The tribal owners of the Foxwoods Resorts and Mohegan Sun casinos sent legislative leaders a letter Wednesday asking for a chance to compete with MGM Resorts International’s proposal for a Bridgeport gambling resort if the legislature is intent next year on considering opening Connecticut to casino expansion.
The letter from Rodney Butler and Kevin Brown, the chairmen of the Mashantucket Pequot and Mohegan tribal nations, hints that they are less interested in open competition than in legislation similar to the bill passed in 2017: A law authorizing the tribes to jointly develop a casino in East Windsor to blunt the loss of business to an MGM resort opening in Springfield.
BRIDGEPORT: Just a day after MGM Resorts CEO James Murren tried to rally Bridgeport’s business community in a speech to Bridgeport Regional Business Council, to a plan for a Casino in that city, the Mohegan Sun sent a strategic, dare we say, arrow at another Mayor Joe Ganim administration plan.
Mohegan Sun, which calls itself the “premier entertainment destination in the Northeast,” announced an exclusive partnership with the Webster Bank Arena in Bridgeport. The multiple-level agreement involves concerts, sporting events and sponsorships and is “effective immediately.” The Arena is run by the Bridgeport Sound Tigers an American Hockey League [AHL] affiliate of the New York Islanders,National Hockey League [NHL] team.
According to Forbes magazine’s 2017 Best States For Business rankings, Connecticut ranks among the ten worst states in the Country for overall business prospects.
The survey tracks Business Costs, Labor Supply, Regulations, Economic Climate, growth Prospects, and Quality of Life.
Among neighboring states, Rhode Island comes in just behind Connecticut at #43 and the land of Lobster and Senator Bernie Sanders’ Vermont even further down the ranking with Maine at #46 and Vermont at 48.
New Hampshire leads the northern New England states at #34, Connecticut and Rhode Island break into the top ten percentile in only one category “Quality of Life”, 5 and 7 respectively.
Massachusetts by contrast comes in with an overall ranking of #19 and makes the top ten states in three categories including “Labor Supply,” “Quality of Life” and “Economic Climate.” The Bay State however comes in dead last with the highest “Business Costs,”, Connecticut at #41 in costs beats out its New England rivals but falls behind New York which the survey ranks at #36 for “Business Costs” and #29 overall.
There is some good news and not so good news as reported by respondents, both the percentage of business expecting improved conditions and those with a negative outlook rose in the third quarter. The survey shows significant increases over the previous quarter in both the percentage of firms reporting an improved outlook and those expecting worsening conditions.
Thirty-seven percent of survey respondents see improved conditions for their firm, up from 29% in the second quarter. However, 24% predict worsening conditions, a 10-point jump from the last quarterly survey. Forty percent forecast stable conditions, down from 57%.
"We found that several respondent groups are outperforming the norm on growth for their firms over the next three months," CBIA economist Pete Gioia said.
DERBY: The Valley Community Foundation (VCF) announced $881,000 in new grants to to 11 organizations. The foundation said “this is the largest multi-year grant commitment in VCF’s history, adding. with governmental budgets in flux and an ever-growing need for services, there has never been a more important time for VCF to support organizations committed to this region.”
A tight state budget was cited by New Haven’s Community Foundation as well.
A valley Foundation release said, “many of these local nonprofits are currently challenged by both state and federal budget crises, which are projected to have a short and long term effect on services.”
Grants were awarded through VCF’s responsive grantmaking cycle, which is done with its partner in philanthropy, The Community Foundation for Greater New Haven (TCF). The program is funded by a generous annual grant from TCF’s Gates and field of interest funds, as well as VCF’s unrestricted and field of interest funds.
Additionally, some of VCF’s donor advised fundholders contributed from their funds to help make these grants possible. The funds included support from the Agape Fund, the Salvatore and Linda Tiano Coppola Family Fund, the Mary Fund, the Sally and Dominick Thomas Fund, the John Tyma Fund, the Warichar Family Fund, and the John and Laura Zaprzalka Family Fund.
The following is a list of the 2017 VCF Responsive Grant recipients:
Boys & Girls Club of the Lower Naugatuck Valley: to provide general operating support for cultural, recreational, physical, and educational programs to Valley youth. $120,000
Central Connecticut Coast YMCA: to provide general operating support for the Valley YMCA programming that builds healthy spirit, mind, and body for Valley residents. $90,000
Griffin Hospital: to support the update of radiation oncology equipment at the Center for Cancer Care. $25,000
Housatonic Council, Boy Scouts of America: to provide general operating support for scouting programs for Valley youth. $100,000
Literacy Volunteers of Greater New Haven: to provide general operating support for adult literacy tutoring in Greater New Haven and the Valley. $60,000
Massaro Community Farm, Inc.: to provide general operating support to maintain a historic farm using organic practices, to provide fresh produce to the needy, and to build community through farm-based education and events. $60,000
Online Journalism Project, Inc.: to provide general operating support for The Valley Independent Sentinel. $120,000
Salvation Army, Greater Valley Corps: to support the Emergency Assistance program which includes a Client Choice Food Pantry, Bread and Pastry Program, Thanksgiving food distribution, Back-to-School backpack distribution, clothing and furniture vouchers, and rental and utility assistance. $60,000
Shelton Economic Development Corporation: to provide general operating support to advance the economic development and public welfare of the City of Shelton. $10,000
Shelton Historical Society, Inc.: to provide general operating support for the preservation of items of Shelton's history, educational programming and the maintenance of a museum and its collections. $34,000
TEAM, Inc.: to provide general operating support for multigenerational service delivery system focused on support services, early childhood, and elderly services. $160,000
Valley Council for Health and Human Services: to support the establishment of a Valley Food Bank Network that will raise awareness of food insecurity in the Valley, implement best practices amongst Food Pantries, enhance services/outcomes for individuals accessing these Food Pantries, and galvanize increased community-support toward the work of established Food Pantries. The Valley United Way is acting as the fiscal sponsor. $42,000
For more information about VCF’s grant programs, please call 203-751-9162, or visit our website at www.valleyfoundation.org.