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Attention Small Business Owners

DECD business specialists will be at Housatonic Community College in Bridgeport on January 5; the Four Points Sheraton in Meriden on January 9; the Matrix Corporate Center in Danbury on January 12; and the Branford Community House on January 19.

There are two information sessions for business owners being offered by the state Department of Economic and Community Development that are designed to to give small businesses a firsthand look at how the state can help them create jobs and expand their operations.

“Since I took office, one of my primary goals has been to reconnect state government and the business community.  One of the concerns I heard most was the feeling that government wasn’t listening – that it was disengaged from those it was supposed to be serving,” said Gov. Dannel Malloy in a press release.

“That’s why these informational sessions are so important.  It’s a way for business owners and other entrepreneurial-minded people to get the assistance they need and forge relationships with our business development team.

“These sessions provide an opportunity for citizens to sit down at a table with a professional, ask questions and have them answered immediately, and fill out applications on the spot.  Small businesses are critical to the state’s economic recovery, and these types of personal gatherings are giving a face to a state agency that is critical to the growth of small businesses.”

The sessions were launched in November. Nearly 800 people have attended, seeking advice and direction regarding the state’s economic development tools.  That has translated into more than 144 applications for the state’s newest program called the Small Business Express Program (EXP).

Catherine Smith, commissioner of the Department of Economic and Community Development (DECD) and deputy commissioner Ron Angelo have led 12 sessions across the state already and have at least four more planned.  

DECD business specialists will be at Housatonic Community College in Bridgeport on January 5; the Four Points Sheraton in Meriden on January 9; the Matrix Corporate Center in Danbury on January 12; and the Branford Community House on January 19.

DECD has scheduled two webinars for those that cannot attend the final workshops.  They will be held January 18 from 9-10 a.m. and January 19 from 1-2 p.m.

Participants will learn about the recent jobs legislation, as well as existing programs to assist Connecticut businesses.  Key provisions of the recently passed Jobs Bill include:

• Small Business Express Program (EXP) provides $100 million to help Connecticut’s small businesses access much-needed capital.
• Job Expansion Tax Credit (JET) program provides a tax credit $500 per month for each new employee or $900 per month for certain employees if they are disabled, unemployed or a veteran.
• First Five program was expanded so DECD can provide state assistance to five additional business development projects, for a total of 10, in 2012.
• The Connecticut Airport Authority (CAA) can establish additional airport development zones, similar to the zone near Bradley International Airport, around the state’s smaller airports.  Businesses within these zones can be eligible for property tax exemptions and corporation business tax credits.
• Manufacturing Reinvestment Account (MRA) program was expanded to help even more small manufacturers in Connecticut invest more in their businesses.
• Subsidized Training & Employment Program (STEP) will provide funding to small businesses and small manufacturers for a portion of a worker's employment costs, including training.
• Increases by a total of up to $340 million in bonding for the state’s Manufacturing Assistance Act (MAA).
• Business entity tax now is collected every other year, rather than annually.  This lowers the cost of doing business in Connecticut.

Those interested in attending the remaining sessions should register in advance<http://www.zoomerang.com/Survey/WEB22DQSU2K9BX> or call 800-392-2122 for more information.

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