July 1, 2016

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Small Businesses In 5 Cities Get Energy Aid
Nearly 800 small businesses in five Connecticut cities received grants from Operation Fuel’s Project/BEST this year to cover some of their electricity costs and learn how to better control their energy use. Most of the 779 businesses chosen for the $1,000 grants were owned by women or members of minority groups, the nonprofit organization said (Hartford Courant, September 13, 2012).


Non-Profit Hopes To Help Small Biz Plug Into Energy Efficiency
Small businesses are struggling to plug into energy efficiency programs, a Bloomfield-based nonprofit reported following its inaugural campaign that paid $779,000 in electricity bills for companies in the state. Bloomfield-based Operation Fuel Inc., which offers energy assistance to households, made a foray into the small business sector over the last year, launching Project BEST (Business Energy Sustainability Team), which was funded with a $1 million grant from Dominion Resources Inc. and $150,000 from energy company PSEG (Connecticut Post, September 11, 2012).


Small Biz Receive $779K In Energy Grants
Bloomfield nonprofit Operation Fuel provided $779,000 in grants to 779 Connecticut businesses to promote energy conservation. Operation Fuel launched its Project/BEST program a year ago in Hartford, New Haven, Waterbury, New London, and Bridgeport to help offset rising energy expenses and introduce conservation measures (Hartford Busines Journal, September 12, 2012).


Efficiency Workshop Slated For Thursday In New London
Operation Fuel will hold an energy efficiency workshop for small businesses Thursday at the New London Senior Center, 120 Broad St. The event is slated to run from 5 p.m. to 7 p.m. About 50 New London small businesses are participating in Project/ BEST, and the workshops are part of that, according to Operation Fuel (Norwich Bulletin, March 27, 2012).


Businesses Get Energy Assistance
A new program to help New Haven companies reduce their energy costs is on track to dole out over $100,000 in grants to city small businesses. With its initiative “Project/BEST,” private Connecticut-based nonprofit Operation Fuel has partnered with two utilities companies — Dominion Resources, Inc. of Virginia and Public Service Enterprise Group of New Jersey — to distribute $1,000 grants and run training sessions that promote energy efficiency. The initiative, which lasts through March 2, follows one in Hartford, in which 213 businesses received a total of $213,000 (Yale Daily News, February 27th, 2012).


Operation Fuel’s Project/BEST Offers Assistance To Small Businesses
Small-business owners in New Haven have until March 2 to apply for energy assistance grants from Operation Fuel’s Project/BEST, a new initiative that gives a one-time grant of $1,000 and training to help lower their energy bills. Project/BEST is the first program of its kind in the nation, according to Operation Fuel, and is available to owners of small businesses in New Haven, Bridgeport, Hartford, New London and Waterbury (Milford-Orange Bulletin, February 18th, 2012).


Dominion To Offset Small Business Electric Bills
Small-business owners in the city are being invited to apply for grants of $1,000 to help offset electricity bills, thanks to a $1 million donation from Millstone Power Station owner Dominion. The grants are intended mainly to help small businesses owned by women and minorities, but any small-business owner is welcome to apply and no one who meets the other criteria will be turned away, said Bob Slate, small business advocate for the nonprofit group administering the project, Operation Fuel (The Day, February 21nd, 2012).


Owners Of New Haven Small Businesses Urged To Apply For Energy Grants

Small-business owners in the city have until March 2 to apply for energy assistance grants from Operation Fuel’s Project/BEST, a new initiative that gives a one-time grant of $1,000 and training to help lower energy bills. Project/BEST is the first program of its kind in the nation, according to Operation Fuel, and is available to owners of small businesses in New Haven, Bridgeport, Hartford, New London and Waterbury (New Haven Register, February 16, 2012).


