Governor Dannel P. Malloy today announced five Connecticut small businesses from Berlin, Bridgeport, Bristol, New Haven, and Westport are receiving 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 special session focused on business expansion and job growth.
"The Small Business Express Program is having a positive impact on Connecticut's overall economic landscape by assisting a diverse array of small businesses from around the state," Governor Malloy said. "This latest funding allows companies in the housing, energy, manufacturing, professional services, and personal care products sectors to retain or create jobs, expand their operations, and make needed infrastructure improvements. By getting financial assistance out the door quickly, EXP is helping drive the state's economic recovery."
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 businesses announced today are:
DBS Energy, Inc. of Berlin, is an integrated energy service company that is investing company funds of $805,000 and receiving a matching grant of $99,600. DBS, which currently offers engineering services, construction support, management services, and training for high voltage electric utility facilities, is moving from a leased space to a purchased facility and expanding into the manufacture of solar power equipment. Funds will be used for fit-out and purchase of machinery and equipment. DBS will retain seven and hire for one new position.
"I'm so pleased that the state is assisting DBS Energy not only in retaining and growing its workforce right here in Connecticut, but in helping them show others the way toward energy self-sufficiency, which is such an important aspect of business competitiveness and success in the Northeast," State Senator Terry Gerratana (D-New Britain) said.
FosterCo, LLC of Bridgeport, provides tax, accounting and professional education services, and offers classes through CT Works. FosterCo is investing $34,000 and is receiving a matching grant of $18,000 to expand its course offerings. The company is retaining two and adding one new hire.
"The range of services that FosterCo provides to businesses and individuals is indispensable and this investment will serve to enhance their offerings as well as retain jobs. I thank Governor Malloy for his steadfast commitment to small and mid-size businesses," State Representative Ezequiel Santiago (D-Bridgeport) said.
Century Spring, Inc. of Bristol, is a full-service manufacturer of high-quality custom springs and specialty fasteners. Century is receiving a $100,000 grant, matching the company's funds. It is purchasing new machinery and equipment and a new building to consolidate three locations. Century Spring will retain 32 jobs.
Mutual Housing of South Central Connecticut of New Haven, constructs, develops, and manages affordable housing units in greater New Haven and New London County. Mutual is investing $100,140 and receiving a $100,000 grant to make leasehold improvements to new office space, retaining 27 positions and adding five new hires.
"This smart, targeted investment will not only create jobs in New Haven but it will help Mutual Housing grow and continue its mission of creating homes, building communities and revitalizing neighborhoods where families can enjoy a better quality of life," Senate Majority Leader Martin M. Looney (D- New Haven, Hamden) said. "In an economic environment that has been tough on middle class families, Small Business Express has helped save and create hundreds of jobs."
"Owning a home and the resulting sense of belonging is a key facet of a healthy neighborhood," State Representative Juan Candelaria (D- New Haven) said. "This is a good investment as Mutual Housing has a long history of making homeownership dreams come true for many people that have in turn invested their efforts to benefit whole communities."
Kat Burki, Inc. of Westport, designs, produces, and distributes high-end bath, boudoir and spa products. The company will combine $100,000 of its own funds with a $100,000 matching grant to invest in relocation to a larger facility and expanded production, and to train new staff. Kat Burki is retaining three and hiring five new positions.
"I am very supportive of the effort to focus on the small business sector of our economy. This sector is critical to both the local and statewide economy if we are to rebound from the recession. Businesses like Kat Burki, Inc. represent 75 % of our economy and we need to do all that we can to help them during these difficult financial times," State Senator Toni Boucher (R-Wilton) said. "It's also important that owners put some skin in the game. I am pleased to see in this case, that the combination of company money and state grants will allow eight people to proudly say they have jobs."
"Small businesses, like Westport's Kat Burki, are the engines of economic growth. I commend Governor Malloy for engaging in a smart job creation strategy by helping this innovative local business expand operations. This matching grant by the state will lead directly to the creation of new jobs," State Representative Jonathan Steinberg (D-Westport) said.