What is the goal of the SC2 Hartford Challenge?
The goal of the SC2 Hartford Challenge is to produce a plan that will make Hartford internationally recognized as a place where new ideas can come to market, and businesses can launch with ease. Hartford’s government is innovative and committed to helping entrepreneurs succeed. By pursuing a strong formal policy that fosters entrepreneurship, the city’s leaders are effectively making a promise to provide entrepreneurs with the tools necessary to thrive.
Why did the City launch this program?
The SC2 Hartford Challenge has been developing for more than one-year. The city wanted to ensure that the program did not launch in a vacuum. In order to demonstrate preparedness to undertake a hands-on role in helping entrepreneurs succeed, the city’s Department of Development Services conducted several studies and analyses to ascertain strengths, weaknesses, opportunities and threats.
What are the Present Trends?
The last American Community Survey, conducted by the U.S. Census Bureau, estimates that the city’s 06103 zip code is at capacity – meaning that there is essentially no residential vacancy in the city’s downtown. This data also revealed that 61 percent of residents are under 35 years old — 72 percent are under 45. Non-family households comprise 82 percent of residences and 60 percent live alone. The city's downtown residents are highly educated, with 78 percent possessing a bachelor's degree or higher; and most are not from Connecticut, with 47 percent having been born in a different state and 15 percent being foreign born. Most strikingly, nearly one-quarter of downtown residents relocated into the downtown area within one year of the previous survey, and 40 percent earn a median salary of $67,500.
The market is vibrant. The market is primed. The city is responding. Hartford is aggressively pursuing development investment in the capital city to encourage a variety of new housing opportunities. Shifting trends in the city's downtown demographic indicate a younger and wealthier population. Improving the market variety will give consumers a point of entry.
In addition to understanding our changing demographics and housing market, our efforts also included implementing a streamlined permitting process, obtaining EB-5 approval to allow foreign investment, modernizing zoning codes, defining incentives for labor and taxes, and partnering with EDA to ensure that plans will be implemented pursuant to the city’s expectations.
How does fostering entrepreneurship fit into the city’s growth strategy?
Municipal economic development strategies are weighed down with problems from 50-years ago. Acquisition, remediation and redevelopment are important measures that are necessary to take in order to restore community characteristics. Incidentally, Hartford is concerning itself with the next 50 years. Hartford’s balanced approach to development will ensure that the city is able to use existing city assets to attract future residents and stakeholders.
To learn more about the city’s initiatives and on-going projects, please be sure to visit our homepage at www.Hartford.gov