We know many Connecticut businesses are struggling as they deal with the effects of COVID-19. We appreciate their perseverance and know they share our commitment to keeping our residents healthy. The state, working with its federal partners, has several programs and initiatives in place to assist businesses during this difficult period. For specific questions related to small business, email the Joint Information Center at COVID19.JIC@ct.gov, or call the DECD small business hotline at 860-500-2333. Individuals can call 2-1-1 for more information.

Entertainment District

Overview

Once the state has designated an Enterprise Zone within a municipality, that municipality becomes known as a Targeted Investment Community. As long as certain conditions are met and the DECD Commissioner approves, that Targeted Investment Community may in turn designate an area within the municipality as an Entertainment District — which then becomes eligible for Enterprise Zone-level benefits.


Key Incentives for Businesses

Eligible projects may benefit from:

  • a five-year, 80% abatement of local property taxes on qualifying real and personal property*
    OR (at discretion of municipality) a seven-year 100% property tax abatement;

  • a 10-year, 25% credit on that portion of the state's corporation business tax that is directly attributable to a business expansion or renovation project as determined by the Connecticut Department of Revenue Services. The corporate tax credit may even increase to 50% if at least 30% of the new full-time positions are filled by either zone residents or are residents of the municipality and are WIA eligible.

*Note: the project must be new to the grand list of the municipality as a direct result of a business expansion or renovation project — or in the case of an existing building, having meet the vacancy requirement.

Eligibility for Businesses

Once an Entertainment District is designated, projects eligible for Enterprise Zone-level benefits may involve facilities producing live or recorded multimedia products as well as the businesses that provide support services necessary to sustain such operations.

Ineligible projects. Examples of some of the projects that are NOT eligible include:

  • entertainment related to gambling or gaming facilities;
  • facilities whose primary source of revenue is the sale of alcoholic beverages;
  • video arcades and theme parks. 

However, the municipality may provide a 100%, seven-year property tax abatement for any real property improvement within the designated district.

Since these programs are designed to encourage capital improvements to land and/or buildings, businesses must be prepared to either renovate an existing facility by investing at least 50% of its pre-acquisition value in the renovation, OR construct a new facility, OR expand an existing facility, OR acquire a facility that has been idle (minimum period of idleness depends on average number of employees).

Current Entertainment Districts

Currently, Entertainment Districts have been designated in Bridgeport, New Britain, Stamford, and Windham. A list of eligible entertainment businesses, by NAICS number, is located here.