Funds intended to spur job creation, training, small-business growth

The state Bond Commission has approved $21.5 million to fund a number of business loan and job creation initiatives called for in Public Act 10-75 (HB-5435), the bipartisan jobs bill passed by the state legislature and signed by the governor earlier this year.

The legislation offers incentives for employers, supports small business and emerging industries, provides resources for tuition and training, helps manufacturers find efficiencies, and includes accountability measures to safeguard state taxpayer dollars.

The funding approved by the Bond Commission includes the following:

$15 million for the Connecticut Credit Consortium, a small business loan program that will provide up to $500,000 in loans and lines of credit to businesses and nonprofits employing fewer than 50 people. It provides employers with access to financing for construction, working capital, and other costs to help them retain and create jobs. The program is administered through the state Department of Economic and Community Development (DECD), which is now accepting applications. For more information on the Connecticut Credit Consortium, go to decd.org.

$5 million for the Pre-seed Financing Program, administered by Connecticut Innovations (CI). Eligible applicants can receive loans of up to $150,000 to develop new concepts and technologies. The companies must provide at least 50 percent of private investment dollars for each dollar of public financing. For more information on the Pre-Seed Financing Program, go to ctinnovations.com and click Funding Opportunities.

$1 million to help Connecticut Community-Technical College officials develop short-term retraining and education programs for unemployed individuals through a Community-Technical College Advisory Board. The board will assess training needs and expand access to programs that offer job skills and workforce credits. For more information on Connecticut Community-Technical Colleges, go to the Connecticut Department of Higher Education at ctdhe.org.

$500,000 for a pilot program that will help manufacturers become more energy-efficient. Manufacturers that employ up to 250 people are eligible for assistance under the Lean Green Manufacturing Initiative. Administered through the state Department of Economic and Community Development, the program helps employers convert their operations into energy-efficient plants by using proven lean manufacturing strategies, which focus on eliminating waste and improving productivity. The program is administered through the DECD. For more information, go to decd.org.

Gov. Rell says the $21.5 million underscores the state's commitment to job creation, jump-starting the economy, and small business: the prime driver of jobs in Connecticut.