Corporate Headquarters, Service Sector Boost Danbury's Economy

By Pamela Coyle on June 21, 2011 at 9:26 pm EST

PHOTO CREDIT: Jeffrey S. Otto

Proximity to Manhattan makes Danbury a prime spot for corporate headquarters, and this city has a slew of them.

The loveseat and lamp you got from one of 300 Ethan Allen design centers likely had its genesis in Danbury, which is home to the corporate headquarters for Ethan Allen Interiors Inc.

A division of Scholastic Inc., the children’s publishing giant, has its hub here. Scholastic Library Publishing Inc. handles print and online nonfiction and reference materials, along with selling the company’s trade books to school libraries.

Danbury hosts the world headquarters of Praxair Inc., a maker of gases used in the electronics, metal fabrication, health care and food-processing industries. The semiconductor industry relies on ATMI Inc., which makes environmental equipment, thin film materials and ways to get them on the chips.

The human resource sector is represented by CARTUS, an employee relocation service and subsidiary of Reaology Corp. With 1,600 employees, CARTUS also is one of the city’s largest private employers, along with Boehringer Inglehem, Pitney Bowes Inc., Danbury Hospital and G.E. Commercial Finance.

Indeed, financial, insurance and real estate services companies account for at least 7 percent of all companies; the general service sector, though, dominates Danbury’s economy, representing at least 40 percent of businesses in the city and 35 percent of all the workers, according to the Connecticut Economic Resource Center, Inc.

Many of them likely work at Danbury Fair Mall, one of New England’s largest shopping centers. With too many stores to count, the mall is a shopping mecca for two of the wealthiest residential areas in the country – Fairfield County in Connecticut and Westchester County in New York. The food court alone has 750 seats.

Did someone say shopping? Don’t overlook Danbury CityCenter, a hub for shopping, dining and culture. The neighborhood is known for its Brazilian fashion shops and Upscale Downtown, at 262 Main St., a consignment store that gets raves for its assortment of vintage duds and slightly used newer clothing.

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