According to Stamford Patch, the Stamford Downtown Special Services District's Retail Advancement Program Retail Advancement Program and several NBC Sports small business initiatives may be saving graces to Stamford's downtown entrepreneurs.

The Bridal Suite's Marilyn Lodato, featured in the article, doesn't claim to know much about Stamford Downtown Special Services District's Retail Advancement Program, or what NBC's move to Stamford will mean for local small business, but she likes the sound of both.

"The DSSD is very helpful, very involved...they're always trying to do different things on the street," Lodato said. Lodato, who has owned The Bridal Suite since 2010, stated that she's active in DSSD projects when DSSD makes her aware of them.

"We will be giving three $50,000 startup grants to retailers who have a concept and a working history," DSSD's Sandy Goldstein said. Goldstein believes that the Retail Advancement Program plays to DSSD's purpose.

"Our goal is to revitalize downtown, and to provide an environment that increases the value of real estate downtown," Goldstein, also acknowledging that new business creates new jobs. "Tonight, we're going to the planning board. We're trying to get a regulation that will lower parking requirements for downtown developers."

DSSD's Retail Advancement Program will review its applicants after the Dec. 31 deadline, and those awarded grants will still have to obtain store space from a real property owner.

While Lodato was very familiar with DSSD, she was initially unaware that NBC Sports was moving to Stamford's former Clairol site.

Shortly after Malloy's deal with NBC Sports was announced, the Malloy administration stated that up to 450 new jobs may be created in Stamford, and up to $25 million in grants would be awarded to worthy entrepreneurs. Although the effects of NBC Sports' relocation to Stamford will not be seen for years, it's welcome news for downtown business owners such as Lodato.

"I'm excited about it, because any business to that relocates to Stamford will bring business to Stamford," Lodato said.