Governor Dannel P. Malloy today announced that five Connecticut small businesses in Avon, Old Greenwich, Waterbury, West Hartford, and Woodbury have qualified for assistance through the state's Small Business Express Program (EXP). The program was created as a part of the bipartisan Jobs Bill passed during last year's jobs special session, to encourage business expansion and job growth.
"These thriving entrepreneurs are succeeding thanks to a keen understanding of their industries and how to serve their customers, and the Small Business Express Program is responsive to their drive to sharpen that competitive edge," Governor Malloy said.
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 at the time of application.
The five small businesses announced today are:
American Municipal Tax-Exempt Compliance Corporation (AMTEC) of Avon is a specialized financial consultant. Serving municipalities throughout the United States, the company provides technical and compliance services related to municipal bonds. AMTEC is investing $600,000 and receiving a matching grant of $100,000 to be used for site acquisition and working capital. The company will retain eight positions and hire two new ones to support new product offerings.
"It is always great news when thriving local companies expand their business and employment rolls," State Representative Tim LeGeyt (R-Avon, Canton). "I am glad that AMTEC of Avon is being rewarded for staying and growing in Connecticut. This company provides a valuable service and contributes greatly to the local economy. When companies like AMTEC succeed, we all succeed."
Mandragore, LLC of Old Greenwich is receiving a job creation incentive loan of $250,000 and investing company funds of $57,000. The business and technology consulting firm will retain two and hire five more people, and funds will be used for training, marketing, and expansion of its proprietary "UFlexData" software platform.
"I am very proud that Mandragore, LLC was able to impress the DECD enough to be awarded a significant low interest loan package to assist in their growth and hiring," State Senator L. Scott Frantz (R-Greenwich) said. "Young companies, such as Mandragore, not only represent future jobs, local economic development and additional revenues to the State of Connecticut, they also represent a good return to the taxpayer whose investment is repaid manifold."
Therap Services, LLC of Waterbury, a provider of electronic documentation services, is receiving a job incentive loan of $250,000 and investing $100,000 of company funds with a $100,000 matching grant for computer equipment, employee training, and marketing. Therap plans to become a federally certified provider of electronic health records, interface its medical administration system with pharmacies, and expand its application to mobile devices. The company is retaining five and hiring five new positions.
"Small businesses keep Connecticut economically viable," State Representative Jeff Berger (D-Waterbury) said. "Every new job created through the express program is a step forward in the state's overall economic recovery. I thank Governor Malloy for his commitment to small business."
Realgy Energy Services, LLC of West Hartford, a retail energy marketer and wholesale energy provider, is combining company funds of $309,800 and a matching grant of $59,500 to invest in employee training, computer equipment and software, marketing, and contractual services. The company will retain 13 employees, and hire 7 new positions in the areas of customer service, energy brokerage, and information technology.
"Realgy's plan to increase its workforce by 50 percent with the help of this state grant is proof positive that Connecticut is committed to helping local businesses grow and thrive," State Senator Beth Bye (D-West Hartford) said.
"This is the result of our jobs bill walking the talk," State Representative Joe Verrengia (D-West Hartford) said. "Not only are we saving existing jobs in West Hartford, but we're creating new jobs and providing the training and infrastructure to make these jobs last."
New Morning Country Store, LLC of Woodbury, a full service organic and natural market, offers a complete selection of products and services for the natural lifestyle and special dietary needs consumer. A job creation incentive loan of $250,000 and a matching grant of $100,000 will be combined with $207,500 of company funds for construction and leasehold improvements, and the purchase of machinery, computers, and other equipment for its new and larger facility. New Morning will retain 41 jobs and add 14 new positions.
"Growing jobs starts with improvements to the state's business climate," State Senator Rob Kane (R-Watertown) said. "This new state program provides small businesses like New Morning Country Store with access to capital. That access will result in job growth and retention, and that's great news for the local economy in Woodbury."
For more information on EXP or to apply for the program, visit the Small Business Express Program website or contact Michelle Lugo of DECD at 860-270-8052 or Michelle.Lugo@ct.gov.