May 15, 2012

Westport Interior Designer among Small Businesses to Receive Grants

HARTFORD, CT – Senator Toni Boucher (R-Wilton) joined Governor Dannel P. Malloy in congratulating Westport’s, Catherine Cleare Interiors, LLC as one of five Connecticut small businesses which have qualified for assistance through the state’s Small Business Express Program (EXP).

The program was created as a part of the bipartisan jobs bill passed during last year’s jobs special session to encourage business expansion and job growth.

Sen. Boucher said, “As a small business owner for many years, I understand that when making an investment one must consider all the risks involved. In this economy, stability is one of the most important factors in the survival of a business.”

“The jobs created by retail and service companies are often the product of hardworking and determined self-employed entrepreneurs,” Governor Malloy said. “The Small Business Express Program is proving very responsive to this important sector of our economy, one that has tremendous potential for job growth and retention.”

In total, EXP will provide $100 million to help the state’s small businesses hire more employees and fund capital investments. The program, administered by the Department of Economic and Community Development (DECD), offers loans and matching grants to Connecticut companies with fewer than 50 employees at the time of application.

Catherine Cleare Interiors, LLC of Westport is receiving a job incentive loan of $63,000 that, combined with $57,500 of company funds, will be used for marketing and staff training. The interior design company will retain one position and add a new one.

State Senator Toni Boucher said, “Small businesses represent over 75% of Connecticut’s job market and are the engine of our economy. It is good to see the state focus on this critical sector and offering programs to small companies that are willing to put skin in the game. For too long business incentive programs have focused on the largest employers. Connecticut still has a long way to go to in creating an environment that is conducive to job creation but this is a step in the right direction.”

For more information on EXP or to apply for the program, contact Michelle Lugo at DECD at 860-270-8052 or [email protected].