CBIA Member Celebrates 100th Year In Business

According to an article in the Norwalk Hour, Sclafani, which imports more than 350 products from across the world to Connecticut celebrated its 100th year of operation.

The business was created In 1920, by Gus Sclafani with the concept of an Italian food store. In 1938, after two other locations, he built a state-of-the-art warehouse with perimeter refrigeration on Glenbrook Road in Stamford.

The company, now based in Norwalk on Butler Street, is now run by Luciano Jr., who also goes by Lucian and Lou, with his three brothers: Gus, Bruce and Ron. They are the third generation in the business. Bruce now has sons in the business who represent the fourth generation.

CT Adds $400K More Into Trumbull Startup

The state's technology investment arm has made a $400,000 followup investment in a Trumbull firm whose specialty is tracking energy use in commercial buildings -- running its equity stake close to $1 million.

Connecticut Innovations Inc., through its Connecticut Clean Tech Fund, invested in Sustainable Real Estate Solutions Inc. Altogether, Sustainable lured $1 million in the latest investment round that also involved LaunchCapital, Advantage Capital Connecticut and individual investors.

The state's first investment in February 2010 was for $500,000, CI said.

SRS offers a software-as-a-service (SaaS) platform, for assessing, monitoring and managing buildings' energy efficiency and sustainability-related risks and opportunities.

Connecticut Innovations has a seat on SRS's board of directors.

Funding Available for Wellness Programs

The U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, announced on June 23 that it will use a new $10 million fund to help promote workplace health and wellness programs.

The initiative, with funds from the Affordable Care Act's Prevention and Public Health Fund, is aimed at improving workplace environments so they can support healthy lifestyles and reduce risk factors for chronic diseases like heart disease, cancer, stroke and diabetes, the department said in a press release.

Funds will be awarded through a competitive contract to organizations with the expertise to work with employers nationwide to develop workplace health programs in small and large worksites.

Small Business Lending on the Rise According to Recent Surveys

Despite recent economic news, there are signs that the economy is rising above recession rates. This news is found in recent surveys stating that small business lending is on the rise. This is great news, according to Brian Miller, COO and president of The Entrepreneur's Source (TES).

According to a recent New York Times article, Greenwich Associates, a market research firm for major banks, surveyed small businesses and found that 59 percent had applied for a loan within the preceding 12 months, and demand grew with each quarter. Among small businesses that did apply for a loan, 57 percent reported winning approval from the bank. Greenwich described the small-business lending market as rapidly returning to normal.

Complementing the Greenwich Associates survey, in another new study by Capitol One, 85 percent of U.S. small businesses surveyed say they are able to access the financing they need -- up from 70 percent at the same time last year.

Hartford Has $30K for Entrepreneur Grants

According to a recent article in The Hartford Business Journal, Hartford entrepreneurs and small business owners are eligible to apply for $30,000 in grants through the Connecticut Science Center and the federal urban development agency.

The science center and the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development are administering the Hartford Innovation Challenge.

Grants of $5,000 to $15,000 are offered to city residents or innovations developed in Hartford, authorities said.

The initiative complements a similar program that recently awarded 18 recipients $100,000 to marry job creation and Hartford's arts community.

The application deadline is Sept. 26, but intent to apply must be filed by Aug. 8.

The city and the science center will host public meetings on July 12 and July 20 at the Science Center on 250 Columbus Blvd. Guidelines, applications, and deadlines are posted online: www.ctsciencecenter.org/innovation.

Or, contact Lionel Rigler, acting senior project manager at RIGLL001@hartford.gov or 860-757-9277.

Free Counseling for Small Business Owners

The small Business Development Center provides a wide array of FRee management and technical assistance to business owners and entrepreneurs for strengthening business performance and sustainability. The sBDC promotes and encourages the creation and growth of small business by providing sound business advice through FRee professional counseling, seminars, technical assistance and education for small business owners and entrepreneurs, in one-on-one or group training environments, throughout Connecticut. The sBDC counsels and nurtures small businesses from their inception as well as assisting established businesses to expand. Together, our team has more than 00 years of experience helping companies grow.

For greater convenience, we are located all over Connecticut:

Central Connecticut state University (Headquarters) - 85 Main street, New Britain, CT 0605 , 860-832- 0650. service centers are located at: eastern Connecticut state University - 83 Windham street, Willimantic, CT 06226, 860-465-5349; Department of economic and Community Development - 505 Hudson street, Floor 2, Hartford, CT 06 06, 860-270-8 78; southern Connecticut state University - 50 Crescent street, New Haven, CT 065 5, 203-392-5 96; Western Connecticut state University - 8 White street, Danbury, CT 068 0, (203)392-5 96; Bridgeport City Hall Annex- 999 Broad street, Bridgeport CT 06606, (860)832-0650; Three Rivers Community College - 574 New London Turnpike, Norwich, CT 06360, (860) 885- 2345; Waterbury Regional Chamber of Commerce - 83 Bank street, Waterbury, CT 0672 , (203)757-070 x 320.

Visit our website at www.ccsu.edu/sbdc for more information on our services.