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Five CT small businesses get boost from state program

May 10, 2012 Areawide, Business, Local News No Comments

Stafford Motor Speedway has been a destination for auto racing enthusiasts from across southern New England since 1970. Today, about 110 weekly automobile races, plus “monster truck” events and auto and motorcycle swap meets are hosted at the track in Stafford Springs.

Five Connecticut small businesses located in Stafford Springs, Manchester, Middlebury, North Haven, Rocky Hill have qualified for assistance through the state’s Small Business Express Program (EXP).

The program was created as a part of the bipartisan Jobs Bill passed during last year’s jobs special session to encourage business expansion and job growth.

In total, EXP will provide $100 million to help the state’s small businesses hire more employees and fund capital investments.

The program offers loans and matching grants to Connecticut companies with fewer than 50 employees at the time of application. It is administered by the Department of Economic and Community Development (DECD).

“The Small Business Express Program helps businesses that perform valuable services in their local communities, as well as companies that bring new products to national and international markets,” Gov. Dannel P. Malloy said in a press release announcing the grants.

“Whether it’s a mom-and-pop (business) on Main Street or a small tech company with big ideas, small businesses will lead the way to our economic recovery,” Gov. Malloy said.

The businesses qualifying for the grants are:

  • Stafford Motor Speedway, which will combine its own $78,000 and a matching grant for the same amount to make capital improvements, including repair of a deteriorating racetrack surface. The company has been a destination for auto racing enthusiasts from across southern New England since 1970. Today, about 110 weekly automobile races, plus “monster truck” events and auto and motorcycle swap meets are hosted at the track in Stafford Springs. The project will retain four jobs.
  • Onyx Spirits Company of Manchester plans to invest $165,235, plus a $100,000 matching grant, in hiring and training employees, increasing production capacity and expanding distribution throughout New England. Connecticut’s first legal “moonshine” distiller, Onyx has exceeded sales targets for statewide distribution since selling its first case of ultra premium American moonshine in October 2011.
  • Enermore, LLC in Rocky Hill is receiving a $150,000 loan and a $100,000 matching grant. The funds will be invested with $1,450,000 of company money to develop a new line of consumer natural skin care products and market them domestically and internationally. Enermore is creating three new jobs.
  • North Haven Ceramic Tile & Floor Covering qualified for a revolving loan in the amount of $100,000, which will help the company purchase additional inventory and hire subcontractors to meet increasing demand for its services. The company will retain ten positions.
  • Weise Choice Tree Services, a licensed tree care company in Middlebury, is receiving a revolving loan of $26,000, a matching grant of $26,260, and investing company funds of $26,260 in the latest mobile access software for crews in the field, computers and other machinery and equipment. The company will add one position.

For more information on EXP or to apply for the program, visit the Small Business Express Program web page at http://www.ct.gov/ecd/cwp/view.asp?a=3931&q=489792 or contact Michelle Lugo at DECD at 860-270-8052 or Michelle.Lugo@ct.gov

Posted May 10, 2012 based on a press release from Gov. Malloy’s office

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