Governor Dannel P. Malloy today announced that five additional small businesses have qualified for grants through the state's Small Business Express Program (EXP) to expand their businesses and create jobs. EXP was created as a part of the bi-partisan jobs bill that was passed during the October Special Session.
"Last year, when I met with business owners and chief executives on my Jobs Tour, I heard firsthand about the tough the challenges they face and what they needed to overcome them," said Governor Malloy. "The Small Business Express Program is designed to provide an accessible source of much-needed funding that will help our small enterprises make a big impact in their communities. It's just one more way we're trying to begin an economic revival in cities and towns across our state."
In total, EXP will provide $100 million to help the state's small businesses hire more employees and fund capital investments. The program, administered by the Department of Economic and Community Development (DECD), offers loans and matching grants to Connecticut companies with fewer than 50 employees.
"EXP is a program that was designed with small businesses in mind. This program is about getting working capital out the door quickly and efficiently so that our smaller companies can put it to work for them immediately and start putting more of Connecticut's resident to work," said DECD Commissioner Catherine Smith. "This program is building momentum -- we're constantly getting new submissions from interested business owners and we're approving new applications every day."
The five small businesses announced today are:
Elka Precision of Plainville is a world leader in the design and manufacturing of hydrostatic spindles, tables, and slides that improve grinding accuracy and reduce grinding times for the overall improvement of machined products. Elka Precision plans to begin an aggressive campaign to market its products overseas, including European and Asian markets. The company, which plans to hire eight new employees, will receive a Job Creation Incentive loan of $250,000 to use for equipment, training, travel, and other related expenses.
"What great news for Elka Precision and great news for Plainville," said State Senator Jason Welch (R-Bristol). "The bipartisan jobs bill puts small businesses first by providing much needed assistance for companies wishing to expand and hire more employees. This announcement is a perfect example of how the policies we create in Hartford can keep and grow jobs right here in central Connecticut."
"This is a solid investment in job growth," said State Representative Betty Boukus (D-Plainville). "This commitment to Elka Precision sends an important message that Governor Malloy and the legislature are committed to growing manufacturing jobs here in Connecticut."
Norwich Printing Company was founded and incorporated in 1992 as part of the Minuteman Press Franchise and has been growing ever since -- going from a two-person operation to eight full-time employees. The printing company plans to grow and expand even further by using its $48,357 grant to buy four new pieces of equipment.
"Small businesses are pulling our economy out of the muck," said State Representative Melissa Riley (D-Norwich). "I want to thank Governor Malloy for this grant to Norwich Printing and for his commitment to small businesses across the state."
"I am so happy that the Norwich Printing Company is getting this funding to expand its production capabilities," said State Senator Edith Prague (D-Columbia). "News like this is proof that the Governor's jobs bill is working, which is why I voted for the measure last October. This is wonderful news for the Norwich community, and the Governor should be commended for his vision for job creation."
Connecticut Casket Company started designing, making, and selling custom environmentally friendly caskets in Willimantic in 2010. The company, which will retain three employees and hire three more within a year, will receive a $100,000 grant to buy equipment, improve the shop, train workers and expand its inventory. Connecticut Casket also will receive a Job Creation Incentive loan of $250,000.
"Bill Covey and his employees represent the small business success story that is critical to Connecticut's economy," said State Senate President Donald E. Williams, Jr. (D-Brooklyn). "The programs we passed last year are making a difference at a time when our businesses need it the most."
"This investment will be a big help to the Connecticut Casket Company. It will allow this Windham business to hire more workers and grow our local economy," said State Representative Susan Johnson (D-Windham). "Governor Malloy is clearly focused on the needs of small businesses in eastern Connecticut and I want to thank him for his strong support."
Wooden-it-be-Nice, Inc., a consignment furniture company based in Marlborough with a facility in Glastonbury, provides a retail solution for selling second-hand furniture and accessories. The company will use its $11,500 grant in working capital for inventory and processing, marketing, and job creation/retention efforts, including training.
"I've been talking to businesses in my district for months about this new program, and I'm glad to see they've been listening," said State Senator Steve Cassano (D-Manchester), who represents Glastonbury, Manchester, Bolton and Marlborough. "Obviously, our October investment in growing Connecticut jobs and its economy is paying off, and paying off handsomely. And it doesn't make a difference if you're a high-tech medical device manufacturer or a furniture consignment shop -- if you're a small business looking to expand, if you're looking to hire, Connecticut is here to help."
"While the much of the attention on state economic development efforts has been on incentives for large employers and corporations, Governor Malloy and Commissioner Smith of the Department of Economic and Community Development have been equally focused on partnering with small businesses to assist them in building capacity and creating jobs in communities all over Connecticut," said State Representative Jason Rojas (D-East Hartford, Glastonbury, Manchester). "Small businesses provide and create the vast majority of jobs in Connecticut and grants like this one will go a long way to strengthening our overall state economy."
State Representative Pam Sawyer (R-Andover, Bolton, Hebron, Marlborough) said, "This new approach, giving grants to small businesses in a short time frame, often in small amounts, can have a big impact on a company. Wooden-it-be-Nice is a perfect example. It is what was envisioned when the jobs bill passed last October."
"Wooden-it-be-Nice is an exemplary member of the Glastonbury business community and I am thrilled that they are receiving some much-deserved assistance in order to help spur business growth, encourage job creation and provide employees with quality job training amid this challenging climate," said State Representative Prasad Srinivasan (R-Glastonbury). "I am proud to have supported the bipartisan Small Business Express Program responsible for this grant, and I look forward to passing more legislation this session that will help small businesses stay and grow in Connecticut."
My Three Sons (Petrini Six Enterprises) is an indoor family entertainment center in Norwalk. The company will use a $50,000 grant from DECD to purchase new equipment that will increase customers and revenue.
"The grant award means news jobs in Norwalk," said State Senator Bob Duff (D-Norwalk). "My Three Sons is a popular destination for families. This local success story highlights the critical role the new Small Business Express Program will play in connecting small, local businesses with the resources they need to grow and hire more workers."
"Petrini Six Enterprises is a longstanding, family owned business that has provided family entertainment in Norwalk for years," said House Republican Leader Lawrence F. Cafero Jr. (R-Norwalk). "Small businesses such as Petrini form the backbone of our economy. This grant is an example of how government can provide direct assistance to small businesses and foster economic development."
"Small businesses are the backbone of Connecticut's economy and I am so pleased to see DECD choose to support Norwalk's Petrini Six Enterprises," said State Representative Gail Lavielle (R-Norwalk, Wilton). "My Three Sons and Cathy's Castle are real institutions in Norwalk that are beloved by families from all over the city. This grant will help the company grow and serve even more of Norwalk's families."
"These kind of dollars help with stability and growth of small buinesses like My Three Sons owned by Petrini Six Enterprises on Wall Street," said State Representative Bruce Morris (D-Norwalk). "It also lends to the local area with foot traffic which will indirectly support other businesses."
"I applaud the Connecticut Department of Economic Development and the Malloy Administration for choosing to invest in Petrini Six Enterprises," said State Representative Chris Perone (D-Norwalk). "Not only is this going to help them purchase new equipment and generate more revenue, but it is also indicative of DECD's commitment to helping small businesses become more successful."
"I'm thrilled to hear Petrini Six Enterprises took full advantage of what our state is offering," said State Representative Terrie Wood (R-Darien, Norwalk). "We need to further our efforts to make sure more businesses, like Petrini Six Enterprises, are aware of the numerous opportunities that are available in the Small Business Express Program so we can keep small businesses growing strong throughout Norwalk and the rest of Connecticut."