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7/22/2015 - TODAY: Mayor Bill Finch to Celebrate the Opening of Artista Studios, a New Small Business (2:00 p.m.)

“With another business opening here in Bridgeport we see the importance of a city government that focuses on job creation and supporting small business. Businesses like Artista Studios with the support of the City of Bridgeport’s Small & Minority Business Resource Office are making our city better every day.” – Mayor Bill Finch

  • WHO: Mayor Bill Finch, Owner of Artista Studios Jim Bria, and City Council members.
  • WHAT: Ribbon cutting ceremony for Artista Studios and Monument Works’ new Bridgeport office
  • WHEN: Wednesday at 2:00 p.m.
  • WHERE: 317 Mountain Grove Street, Bridgeport, Conn.

Bridgeport, Conn. (July 22, 2015) – Today, Mayor Bill Finch will celebrate the grand opening of Artista Studios and Monument Works, a new small business registered with the City of Bridgeport’s Small & Minority Business Resource Office (SMBRO.)

Artista Studios produces custom design monuments, artwork, and dimensional stone both for the monument industry and religious and spiritual industry.

“With another business opening here in Bridgeport we see the importance of a city government that focuses on job creation and supporting small business,” said Mayor Finch. “Businesses like Artista Studios with the support of the City of Bridgeport’s Small & Minority Business Resource Office are making our city better every day.”

Owner Jim Bria is originally from Fairfield county and has worked in the stone business for 40 years in the area. When he started to look for a location for his new business he found Bridgeport to be the most welcoming, business-friendly spot in the area.

“We thought Bridgeport, as Connecticut’s largest city, would be a good market to be in,” said Bria. “We decided to invest in Bridgeport and we’re quite happy we did. Everyone has been very receptive and supportive. This has been a really a good place to do business.”

Created in 2008, one of Mayor Finch's first initiatives after being elected, the Small and Minority Business Resource Office (SMBRO) provides training and connections for entrepreneurs to create businesses and compete for city contracts, such as school construction projects. Since that time, the city has hired its first African-American construction manager for a school project and seen four minority owned businesses create joint ventures with established firms.

Recently, through the efforts of SMBRO, more than $50 million has been awarded to small, minority and women-owned businesses on our four most recent school construction projects. On these four construction projects - Black Rock Elementary School, Fairchild Wheeler Magnet High School, Roosevelt Elementary School and Longfellow Elementary School - 100 out of 101 subcontracting opportunities were awarded to minority or women-owned businesses.