WILLIMANTIC, Conn. (WTNH) – Mackey’s Greenhouse in Willimantic got its start with the help of the Small Business Administration through a loan. The current SBA administrator visited Connecticut to take a tour of businesses that have been helped by the SBA.
Isabel Guzman spoke at Mackey’s Greenhouse and at a nearby bridge, which is under construction. Twelve of the subcontractors were also helped by the SBA.
Half of those subcontractors are DBE, disadvantaged business enterprises.
“You depend on infrastructure to ship all your goods. But it’s also how your customers come to you,” Guzman told Terry Therrien, Jr. who along with his brother owns Mackey’s, a three-generation business that started in 1968.
The Department of Transportation Commissioner was also on hand and he spoke about all of the projects, big and small, which are happening around the state. That is due, in large part, to the recent passage of the Infrastructure Investment and Jobs Act, along with other federal funding.
“For every dollar you put into infrastructure you get at least $1.50 or $1.60 back,” said Congressman Joe Courtney, (D) Connecticut.
An impressive return on investment which meant the Connecticut DOT could put more projects in the works and more workers on the books.
“It meant for us over at the DOT, 38 percent more in guaranteed funding over the next five years and about another billion dollars a year for the next five years,” said Joe Giulietti, Commissioner of the DOT. “But that kicks off projects that are going to go for the next 10 to 15 years. That’s why I’m saying a lot of jobs, a lot of opportunities.”
During the pandemic, Mackey’s has grown its delivery and online services.
“Technology adoption is a focus of hers,” Therrien said.
That could be a helpful resource for the new higher-tech generation of small business owners.