HARTFORD, CT - State Senator Carlo Leone (D-Stamford) joined his Democratic and Republican colleagues in both houses of the General Assembly last week to vote unanimously in favor of extending the state’s highly successful Small Business Express (EXP) program. To date, the initiative has created or retained 7,011 jobs across Connecticut.
“Job creation remains an essential priority as a slow economic recovery from the worldwide recession continues. The Small Business Express Program has a proven track record on job creation, having created or retained more than 300 jobs in our local area and over 7,000 jobs statewide. That is a success worth building on, and I am proud to support this extension of the program,” said Senator Leone.
As of January 25, EXP had distributed $29.2 million to Connecticut companies to create or retain 7,011 jobs in the state, including jobs in manufacturing, retail, financial services, hospitality and tourism, construction and healthcare. In Stamford alone, 25 companies have participated in the program, creating 103 jobs and retaining 209 more. In Darien, 4 total jobs have been retained at two local companies.
Created in 2011, Small Business Express provides matching grants and deferrable or forgivable loans under a streamlined application process to Connecticut-based businesses with fewer than 100 employees and that meet other criteria. Grant and loan amounts range from $10,000 to $300,000; eligible businesses can use the funds to acquire machinery and equipment, construct facilities or make leasehold improvements, cover moving expenses, or meet working capital needs.
The new legislation, Senate Bill 801, extends the Small Business Express (EXP) program by re-directing previously authorized funds from other state programs to EXP. The bill authorizes $60 million in general obligation bonds for EXP, increasing its total bond authorization by 60 percent, from $100 million to $160 million.