Winsted Town Manager to unveil new business incentive programs

WINSTED — Towns across the country have found many ways to use the money they received in 2021 from the American Rescue Plan Act.

Town Manager Josh Kelly had presented a list of town projects using ARPA money, with a focus on community and business development, which were approved in December by the Board of Selectmen. Among his proposals were a Business Start-Up Program and a Facade Improvement Program.

“The primary purpose of our Business Start-Up Program is to attract new businesses to Winsted/Winchester,” Kelly said. “I expect there will be some interest in this opportunity for our businesses, and people looking at Winsted and Winchester.”

Winsted has received half of its allocation of $3.128 million from the ARPA, and is expecting the second half in June 2022. Kelly’s project list also called for funding for Winsted Volunteer Fire Department for equipment; money for the Water and Sewer Commission, to repair and replace pumping equipment at the sewer plant; a part-time economic development director; educational materials for technology at the senior center; online permitting software for Town Hall; new radios for the Police Department; online marketing and economic development advertising; and refurbishing an emergency vehicle for the Winsted Ambulance Service.

At the time of his presentation last fall, Kelly said he wanted to allocate $100,000 for a business startup fund; the facade improvement program was part of that amount. Kelly said then that businesses could borrow money from the fund and use it for upgrades, or to start a new venture.

Now, Kelly and the Board of Selectmen are launching those two programs this week, officially offering funding for local business owners. An event set for 3 p.m. Friday at Town Hall, and also to be shown on the Winchester YouTube channel, will offer details. Kelly has not revealed how much the loan program will provide or any qualification requirements. Instead, he urged everyone to attend.

Kelly also plans to hold several informational sessions on Zoom at 1 and 4 p.m. Friday, to explain the program details.

“These sessions are designed for anyone who currently owns a business in Winchester/Winsted or who is considering opening a business in town,” Kelly said. “Detailed information about who qualifies for funding under these programs and how to apply for them will be made available.”

New and existing Winchester/Winsted business owners can register for the Friday afternoon Zoom sessions at

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