The Hartford Chamber of Commerce held an open house on Thursday night to showcase empty storefronts in the city that are available for retail and restaurant space.
There are several empty spaces in the downtown area of Pratt Street, Trumbull Street, Main Street, Pearl Street and Asylum Street.
Mary-Jane Foster has lived in downtown Hartford for almost five years and said she is happy with the businesses that do exist.
“I'm a glass-half-full kind of person. So, what I see are the really vibrant businesses that we do have and Pratt Street is really an interesting and fun place to be. There's something happening all the time,” said Foster.
But of course, Foster said she would love to see more businesses come in and she is hopeful and encouraged by the chamber’s efforts.
“I think with all the investment that's happening in terms of preparing downtown, mixed-use, I think we're going to see that and I think we're going to see it relatively quickly,” said Foster.
Other people we spoke with who work downtown, said things haven’t been the same since the pandemic started and they are hoping more businesses come back.
“The Chamber of Commerce trying to get small businesses on if you're one business can help another,” said Eric Richardson, who commutes to Hartford from Chicopee, Massachusetts.
“I just think it’s a good thing because it's getting to be like a ghost town down here and I just think I would like to see it come back to more normalcy,” said Laura Miller, who works in Hartford, but has been remote during the pandemic.