City gearing up to tout it’s potential

Published on May 8, 2011 by

In the weeks ahead, there will be plenty of food and discussion on the Bridgeport scene with an intriguing pair of events that are now on the docket.

The Office of Planning and Economic Development of Bridgeport, the BRBC Center for Small Business Growth, the Bridgeport Chamber of Commerce and the Burroughs Library, have scheduled an informational series with a city-prepared marketing presentation.

The series will be presented at a weekly Brown Bag Lunch and will be held in the second floor Reference Room at the library, for six consecutive Fridays from noon to 1 p.m.

According to a statement released by Karen Del Vecchio of the Bridgeport Chamber of Commerce, “the presentations are part of an effort to market Bridgeport throughout Fairfield County. They act as a regional aide for people to re-think economic opportunities and to enjoy restaurants, the theatre, and the symphony in the Greater Bridgeport Region.”

The Burroughs Public Library will host the six-week, one hour, Friday “Brown-Bag” lunch time series presented by the staff of the four organizations.

Here is the schedule for the upcoming series:

April 29 – Economic Development – Presentation on selected completed and planned city-wide projects representing public and private investment.

May 6 – Restaurant & Entertainment – Presentation on the city’s exciting entertainment and dining venues sprinkled throughout the diverse neighborhoods within the City of Bridgeport.

May 13 – Small Business Financing Assistance – Learn about various available funding opportunities designed to help with business expansion and start-ups, including information about Department of Economic and Community Development, Community and Economic Development Association, Small Business Administration, and others.

May 20 – East Bridgeport Development – A review of the East Bridgeport Development plan, current projects, development sites and opportunities and a presentation on the future plans and vision for the East Bridgeport corridor from Lake Success to Steel Pointe.

June 3 – West Bridgeport Development – Learn about current plans and development strategies for the west side of Bridgeport and hear from the West End Business Association.

June 10 – Bridgeport Incentive Programs – A presentation outlining business incentives and tax abatement programs available in Bridgeport.

Bridgeport, being the largest city in the state, has in its economic development toolbox a myriad of incentives and programs such as Foreign Trade, Enterprise Zone, HUB Zone, Arts & Entertainment Zone aimed at helping existing businesses and attracting new businesses to the City of Bridgeport.

Jeff Bishop, BRBC Consultant, Center for Small Business Growth and Development said, “This will be a great and relaxed environment for residents to learn what the city has to offer in terms of economic development, future plans and tools that are available for small businesses.

The second significant happening on tap in the business community is the Park City Restaurant Entertainment Week. “What’s Cooking in Bridgeport” is running from Monday, May 16th to Sunday, May 22nd.

“After a successful 2010 restaurant week, we are proud to announce the return of “What’s Cooking in Bridgeport.”. The week will feature food, music, and art to showcase the many cultures that call Bridgeport home.

We hope to bring excitement, entertainment and flavor to this great city and to the taste buds of many,” said Erin McDonough, spokesperson for the event.

“Bridgeport is the emerging art and restaurant scene of Fairfield County and “What’s Cooking in Bridgeport” brings out some of the city’s finest qualities.”

More than 40 local restaurant owners have signed up to join in the festivities, which will begin at the Arcade Mall on Main Street, on Monday, May 16th at 5 p.m. with a Desserts FirstKickoff, which will feature desserts made by Bridgeport restaurants and live music and local art.To learn more about the second annual “What’s Cooking in Bridgeport,” visit

According to McDonough, partners include the City of Bridgeport, Bridgeport Downtown Special Service District, Greater Bridgeport Transit, TD Bank, UIL Holdings Corporation, The Bananaland, The Heavenly Hash, Black Rock Community Council, Bridgeport Chamber of Commerce, Greater Bridgeport Latino Network, Hispanic Chamber of Commerce of Greater Bridgeport, and the Southern Connecticut
Black Chamber of Commerce.