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Secretary Merrill Announces Launch Of Business Development Initiative; Encourages Participation

Voluntary online survey aims to connect business resources to entities owned by women, veterans, minorities, and/or persons with disabilities

(Hartford, CT) - Secretary of the State Denise Merrill today announced an initiative aimed at helping connect business development resources with businesses owners who are women, military veterans, minorities, and/or persons with disabilities.

An optional online survey will now be offered when owners of Connecticut-based entities form, or submit an annual filing for, their business through the Secretary of the State's online business portal. The survey asks whether owners of 51% or more of the business self-identify as a woman, a minority, a military veteran, or a person with a disability. The survey is optional and declining to participate does not affect the services offered by the Office of the Secretary of the State.

This initiative will identify businesses whose ownership profile may make them eligible for targeted business development resources. The demographics highlighted in the survey are consistent with statewide economic development program initiatives.

“This initiative is focused on thoughtful and meaningful data collection that will allow our economic development experts to better target their efforts. I see this as an important tool to keep Main Street businesses thriving, and hope business owners will complete the survey so they can be made aware of these readily available opportunities” said Secretary of the State Denise Merrill.

“The information collected through this voluntary survey will help the state better understand its diverse business community and, more importantly, allow us to make sure companies are aware of the wide range of state programs available to help them innovate and grow,” said DECD Deputy Commissioner Glendowlyn Thames.

Said the Commissioner of the Department of Veterans Affairs Thomas Saadi: “I applaud Secretary of the State Merrill for her efforts to address the all too common issue of women, Veteran, minority and disabled business owners not being connected with programs and services that can help their businesses grow. For Veterans, this initiative addresses the issue head-on and will help connect Veteran business owners with the State and Federal resources they earned in service to our Nation.”

“I strongly support this initiative as it provides the necessary resources to business owners across our state,’ said Senator James Maroney (D – Milford), “Connecticut thrives when we work together, and this initiative, focusing on traditionally underrepresented groups, positions our state to be a great place for all people to conduct business.”

“This is a proactive initiative that will help grow our military and veteran-owned businesses in Connecticut,” said State Representative Kurt Vail (R- Stafford), the leading House Republican on the legislature’s Veteran’s Affairs Committee. “I encourage participation because this can only be seen as a win-win for both businesses and veterans.”


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