KROOPBy Dale Kroop 

Dale Kroop has been the Director of Economic and Community Development in Hamden for more than 18 years. He can be reached at This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

Technology has forever changed the local, state and national economy. It affects retail trade, services that we buy and products that we have come to know.

 The landscape of retail continues to change. The list keeps getting longer for stores that are closing in the northeast and across the country. According to and many other publications, it is anticipated that over 25% of all shopping malls in the United States will likely CLOSE by the year 2022. This change in the retail marketplace began slowly and then accelerated quickly with the growth of the on-line marketplace. The last few years have been dominated by Amazon, who has changed the retail marketplace because of innovations such as Amazon Prime.

NORWEGIANWINDSOR LOCKS: Norwegian Air which initiated transatlantic service between Bradley International Airport and Edinburgh, Scotland, nine months ago has said tax issues have crashed the offering.

The airline citing delays in a Scottish tax break the airline expected is accounting for the change.

Norwegian Air will completely pull out of Bradley, with it’s the last flight for the “low cost’ airline on March 25.


By Rebecca Nolan
Alliance and CEDAS

Recently, I was asked, “How much longer do you plan to stay in Connecticut? If you’re the last one out, make sure to turn off the lights.” That’s a tough question to swallow as someone who works in economic development. I am here to tell you not only is that the wrong question to ask, but that not only will the lights remain on, but they will shine brightly for generations.

Over the last 16 years the Hartford region has had a lot to celebrate. I say enough of the gloom and doom and let’s celebrate our many victories as a region and state. It’s not my imagination. I’ve witnessed significant change in greater Hartford. Naysayers would have you believe greater Hartford is headed in the wrong direction, but I believe we are thriving and building positive and exciting opportunities and energy.

Telemundo logo 2012.svgNEW YORK: NBC Universal’s Telemundo Station Group has agreed to purchase 13 television stations from ZGS Communications, Inc., which owns and operates the Telemundo affiliates.

ZGS Communications, of Arlington, VA is a Hispanic owned company and was first founded in 1983 and headquartered in Arlington, VA. ZGS which owns stations in the Hartford new haven and Springfield mass markets locally also has stations in Washington, D.C., Richmond, Providence, Fort Myers, Tampa, Orlando, Melbourne, Kissimmee, Florida Raleigh, NC, El Paso and Las Cruces, TX.

aetnanewBy Mitchell Young

WOONSOCKET: A suburb city of Providence, Rhode island the country’s smallest state is the home of CVS [NYSE:CVS] the company that will be the new corporate owner of Hartford based health insurer Aetna [NYSE: AET].

Aetna CEO Mark Bertolino who famously added lifestyle benefits and higher minimum wages to the company had previously announced his intention to move the company to the ultra hip “Meatpacking District" in New York in a newly constructed headquarters’ building at a cost of $85 million

The city of New York reportedly offered $34 million in incentives to move the 250 “home office” employees to the city, where they were to occupy 145,000 square feet.

Bertolini will get a seat on the board of CVS and what will be as much as $500 million of compensation, as his stock ownership, stock options, and change of ownership bonuses come into play, but he won’t be CEO.

Mark Screen Shot 1200x550
Aetna CEO Mark Bertonlin has promoted a $16 minimum wage to his corporate brethren, he is expected to yield $500 million from Aetna sale.

The huge payout will come from shares of Aetna stock he already owns, as well as the stock options he has the right to exercise. Bertolini owns 925,000 shares that are now worth e worth $191.5 million at the $207 per share price that CVS will pay. He would also net $222.5 million from his stock options, the rest of the payout will come from change of ownership provisions in his contract, reportedly worth $65-$80 million alone.

The new power behind the company will be the far more economical CVS CEO Larry Merlo that started his career at pharmacy school. Merlo’s CVS is headquartered in the small suburban town of Woonsocket, population, 41,000.

Merlo has made his bones as a discount retailer at Thrift Drug and later CVS where he worked his way from a VP running stores to the top job.

Will tighfisted  CVS CEO Merlo move Aetna to the high-flying NYC Meatpacking District?

Merlo, married for 38 years, lives in the tiny but wealthy town of East Greenwich Rhode island, implemented a no tobacco policy and a limit to Opioid sales. Merlo has the reputation as a penny pincher, being criticized for keeping down the store employee count and other store operating expenses down, including the length and number of breaks the pharmacists can take..

In 2015, Fortune magazine said Merlo had the “highest CEO-to-average-employee pay ratio of any American company.”

CVS declined to support the Aetna headquarters’ move saying “All real estate locations will be evaluated by CVS Health during the integration planning process, according to Carolyn Castel, VP of Corporate Communications for CVS.