Arts & Culture
You may be opening a new business, or looking for ideas for your next phase of development. The State of Connecticut as well as organizations across our region have numerous experts and opportunities to help you better market and manage your venture.
Building a business during these challenging times means learning from the people and resources who can help you thrive. Networking, seeking the right funding assistance, and continuously learning how to reach new customers while retaining your most loyal ones will help you build your business during this rapidly changing market.
Contact the Economic Development Commission (EDC) if you need help navigating any of these resources. The Old Lyme EDC supports economic investment and revitalization of existing businesses while attracting new commerce and cultural opportunities that complement the true spirit and character of the community. This effort results in long-term employment and a diversified economic base that benefits all who live in and visit Old Lyme.
General Business Resources
Regardless of the size or type of business you lead, these resources and networking opportunities are available to you.
CT Business: The State's "One Stop" for doing business in Connecticut. Opening a business in Connecticut, Licenses & Permits, Relief Funds, and a Resource Center.
The Connecticut Department of Economic & Community Development (DECD): The CT DECD has numerous resources for all size businesses including small business owners. Learn about grant and loan opportunities.
Advance CT: Formerly known as CERC, Advance CT provides services to businesses including its Business Retention and Expansion Program, Site Selector Tool, and data profiles.
Town of Old Lyme Municipal Website: The staff at the Old Lyme Memorial Town Hall as well as its commission and board members can answer your questions regarding business expansions, tax bills, and more.
C-PACE: Businesses in Old Lyme can receive 100% upfront, low-cost and long-term financing to make clean energy improvements to their buildings through the Connecticut Green Bank's Commercial Property Assessed Clean Energy (C-PACE) program.
Lyme-Old Lyme Chamber of Commerce: Our hometown Chamber of Commerce traditionally has provided Business After Hours gatherings, an annual dinner, and scholarships for our high school graduates.
Old Saybrook Chamber of Commerce: Covering the greater Saybrook region, this Chamber offers networking opportunities, a marketing presence at its Main Street Chamber office, and member to member deals.
Eastern CT Chamber of Commerce: Covering Eastern Connecticut, this Chamber provides networking, numerous workshops and business resources, as well as discounts and a group health insurance solution.
Small Business Development
We value our small business owners who make up a large percentage of Old Lyme's economy. Building your arsenal of marketing, human resource management, and finance resources will help you not just survive, but thrive.
The Connecticut Small Business Development Center: Trained and experienced full-time advisors work with a variety of small businesses in all industries and stages of development by providing no-cost advisory services. Online resources and webinars as well. Funded in part through a cooperative agreement with the US Small Business Administration, the CT Department of Economic & Community Development (DECD), and the University of Connecticut.
CT Office of Small Business Affairs: Learn about loans, technical assistance and other access to capital through this State DECD office geared to helping small businesses spark growth or ease relocation.
Small Business Administration: Resources on a vast array of topics including registering your business, funding programs, and federal government contracting.
Mentoring Corps for Community Development (MCCD): This Old Lyme organization provides volunteer expertise and executive assistance for not only small businesses and entrepreneurs, but also non-profit organizations, students, career seekers, and others in need of assistance.
SCORE of SECT: SCORE is dedicated to helping small businesses get off the ground, grow, and achieve their goals through education and mentorship.
Tourism & Hospitality Industry
The State of Connecticut and Old Lyme are both committed to supporting local tourism attractions.
Old Lyme is part of the State of Connecticut's Eastern CT Tourism District, also known as "Mystic Country." To learn about upcoming workshops, grant opportunities and more, contact the Eastern CT Chamber of Commerce to join their mailing list.
CT Office of Tourism: Find out the multiple ways your business can partner with and learn new techniques from the State as it attracts visitors to our region.
CTVisit.com: This popular website is also an Office of Tourism offering, find out if you are an eligible restaurant, inn, tourism attraction, or cultural venue.
Connecticut Tourism Coalition: This coalition serves as a coordinate tourism advocate for State legislation and policies regarding the tourism and hospitality industry.
CT Hospitality Awareness Training (CHAT): CHAT is Connecticut's first online training program to educate hospitality workers on the fundamentals of the hospitality service and the significance of tourism to our economy. Provided by the CT Tourism Coalition.
Restaurants & Food Industry
Restaurants should also check the Tourism & Hospitality Industry resources above for marketing opportunities such as setting up a CTVisit.com webpage and CHAT training for employees.
Ledge Light Health District: Old Lyme food service establishments, temporary events, caterers, and food vendors must ensure they have filled out the appropriate applications or forms provided by Ledge Light, Old Lyme's designated health district (in lieu of a town health department). Ledge Light is responsible for licensing and regulating activities involving the preparation and service of food that is sold or given to the public here.
Connecticut Restaurant Association: This trade association is committed to supporting every type and size of restaurant, serving as a hub for information and a platform for networking with other restaurateurs. ServSafe Training provided through the Association.
Innovation & Technology
Old Lyme is home to numerous innovative creators. Consider your next steps with the right resources.
CTNext: Innovation-based startups and entrepreneurs can find resources including a mentor network, skill development, job placements, and capital. A vast array of resources for innovation and technology businesses can be found by drilling down in the CTNext Resource Wizard.
Connecticut Innovations: Connecticut's strategic venture capital arm providing venture capital and strategic support for early-stage technology companies, financial support for innovation and collaboration, and connections to its well-established network of partners and professionals.
