NEW BRITAIN - Mayor Stewart took part in a Zoom meeting facilitated by The Greater New Britain Chamber of Commerce Friday morning called Best Practices. It was the last in a series of webinars to ensure that all businesses are ready for re-opening and to answer any questions.
The meeting began with a report from chamber President Bill Moore, who spoke about the programs the Chamber has been undertaking during the shutdown and what programs are available for businesses to help them get re-started.
“We have been trying to keep our members all informed with what’s going on in terms of business operations so we’re doing daily e-news giving everyone all the information that’s floating around,” said Moore. “We want to provide accurate current information about where they can go for help, what’s happening, what they can do to make sure that they are staying up to date with things from the federal and state government and that the city is putting things out. We’re also posting regular updates telling you which businesses are open and what they’ve been doing. We’ve had several webinars on returning to work and this one being a special one.”
Stewart and Bill Carroll, the director of economic development, discussed the steps that the city has been taking during the pandemic, the city’s plans for reopening commerce, and answered questions from chamber members.
“I want to give a shout out to our New Britain community, all of our partners and all of you who have really been doing your part to keep everything afloat,” said the mayor. “We’re in phase 1 of the reopen and we have been going out and meeting with everybody, taking a look at your reopen plans and giving advice and help.”
City Hall partially reopened this past week using the first floor to service the public, but Stewart is still trying to push people to go online to newbritainct.gov and contact staff via phone and email for all needs regarding City Hall.
“We outfitted the whole floor and our offices with these walkie-talkie windows. We have a special office we set up in room 108, it’s kind of like a catchall so if you’re coming in for building permits or need any other office in City Hall that room is being staffed by our community services office,” she said.
The only city venue that hasn’t come back up and running fully is the senior center.
“It is vitally important to get our business community back up and running,” said Stewart. “What we’re trying to do is find another way with some of the funding that we have to support all of you.”
Members like David Obedzinski, president and CEO of The Community Foundation of Greater New Britain; and representatives of Eversource and the Hospital of Central Connecticut shared information about how and what their businesses have been doing during the pandemic.
“Our best practices in any situation are guided by the fact that we are a community foundation and our mission begins with community and is founded by the community,” said Obedzinski. “It’s important for us when we see situations arise in our community to come forward and do whatever we can to help the community through a crisis.”
The Community Foundation of Greater New Britain partnered with local businesses and organizations to help make 22,000 face shields, has given out grants and sponsored the webinars hosted by the chamber.
On Thursday, May 28, at 9 a.m. the chamber will be hosting a webinar with Liberty Behavioral Health and Klingberg on mental health issues and how they relate to the current environment.