Letter: ECDC shares Main Street retail concerns

To the Editor:

A letter on Dec. 21 by Robert P. Burke opens with the following statement:

“There was not a single person shopping on Main Street in downtown Ridgefield at noon Saturday, Dec. 16 — the height of the Christmas shopping season.” His observation and concerns are shared by your Economic and Community Development Commission (ECDC) and has been the focus of our work for the past 10 months.

Input has been sought from landlords, retailers, residents, Planning and Zoning, the Board of Finance, the Finance Department and our first selectman to develop an incentive plan that will both attract and enable new retail businesses in our Village. The financing for the plan is currently under review by the Board of Selectmen.

In 2016 the board retained a consulting group to study the retail opportunities in the Village. A very clear objective is to add additional retail storefronts. Making the Village more of a shopping destination for residents and visitors will improve sales for our existing businesses and help to preserve the character of the town. While there also is a need for professional service businesses, our current mix of over 33% professional services is out of balance. The ECDC funding request is designed to facilitate the opportunity to add more shopping opportunities in the Village.

The proposal to the Board of Selectman can be found on the ECDC website, http://www.ridgefielddevelopment.com/news/. Any parties interested in starting any type of business in Ridgefield are encouraged to contact us at 203-546-2547.

Arnold Light, Chair

John Devine, Vice Chair

Ridgefield, Dec. 26