Governor Dannel P. Malloy today announced that five Connecticut small businesses are receiving assistance through the state's Small Business Express Program (EXP). The program was part of the bipartisan Jobs Bill passed during last year's jobs special session to encourage business expansion and job growth.
"Across the state, every day, Connecticut's small businesses are investing, innovating, and finding ways to grow," Governor Malloy said. "Whether that means upgrading to equipment that will run more efficiently, expanding their technical capabilities, developing better products, or reaching out to new customers, these companies are a potent force for job growth in 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 not more than 100 employees at the time of application.
The businesses announced today are:
iDevices, LLC of Avon develops products that incorporate wireless connectivity into Apple devices. The company is investing $100,000, and is receiving a matching grant of $100,000 and a loan of $250,000 for leasehold improvements, inventory, research and development, marketing, and training as they extend their Wi-Fi and Bluetooth-enabled product line. iDevices is retaining nine jobs and will hire five new employees.
"As a result of the Jobs Bill which was passed last fall in a bi-partisan effort, iDevices will be receiving these grant and loan funds to assist with their continued excellence in product development, and that will enable them to grow jobs in the Avon business community," State Representative Tim LeGeyt (R- Avon and Canton) said. "By matching their significant investment in their company's future, the state is continuing to work with local businesses, which are the heart of our economy, to support the growth of enterprise and jobs."
Grow Home Organics, LLC of Guilford manufactures innovative and patent-pending products for outdoor kitchens and gardens. The company is receiving a dollar-for-dollar grant matching its investment of $83,800, for the purchase of new machinery, marketing, and research and development. The company will create three new jobs.
"I am pleased to have been a sponsor of Connecticut's small business express package which has been so helpful in my senate district, now providing three new jobs to an organics company in Guilford," State Senator Ed Meyer (D-Guilford) said.
"I'm delighted that this small business in Guilford, which has a great deal of potential, is receiving an important state grant," said State Representative Pat Widlitz (D-Guilford, Branford). "Hopefully, it will assist them in moving forward in their innovative initiatives and will help create jobs here in town. Innovative, small business is the economic engine that ultimately drives the state economy and these grants are critical for moving Connecticut forward."
Connecticut Valley Bindery, Inc. of New Britain is receiving a grant matching the company's investment of $50,000 for new equipment, enhancements to existing equipment, and leasehold improvements. The company is retaining 27 and adding one new job.
"Connecticut Valley Bindery is a family-owned business that has been in New Britain for a quarter-century, so I'm glad this manufacturing grant from the state will help keep them competitive and growing right here in town," State Senator Terry Gerratana (D-New Britain) said.
"Governor Malloy has shown exactly how state government can help foster job growth in a tough economy and I applaud his drive to get Connecticut working again, " State Representative Rick Lopes (D-New Britain, Newington) said. "I also commend the small businesses as these efforts would be in vain without their willingness to expand and thrive. "
Wethersfield Offset, Inc., of Rocky Hill is a commercial printing service, is receiving a grant matching the company's investment of $55,721 for the purchase of new machinery and equipment. The company will hire two new employees.
"This grant award sends the message to small business owners in Connecticut that we have your back," State Senator Paul Doyle (D-Wethersfield) said. "The best way to jumpstart the economy is to continue investing in small businesses and growing jobs. This grant to Wethersfield Offset in Rocky Hill is further proof that the Small Business Express grant is doing exactly what we intended it to do -- create jobs and strengthen local economies."
"The state remains committed to building up small businesses like Wethersfield Offset in Rocky Hill," State Representative Tony Guerrera (D-Rocky Hill, Wethersfield, Newington) said. "When we provide businesses with the tools they need to grow, we boost employment and build the local economy."
Fire Alarm Specialty Design, LLC of Windham designs fire and security alarm systems, specializing in healthcare, educational, municipal, commercial, and industrial occupancies. The company is investing $100,000 and receiving a matching grant for the same amount, and a revolving loan of $100,000 to expand, acquire new equipment, and train new hires. It will retain seven and add three new positions.
"Helping small businesses like Windham's Fire Alarm Specialty Design expand and create new jobs is crucial if we want to keep moving Connecticut's economy forward," State Representative Susan Johnson (D-Windham) said. "I appreciate Governor Malloy's strong support of our local businesses."
"In this tough economy, we must remain focused on helping folks find jobs, " Senate President Donald E. Williams (D-Windham, Brooklyn) said. "Connecticut stands out as one of the few states that is investing small businesses and job creation. This targeted state assistance will directly result in real jobs for Windham area residents."
For more information on EXP or to apply for the program, visit the Small Business Express Program web page or contact Michelle Lugo at DECD at 860-270-8052 or Michelle.Lugo@ct.gov.