Dave Gugliotti, owner of Caffeine’s Café, and Farmington Chamber of Commerce President Robert Perry came before the Town Plan and Zoning Commission Monday night, asking for help changing sign regulations to help small businesses stay in town.
The pair, on behalf of the Farmington Chamber, asked the commission if members would be willing to join a subcommittee to look into the issue.
“To compete with big business, small businesses need to be able to compete and stand out in this market,” said Gugliotti, chairman of the Chamber’s sign committee. “We would like to see change to help small businesses and keep the charm of the small town thriving.”
Gugliotti, a local entrepreneur, launched and ran Caffeine’s Café in the Riversedge Plaza in Unionville until it in the spring. Strict sign regulations kept cars traveling through Unionville from seeing the business, tucked next to , and led to the business’ demise, Perry said.
“In our opinion, the economic segment that creates more charm in Charmington, is our independent, small business... which the sign regulation hits the hardest,” Perry said. “A sign may be less charming, like one that may announce which band was playing at Caffeine’s Café a certain weekend… but taken as a whole, to keep Caffeine’s Café going as it could earn business through signs on Route 4, could add charm to Charmington, as an overall package.”
“I am aware of your efforts and I would be more than glad to assist in any way that I can on it,” said commissioner Barbara Brenneman.
The pair didn’t offer specific suggestions, though they said they had a lengthy list of ideas.
Commission Chairman Phil Dunn advised them to.
“We’re always willing to hear ideas and talk about it,” Dunn said. He directed them to discuss options for changing sign regulations possibly in certain areas of town or for specific businesses. “Bring pictures.”
Perry agreed, saying he would be back in a few months with the list.