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The Day: Officials celebrate new Women’s Business Center in New London

August 8, 2018
In The News

New London — The Women's Business Development Council has held events and programs in a lot of Connecticut communities, but CEO Fran Pastore said she has never had the kind of reception she's had in New London.

Support was evident on Wednesday afternoon, when dozens of elected officials and business leaders — both local and from across the state — packed into the sweltering offices of the new Women's Business Center on the fourth floor of 300 State St.

"This has been a multi-, multi-, multiyear effort to expand the Women's Business Development Council to southeastern Connecticut," said U.S. Rep. Joe Courtney, D-2nd District. Citing wind turbines, submarines and new restaurants, he said "this is an area that is really primed to take advantage of this."

The WBDC announced in April that it would be opening a Women's Business Center in New London, and it held an event that served as a soft launch on July 10 at the New London Public Library.

WBDC has since hired Laura Stetler to manage the New London office. Come fall, the center will offer a full slate of workshops, counseling services and long-term training to women and men at every stage of business development.

Wednesday was the grand-opening and ribbon-cutting ceremony. This is the third Women's Business Center in the state, adding to ones in Stamford and Derby.

"It is inspiring to see the progress but also to see how much more progress there has to be," U.S. Sen. Richard Blumenthal, D-Conn., said on Wednesday.

Small Business Association Regional Administrator Wendell Davis said that it took our society way too long to make sure everyone has access to the American dream, and that the SBA exists to help more people with this access.