Governor Dannel P. Malloy today announced that five small businesses from around the state are receiving assistance through the state's Small Business Express Program (EXP). To encourage business expansion and job growth, the program was part of the bipartisan Jobs Bill passed during last year's jobs special session.
"The Small Business Express program is giving businesses on Main Street, Connecticut exactly what they need -- the chance to grow," said Governor Malloy. "By providing small infusions of capital, we can create or retain jobs for our residents and support the local economy."
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:
Domack Restoration, LLC, of Stratford is a commercial restoration and roofing company. Domack is investing $247,966 and receiving a $100,000 matching grant to renovate a new and larger facility that will accommodate the company's growth. The project involves environmental remediation, construction, and the purchase of computer software and hardware and office equipment. Domack is hiring five new positions and retaining 20.
"People need jobs and we need to continue to work to help businesses create jobs," State Senator Ed Gomes (D-Stratford, Bridgeport) said. "Programs like Small Business Express demonstrate Connecticut's committeemen to improving the economy for the state's middle class families."
Darter Specialties, Inc. of Cheshire produces custom apparel, letterhead, envelopes, newsletters, invoices, and other forms for businesses and private schools. Darter will receive a grant matching its investment of $42,500 to develop, construct and launch an online, fully interactive e-commerce Web site and to purchase a new embroidery machine. The site and machine will support the company's expansion into Internet marketing and online retailing. Darter will retain nine jobs.
"Small businesses like Darter are the engines which drive our economy," State Senator Len Suzio (R-Middletown, Middlefield, Cheshire, Meriden, Rockfall) said. "Growth programs like this one represent a shot in the arm for small businesses. They enable companies like Darter to invest and expand right here in Cheshire."
FX Design, Inc. of Glastonbury is an expanding interior design consulting firm. FX is combining $10,000 of company funds and a matching grant of $10,000 to upgrade its computer software and equipment, and expand marketing. They will create one new position and retain three positions.
"Businesses all over the state are reaping the benefits of our commitment to keep and grow jobs right here in Connecticut," State Senator Steve Cassano (D-Manchester, Glastonbury) said. "FX Design is the latest worthwhile investment we've made. Their three employees --soon to be four--show that even the smallest businesses in Connecticut can and are taking advantage of these EXP grants and loans."
"FX Design is a valuable member of Glastonbury's business community and I am very pleased that the Small Business Express Program, which I supported, will assist their efforts to upgrade equipment, improve employee training and enhance marketing initiatives. Small businesses are the backbone of our state economy, and this grant will provide some much needed assistance to one of our valuable local job creators," State Representative Prasad Srinivasan (R-Glastonbury) said.
Gilberties Restaurant, LLC of Colchester plans to invest company funds of $50,618 along with a matching grant of 49,293 and a loan of 100,398 to open its second "Lazy Burrito" location in Mystic. Funding will be used for leasehold improvements, construction, machinery and equipment, office and computer equipment, and working capital. Gilberties will retain seven and hire three new people.
"Gilberties is the definition of a family business," State Representative Linda Orange (D-Colchester, East Haddam) said. "This injection of state funding will help this longtime local business expand and grow."
Holly's Oatmeal, Inc. of Torrington is receiving a revolving loan of $100,000. Funds will be used to purchase machinery and equipment and for marketing and working capital. The producer of all natural, high-fiber oatmeal is retaining one job and hiring a new one. (UPDATED.)
"I am thrilled that Holly's Oatmeal is the recipient of this grant for small business. Holly's Oatmeal has been doing great things and truly making a name for themselves. Small businesses are the foundation of all business in the United States. Helping them succeed is so very important to our communities and our state. I look forward to seeing more great things from Holly's Oatmeal," State Representative Michelle Cook (D-Torrington) said.
"This is welcome news for Holly's Oatmeal Inc, of Torrington because investing in our small businesses promotes job creation and sends an important message that we are prepared to help our local businesses compete and expand," State Representative Roberta Willis (D- Cornwall, Goshen, Salisbury, Sharon, Torrington) said. "I thank Governor Malloy for announcing this small business express grant as we continue to work together towards improving Connecticut's and the region's economy."
For more information on EXP or to apply for the program, visit the Small Business Express Program website or contact Michelle Lugo at DECD at 860-270-8052 or Michelle.Lugo@ct.gov.