Downtown Manchester uses recruitment tool to attract new business

By Christian Mysliwiec - Staff Writer
Manchester - posted Fri., Apr. 26, 2013

How many cars drive through Downtown Manchester in a single day? Try 17,000. That's a lot of eyes on store fronts, business signs and promotional banners. Recent studies indicate that the Downtown area draws people from a seven-mile trade area, which includes customers from high-earning households in Glastonbury, Bolton and South Windsor. The Downtown is becoming an ever-more attractive hub in the expanding East of the River region. For these reasons and more, Main Street is poised for a business renaissance, and the Downtown Manchester Special Services District wants everyone to know it.

To help spread the word that the Downtown is open for fresh new business, the DMSSD has introduced a new business recruitment tool – three new informational packets that give at-a-glance facts to prospective businesses interested in setting up shop on Main.

The initiative is a result of a market study done in 2011. AMS Consulting, LLC of Bridgeport, with additional help from The Center for Research in Meriden and Zared Architecture in New Haven, conducted market analyses on behalf of DMSSD (and made possible by a grant by First Niagra, which had acquired New Alliance and was finding a niche for itself on Main Street). 

“The development of it was to take that market analysis information and put it into a digestible form that can be used to gain entree, to get people thinking that perhaps Downtown Manchester would be good for their business,” said Tana Parseliti, downtown manager of DMSSD. Parseliti was on the committee that developed the packet, along with Manchester's Director of Planning & Development, Mark Pellegrini, and Joy Dorin and Peg Jacobson of the Manchester Economic Development Commission. Local graphic designer, Lynn Sottile of Schultz Design, designed the materials, which feature photographs by Christiane O’Brien of Design by Christiane.

A general information packet offers information on the trade area, consumer spending patterns, commercial office rental rates, and the town's commitment to the area. Two more brochures are targeted specifically for retail and restaurants, and give would-be business owners some valuable insights about the demands in both markets. For example, on the wish list of area patrons are more restaurants and bars, and more late-night options. Specialty stores, gift shops and high-end retail are also in demand.

Parseliti said the DMSSD will use the brochures to make an introduction to prospective businesses to the Downtown area. She also envisions residents, too, using the brochure to encourage the types of businesses they want to see on Main Street. “If an individual frequents a business that they like a lot which isn't in our town, they could just hand over the brochure to them and say, 'have you ever thought about Downtown Manchester?'” said Parseliti.

For more information or to receive a brochure, contact Parseliti at 860-645-2101

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