PrepareCT Offers Small Business Disruption and Disaster Recovery Program

Hurricanes, flooding, blizzards, computer failures, fires-disruptions and disasters like these can wreak havoc on a small business. In fact, according to the federal Small Business Association (SBA), 40-60% of small businesses can't survive a disaster that forces them to shut down for more than a few days.

To help Connecticut's small business owners improve their business survival chances during and after disruptions and disasters, the Connecticut Small Business Development Center (CTSBDC), in partnership with six leading business-related organizations statewide, has created a new program, PrepareCT. Funded in part through a cooperative agreement with the SBA, PrepareCT offers a free, online program, statewide workshops and other resources to help business owners learn disaster planning basics and to prepare a strong disaster recovery plan.

Small business owners can register at PrepareCT.com, and begin the self-paced training and action plan worksheets. If they want more guidance, small business owners can also register to attend a local workshop. In addition to CTSBDC, Connecticut Society of CPAs, CONNSTEP, Greater New England Minority Supplier Development Council, SCORE, Spanish American Merchants Association and Women's Business Development Council will be offering PrepareCT workshops and one-on-one assistance.

For more information about PrepareCT, visit PrepareCT.com or call 855-428-7232.

Incentives Attract New Businesses to Ridgefield

In a recent article on ctpost.com, an incentive package worth worth more than $30,000 and created by local economic development officials in Ridgefield, CT will be used to attract new businesses to the community.

Arnold Light, chairman of the Economic Development Commission, said several businesses have taken advantage of the package, including Ceponis Financial Group, an organization that moved recently from its former offices in Wilton.

The package includes a variety of incentives, among them a six-month membership to the Ridgefield Chamber of Commerce, a one-year subscription to the Ridgefield Chamber of Commerce, a free web page on the Destination Ridgefield website and a host of other perks.

The article also mentioned that the Commission recently applied for a $500,000 state grant to install fiber optic cable in commercial areas to improve internet service in Ridgefield.

Want to Start Your Own Business?

Then come to Middletown's Russell Library for a talk titled "Follow Your Passion and Start a Small Business." on Thursday December 18.The presentation will be held from 6 p.m. to 8 p.m. in the Hubbard Room at Russell Library, 123 Broad Street, Middletown.

Are you looking to change careers? Do you want to do something different, exciting or maybe scary? Has small business ownership been one of your dreams? The featured speaker is Dr. Bernadette Aleksey. Dr. Aleksey will tell you how she followed her dream. After spending several years as a successful insurance actuary, she returned to college to study veterinary medicine, worked in a small veterinary clinic and finally opened her own animal hospital.

SBE Council Ranks CT 41st Smnall Biz

A report released this week by the Small Business & Entrepreneurship Council, a Virginia-based nonpartisan small business advocacy and research organization, ranks Connecticut at 41 in state rankings when it comes to how states policies and costs impact small business and entrepreneurs.

The Small Business Policy Index 2014: Ranking the States on Policy Measures and Costs Impacting Small Business and Entrepreneurship, which the SBE Council has published for 19 years, ranks the 50 states according to 42 different policy measures, including a wide array of tax, regulatory and government spending measurements.

Whittlesey & Hadley Ranks as IPA Top 200 CPA Firms in the U.S.

CBIA member Whittlesey & Hadley, P.C., one of the area's largest regional accounting firms, ranks 192nd in the Inside Public Accounting (IPA) fifth annual ranking of the IPA Top 200 public accounting firms in the United States.

INSIDE Public Accounting (IPA), founded in 1987, is published by The Platt Group. The Platt Group publishes both the award-winning INSIDE Public Accounting newsletter and the award-winning National Benchmarking Report.

For the most recent fiscal year, IPA 200 firms range in size from $14 million to $31 million, and from 60 to 235 staff. These firms employee more than 12,000 staff across the nation, up 9% from last year. The IPA 200 averaged 5.4% top-line growth and 6.2% growth in the bottom line.

Whittlesey & Hadley's managing partner, Drew Andrews says, "We are pleased to see our firm join this prestigious list of growing CPA firms in the United States. This ranking represents our strategic plan to expand our professional services and talented team throughout the northeast."

The IPA 200 are also engaged in acquisitions to grow in size, scope and capability, with 21 mergers reported for the group last year, adding more than 200 staff and more than $22 million into the aggregate numbers of the group.

Advantage Capital, Ironwood Capital Connecticut Invest in C&M Technologies Group

Advantage Capital Partners, a growth capital and small business finance firm, and Ironwood Capital Connecticut, a private equity fund manager which provides capital to Connecticut-based companies, today announced a mezzanine debt investment in C&M Technologies Group ("C&M").

C&M, owned by the Watermill Group, a Lexington, Massachusetts based private equity firm, is a leading manufacturer of design wire and cable, cable assemblies and retractable coil cords that meet the most demanding performance specifications for both power and signal. Headquartered in Wauregan, CT, C&M provides superior speed to market, delivering engineering value through custom wire and cable assembly products for the most harsh and demanding environments.

The investment in C&M was made through Advantage Capital Connecticut Partners I, Limited Partnership ("the Fund"), which is co-managed by Advantage Capital and Ironwood Capital Connecticut. The Fund is focused exclusively on investments in Connecticut businesses and was created in connection with the Connecticut jobs statute, a bipartisan package intended to create jobs, spur innovation and strengthen the state's economy.