Governor Dannel P. Malloy today announced five Connecticut small businesses in Norwalk, Stamford, Sterling, Suffield and West Hartford are receiving assistance through the state's Small Business Express Program (EXP) to support their growth and create and retain jobs. The program was created as a part of the bipartisan Jobs Bill passed during last year's jobs special session to encourage business expansion.
"From precision manufacturing to information services, small businesses succeed when they can act quickly on an opportunity," Governor Malloy said. "The Small Business Express program is enabling Connecticut companies to innovate and grow, investing and adding jobs right here at home."
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 not more than 100 employees at the time of application.
The businesses announced today are:
TrueNorth Capital Partners, a financial advisory firm in Norwalk specializing in mergers and acquisitions and restructuring, is upgrading its office equipment and relocating to a new space in town. TrueNorth is receiving a grant of $27,500, matching the company's own funds. The company will retain six jobs.
"Investments like the one Connecticut is making in TrueNorth Capital in Norwalk keep the economy moving and small businesses alive," State Senator Bob Duff (D-Norwalk) said. "This Small Business Express grant will allow a local company to upgrade its equipment and keep six people employed, a real win-win situation in my book. I hope more small businesses follow in TrueNorth's lead and take advantage of the jobs programs we created."
Relevance Partners, LLC of Stamford serves the retail industry with marketing, analysis, planning, execution, and reporting information, to deliver targeted advertising and promotional content to shoppers. Relevance is receiving a grant of $50,000, matching the company's funds, to invest in an upgrade of their flagship "Relevance Suite" software program. The company is retaining four jobs.
State Representative Livvy Floren (R-Greenwich, Stamford) said, "This grant is coming at the perfect time for Relevance Partners who, for ten years, have been developing technology for targeted marketing analysis. The City of Stamford has been fortunate to serve as an example of the good work accomplished though economic stimulus and small business investment programs."
Angler Industries, Inc., a manufacturer of industrial lubricants and cleaners in Sterling, is investing company funds of $543,752 to expand their laboratory, office space, and warehouse, enabling the company to increase production to meet growing sales. The company has been awarded a $100,000 matching grant. Angler will retain 10 positions and create two new jobs.
"Small businesses, like Angler Industries, grow jobs and help drive the economy," State Representative Mae Flexer (D-Killingly, Plainfield, Sterling) said. "The state's investment will allow Angler to expand its operation and create new jobs right here in Sterling. I want to thank Governor Malloy for supporting smart programs that support our local businesses in northeastern Connecticut."
Suffield Village Dental is investing $25,238 and is receiving a grant matching that investment. Located in Suffield, the company performs general and cosmetic dentistry services, and the funds will be used to upgrade its equipment and perform leasehold improvements. It will hire one new position.
"Helping businesses create jobs and make key upgrades is where our focus should be," State Senator John A. Kissel (R-East Granby, Enfield, Somers, Suffield, Windsor Locks, Granby, Windsor) said. "We want to do all we can to help businesses of all sizes make capital investments and hire workers. This new small business program makes good sense in these uncertain economic times, and it's great to see Suffield Village Dental growing and expanding."
"This is welcomed news that Suffield Village Dental is receiving a Small Business Express Grant to upgrade its equipment and to hire an additional employee," State Representative Elaine O'Brien (D-East Granby, Suffield, Windsor) said. "Small businesses are economically vital to our communities and they deserve our support. I thank Governor Malloy for this announcement and for investing in our local businesses."
Universal Connectivity, Inc., a telecommunications services and solutions provider in West Hartford, is receiving a $100,000 loan for computer software and equipment and working capital, to develop, market, and launch the company's wireless internet service initiative. It will retain three jobs.
"Universal Connectivity is a great West Hartford-based high tech company that is poised for growth and I couldn't be happier about their receiving support from the state through the Small Business Express Program," State Representative Andy Fleischmann (D-West Hartford) said. "I think this is going to be great for Universal Connectivity and great for job growth in West Hartford."
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.