M&T Bank spotlights Connecticut small businesses in innovative pop-up store concept at Captain’s Cove Seaport

Local small businesses will have access to commercial space at Bridgeport’s a first class tourist destination

BRIDGEPORT, Connecticut, August 11, 2022 /PRNewswire/ — M&T Bank is bringing its innovative Spotlight Shop concept to Connecticut, giving local small businesses the opportunity to sell their unique products from a pop-up space at Bridgeport’s popular Captain’s Cove Marina.

The M&T Spotlight Shop is a modern 240 square foot modular retail space with folding walls that provides a welcoming, engaging space for businesses to connect with customers. Starting today in Bridgeport and continuing to various locations around the state, businesses from across Connecticut will rotate in two-week segments.

The first businesses to be featured, all of whom are M&T clients, include:

  • Leisha’s bakery, a small bakery owned by Leisha Young and located in the Bijou Square neighborhood of downtown Bridgeport. Leisha’s Bakeria offers freshly baked cookies, cakes and other baked goods.
  • Kokitoa family owned Puerto Rican restaurant located in Bridgeport that has been serving the community for over 30 years.

M&T’s Spotlight Shop first launched in Baltimore’s Inner Harbor in 2019 and went virtual in 2020 due to the coronavirus pandemic. The pandemic-inspired adaptation of the brick-and-mortar retail space was so popular that the company will operate a Virtual Spotlight Shop concurrently with the physical location at Captain’s Cove in Bridgeport.

Additional local small businesses will be added to the two Spotlight Shops during the month-long stay at Captain’s Cove. Next month, the physical Spotlight Shop will move to new high-traffic locations in Connecticut.

“The Spotlight Shop is a symbol of our unwavering support for small business owners,” said Frank Micalizzi, regional president of M&T in Bridgeport. “Bridgeport is home to many exciting and creative businesses. As one of Connecticut’s leading SBA lenders, we are committed to helping small businesses grow, create jobs and uplift our community.”

“My business relies heavily on word-of-mouth traffic, so to be featured in M&T’s Spotlight Shop, with the new location and all the exposure that comes with it, makes me so happy,” said Leisha Young, owner of Leisha’s Bakery.

“We are proud and happy to welcome M&T Bank’s Spotlight Shop here at Captain’s Cove Seaport,” said Bruce Williams, Vice President of Captain’s Cove. “As a supporter of a number of small maritime businesses here at the Seaport, we appreciate M&T’s commitment to the small business community in the Bridgeport area.”

“As Vice Chair of the Finance, Revenue and Bonds Committee, I am always concerned about what is available to the small, diverse businesses that call Bridgeport home,” said State Senator Marilyn Moore. “The M&T Spotlight store in Captain’s Cove is a great way to give exposure to businesses like this, and I hope it’s just the beginning of exposure to the small businesses that are the backbone of our communities.”

“Bridgeport is a great place to live, work and, of course, start and grow a business. As part of the State Legislature’s Finance, Revenue and Bonding Committee, it is my job to ensure that Connecticut attracts and retains business,” said State Representative Steve Stafstrom. When companies like M&T step up and help local businesses, it goes a long way toward maintaining our vibrant small business community.”

“Bridgeport is home to many small businesses that are deeply rooted in the city’s culture and community,” said Bridgeport City Council President Ide Nieves. “I’m excited to see M&T Bank highlight these local businesses in their Spotlight Shop, which will bring in new customers and show visitors the best of what Bridgeport has to offer.”

“The Spotlight Shop is a unique way to showcase Connecticut’s small businesses and help them grow,” said CBIA President and CEO Chris DiPentima. “CBIA is pleased to see M&T Bank facilitate this program to provide local businesses with more exposure.”

As part of its commitment to supporting local businesses and entrepreneurs, M&T recently launched a Multicultural Small Business Innovation Lab in Bridgeport, CT. The seven-week program, which was announced in June and will begin on September 21, aims to help local multicultural business owners thrive, grow and pursue new ideas by providing guidance and skills to expand and manage their businesses.

M&T consistently ranks in the top 10 in the nation for U.S. Small Business Administration lending and is currently the second leading small business lender in the Connecticut SBA District.

The Bridgeport M&T Spotlight Shop will be open Wednesday and Thursday from 11:00 AM to 3:00 PM and Friday through Sunday from 12:00 PM to 5:00 PM, weather permitting. For more information and to visit the M&T Virtual Spotlight Shop, please visit www.mtb.com/spotlightshop. To keep up with all the Spotlight Shop action, follow us on Instagram – @mandt_spotlightshop.

About M&T

M&T Bank Corporation is a financial holding company headquartered in Buffalo, New York. M&T’s primary banking subsidiary, M&T Bank, provides banking products and services in 12 states in the eastern United States from Maine to Virginia and Washington, DC. Trust services are provided in select U.S. and international markets by M&T Wilmington Trust affiliates and by M&T Bank.

Media contact:

David Samberg (201) 368-4515[email protected]

Equal Housing Lender. © 2022 M&T Bank. Member FDIC.

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