The Connecticut Small Business Express program, a combination of grants, loans, and forgivable loans available to businesses headquartered in Connecticut with fewer than 100 employees, is open to more applicants.
In the first year of the program, the state Department of Economic and Community Development promised $100 million to 765 businesses, and the state plans to borrow another $100 million for the next two fiscal years to distribute to more companies.
The average company that has received state support in the program has nine employees.
The maximum loan is $300,000, and the largest grant, which must be matched by the business owner, is $100,000.
In the first year, 21 percent of the 494 companies that had closed on aid packages received grants, and those grants totaled $27.5 million. Of the loans, $32.9 million are job-creation loans, which have portions that can convert into grants if hiring quotas are met, and $6.8 million were loans not tied to job growth, which must be paid back in full with interest.
The vast majority of businesses that have received grants or loans have been owned by white men, and in an effort to reach more women-owned businesses, DECD, University of Hartford’s Entrepreneurial Center and the women’s Business Development Council are holding a workshop June 20th on how to apply.
The workshop begins at noon, and from 1 to 5 p.m., there will be one-on0one counseling from the Women’s Business Development Council.
Registration is required. For more information, call 203-353-1750.