Operation Fuel Offers $1,000 To New Haven Businesses
Bloomfield nonprofit Operation Fuel is expanding its electric bill credit program to New Haven, offering $1,000 in bill credits. Operation Fuel’s Project/BEST offers the $1,000 in credits as well as energy conservation and cost-saving training to eligible businesses in Hartford, Waterbury, Bridgeport, New London and now New Haven. Women-owned and minority-owned businesses are especially encouraged to apply (Hartford Business Journal, February 15, 2012).


Connecticut Kicks Off Lead By Example Energy Efficiency Program
Connecticut taxpayers will save $136,061 annually thanks to a lighting system upgrade at Eastern Connecticut State University (Eastern) in Willimantic and the replacement of rooftop HVAC units at Willard-Cybulski Correctional Institute in Enfield—the first projects to be funded by Governor Malloy’s Lead by Example (LBE) state building energy efficiency program. Administered jointly by the Department of Energy and Environmental Protection (DEEP) and the Department of Administrative Services (DAS), Lead by Example offers funding and technical assistance to state agencies interested in lowering their energy consumption through energy efficiency upgrades (ConnecticutPlus, February 15, 2012).


Bank of America Adding Small Business Bankers
Bank of America said today it will boost the number of its small business bankers in three New England states, adding 50 positions including 14 in Connecticut. Connecticut’s largest bank said the hires are part of the company’s previously-announcd plan to hire 1,000 small business bankers across the nation by mid-2012 (Hartford Courant, 1/31/12).


CT Efficiency Programs To Save $52M
Connecticut’s programs to increase home energy efficiency will save electric and natural gas customers $52 million on their bills this year, according a study from Environment Northeast. The report comes as Connecticut’s utility regulators are increasing the amount of funds set aside to upgrade and weatherize homes for efficient energy use (Hartford Business Journal, January 18, 2012).

Small Business Owners Hear About Opportunities
Laura Krueger wants to expand the Meriden Dance Center at 626 E. Main St. and was curious to learn if the state had any programs to help. Krueger and her husband, Kurt Krueger, owner of Silver City Sound and Video, attended a presentation given Monday by Catherine Smith, commissioner of the state Department of Economic and Community Development. Smith addressed about 200 people who came as far away as Windsor to learn about pro-business measures adopted by the state’s General Assembly last October (Record-Journal, January 9, 2011).

Big Agenda, And A Few Battles, Brewing For Energy And Environment In 2012
After the bumper 2011 legislative session, you might expect a modest wish list from Connecticut legislators, environmentalists and conservation advocates for 2012. Not happening. Nearly a year after those groups and the Malloy administration began an energy and environmental reform quest that resulted in the new Department of Energy and Environmental Protection, an unprecedented comprehensive energy bill designed to upend energy business as usual, scads of funding for clean water projects, commitments to open space and a host of other initiatives, all parties are back asking for more (CT Mirror, December 29, 2011).


95 CT Small Firms Apply For New State Help
Connecticut’s top economic development official says her office had received 95 applications for the state’s new small business assistance program and that she expects more will be filed, The Associated Press reports. The Small Business Express Program includes three initiatives: a revolving loan fund, a matching grant program and a job creation incentive program (Hartford Business Journal, December 19, 2011).


Connecticut Electric Utilities To Offer Customers Credits For Using Renewable Energy
Connecticut’s two largest electric utilities have filed plans with state utility regulators for a program in which homes or businesses that use solar power or fuel cells would be eligible for quarterly energy credit payments (New Haven Register, December 13, 2011).


Small Biz Snapshot: Minority-Owned Companies
The very look of American small- and mid-sized businesses is changing with the growth of black, Asian and Hispanic entrepreneurs in the United States—increases that are far above the level of growth for all companies (Portfolio.com, November 18, 2011).


Small-Biz Snapshot: Women-Owned Companies
When it comes to business, women-owned companies are coming on strong, especially in the universe of the nation’s smallest firms. But when it comes to overall net worth, women owners find themselves far behind their male counterparts (Portfolio.com, November 17, 2011).


