Hartford leaders work to revitalize city after pandemic impact

Hartford

HARTFORD, Conn. — It has been more than a year and a half since the pandemic took hold in Connecticut and many of the cities and towns lost businesses, jobs and their vibrance.

Officials and business owners in Hartford are working to get it back.

“We are rebuilding a whole brand new business even though we have been here for 114 years,” said Jody Morneault of Morneault’s, an apparel store in Hartford.

While some businesses in downtown Hartford are rebuilding, others went under,

The mayor, Chamber of Commerce and other city leaders are launching a campaign to bring back life into the city. They are trying to bring new businesses in to fill the spaces wiped out by COVID.

“I hope that people are going to see some of the spaces, and think, what is the next thing they can bring into these spaces?” said Brian Prather of TheaterWorks Hartford.

“We are working in partnership with the Chamber of Commerce and we will soon be rolling out an incentive program where we match investments to activate vacant spaces. Not just in the downtown, throughout the city,” said Mayor Luke Bronin.

With the first signs of life, big corporations are starting to bring their employees back to the downtown offices, and Theaterworks Hartford just had its first live audience this week for “Someone Else’s House.”

“We have audiences, we have people buying tickets, and our hope is that those people will go out and tell their friends,” Prather said.

Pratt Street is doing its part this weekend from having Halloween vendors on the street Saturday to Oktoberfest Sunday. See a full list of events here.

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