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.

Small Businesses

Overview

Connecticut extends a big welcome to small businesses across a wide array of sectors. In fact, we’ve established a special Office of Small Business Affairs to connect business owners with resources that can help spark growth or ease relocation. So whether you’re looking for financing, technical assistance or just a single point of contact to help you navigate the breadth of services available from federal, state, public/private and nonprofit organizations, we encourage you to contact the DECD Office of Small Business Affairs.


Key Facts

  • More than 97% of the businesses in Connecticut employ fewer than 500 people each. Source: SBA
  • Nearly 50% of all Connecticut workers are employed by firms with fewer than 500 employees. Source: SBA

Business Support

  • DECD Direct Assistance. Financing for small business is available through two programs:
    • Economic and Manufacturing Assistance Act (MAA). This act makes available low-interest loans and incentive-driven direct loans for projects when there is a strong economic development potential. Funding may be used for purchase of equipment, furniture and fixtures, construction, leasehold improvements, training and other eligible project-related activities. 
    • Small Business Express Program. This program provides loans and grants to Connecticut's small businesses to spur job creation and growth.
  • Connecticut Center for Advanced Technology, Inc (CCAT). CCAT provides grants to start-up companies that are housed in Connecticut incubator facilities through the Small Business Incubator Grant Program.
  • Connecticut Innovations (CI). CI is a quasi-public organization that serves as Connecticut’s strategic venture capital arm. Working in partnership with a number of public/private partners,  CI offers strategic guidance, timely connections and equity investments to help promising businesses thrive.
  • Crossroads Venture Group (CVG). CVG provides guidance for high-growth enterprises through the promotion of capital formation. 
  • U.S. Small Business Administration (SBA). The SBA provides loans and loan guarantees through lending institutions.

Other Statewide/Regional Lending Partners

  • Community Economic Development Fund (CEDF) — provides loans and technical assistance to small businesses. 
  • Connecticut Community Investment Corporation (CTCIC) — provides access to capital that may not be available elsewhere as well as financing opportunities for expanding businesses looking to purchase real estate and/or machinery and equipment. 
  • BDC Capital  — pools money from many financial institutions to share the risks of helping promising companies expand. BDC Capital provides financial assistance with loans, mezzanine and equity investments, guarantees, and financial services to businesses of every type and description.

Regional Loan Programs

Success Stories

Craig Crews

 Arvinas Founder Craig Crews on launching a pharmaceutical enterprise in New Haven.

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

Contact

For more information, contact Sheila Hummel at (860) 500-2405 or sheila.hummel@ct.gov.