Innovation at the forefront during BID annual meeting

NORWICH – The vision for downtown Norwich is one of change and innovation.

That was one of the key messages from the Norwich Businesses Improvement District as members held their annual meeting Friday at Nina’s Restaurant. The gathering was a chance for the BID to reflect on accomplishments over the last year, applaud the work of its 16-member board, and share ideas for the future of downtown.

“It’s been another great year for us,” said BID Executive Director Ann Coe. “We’re going to have a strategic planning in January. We have a couple of board members and longtime board members who are stepping down this year, so we’ll be getting new members soon. But we’re excited about what comes after our strategic meeting.”

Friday’s get-together was also a chance to pay homage to longtime BID board member Mary Lou Stewart, a retired merchant whose downtown presence is unmistakable, said BID President Roger Shackelton.

“The BID believes a new entity for our area is growing and emerging as a family friendly destination,” Shackelton said, citing events sponsored by the BID over the last year – events like the Pumpkin Festival, the Bullthistle Markets, several cruise-ins, and the Holiday Parade of Lights. “One of the biggest events of the last year was the centennial. And one of the reasons it was so successful was because of Mary Lou Stewart.”

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