We know many Connecticut businesses are struggling as they deal with the effects of COVID-19. We appreciate their perseverance and know they share our commitment to keeping our residents healthy. The state, working with its federal partners, has several programs and initiatives in place to assist businesses during this difficult period. For specific questions related to small business, email the Joint Information Center at COVID19.JIC@ct.gov, or call the DECD small business hotline at 860-500-2333. Individuals can call 2-1-1 for more information.

Minority Business Initiative


Reflecting its commitment to support the growth of minority-owned businesses, Connecticut’s Department of Economic and Community Development along with its strategic partners developed the Minority Business Initiative (MBI). This initiative focuses on enhancing access to the support minority-owned businesses need to thrive and grow in three key areas: business training and tools, public and private financing and government contract opportunities.

Business Advising
DECD, together with a collective of strategic partners, offers all kinds of training and tools for advancing your business to the next level. Explore the resources available to help you learn how to tackle everything from structuring your business and writing a business plan to identifying employees and marketing your products and services.

Access to Capital
DECD has also developed a Minority Business Revolving Loan fund to enhance access to capital for minority businesses. Learn more about this fund and other financing options dedicated to helping minority leaders launch and expand their businesses.

Contracting Opportunities
DECD has developed partnerships that can help minority businesses compete more effectively for state contracts. These partners offer certification, training workshops, assistance in obtaining bonds and access to bidding opportunities.

Success Stories

Hear from one of our dynamic minorities who is leading a growing Connecticut businesses.


Picture That Founding Owner Valerie Cooper on starting her company in Stamford.


For additional information and support, contact our bilingual hotline at (844) 257-9503.

You can also contact DECD’s Minority Business Initiative Program Manager: 

Toni Karnes
(860) 500-2439