Chamber salutes small businesses

By TAYLOR MURCHISON-GALLAGHER

STAFF WRITER

The Central Connecticut Chamber of Commerce hosted its first Small Business Appreciation Breakfast, in honor of National Small Business Week, and to honor the small businesses that have made their home in Bristol.

“This is National Small Business Week, from April 29 through May 5,” said president and CEO of the chamber, Cindy Bombard. “This is our first Small Business Appreciation Breakfast because we have so many great small businesses that started many years ago, in the City of Bristol, and then to some current small businesses that chose Bristol to be their home. It’s a way for us to thank them for choosing Bristol.”

Approximately 125 people gathered at the DoubleTree by Hilton Hotel on Monday, April 30, to celebrate Crystal Diner, Haberfeld Enterprises, Rosie’s Laundry Company, The Basket Place, and Vallee’s Shoe Service.

“Small businesses are the economic backbone of our economy here in Bristol. They, along with our midsized businesses, our larger manufacturers, as well as our franchises, make up what makes Bristol an attractive place,” said Mayor Ellen Zoppo-Sassu. “Today’s breakfast is celebrating some of those success stories of people who have done really well in Bristol, and hopefully they will serve as a point of encouragement for other businesses as well.”

“It’s really important that we continue to support small businesses; the chamber’s array of services, what we do out of the BDA [Bristol Development Authority] office for businesses that are either poised to start, need to grow, or are experiencing problems, the role of government and partnership with the chamber, I think, is to provide that safety net,” said Zoppo-Sassu.

Bombard introduced the keynote speaker, Thomas O. Barnes, chairman of the Board of Barnes Group, Inc., who shared a bit of the 160 year history of the Barnes Group, one of the oldest companies in the country.