Bridgeport venue owner says consideration of event expansion is a good sign for industry

Gov. Ned Lamont announced he would consider loosening event restrictions as COVID-19 numbers decline across the state, and one Bridgeport business owner says it's a good sign.

News 12 Staff

Feb 17, 2021, 6:21 PM

Updated 1,213 days ago

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Gov. Ned Lamont announced he would consider loosening event restrictions as COVID-19 numbers decline across the state, and one Bridgeport business owner says it's a good sign. 
The governor made the announcement Tuesday during a press conference.
"We know that event planners need time to organize, which is why we're announcing today that we're considering an expansion of event capacity," Lamont announced.
He says beginning March 19, 50% capacity for indoor events with a limit on 100 people could be allowed, and 200 people for outdoor events.
For business owners like Shiran Nicholson, the governor's words mean everything.
Sixteen months ago, Nicholson took over the old Armstrong Manufacturing property in Bridgeport and transformed it into the Knowlton, an event venue overlooking the Pequonnock River.
"Our first event was booked for April of 2020. March 13 of 2020 is when we shut our doors due to COVID," Nicholson says.
His business has remained closed since. He says with an entire industry crippled, Nicholson founded the Connecticut Event Industry Coalition.
Around 800 businesses are part of the coalition.
"If the governor didn't do this now, we would have probably lost the rest of 2021, which would have been detrimental," Nicholson says.
While it's a major step forward, Nicholson says it's going to take some time to build client confidence again.
"To see this venue full, to see my first event in here, just getting teary-eyed thinking about it," he says.
The governor says the change is likely to take effect due to the decreasing number of cases of COVID-19 across the state.
He says the change is dependent upon the stability of the metrics.
As of today, Connecticut has a COVID-19 positivity rate of 2.83%.


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