Selectmen Say Yes to $500K Sandy Hook Small Business Grant

Newtown's Economic Development Commission will begin vetting applications from small businesses at Wednesday night's meeting.


Newtown's Board of Selectmen graciously -- and speedily -- accepted a $500,000 Small Town Economic Assistance Program grant from the state of Connecticut at their meeting Tuesday night. The grant will benefit both individual businesses in Sandy Hook and, hopefully, more general projects in the neighborhood itself, according to officials.

To date, 15 Sandy Hook businesses have applied for the grant, said Donald Sharpe of Newtown's Economic Development Commission, who testified at the Board of Selectmen meeting. Businesses have until February 15 to apply to receive a portion of the funds. Economic Development Commission members will begin reviewing applications at their meeting Wednesday night, Sharpe said.

"We hope to do this in an expeditious fashion," he said. "I think [businesses] feel well-informed and certainly ready to apply as necessary. Not all of those businesses will apply; some said they had no losses." Sharpe said the Sandy Hook Diner, for instance, was one of these.

Earlier this month, Gov. Dannel Malloy approved the grant for the small businesses of Sandy Hook. The grant is one piece of aid to help businesses in the neighborhood get back on their feet after the December 14 shooting at Sandy Hook Elementary School shook the neighborhood -- and the resulting traffic from press, well-wishers and onlookers caused traffic and parking clogs in the neighborhood.

"Since the tragedy, Sandy Hook had way too much traffic in the beginning," Newtown Economic Development Coordinator Betsy Paynter told Patch. "All of the sudden, there was no traffic."

At the meeting, First Selectman Pat Llodra thanked Gov. Malloy and Connecticut's Office of Policy Management for quick action.

"When I had initial conversations with the governors's office and the Office of Policy Management, they both said 'Ask for the maximum. We're prepared to give the town the maximum,' Llodra said. She said she got word within "a matter of days" that the grant would come through.

"They heard the message and responded," she said. "It's impressive on many levels."

Selectmen approved the grant unanimously.

While small businesses wait to receive funds, residents can help out by participating in a Sandy Hook cash mob this weekend sponsored by Economic Development, the Sandy Hook Organization for Prosperity and We Are Newtown.

Davis Dunavin January 23, 2013 at 09:41 PM
Looks like the link has changed... This should work! http://newtown-ct.gov/Public_Documents/NewtownCT_BBoard/03CA41E2-000F8513
Karen bambino January 23, 2013 at 10:59 PM
NHS Class of 1995 January 24, 2013 at 12:06 AM
There were quite a few businesses located in the center of the Hook that did in fact suffer when our town was invaded by the media. So I would hope that we don't have businesses down 25 holding there hand out as well. The center has come along way since I even graduated NHS in 1995. Lets take care of the small businesses.
NHS Class of 1995 January 24, 2013 at 12:43 AM
To elaborate, the lack of biz was in part to the media invasion, to the gawkers(that are still coming around), and the people that paid their respects. They did not come to spend money they tied up the streets and disabled any town people from getting to these businesses that they normally would've gotten to.
Karen bambino January 24, 2013 at 11:02 AM
Thats an explanation that makes more sense..not there was all this traffic and then there was none..i just couldnt figure out the logic behind it or what they were trying to say..it was too vague


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