Business loan

DECD Announces $150 Million Small Business Loan Program |

Businesses and nonprofits with fewer than 100 full-time employees may now be eligible for a boost from the newly created Connecticut Small Business Boost Fund.

The Department of Economic and Community Development announced July 25 the $150 million loan program in partnership with Connecticut private lenders.

DECD Commissioner David Lehman said banks would provide the funds and the state would match them to the dollar.

“We view this program as a one-stop shop for small business owners,” Lehman said.

“What sets the Connecticut Small Business Boost Fund apart from other loan programs is that it offers support and guidance.”

DECD’s David Lehman

“What sets the Connecticut Small Business Boost Fund apart from other loan programs is that it provides support and referral services, in addition to financial assistance, that help put recipients on the path to success. hit.”

The loans have a fixed interest rate of 4.5% and are available to businesses with annual revenues of less than $8 million.

Eligible businesses can apply for loans under the program ranging from $5,000 to $500,000.

DECD officials said the focus would be on allocating about half of the funds to minority and women-owned businesses, as well as small businesses and nonprofits that operate in struggling municipalities.

Access to capital

“It’s really exciting for me,” said Kathy Saint, CEO of Schwerdtle Stamp Company.

The Bridgeport small-business owner said partnerships with the state over the years to fund training programs and other loans allowed Schwerdtle to buy technology that made the company a leader in his domain.

“We have state-of-the-art equipment here that we wouldn’t have had without the express business loan we got a few years ago,” Saint said.

Since the Small Business Express program expired, AABC President and CEO Chris DiPentima said there was a void.

“The success of small businesses is directly tied to the economic vitality of Connecticut as a whole.”

AABC’s Chris DiPentima

“It’s great to see the focus on providing capital to small businesses,” DiPentima said.

“The success of small businesses is directly tied to the economic vitality of Connecticut as a whole.

“It’s important to give small businesses the resources like this to help them grow and stay competitive, especially given the burdens businesses are already facing in Connecticut.”

Local support

DiPentima said it was especially important to see local banks commit to this initiative.

HEDCO, Capital for Change, Connecticut Southeast Enterprise Region, M&T Bank and Citizens are among the lenders and sponsors participating in the program.

“We recognize that small businesses are the backbone of our local economies,” Frank Micalizzi, regional president of M&T Bank Bridgeport, said.

“Too often, small businesses and not-for-profits don’t have access to affordable and flexible capital.

Frank Micalizzi of M&T Bank

“Too often, small businesses and not-for-profits don’t have access to affordable and flexible capital.

Once program administrators review applications, they will connect businesses with lenders and banks for funding and technical assistance.

Interested entrepreneurs can apply online.

DECD officials said they intended to fund the loans within two to four weeks.