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    Monday, March 20, 2023

    Chamber move to downtown New London is official

    The building at 92 Eugene O'Neill Drive in New London on Tuesday, March 22, 2022. The Chamber of Commerce of Eastern Connecticut is moving its headquarters to the building, as well as establishing a business innovation center on the site. (Sean D. Elliot/The Day)
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    New London — The Chamber of Commerce of Eastern CT now officially owns a downtown New London building, where it will establish its headquarters and create a startup incubator and co-working space called the Thames River Innovation Center.

    The chamber bought the 92 Eugene O’Neill property, which housed offices for Merrill Lynch until 2018, for $1 million on May 11. It held a signing ceremony with state officials this week in recognition of a $1.386 million grant from the state. The City Council last month additionally approved a $100,000 grant to the chamber from federal American Rescue Plan Act funding.

    Chamber CEO and President Tony Sheridan said in a statement it was “a historic moment for the Chamber and for eastern Connecticut.”

    The innovation center will serve as a co-working location as well as support the development of startup businesses. Once renovated, the building will have space to provide training and other related services to support the creation of new jobs and businesses in New London and the region. Its focus will be entrepreneurial training, including advising entrepreneurs about how to form a new business.

    The Innovation Center will offer an 8-week curriculum-based program to help budding entrepreneurs. That curriculum was developed with financial support from Thames River Innovation Place, or TRIP, and CT Next, which also assist entrepreneurs.

    The chamber staff, now located in Waterford, are expected to hold a ribbon-cutting ceremony at the New London location in the fall. The building was sold by Old-Lyme-based property management company Readco.

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