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Monday, March 31, 2008

UI, Milford want to create dialogue with businesses

By James Tinley
Register Staff
— Seeing a mutual benefit in retaining Milford businesses, the city and United Illuminating Co. are teaming up to reach out and start a dialogue with business owners with the goal of keeping them in the city.
“We want businesses to stay in our service area and you want businesses to stay in your town,” Tom Cariglio, economic development specialist for UI, told the city’s Economic Development Commission Wednesday.
“This is not just about getting better electric rates; it’s about how their businesses are doing.”
Cariglio has led similar programs in the area, including in Hamden and West Haven, and said business owners are usually happy to talk about the business issues they are facing.
Economic Director Robert Gregory is compiling a list of companies that are new to the city or have typically shied away from involvement with the city.
The program costs $1,000 annually, but UI will pick up the city’s tab, Cariglio said.
Gregory said he targeted a broad spectrum of companies, including manufacturing, retail, service and distribution.
“One of the good things about Milford is there is a wide variety of businesses,” he said. He said he will focus on smaller to mid-sized businesses.
The pilot program will include only a relatively small sampling of about 50 businesses that will receive letters from the city expressing interest in setting up a meeting.
Gregory hopes the 50 letters will yield 20 to 25 meetings. The meetings are expected to begin a dialogue with businesses, allowing the city to be aware of the issues businesses are facing.
UI and the city plan on helping businesses take advantage of state and regional programs they may not be aware of.
Economic Development Commissioner Tessa Marquis said she supported the idea as long as it “will do no harm, and not be a stress on businesses and the economic development office.”
“It might actually do some good,” Gregory responded.
James Tinley can be reached at or 401-3530.


Anonymous Mark l said...

How about a personal telephone call to each of these 50 businesses. I letter is a poor substitute for showing how much to care and want to help. CALL THEM. Not good business to send a letyter and Hope for the best. In my business calling makes the difference between getting the sale or not. Keeping business in Milford is key, but we have to pull out all the stops.

April 1, 2008 at 11:39 AM 

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