Sen. Danté Bartolomeo (D-Meriden) attended a jobs forum this week where she spoke with local entrepreneurs about successful state efforts to create jobs and encourage business growth.
The forum, hosted by the Department of Economic and Community Development, provided a platform for business owners to discuss their needs and be introduced to programs that will help them succeed in Connecticut.
Bartolomeo spoke with businesspeople about several of these programs, including Small Business Express, which 50 local businesses have taken advantage of, allowing them to create or retain 766 jobs.
“Creating jobs and building an environment where Connecticut’s small businesses can thrive is one of my top priorities,” said Bartolomeo.
“Forums like this provide an important opportunity to hear directly from business owners about their needs, and help them connect with job creation programs. The state of Connecticut offers a range of opportunities for businesses to receive grants, loans, or tax relief by growing their company and hiring new people. Small businesses are the engine that drives our economy, and it is critically important that we continue to invest in their success.”
The Small Business Express Program has been highly successful at creating and retaining jobs across the state. This program offers grants and loans that can be used to purchase or lease machinery, expand operations, relocate within Connecticut, or for use as working capital.
These funds are provided to businesses that are able to create new jobs and retain existing ones while growing their business. In early September, it was reported that 50 companies in Cheshire, Meriden, Middlefield, and Middletown have used Small Business Express to create 225 jobs and retain 541 others.
Statewide this program has been embraced by 847 businesses, creating 3,022 jobs and allowing for the retention of 8,615 others.
“Having a good job is key to a person’s self-esteem as well as their ability to reinvest in the local economy, and I am proud that we have been able to build programs that help the unemployed and underemployed find work,” said Bartolomeo.
“The Step-Up program and Job Expansion Tax Credit are two fantastic opportunities that make it even more attractive to hire jobseekers, particularly the unemployed, veterans, or people with disabilities, by providing training subsidies and other financial incentives.”
The Step-Up program provides employers two types of incentives to hire unemployed persons. The program offers a wage subsidy, which helps pay a new employee’s salary for the first six months of employment, and a grant which can be used to train a new employee in necessary skills.
The Job Expansion Tax Credit offers similar incentives to employers interested in hiring new people. JET provides a $500 tax credit for each new job filled, and $900 if that person is currently unemployed, a veteran, or has a disability.
To speak with DECD staff about how the state can help your business excel, visit the DECD website at http://www.ct.gov/ecd, or call Tricia Paesani at 860-270-8215.
Entrepreneurs interested in opening a business in Meriden can contact the local economic development office at 203-630-4142 where a staff member can help with workspace location or other needs.