,300 price tag the seller fixed to his garbage truck. Instead, he picked up a Model A Ford dump truck for $85 and began acquiring other trash routes, eventually amassing routes throughout Southbury and parts of Oxford.
The Working Women’s Forum, an association of local professionals and entrepreneurs, will host a program on “The Resilient Life” on Wednesday, November 13, at The Villa Restaurant, 4 Riverside Road. Networking and light dinner begin at 6 pm followed by guest speaker Dr John Woodall.
The Big Brothers Big Sisters of Southwestern Connecticut Foundation will be hosting an open house on Wednesday, November 6, from 5 to 7 pm, at its Newtown location at 127 South Main Street. Attendees will have the opportunity to learn more about the Big Brothers Big Sisters Foundation and how to get involved. Guests will also be witness to a ribbon cutting ceremony featuring Fire Selectman Pat Llodra. Drinks and appetizers will be available. The event is free, and all are welcome. It is being co-hosted by The Chamber of Commerce of Newtown.
One year ago, longtime friends Patrick Kearney and Mary Edelman Wilson opened Queen Street Gifts and Treats in their hometown. To celebrate their first anniversary in business, Mr Kearney and Ms Wilson will be hosting a Meet The Artists Day at their store, at 3 Queen Street in Newtown. The celebration will run from 10 am until 3 pm and will include visits from painter Jim Chillington, Town Historian Dan Cruson, jewelry designer Lauren Frazier, and a special guest whose work is about to be featured in the shop.
Starting your own business can be an exciting and rewarding experience. It can offer numerous advantages such as being your own boss, setting your own schedule, and making a living doing something you enjoy. But, becoming a successful entrepreneur requires thorough planning, creativity, and hard work. On October 29, Newtown's Economic Development Commission will offer a free workshop to help small business owners get started with writing a business plan, establishing a marketing plan, and cash flow. The following week the local EDC will host a workshop that will help business owners move toward financial stability. Both workshops will be held on Tuesday mornings at C.H. Booth Library.
Moving to the 121 Mt Pleasant Road location in Newtown a year ago was the “best thing we could have done,” said Al Lutrus, who along with his son, Brad, owns Berkshire Hearth and Home, a source for hearth products for residential and commercial use. “Coming from Danbury gives us a chance to grow our business,” said Al. Berkshire Hearth specializes in alternative heating sources, including wood stoves and wood stove inserts for fireplaces, pellet stoves and pellet stove inserts, and gas stoves and gas fireplaces.
A chance meeting last year between a self-proclaimed “serial entrepreneur” software developer for the retail industry and a investment portfolio manager has spawned a new market research enterprise enlisting consumers who are immediately rewarded for their efforts through a smartphone application. Rewardable.com is the brainchild of Newtown resident John Boccuzzi, Jr, and Peter Komassa, who currently resides in New York City. The pair launched their website Rewardable.com and its companion smartphone application recently, and have been piloting the project in and around Newtown and the Northeast.
The Women’s Business Council of the Greater Danbury Chamber of Commerce will present special Honorary Recognition to Newtown First Selectman Patricia Llodra and former Superintendent of Schools Janet Robinson at its 3rd Annual Heart of Women Award reception on Thursday, October 17, at the Ethan Allen Hotel, 21 Lake Avenue Extension. “The Heart of Women Award recognizes women who have made a lasting impact on their community and have inspired others into action,” said JoAnn Cueva, coordinator of the Women’s Business Council and a member of the nominating committee. “Both Pat and Janet have been driving forces for the residents of Newtown and we are honored to recognize their extraordinary efforts and accomplishments.” In addition to Mrs Llodra and Ms Robinson, Wilda Hayes, recently retired president and CEO of Ann’s Place, The Home of I Can, will receive the 2013 Heart of Women Award.
In an effort to help foster business opportunities in the greater Newtown area, the Newtown Chamber of Commerce continues to host free monthly networking events open to all local business professionals. The next event will be at Sal e Pepe Restaurant, 97 South Main Street, on Wednesday, October 9, from 8 to 9 am. David Curran of Bearingstar Insurance will be presenting about the “Ten Costly Insurance Mistakes Consumers Make.”