The four businesses that have agreed to be part of the Hartford program include Hartford Prints, Farm Shop, Naturally Cats and Dogs, and National Exhibitions and Archives. They are expected to be up and open at spots along Hartford's Trumbull, Pratt and Main streets before the end of August.
Also in the works are a "pop-up marketplace," and a remote broadcast studio for WNPR, both to be supported by the new Hartford program.
Rory Gale is one of the partners in Hartford Prints, a letterpress operation that turns out personal stationery and paper goods for weddings and other events.
Hartford Prints will be moving from its current studio at 56 Arbor Street on Hartford's west side, where it's been for one year, to the new downtown location.
(There's another difference with the New London program: New London won't provide rent subsidies for a business that is just moving within that city. "We don't want to take from one landlord to give to another," says Hammond.)
Gale says the plan is for the Hartford program "to cover us rent-free for six months." She adds that, if the business isn't doing well enough to begin paying its own rent after that time, the understanding is the city will try to work something out for more help for a longer period. Gale says she's heard some of those downtown rents can run as high as $3,000 a month for a storefront.
"The goal in this for us is to be a permanent fixture in Hartford," Gale says. The original business plan for Gale and her co-owning sisters Addy and Callie called for opening up a store within the next 5-10 years. The new Hartford program is an opportunity to jump the business way ahead of schedule, Gale points out.