Main Street Waterbury
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Downtown Means Business: Chamber and Young Professionals
Julie Donato

Membership Services and Communications Director Waterbury Regional Chamber

The Chamber has welcomed several downtown businesses to its membership over the past few months, celebrating the newest of those with ribbon-cutting ceremonies and grand openings. Every type of business — from eateries and wellness spaces to law firms and colleges — is looking for a slice of downtown to call its own.

The Waterbury Regional Chamber offices are just down Bank Street from the Howland-Hughes building, and the organization looks forward to welcoming its longtime member Post University to the heart of downtown over the next year. Peppering the surrounding streets are a slew of fellow Chamber members eager to serve the needs of downtown patrons.

Hungry? Step into the Art of Yum on Grand Street and try some award-winning tacos among a slew of other great bites, or see Zonia and the team at The Raw Deal Juice Bar just a few doors down. Need a breather? Check out Earthship Studios, a private tattoo studio and wellness collective that offers artisan retail space, a massage/reiki room and yoga studio. Want to get out of the office? The recently renovated Green offers downtown professionals a great space for a walk and some sun during the workday.

“With the development of housing downtown for college students and the impending arrival of Post University’s online education unit and hundreds of employees, downtown Waterbury is on the cusp of a vibrant resurgence,” said David Krechevsky, director of public policy and economic development for the Chamber. “Developers and entrepreneurs are looking at downtown again as a great place to locate and do business.”

The Chamber is happy to bring our members downtown on a regular basis for meetings and events. On any given morning, Bank Street is lined with cars as our members participate in various committees and networking meetings, working to contribute to a vibrant business community.

Our Young Professionals of Waterbury Region (YPOWR) organization also works to showcase the downtown scene to the next generation of business professionals.

Twice a month, the YPOWR Business Connections group meets to foster strong working relationships among its members, often rotating the meeting location to highlight different downtown spots. The group has toured the Mattatuck Museum, visited SGNL Communications on Bank Street to learn about its business, and enjoyed a historical tour of the green by Main Street Waterbury.

Group members also meet quarterly at different downtown restaurants, enjoying a taste of what the local businesses have to offer.

In May, YPOWR teamed up with Main Street Waterbury to invite members to a Happy Hour at The Thirsty Goat, encouraging networking between attendees and enticing them to experience downtown after the workday was out. The group also hosted a Creative Thinking Professional Development Seminar at Waterbury Youth Services, highlighting the nonprofit’s programming while simultaneously offering a valuable morning professional development workshop.

“We are excited to be able to create opportunities for our YPOWR members to visit and experience downtown Waterbury,” said Mackenzie Marsella, YPOWR’s assistant director.

“Downtown has so much to offer and we love to showcase these great locations and events to our young professionals.”

In an effort to make downtown as accessible as possible to our members, the Chamber is proud to offer our monthly parking program in conjunction with the Parking Authority. Members who sign up for this program work directly with the Chamber to receive a parking pass for the Buckingham Parking garage on the corner of Bank and Grand streets, paying one discounted monthly fee in order to come and go from the center of downtown with ease. Anyone interested in taking advantage of this parking program is encouraged to contact the Chamber for more details.

The change in energy in downtown Waterbury is palpable, and the Chamber is excited to be a source of networking, advocacy, and support for our downtown neighbors, in addition to our almost 1,000 member businesses throughout Greater Waterbury. If your business, or that of a friend, family member or colleague, is interested in membership with us, stop by and say hello — we’re right downtown waiting for you.

The Waterbury Regional Chamber is the largest business membership organization in our region, serving 14 communities in the area, and showcases a strong membership of about 1,000 businesses with which our members can connect and do business. If you’re interested in growing your business or in what the Waterbury Regional Chamber can do for you, visit us online at www.waterburychamber.com, call us at (203) 757-0701, or visit our offices at 83 Bank Street, 4th Floor, Waterbury.