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Resources & Research

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A. Local Networking Resources
The Westport Economic Opportunity Division is within the First Selectman’s Office and coordinates with town departments, organizations and entities to ensure that our ecosystem is supported and prosperous.  

The Westport Weston Chamber of Commerce is dedicated to enhancing local economic vitality and quality of life of the greater Westport area by promoting leadership, support, and networking within the business community.

The Westport Downtown Merchants Association (WDMA) is a non-profit organization of merchants, business owners and landlords working together to improve the commerce and culture of downtown Westport, CT for the benefit of the community and the commercial interests in our downtown.

The Westport Library is an engine for economic development in Westport.  The Westport library has recently undergone a $20 million reconstruction project that accommodates a 650+ seat forum for large programs and events, 6,000 square foot of real estate to support essential co-working and collaboration, recording studios & Maker Space, video wall all with the ability to learn and share state-of-the art skills, program & Event spaces, outdoor program spaces, meeting rooms, board rooms with A/V equipment.  The library also has digital resources and database offerings, such as Lexis Nexis and Thomson Reuters Eikon.
B. Funding and Entrepreneur Services

Below are some of the resources that are available to your business

Choose CT is the State of Connecticut’s economic development marketing portal.

The Community Investment Corporation is an economic development lender contributing financial expertise and practical guidance to small business entrepreneurs in Connecticut who have powerful ideas and need more power to grow them. 

The Connecticut Department of Economic and Community Development is the state’s lead agency responsible for strengthening Connecticut’s competitive economic position by, among other actions, providing a wide range of programs in areas such as financing, technical assistance, and workforce development to help companies prosper here.

The Connecticut Economic Resource Center works with businesses of all sizes, from global to local, to help them start, expand, or relocate in Connecticut by providing registration and licensing support to start ups, connecting businesses with municipal, regional, state, and federal program, and leveraging relationships with the commercial and industrial real estate community.

The Connecticut Procurement and Technical Assistance Center provides marketing and procurement assistance to Connecticut business interested in selling their goods or services to federal, state, or local governments.

The Connecticut Small Business Development Center provides advising, training, and resources to help Connecticut’s businesses start, grow, and thrive through a team of advisors that provide no-cost support to new and existing businesses.

SCORE provides free business advice and ongoing mentoring through a network of over 40 business professionals who volunteer their time to help build small businesses in Connecticut.

The Connecticut Office of the Small Business Administration is responsible for the delivery of federal programs such as financial assistance, business counseling, and minority-, woman-, and veteran-owned business support.  SBA also offers guidance on funding your business.

The Women’s Business Development Center (WBDC) is a 501(c)(3) nationally recognized leader in the field of women’s economic development.  The mission of the Women’s Business Development Center (WBDC) is to support and accelerate business development and growth, targeting women and serving all diverse business owners, in order to strengthen their participation in, and impact on, the economy.

Workforce Alliance is a policy and oversight agency tasked with improving the delivery of workforce services in close collaboration with business, education, and training providers, and local elected officials through the coordination of a variety of employment and training initiatives.

C. Startup Tools

Visit Connecticut’s DECD Official State Website for information and guidelines on how to start or move your business to CT.

The CT Secretary of the State Business Startup Tool will help get your business started in Connecticut on the right footing, using an online tool that leads you easily through all the steps.

The Connecticut Economic Resources Center has both a license search that shows what licenses your business needs, a list of FAQ’s by business sector, as well as an expertise library for business services.

If you are planning to open a business in Westport, or to renovate a business establishment, start with the following agencies or offices.  For a more detailed step by step instruction 

D. Sector Specific Information

Restaurants:  In Westport, we want to make it easy for you to open a restaurant, so this infographic and guide will make it easier for you to register your restaurant and navigate the process as efficiently as possible.  

Digital Media, Film & TV Production:  CT DECD for Business compiles marketing materials for sectors such as digital media, film & TV production.

Finance & Others:  CT DECD for Business compiles marketing materials for sectors such as finance.

E. Sustainable Business

Green your business:  Greening your business and establishing eco-friendly practices can help your business cut costs and save the environment. Westport is a certified bronze sustainable municipality and we are committed to helping you green your business.  The following resources will help you get to your goals of greening your business:

Local Resources include:
  • Sustainable Westport is available to gather and share best practices for green business strategies.The team also hosts innovation hours to hear about your green business and offer guidance.
State Energy Assistance Programs include:
  • State Department of Energy and Environmental Protection Opportunities for Greening your Business
  • Energize CT helps identify clean energy strategies that make sense for your business and connects you to programs, tax credits, incentives and funding resources.
  • Connecticut Green Bank offers a variety of programs and funding opportunities to business owners and institutions interested in benefiting from clean energy sources, entrepreneurs working to develop and commercialize new clean energy technologies, and real estate developers who want to offer clean energy sources.
  • Commercial Property Assessed Clean Energy (C-PACE) helps commercial, industrial and multi-family property owners access affordable, long-term financing for smart energy building upgrades.
Federal Programs include:

Give back to community: We Care Westport CT donations assist Westport residents of all ages by providing opportunities for individuals in crisis to access programs and services they would not otherwise be able to afford.

F. Research & Demographics

The Business Council of Fairfield County is committed to strengthening the economic vitality of Fairfield County through research-based public policy initiatives, information services, and network-building programs.

CT Open Data offers public data portal which includes data provided from State and Local agencies.

The Partnership for Strong Communities creates Westport’s 2018 Housing Data Profile, along with a statewide profile and profiles for each of Connecticut's counties to help residents, developers, legislators, etc. make data driven decisions regarding a wide array of housing issues.

See a two-page summary of demographic and economic information for the Town of Westport that contains information about population, major employers, education, fiscal issues, labor force and housing.

The Western CT regional Council of Governments produced a report on the People and Places of the South Western Region using 2010 Census trends.

G. Zoning & Vacancies

Westport’s public mapping program makes its property data open and easily available to all including both current and prospective residents and business owners. 

The Westport zoning map and the Zoning and Subdivision Regulations are a guide to commercial development opportunities, but our staff is also available for consultation on your individual project idea. 

The town-wide Plan of Conservation and Development is an advisory guide for the town’s conservation, development and infrastructure plans over the next 10-years.

Westport CT commercial vacancies listed on the Co-Star commercial database can be found on Loopnet.  If you are working with a local real estate agent, that individual may be able to help you navigate the listings.