Nontraditional Lenders Gearing Up – State Initative Provides Cash For Small Business Loans On Relaxed Terms
When Chris Runyan was looking for financing last year to open an entertainment store that allows customers to buy, sell, and trade video games, DVDs, and other electronics, he sent his business plan to 10 banks, heard back from five, but got money from none (Hartford Business Journal, November 28, 2011).


Small Businesses Support Fuel Efficiency and Carbon Emissions Standards According To Poll Results
Small business owners across the country—including those in the important automotive states of Michigan, Ohio and California—support strengthening fuel efficiency and carbon emissions standards for cars, light trucks and SUVs by large margins, according to a new opinion poll released today by Small Business Majority (Small Business Trends, November 16, 2011).


Restaurant’s Upgrades Help To Go Green
Family Pizza Restaurant & Grill on South Main Street is going green from the top down. The restaurant has installed energy-efficient lighting, occupancy sensors, energy-efficient air conditioning, a programmable thermostat and new motor controls for the refrigeration units (Norwich Bulletin, November 11, 2011).


New Program Will Help Small, Local Contractors On New Haven Projects
Small business and minority contractors struggling to make payroll and cover expenses are getting a helping hand from the city and the Greater New Haven Community Loan Fund (New Haven Register, November 8, 2011).


CT Joins $1.3M New England Energy Innovation Effort
Connecticut on Wednesday joined a $1.25 million effort to accelerate the commercialization of emerging New England clean energy technologies. The network will be led by the New England Clean Energy Foundation and funded by the U.S. Department of Commerce’s Economic Development Administration (Hartford Business Journal, November 2, 2011).


Small Business Administration Appoints Deputy Connecticut Director
Julio C. Casiano has been appointed deputy district director for the Connecticut district office of the federal Small Business Administration. Prior to this appointment, Casiano was the assistant district director at the SBA’s district office in Hartford. (The Day, October 21, 2011).


CT Jobs Bill Includes $180 Million For Small Biz
A bill that’s supposed to help grow jobs in Connecticut includes $180 million to be spent over two years to help give a boost to small businesses. The proposal, released by Gov. Dannel P. Malloy’s office, also calls for streamlining regulation and investing $25 million in start-up companies. It also includes $20 million over two years on expanding and establishing manufacturing technology programs at three community colleges and vocational technical high schools (Hartford Business Journal, October 20, 2011).


Report Shows Revenue at Women-Owned Firms Is Rising
Nearly 98,000 women-owned businesses operate in the state; firms which employ about 93,000 workers and generate an estimated $15 million in revenue. The American Express OPEN State of Women-Owned Business, a report based on data released by the U.S. Census Bureau, shows that, nationally, the number of women-owned businesses has increased 50 percent since 1997. According to the census numbers, Connecticut is ranked 32 with a 35 percent growth in the number of firms during the past 14 years. In addition, the state is ranked 17 (66.4 percent) in the growth of firm revenue during the same time period (The Day, October 18, 2011).


UI Completes First Efficiency Loan
New Haven electric utility United Illuminating completed the company’s first low-interest loan to help a customer install energy efficiency equipment (Hartford Business Journal, October 12, 2011).


Energy Efficiency Fund Seeks Contractors
The Connecticut Energy Efficiency Fund, in partnership with The United Illuminating Company (UI), has announced that it is seeking proposals from qualified contractors to install energy efficient equipment measures for existing UI small business customers through the Small Business Energy Advantage (SBEA) Program (Connecticut Plus Online, October 12, 2011).


State’s New Energy Department Taking Shape
The plan to turn Connecticut into a leader in clean energy technology, renewable resources and lower cost electricity is beginning to take form.  “We are at that transformational moment,” said Kevin DelGobbo, chairman of the Connecticut Public Utilities Regulatory Authority (Hartford Business Journal, October 10, 2011).


StartUp Connecticut
Most new jobs are created by new businesses, Steven Cochrane, a Moody’s Analytics economist, told the crowd gathered Thursday at the Connecticut Convention Center for Gov. Dannel P. Malloy’s “Economic Summit.” “So when we talk about job creation and business formation we’re actually talking about entrepreneurship,” Cochrane said (CTNewsJunkie, October 6, 2011).


