5th District Congresswoman Elizabeth Esty took a walking tour of downtown Danbury Wednesday morning. During her stops along Main Street, Esty spoke with small business owners about the challenges they face and how they are reaching out to new customers.
During one of her stops, at AWA Medical Supplies, Esty heard about some changes to Medicare and Medicaid that have helped their business and about other changes they they believe need to be made.
Esty also learned about the American Dream story of Irene Rocha Bridal's owner, an immigrant who started out making alternations for a dry cleaner and eventually found success on her own. Esty wrapped up her Main Street walking tour at Workspace Collective, an art space selling unique, upcycled works.
Part of the reason she took this tour was also to see foot traffic in the downtown area, and learn what could be done to improve the market for small businesses. She says having evening hours is a benefit not just to the shops, but to the community as a whole. She says it leads to more people being downtown and to safer places. Esty also discussed how federal dollars could be sent to cities and towns for sidewalk improvements in business districts.
Esty was joined on the tour by Danbury state Representative David Arconti, CityCenter Director PJ Prunty, and Greater Danbury Chamber of Commerce President Steven Bull.