Connecticut Center for Advanced Technology Inc (CCAT): The nonprofit CCAT founded in 2004 is an applied technology demonstration and training center that validates, demonstrates, and assists with the adoption of leading-edge technologies into global industrial companies and the advanced manufacturing supply chain, while also providing the training and education necessary to utilize the capability of these advancements and drive efficiency.
In addition to the size- and sector-specific resources linked on this page, additional resources and mentoring opportunities are available in Connecticut for woman-owned businesses.
Women's Business Development Council (WBDC): This non-profit organization is dedicated to providing the tools and resources, entrepreneurial training, and financial education to help women thrive in business.
Entrepreneurial Center & Women's Business Center: Personalized business advising, educational programs, technical assistance, and networking events to new and expanding small businesses in Connecticut. Part of the University of Hartford's Barney School of Business.
Artists & Artisans
Old Lyme artists, artisans, and craftpersons are a valued part of our local economy. Whether you are opening a studio, seeking to sell your work online, or hoping to network with other art professionals, these resources will guide your way.
Lyme Art Association: Celebrating its Centennial year, the Association provides gallery space for juried exhibitions of member artists' work and facilitates sales to patrons from across the region. Classes, workshops, lectures, and demonstrations open beyond the membership are available year-round.
Lyme Academy of Fine Arts: The mission of the Academy is to provide education and training in the history, traditions, principles, and skills of Drawing, Painting, and Sculpture as a foundation for one's future development as an artist. In addition to its intensive Core Program, the Academy offers continuing education courses, workshops, and open figure drawing sessions. See below for more on its Printmaking Studio.
Florence Griswold Museum: In addition to its acclaimed exhibitions, as well as lectures, workshops, and other learning opportunities, the Museum provides guidelines allowing artists to paint on its grounds as the Lyme Art Colonists did over a century ago. The Museum grounds include the Lieutenant Riverbank, gardens, trails, barns and more.
CT Office of the Arts: This State agency is charged with fostering the health of Connecticut's creative economy. COA aspires to inspire, empower, educate, and transform through supporting arts making and arts participation for all. The site provides grant opportunities, professional development and numerous resources for artists including this comprehensive list of resources for visual artists.
Cultural Coalition: Serving Eastern Connecticut including Old Lyme, the Cultural Coalition works to improve the economy, vitality, and quality of life by supporting the arts, cultural and creative community. Artist and venue workshops, grant clinics, and resource bank. Producer of Make Music SECT which Old Lyme participates in with Make Music Old Lyme.
Shoreline Arts Alliance: A non-profit arts council founded in 1980 and with offices in Madison, Shoreline Arts is a source of cultural events, scholarships, and arts competitions for people of all ages.
The Artist Hub: An informational hub for teaching artists and aspiring teaching artist, The Artist Hub provides mentorship, workshops, and other professional development opportunities.
Connecticut Made Promotion Program: The State of CT offers various ways to promote your made-in-Connecticut craftsmanship.
The Women's Exchange of Old Lyme: An Old Lyme resource for consigning crafts at the Lyme Tree Gift Shop.
The Printmaking Studio at Lyme Academy of Fine Arts: This 1,150 s.f., north-lit printmaking studio is equipped with four presses, including a Charles Brand etching press that can accommodate paper sized up to 30 x 50 inches. The Printmaking Open Studio is an opportunity for artists to share the space and equipment on a reservation basis.
Spark MakerSpace: Located in New London, Spark strives to be a vibrant community hub supporting makers with the space, equipment, education and community. Workstations include woodshop, screen printing, small metals, stained glass, fiber arts, small metals, and drawing & painting.
EcoWorks: Located in North Haven, this is a creative reuse center as well as a gift shop of up-cycled and re-purposed goods made by Connecticut artists. Run by volunteers, EcoWorks offers low-cost art and crat supplies (scrap/surplus) to artists, teachers, and other creative people. EcoWorks offers classes and workshops that increase skills and understanding of the creative arts using scrap materials, waste reduction, and reuse.
Etsy U: Are you selling your products on Etsy but feel you might improve your Etsy Shop business skills? Promoting your Etsy Shop through Social Media, Etsy Branding, and Prepping for the Holidays Like a Pro are just some of the online workshops led by Esty U Seller Instructors in this Community-led education program.
Home-Based Businesses & Remote Workers
In addition to the many resources provided in other sections covered above, there are resources in town to help you meet your business needs outside of your home base.
Old Lyme-PGN Library: Meeting Space is available to reserve in small "Study Rooms" (capacity 4), Wi-Fi availability, Photocopying, Computers and Printers, Research Librarian Services. The Community Meeting Room (capacity 60) and Small Conference Room (capacity 8) are temporarily closed due to pandemic precautions. Most services, are free, check with the Library staff for specifics.
Office Express: Buy local when you use Office Express for your faxing, photocopying, shipping assistance, and office supply needs.
As businesses continue to cope with the changing business environment, find critical information regarding safeguards and business recovery here.
Ledge Light Health District: Information for Old Lyme regulated establishments, as well as information regarding local variant outbreaks, vaccine information, and local COVID testing sites.
Connecticut's Business Recovery Center: State website with vital services helping businesses through the pandemic.
Connecticut's Small Business Reopening Resource Guide: Includes employee training resources.
Welcome to Old Lyme
Welcome to Old Lyme, a small, historic town on the Connecticut coastline. We are known for our art galleries and beaches, and have so much more. Whether you are thinking about relocating your home or business here, or just looking to visit for the afternoon, welcome! We are glad to have you.