CL&P, UI Start Renewable Credit Program
State electric utilities United Illuminating and Connecticut Light & Power are taking the first steps to implement the state renewable energy credit program, part of Connecticut’s effort to become a leader in clean energy and technology (Hartford Business Journal, October 5, 2011).

Hartford Startup Weekend Exceeds Expectations
Hartford’s more known for corporate giants than computer-programming startups, but organizers of Connecticut’s first ever Startup Weekend found there’s more of a hunger for brainstorming about new companies than they believed (Hartford Courant, September 26, 2011).

SBA Opens Office In Bridgeport Annex
The U.S. Small Business Administration has opened an office in Bridgeport City Hall Annex.  In a ceremony held Monday, Bridgeport Mayor Bill Finch welcomed the SBA to 999 Broad St., where entrepreneurs and small business owners will be able to come for counseling and access to government-backed loans and disaster assistance (CT Post, September 19, 2011).


Innovation Key For Small Business Survival
Three years after the sudden bankruptcy filing of Lehman Brothers Holdings broached a financial panic, unease remains entering this autumn as President Obama and Gov. Dannel P. Malloy both look to rekindle growth by boosting small business (Westfair Online, September 16, 2011).


Elin Katz: CT’s New Consumer Advocate
West Hartford attorney Elin Swanson Katz is Connecticut consumers’ new best friend at the State Capitol. Gov. Dannel P. Malloy Wednesday announced Katz’s appointment as consumer counsel. The Office of Consumer Counsel advocates on behalf of all utility ratepayers, seeking to ensure just and reasonable rates and reliable service for electric, gas, telephone, and water utility customers, and protections for cable television customers (Hartford Business Journal, September 14, 2011).


Recovery Slows, But More Than Half of CT Businesses Recorded Profits
A Connecticut Business and Industry Association economist said he was bitterly disappointed that jobs and job creation didn’t play a more prominent role in the 2011 legislative session, but was hopeful an upcoming special session on jobs will help turn around the state’s economy (CTNewsJunkie, September 8, 2011).


New England Grid Operator To Unveil In Boston First Look At Regional Power Needs For Next 10 Years
New England’s electric grid operator will give the public its first look at a draft report on what the region’s power needs will be for the next 10 years (New Haven Register, September 8, 2011).


SBA Lends Hartford $500K To Seed Micro-Loans
Hartford Economic Development Corp. Inc. is accepting applications from city-based businesses with five or fewer employees who want to borrow from its newly established $500,000 micro-loan pool, authorities say (Hartford Business Journal, August 25, 2011).


Clean Energy Fund Gets Promotion, Targets Industry
The remade Connecticut Clean Energy Fund will launch new programs in the coming months to make clean technology more affordable and bolster the energy industry in the state. After two months of delays due to the state budget uncertainty, the newly created Clean Energy Finance and Investment Authority soon will have a full board of directors able to make decisions, raise capital and institute progressive initiatives designed to help business and residents upgrade to environmentally friendly energy (Hartford Business Journal, August 22, 2011).


Courtney Announces Renewable Energy Grant For Stonington Small Business
Congressman Joe Courtney today announced that three small farms and businesses in Hebron, Stonington, and Canterbury have secured grants totaling $51,449 through the U.S. Department of Agriculture’s Rural Energy for America Program (Stonington-Mystic Patch, August 19, 2011).


Small Business Energy Advantage Chamber Challenge Kickoff
The Hamden-North Haven Chamber Challenge will engage Hamden and North Haven businesses to take part in the CT Energy Efficiency Fund’s Small Business Energy Advantage program to promote energy savings and business sustainability efforts in the community (The Day, August 20, 2011).


