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News Aug 14, 2017 - 1:56:53 AM

Blumenthal, Murphy, Larson, Bronin Applaud $2.8 Million Grant For North Hartford

By Chris Murphy's office

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WASHINGTON, DC – U.S. Senators Richard Blumenthal (D-Conn.) and Chris Murphy (D-Conn.), U.S. Representatives John Larson (CT-1) and Hartford Mayor Luke Bronin applauded the U.S. Department of Commerce’s Economic Development Administration (EDA) on Thursday for awarding a $2.8 million grant to help build a food-focused business incubator and manufacturing facility at the Swift Factory complex in North Hartford. The project – which will be called the Swift Community Food and Business Development Center – is expected to create 125 jobs and spur $9.75 million in private investment. North Hartford receives priority consideration for federal grants like this as a result of their Promise Zone designation. The nearly $3 million grant will build on the city’s Promise Zone initiative to create jobs and boost economic activity in the community.

Blumenthal said, “This major investment will help bring new life and vitality to the old Swift Factory—attracting new jobs and investment to the North End. These dollars help fulfill the promise by the federal government that it would be a true partner in bringing jobs and opportunity to the North End. I will continue to work closely with community leaders to ensure the Promise Zone designation continues to provide tangible, lasting change for the neighborhood and its residents.”

“This is exactly the kind of investment North Hartford needs. This $2.8 million grant will help transform the old Swift Factory into new working space for Hartford businesses. It’ll create jobs and help spur more private investments throughout the neighborhood in the process,” said Murphy. “I fought hard to get North Hartford designated as a Promise Zone because I’ve always believed that the neighborhood and its hardworking residents show a ton of promise. Washington is finally starting to see it that way too.”

Larson said, “I applaud the work of Community Solutions and the North End of Hartford for building a new food and business development center at the Swift Factory complex. The creation of new jobs, support for innovative local start-ups, and the millions of dollars in private investment it will attract will complement all the workforce development efforts the North End has doubled down on since its Promise Zone designation. I am proud to support local entrepreneurs who are creating jobs in the North End."

“The Swift factory was a vital part of Hartford’s economy and the Northeast community for over a century,” said Hartford Mayor Luke Bronin. “We are excited that it will be reborn – more than a decade after it closed – as a hub for innovative food-focused businesses. This is a significant investment that will complement the broader campaign to revitalize the North Hartford Promise Zone. I want to thank our entire Congressional delegation, as well as City staff, for their tremendous work in helping to secure this grant.”

Roseanne Haggerty, President of Community Solutions, the organization leading the project at Swift Factory, said, "Community Solutions is very pleased to receive this award, which will support the redevelopment of the Swift Factory and bring more than 125 jobs to the community. We are grateful for the leadership of Mayor Bronin, Senator Murphy and our whole congressional delegation in bringing economic development resources to spur business innovation and local job creation in the North End. We look forward to beginning construction in the coming weeks."

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