The Corporation for New Milford Economic Development is helping the town’s businesses open one door at a time.

The Corporation’s current initiative is to distribute critically needed personal protection equipment to .

businesses“Our mission has been to take the pressure off of the town’s business owners by donating critically needed safety equipment, especially sneeze-guards, that are essential to meeting the state’s reopening guidelines,” said Oley Carpp, chairman of the Corporation. “And yes, it’s working. Over 70 sneeze guards have been distributed so far to businesses all over town.”

“The role of the CNMED is to assist with the growth of New Milford while preserving the integrity of the town,” said board member Kristin Gizzi. “Business owners are fortunate that CNMED was able to make funds available to assist local businesses in need.”

“I am proud to be a board member along with individuals that truly care about New Milford and are invested in its growth and success,” Gizzi said.

Tony Vengrove, executive committee member of The Corporation, said the program is available to all small businesses in New Milford and is on a "first come, first served" basis.

“Business owners have told us consistently how much time, money and effort are required to prepare for re-opening. They appreciate having one less thing to chase down and pay for,” he said. “Every little bit helps.”

Nicky Grivois, co-owner of the River and Rail Café, expressed her enthusiasm and gratitude for the program.

“We are so grateful to have received a plexiglass guard donated by The Corporation for New Milford Economic Development,” she said. “Its function reassures our guests that we are operating safely, and that safety is our highest priority."

“I am truly grateful to the CNMED, who made these sneeze-guards available for the safety of our clientele and employees,” said Lupo Passero, owner of the Twinstar Community Apothecary.

“As a small business owner, with many plates in the air and navigating so much unknown territory, this gift was one less thing I had to worry about,” Passero said. “They provided one for each of my business locations and the process of getting them was quick, convenient and easy.”

Dino Kolitsas, owner of the Greca Mediterranean Kitchen & Bar, said the CNMED “truly stepped up in helping small businesses to secure plexiglass sneeze-guards.”

“We appreciate the cost savings, of course, but even more so the fact we did not have to run around looking for vendors—giving them specs and requirements,” he said. “With our time and resources already stretched thin, this was a tremendous help.”

Although Plexiglass sneeze guards for businesses with face to face interaction is the primary focus of this program, in addition business owners can apply for more equipment such as infrared thermometers.

Applications can be obtained by emailing Karen Pollard at kpollard@newmilford.org. Each will be reviewed by the CNMED on a case-by-case basis.