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Hartford's Pratt Street to see more businesses open thanks to Chamber of Commerce grant program

Six months ago, there were 10 vacant buildings on Hartford's Pratt Street. Now, there are only two.

HARTFORD, Conn. — New businesses are coming to downtown Hartford

Many of those businesses are coming to Pratt Street and the officials are seeing it as a sign of hope that the city is coming back after the impact COVID-19 has had on small businesses. 

“The old Edible Arrangements will actually be a new Spanish restaurant and bar. They just signed the lease last week. And we have 'Refuge,' which will be a tattoo and coffee joint, which is very unique,” said Julio Concepcion, Hartford Chamber of Commerce executive director. 

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In just a few months, more businesses will be calling Pratt Street home. 

“We had 10 vacant properties just six months ago. That’s a lot of darkness in a major commercial corridor,” said Concepcion. 

Now, that number has shrunk down to only two vacant properties.

Concepcion credits some of this growth to their Hart Lift program which gives thousands of dollars of American Rescue Plan act money to business owners hit hard by the pandemic. 

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“It’s certainly a program that can be that carrot to really incentivize businesses to come into the city,” said Concepcion.

There are signs of growth and hope. 

“I like it because it brings more diversity into the city. It definitely brings money into the city,” said Al Ogilvi. 

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“Now that the vast majority of them are leased [out], that will make a huge impact here in the central business district. To be able to showcase the street as a success for the Hart Lift program, I think helps the rest of the city out,” said Concepcion. 

A lot of the businesses are set to open in the fall and winter of this year and businesses can still apply for the Hart Lift program.

DeAndria Turner is a multi-media journalist at FOX61 News. She can be reached at dturner@fox61.com. 


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