Governor Lamont Announces $46.6 Million to Support Small Business Growth in Connecticut

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Governor Lamont Announces $46.6 Million to Support Small Business Growth in Connecticut

(HARTFORD, CT) – Governor Ned Lamont today announced that his administration is making an investment of $46.6 million over five years to expand small business relief programs throughout Connecticut, which will be provided by through grants to local non-profit economic development organizations that provide a wide range of assistance to support small business creation, growth and innovation.

A primary goal of this initiative, which is administered by the Connecticut Department of Economic and Community Development (DECD), is to support underserved businesses. At least 50% of the financial assistance will fund businesses owned by minorities, women, people with disabilities and veterans, as well as those located in struggling municipalities. Another goal is to support state startups.

“Small businesses are the backbone of our economy, and these grants will be used specifically to help provide support to small business owners who may have previously faced barriers accessing financial and other support. services needed to start and grow a business”, Governor Lamont said.

This investment is part of the Lamont administration’s broader strategy to support small business growth and complements the Connecticut Small Business Boost Fund, which launched this summer. The Boost Fund is a public-private partnership that provides low-interest loans to small businesses and nonprofits, especially those in low-income and historically underserved communities. To date, 66 loans totaling $10.8 million have been issued through the fund, including 61% to minority and women-owned businesses, and 23% to businesses and nonprofits. located in municipalities in difficulty.

Funding for this initiative was approved at a recent meeting of the State Bond Commission under the chairmanship of Governor Lamont.

“This is an investment that will strengthen Connecticut’s small business ecosystem and fuel small business growth across the state,” DECD Deputy Commissioner Paul O. Robertson said. “Our local nonprofit partners are a vital support network for our small businesses and this funding will help them continue to provide essential services and also expand their offerings.”

The grant recipients are:

  • black business alliance ($2.7 million): The funds will help the alliance provide financial, technical assistance and business coaching to black entrepreneurs across the state. He will continue the Main Street and Beyond program, an intensive three-month program that works collaboratively with community partners to expand service capacity and includes expert technology, marketing and retail support. In addition, a subsidy program will be set up for black businesses.
  • The Community Foundation for Greater New Haven ($7.2 million): The funds will be used to build a more equitable entrepreneurial ecosystem and a more resilient small business landscape in Greater New Haven. Through its mission investing subsidiary, the organization will work with local entrepreneur support organizations and small business owners to support a full continuum of grants, business advice and technical services in the Greater New Haven.
  • Girls for Tech ($5 million): Girls for Technology has partnered with the Society of Human Engagement and Business Alignment to create support services for Black and Indigenous women entrepreneurs of color. Public funds will help organizations build capacity and access to business resources such as training, coaching and certification programs, as well as capital, business acceleration and pitch competitions to amplify development small businesses in underserved communities.
  • Hartford Economic Development Corporation (HEDCO) and Hispanic American Merchants Association (SAMA) ($7.7 million): Public funds will help organizations design and implement financial support to targeted businesses and other underrepresented entrepreneurs who lack the resources they need; create an ecosystem of suppliers and additional resources that small businesses can use; offer training workshops, seminars and collaborate with local universities; establish HEDCO/SAMA satellite offices in Waterbury, Bridgeport and Norwich/New London; and support for young entrepreneurs.
  • Middlesex County Revitalization Commission ($1.5 million): The organization will use the funding to provide grants of up to $25,000 and provide ongoing technical assistance to existing small businesses in Middlesex County.
  • Minority building board (MCC) ($1 million): The award will help MCC provide a comprehensive set of technical assistance services to support and support new and existing small businesses. The main beneficiaries will be small minority businesses in the construction industries and others doing business or trying to do business in the larger areas of Bridgeport, Waterbury, New London, Norwich and New Britain.
  • Social Enterprise Trust, Inc. DBA reSET ($2.225 million): The award will be used to provide grants and technical assistance to new and existing small retail businesses located primarily in the greater Hartford area. reSET’s plan includes two programs – the Hartford Culinary Collaboration Program, which supports the creation, launch and scale of food businesses in the region, and the retail enablement initiative of floor plan, which aims to develop a local, modern and robust retail community in Hartford. Primary beneficiaries will be Hartford-based businesses owned by low-to-moderate income individuals and those owned by the targeted populations.
  • Southeastern Connecticut Enterprise Region Corporation (sector), ($4.5 million): The award will provide seed and growth funding to start-up and existing businesses in the region, with a focus on advanced manufacturing companies, offshore wind supply chain and renewable energy, utility services child care and agriculture/aquaculture production. It will also fund SeCTerRise, a technical assistance initiative to deliver business fundamentals workshops, pitch events and business planning competitions, with a particular focus on underserved, marginalized and untapped populations. of southeastern Connecticut.
  • realistic laboratory ($5 million): Funding will go to the Realist Lab Venture Launch Fellows Program, a program designed to support business owners and build a more equitable and inclusive future for Connecticut residents. It is intended to leverage untapped business opportunities led by women, black, Latinx, Native American, Silver, LGBTQIA+ and other minority groups. The initiative consists of two components. The Startup Accelerator is a structured 12-week program that provides training in core business practices, founder wellness, and tailored specializations in technology and consumer products. The Startup Technical Co-Founder Service takes accelerator graduates and provides additional technical resources to help them successfully launch, raise capital, and scale their high-growth startups.
  • Women’s Business Development Council (WBDC) ($9.8 million): Funding will help WBDC expand its micro-grants and technical assistance programs to Connecticut businesses. WBDC’s Equity Match Grant and Launch Pad programs provide capital injections of $2,500 to $10,000 coupled with expert technical assistance to effectively help women-owned businesses access financial capital and business acumen they need to start, scale and grow successful businesses in Connecticut. The funding will also help WBDC open a new office in the struggling municipality of Waterbury and expand its New London office.
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