The New Milford Economic Development Corporation is rebranding itself and recently announced that its grant and loan programs are officially open to the community for application submissions.

In March 2018, board members voted to reinstate the corporation after a two-year dormant period.

The mission of the nonprofit organization is to expand and develop new business opportunities in New Milford and promote a business-friendly climate that attracts more industry to town.

Since re-establishing itself, the board wanted to start fresh and address any community confusion that exists between the Economic Development Commission, a government entity comprised of appointed members, and the Economic Development Corporation, an independent 501(c)3 organization that has access to an array of funding sources, including some not available to the town government.

One part of the solution was to rebrand itself as The Corporation for New Milford Economic Development.

“We want to place new emphasis on ‘The Corporation’ in our branding as a way to differentiate us and our mission from the Economic Development Commission, which is often referred to as ‘The EDC,’ said Oley Carpp, chairman of the board. “With time, we hope the community will simply refer to us as The Corporation.”

A new logo was unveiled along with the new name.

Presently under development is a new website, which will house resource materials, applications for financial programs, and status updates of projects The Corporation leads on behalf of the New Milford community.

“My vision is for The Corporation to manage the execution of important economic development projects in New Milford,” said Mayor Pete Bass. “This way, no matter who sits in office in Town Hall, critical community initiatives will maintain continuity, which is key for successful long-term, complex projects.”

The Corporation also announced that Kathy Castagnetta will serve as its community investment officer, a role which will facilitate communication and execution of grant and loan programs as well as other Corporation initiatives.

“Kathy has tremendous town planning experience and a deep commitment to improving the community,” said Carpp. “We are fortunate to have her talent available for advancing our mission.”

Applications for grant and small loans are available to businesses now. The Corporation has money available for façade improvement projects in the Village Center and loan programs for businesses throughout the town.

A past example of a façade improvement project is Ruth Chase Flowers on Church Street, who used a combination of The Corporation’s grant and low-interest loan programs to help fund painting the exterior of their building.

“Working with The Corporation was a great experience,” said Luisa Amaral of Ruth Chase. “They were so nice and easy to work with. I highly recommend their programs to other business owners.”

“We want to spread the word that The Corporation is back in business with funds available to assist New Milford businesses,” said Bass. “We’d love to see the community engage so we can put our funds to productive use.”

Business owners interested in applying for The Corporation’s funding programs are encouraged to contact Kathy Castagnetta at kathycastagnetta@gmail.com or call 860-488-0055.