Since its creation last spring, the Department of Economic and Community Development has been pleasantly overwhelmed by the enthusiastic response to their Small Business Express program. The program, outlined on the department’s website, provides expedited loans (in amounts between $10,000 and $250,000) and grants (up to $100,000) to Connecticut businesses who maintain fewer than 100 employees and are seeking to grow.
The abundance of applications, anticipated in the original legislation, necessitated a variety of criteria upon which the DECD will give priority to one aspirant organization over another. The program’s charter called for prevenience to go to companies creating new jobs and/or operating under a few “economic base industries,” such as “precision manufacturing, business services, green and sustainable technology, bioscience, and information technology sectors,” according to the program’s website.
On Monday, Governor Dannel Malloy signed into law a new bill that will add an additional criterion for prioritizing a business’ push for loans and grants from the DECD’s program: “businesses attempting to export their products or services to foreign markets.”
The program’s change demonstrates cognizance of the state’s strength in fields such as advanced manufacturing, bioscience, IT, and more, as well as Connecticut’s growing role as an exporter of goods. Last year, $16,000,000,000 worth of goods left the state for foreign markets. Connecticut is currently tenth in the nation in exports per capita, according to the Governor, and is looking to climb the ranks even higher.