(The Center Square) – A five-year plan to invest in small businesses in Connecticut is now a reality.
Connecticut will invest $46.6 million in the coming years that will help small business expansion through assistance programs across the state. Nonprofit economic development groups will receive the state grants, authorized at a recent Bond Commission meeting, that will assist small businesses with formation, growth and innovation.
The program, according to the release, will be run by the state’s Department of Economic and Community Development, and will be directed toward underserved small businesses. Nearly half of the funding will go to minority, women, disabled, and veteran-owned businesses, in addition to those in underserved towns.
“Small businesses are the backbone of our economy, and these grants will specifically be used to help provide support for those small business owners who may have previously experienced barriers to accessing financial support and other services needed to start and grow a business,” Lamont said in a release.
The grant funding, according to the release, supports the creation of the state’s Small Business Boost Fund, which was developed this past summer, and is a public-private partnership that assists businesses with low-interest loans and nonprofits.
Through Monday, $10.8 million through 66 loans have been approved, and 61% of the funding went to minority- and women-owned businesses. Nonprofits and companies in distressed towns received 23% of the funding.
“This is an investment that will strengthen Connecticut’s small business ecosystem and fuel small business growth across the state,” Paul O. Robertson, deputy commissioner of DECD, said in a release. “Our local nonprofit partners are a vital support network for our small businesses and this funding will help them continue to provide critical services and expand their offerings as well.”
Black Business Alliance received $2.7 million to provide financial and technical assistance and business coaching for Black business leaders. The Community Foundation of Greater New Haven received $7.2 million to create a more equitable entrepreneurial ecosystem, and Girls for Technology received $5 million.