The Department of Economic and Community Development helps recruit, sustain, and grow businesses across the state. However, many people may be unaware of how our agency works to promote arts and culture as well.
Over the years, DECD has invested in numerous Connecticut artists and arts organizations and encouraged the public’s participation as creators, learners, supporters and audience members. Connecting people to the arts is one of the ways we are helping build vibrant communities and neighborhoods.
The arts have an important impact on our economy as well. In Connecticut there are nearly 11,000 arts-related businesses that employ more than 36,000 people. In turn, those jobs provide $463 million in household income to local residents.
We are celebrating Connecticut Arts Day on March 2, and this year’s program promises to be informative and fun. I hope you can join us!
Small businesses trying to grow their exports can apply for STEP grants
Small businesses interested in growing their exports or starting to sell their products overseas can apply for State Trade and Expansion Program (STEP) grants available from the Connecticut Department of Economic and Community Development. The grants of up to $7,000 can be used for trade shows, trade missions, marketing and more.
The U.S. Small Business Administration has awarded Connecticut $244,000 for this year’s STEP grants. Interested businesses can get more information from Aaron Knight of DECD at email@example.com and apply by visiting www.stepgrant.fluidreview.com.
CI invested $12.2 million in 31 companies in last three months of 2016
Connecticut Innovations (CI), the leading source of financing and ongoing support for Connecticut’s innovative, growing companies, invested $12.2 million in 31 companies and scientific projects during the three months ending Dec. 31, 2016.
The investments leveraged an additional $58.4 million in capital to support the growth of these companies. The investments included $1 million with Dream Payments, winner of VentureClash 2016, and $1 million with CaroGen, a company that has been funded through CI’s pre-seed fund and the Connecticut Bioscience Innovation Fund. In all, CI’s investments for the quarter included $6.6 million for bioscience and $5.6 million in information technology.
UConn Technology Incubation Program gets new leader to help boost its profile
Mostafa Analoui, already the University of Connecticut’s executive director of venture development, has added the responsibility of leading UConn’s Technology Incubation Program, which helps businesses and UConn faculty turn their research discoveries into businesses.
Analoui also is professor in residence at UConn Health’s Department of Biomedical Engineering. Prior to joining UConn, he served as head of health care and life sciences at Livingston Securities, a New York City-based investment bank. Analoui also previously worked as a top-level executive in Pfizer’s Global Research division for seven years.
State Small Business Express loan to help Marion Mfg. add machinery and jobs
Cheshire-based Marion Manufacturing Company, which forms wire and stamps metal products for the surgical-device components, telecommunications, wind and solar, military, automotive and aerospace industries, will purchase a new, faster metal stamping press with the help of a $225,000 loan from the Connecticut Small Business Express program.
Company officials said the new machine will increase their capacity and productivity, enabling them to add two employees to their 23-person workforce. The Small Business Express program helps companies with fewer than 100 employees make capital investments and create jobs.
Bioscience labs plan collaboration to work toward “precision” therapeutics
Researchers at UConn Health, the Yale School of Medicine and Jackson Laboratory are developing a plan to share DNA samples they have collected for research in a “biobank” that would enable them to more efficiently develop treatments tailored to a patient’s genetic makeup.
The samples – all collected and used with patients’ consent – would be sequenced in Yale’s state-of-the-art sequencing equipment. Yale said it plans to seek funding for the biobank from the National Institutes of Health. The Connecticut Health Data Collaborative, created by the legislature in 2016, has recommended such projects be housed in the state’s newly-created innovation districts.
Brownfield funds clear the way for massive redevelopment of Norwich State Hospital
With the final round of state brownfield-remediation funds in place, the Mohegan Tribal Gaming Authority is readying plans to redevelop the former Norwich State Hospital into a massive complex featuring a theme park indoor water park, hotels, large sports training complex, senior housing, time share units and outdoor recreation facilities.
The entire project – worth between $200 million and $600 million – is expected to begin once the 393-acre property in Preston is cleaned up and the tribal authority takes possession of the site from the town. The property transfer is being negotiated. The tribal authority says the project will create at least 750 construction jobs and hundreds of permanent positions.
Be ready for sunny days with new Official Spring/Summer Visitors Guide
The 2017 Official Spring/Summer Connecticut Visitors Guide is now available digitally on CTvisit.com. The guide provides inspirational travel ideas to help in planning vacations, getaways and outings in Connecticut.
The guide is organized with features such as “6 Beach Getaways,” “Historic + Modern,” “Go With the Flow,” and “Counter Culture,” each listing dozens of ideas for a great vacation. Users can download the Visitors Guide or read it on a computer or mobile device.
Has your business, town, or organization recently made Connecticut cleaner and greener? If so, apply now for a Department of Energy and Environmental Protection GreenCircle Sustainability award. Deadline is March 10.
The 2017 awards will recognize Connecticut-based individuals or entities who took a holistic approach to reducing the environmental impact and resource demands of their operations and activities during calendar year 2016. Winners will be featured in the Hartford Business Journal and CT Green Guide, and receive awards at a recognition ceremony hosted by the Hartford Business Journal.