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Sen. Bob Duff: SoNo Businesses Catch A Financial Break From SNEW

From left, SNEW general manager John Hiscock, state Sen. Bob Duff, Brewhouse Restaurant owner Lou Montanari and state Rep. Chris Perone Tuesday discuss a new business initiative for South Norwalk businesses. Photo Credit: Alfred Branch
The interior of The Brewhouse Restaurant in South Norwalk. Photo Credit: Alfred Branch

NORWALK, Conn. – Under a new business-friendly state policy, companies in South Norwalk can now obtain a line of credit to avoid putting up a three-month security deposit to South Norwalk Electric & Water, according to state Sen. Bob Duff (D-25th District).

The move could save businesses thousands of dollars, which they can now put toward their operations, capital improvements or other things, Duff said.

“This policy was adopted in May, but word is just getting out,” Duff said Tuesday during a press conference at the Brewhouse Restaurant on Marshall Street in South Norwalk.

John Hiscock, general manager of SNEW, said the utility is obligated to require the deposit in order to protect ratepayers. But if a business can produce a document that it has a line of credit, it will no longer have to put up the deposit or the utility will return the deposit, he said. SNEW has about 2,000 commercial accounts that the policy could benefit.

“This is a tremendous opportunity for businesses and ratepayers,” said Hiscock. Over the past 20 years, SNEW has reduced its annual losses from overdue accounts from $150,000 to about $40,000, and he believes the move could further reduce that figure because the line of credit, not the ratepayers, will absorb any significant overage.

For the popular Brewhouse, one of South Norwalk’s signature restaurants, the new policy could mean getting back $16,000 that it paid SNEW as a security deposit.

“The lifeblood of small businesses is cashflow, and this will put more cash in their hands,” said state Rep. Chris Perone (D-137th District).

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