Shelton businesses join forces to promote downtown

SHELTON — With warm weather near, a group of local business owners are looking to spark interest in the downtown scene.   

Seven businesses — Addeo’s Fire & Ice, Bagel Bros. & Co., House of Char, Kickstart Café, Polaris Crystals, CeCe Bubble Tea and Shelton Gift Boutique — have joined forces for the Spring into Downtown Shelton event, through which patrons have a chance to win a prize for just browsing. 

The event will run from March 26 to April 1. During that time, people can visit each of the seven participating businesses and get an entry sheet stamped to enter a free drawing for a $25 gift certificate at one of the participating businesses. There is no purchase necessary. 

“There are many events that happen on the Riverwalk, but nothing happens ‘downtown’ to help the merchants, like the original Shelton Day,” said Bryan Lizotte, owner of Shelton Gift Boutique, which he opened nearly a year ago. 

“The other participating businesses had expressed an interest in the past about running events downtown," Lizotte added. “Downtown is abuzz with new businesses, and we must get the people here to experience them. Once they do, they come back.” 

Lizotte said the idea came after talks between himself and fellow business owners Stephanie Champagne of Kickstart Café and Charlene Matto of House of CHAR, which sits across the street from Lizotte’s shop, about increasing visibility downtown. 

“When Bryan approached me with this idea, I was happy to join in on it,” said Matto. “It’s fun and I think it’s a great way to connect others in our town.” 

Champagne praised Lizotte for his regular efforts trying to bring downtown businesses together and called this collaboration a “great way to get people walking around and seeing what is available to them. 

“I love this area. It’s one of the reasons why I wanted to open my business right here in downtown,” Champagne added. “This will bring awareness about how much is going on downtown. We hope this will bring people to businesses they have not known about or ever been to before.” 

Matto said collaborations are key to success, and she has teamed with Polaris Crystals in the past on various workshops. 

People need to deposit their completed entry at the last business they visit. All entries will be combined, and a random drawing will be held on April 2. There will be seven winners drawn and each will receive a $25 gift certificate to one of the participating businesses. 

There is only one entry per person. Only completed entry forms will be eligible, and a completed entry form must have a stamp from each of the participating businesses.   

“It’s all about being a part of a community. It starts with us,” Matto said. “As small business owners we need to work together and show others that we support one another. By doing so it helps to build a greater sense of community.”