Exports are a breakout part of Connecticut’s economy and a new law makes it easier for small businesses in the state to join in the action.

Public Act 13-56 (SB 1004) allows the state to give preference to companies aiming for new foreign markets when the businesses apply to the Small Business Express program.  

The Small Business Express is one of the state’s top economic development tools.  Since its rollout by the Department of Economic and Community Development (DECD) in 2011, the Express has provided financial assistance in the form of grants and loans to several hundreds of small businesses.

Program assistance can be used for the purchase of equipment, machinery or business expenses, as well as job creation financial incentives.  

Now, SB 1004—after unanimous support in the Senate and House—will also help more of the state’s small businesses get into exporting, which happens to be a growing trend in Connecticut.

According to a new CBIA survey (2013 International Trade Survey of Connecticut Businesses), more Connecticut companies are exporting—and many of them are small businesses.

Nearly three-quarters (71%) of the 1,188 companies surveyed said they are engaged in international trade—a 36% uptick since 2007. And about three-quarters of those companies have fewer than 100 workers in the state—one of the parameters of the Small Business Express.

The survey also found that many of those companies not engaged in foreign trade would like to be, and believe they have the staffing capacity to make it possible.

They just need a little more help, and SB 1004 could provide it.

Growing our economy is the best way to accelerate Connecticut’s recovery, put more people back to work, and as a result generate the revenues needed to provide vital public services.

Proposals such as SB 1004 reflect tangible and creative ways to expand Connecticut’s economy.

For more information, contact CBIA’s Eric Gjede at 860.244.1931 or eric.gjede@cbia.com.