New Britain City Journal

New Britain's Weekly Online Newspaper


Business Group Seeking Committee Members

A group of New Britain men are looking for others who may be interested in joining with them to form an association focused on helping people develop and grow new businesses in the City.

Led by Marvin Rowe, who owns ACN, the group of about five people have been gathering and are hoping others will help them in their endeavor.

“We’ve gotten a call from Solidea Pitruzello from Farmington Bank that she supports the organization,” said Rowe. “I’ve met with her a few times and she is a very nice lady. She wants to help us organize it.”

In the letter she said that the bank would like to help businesses grow in New Britain and invited the organization to a seminar.

“I really think we have something positive going,” said Rowe. “If we continue, I think we will really be able to do some good things for the community.”

The bank has given the group grant guidelines to help them organize a foundation.

“We want to let people know they have the opportunity to start a business,” said Rowe.

The group is now being referred to as the New Britain Business Association, but it has not made an name official. Before they file the paperwork, they are looking for others who will join them to make this a success.

“African Americans are the forefront of the organization,” said Rowe. “But we want to teach everyone to be entrepreneurs.”

Members do not need to be African American to join the group.

Member Stanford Lebby, a minister who works with the homeless, said he wants this organization to tap into the resource of using homeless men who have skills.

“I want them to become a positive impact into our community,” said Lebby. “A business can come out of using these employees. We can create jobs for them.”

Lebby said he used to work for the housing authority and plans on doing grant writing as he has in the past for businesses who need his help.

“If you give someone an opportunity and show them encouragement they will get motivated,” said Lebby. “Handouts are not what this is about. This organization wants to create opportunities.”

Jeffrey Gombs, said his wife is looking to start a childcare business and hopes this group can help that come about.

Al Mayo, who recently ran for Alderman, said this is just a first step. A lot of research work has been done, but there are a lot of people who can come and offer something.

“We are not competing against the chamber of commerce or anything like that,” said Mayo. “We just want to collaborate with groups.”

Rowe said this group wants to see the entire City prosper.

“We don’t have fish markets or African American products or enough clothes places in the City,” said Mayo. “The opportunity is there.”

Rowe said most new business owners can contact them to help them get grants except in a few categories such as animal causes, beauty contests, nursery schools, dance or theatre groups, religious organizations, sport programs and more.

In the long term the groups wants to help financially fund new businesses without using grants.

“We are not about giving handouts, we are about succeeding,” said Rowe. “We want to see money stay in our community and be used to help make more money.”

To join call Rowe at 860-869-9676 or Lebby at 860-534-0736.