The largest volume of Thanksgiving travel since 2005 is expected this holiday weekend with an estimated 2.25 million New Englanders going away. It’s a 3.5% increase over last year. Amy Parmenter, Connecticut spokesperson for the AAA says, “Consumer confidence and an improving labor market are the two significant factors influencing Thanksgiving travel this year.” The prediction of increased travel comes despite gas prices being about 40 cents higher than last year. As of Tuesday, the average price for gasoline in the New London/Norwich area was $2.72.
GRISWOLD PROJECT PROGRESSING
The Griswold Economic Development Commission reports the design and engineering work for the $80 million Heritage River Village project expected to bring housing, commercial retailers and possibly a healthcare center to Route 164 is moving forward. Griswold Town officials are awaiting approval from the state Department of Transportation for a road project request to add a turning lane on Route 164 to ease any additional traffic in the area of the development. The project is expected to generate about 200 jobs.
A popular state-funded program that helps seniors and the disabled pay their rent has been saved by state legislators. But New London officials say it has come at a cost to the city. New London suddenly has become responsible for nearly half of the $400,000 distributed to city residents as part of the state renters’ rebate program. And while local seniors may be breathing a sigh of relief, Mayor Michael Passero said it is one more surprise hit to a lean city budget and, by extension, to taxpayers.
SMALL BUSINESS SATURDAY
Local business owners are encouraging shoppers to shop local and the biggest day of the year to do that is Small Business Saturday, a post-Black Friday holiday that has gathered steam with activist hashtags and eye-catching tote bags. Across southeastern Connecticut the shoppers are being asked to share a photo of themselves shopping or dining locally on Facebook, Instagram or Twitter with the hashtag #ShopSmallCT between November 24th and 26th. One person will receive a $100 Visa gift card, courtesy of Dime Bank.