Small Business A Success In A Struggling Economy
As Connecticut businesses struggle in the midst of the recession, one Milford company was showcased to Governor Malloy for its success despite facing challenges in a rocky economy. Governor Dannel Malloy visited Avalence to get a close up look at how a green energy company continues to grow despite a dismal economic picture (WTNH, August 8, 2011).


Job Growth Round Table Suggests Aiding Small Businesses
To encourage job growth, Democratic and business leaders suggested the state support start-up, small and medium sized businesses while selling Connecticut to prospective businesses outside the state at a Friday round table discussion (CTNewsJunkie, August 8, 2011).


Connecticut Retail Merchants Association Promoting Energy Efficiency Measures to Retailers & Small Businesses
In today’s challenging and competitive retail business environment, entrepreneurs are looking at all aspects of their businesses for areas where they can improve their bottom line. Most tend to look at the obvious – knowing their customer and their needs, better inventory management and greater workforce efficiency. However, one area that is often the last to be examined – yet the one that could potentially provide the most immediate results – is improving a business’s operation functions and how it consumes energy (Reuters, July 29, 2011).


Program Bringing Clean Energy Solutions To Connecticut Farms
Richard Berger and Nancy Roman were on a reconnaissance mission last week for White Flower Farm, the nationally known nursery in Litchfield where they work. “We’re here because of the rising energy costs,” said Berger, White Flower’s facilities engineer. “And the rising costs to heat our greenhouses”–26 of them, about two acres worth (CT Mirror, July 25, 2011).


Energy Efficiency Helps the Environment and Bottom Line
In today’s challenging and competitive retail business environment, entrepreneurs are looking at all aspects of their businesses for areas where they can improve their bottom line. Most tend to look at the obvious – knowing their customer and their needs, better inventory management and greater workforce efficiency. However, one area that is often the last to be examined – yet the one that could potentially provide the most immediate results – is improving a business’s operation functions and how it consumes energy (The Day, July 22, 2011).


Malloy Talks Jobs On Tour: As Part Of His Jobs Tour, Gov. Malloy Addresses Local Businesswomen
In Connecticut, there are 124,000 businesses owned, operated and run by women, a demographic that hasn’t been extensively followed by the state.  Fran Pastore, chief executive officer of the Women’s Business Development Council, brought these points forward in a roundtable discussion with Gov. Dannel P. Malloy on Wednesday (Stamford Advocate, July 20, 2011).


Connecticut’s Green Bank: A Bi-Partisan Model for the Nation
On July 1, 2011, Governor Daniel P. Malloy signed legislation that made Connecticut the first state in the nation to create a Green Bank. Connecticut’s bi-partisan legislature passed a bill that lays the groundwork for a comprehensive reorganization of the state’s energy apparatus. This reorganization will create jobs and lower electricity prices in the state without additional costs to taxpayers (TPM: Talking Points Memo, July 8, 2011).


From DEP to DEEP: A New State Department Opens For Business
This morning, when state employees stroll into the Italian-style brick and glazed tile 1920 building at 79 Elm Street in Hartford that once housed an insurance company, the bronze sign over the entrance will still read Department of Environmental Protection. The guard at the front desk will do his job no differently than ever, and the view of Bushnell Park will be summery and green as it always is this time of year (The Connecticut Mirror, July 1, 2011).

Banking on Green Growth in Connecticut
One reason the U.S. clean economy is struggling to get big fast, as we note in our upcoming report “Sizing the Clean Economy,” is the absence of sufficient, affordable capital with the right tolerance for risk to help scale up new technologies. One response to such problems is the creation of “green banks”—emerging technology deployment finance entities aimed at lowering the cost of capital for innovative projects. And so Connecticut has acted (The New Republic, June 28, 2011).

Connecticut Needs To Work On Attracting Small Businesses
Acquiring and developing small businesses is the critical to job sustainability and growth in Connecticut says Department of Economic and Community Development Commissioner Catherine H. Smith.
“In general small business is the big draw of jobs, not just here in the state, but across the country,” Smith told a room full of state officials Tuesday (CTNewsJunkie, June 28, 2011).