Small businesses and manufacturers getting a boost from the state


Conn. (WTNH) — Small business owners and manufacturers are getting some good news Thursday night.

The state is streamlining the process and getting rid of mountains of paperwork. Not only will starting a business be easier, but minority business owners will now have more access to contracts.

Rohan Freeman is the first Black American to conquer all seven summits in the world.

Now, he has conquered number eight.

Freeman, the CEO of Freeman Companies, said he questioned the mountain of paperwork one fills out to launch a business in Connecticut.

“How tedious… is there a better way? I was trying to get certified by the city of Hartford, trying to get certified by the state of Connecticut, the federal government… the city of Bridgeport and the city of New Haven.”

His Hartford engineering firm and others will now benefit from small changes with big impacts: a new law changing the definition of what qualifies as a small business and a new portal where both the state and federal government can certify a business simultaneously.

It means lucrative contracts and jobs.

Catherine Marx from the Connecticut Small Business Administration Bureau said these changes allow people like Rohan to grow.

Hartford State Senator Doug McCrory said for years minority-owned businesses couldn’t get access to good contracts and jobs. Now that will change.

“They want to achieve wealth, college life in great neighborhoods and have great schools, and that’s how you do it.”

Over at Arthur Russell Company, a precision manufacturer in Bristol, Governor Ned Lamont and innovation leaders announced nearly $10 million in state funding will be released for businesses.

4,000 manufacturers will now have access to six new state-funded programs, including everything from engineering and digital internship grants to advertising and career fairs.

“There is a global search for talent around the world,” Lamont said.

The State Department of Labor said the state has a lot of job openings, with around 8,000 positions open in manufacturing.

Chris DiPentima, the President of the Connecticut Business & Industry Association and an innovation board member, said this funding will help tremendously.

“Taking manufacturing from surviving to growing and keeping jobs in Connecticut,” DiPentima said.

The national manufacturing association said over the next decade, 4.5 million jobs will need to be filled. The state is hoping to crack the code for filling those jobs.

Connecticut small businesses will need to register in the Federal System for Awards Management System.

There are currently about 2,457 businesses certified in the program, of which there are 1,367 certified as minority-owned businesses.

More information about the State’s Small and Minority Business Program can be found on the Department of Administrative Services website.

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