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Harriet Jones

We hear all the time that small businesses are having trouble accessing credit. But sometimes it’s hard to picture what that means both for an individual firm, and for the wider economy. To find out more, WNPR’s Harriet Jones visited a construction company that’s currently rehabbing several old homes in Middletown.

No Good Place to Put the Snow

Feb 4, 2011
Flickr Creative Commons, Charles Jeffrey Danoff

Record-setting snowfall, sub-zero temperatures and treacherous travel conditions have meant plenty of missed school days this year.  Educators are worried that lost classroom time may affect preparation for standardized tests. 

State Department of Education spokesman Tom Murphy says he’s seen school closings, late openings and early dismissals in other years, "but this is really beyond what we’ve seen ever.  And it couldn’t happen at a worse time in our high schools, when we have our end of course exams" 

Despite Snow, Spring Will Be Early, Says Groundhog

Feb 3, 2011
Nancy Eve Cohen

After days of shoveling and scraping Connecticut residents may be happy to hear there’s been a prediction for an early spring. It came from Connecticut’s official state groundhog.

The Lutz Children’s Museum in Manchester takes in wild animals that have been injured. Including a female groundhog who bears the weighty title, "Connecticut Chuckles the Seventh". Early this morning she went outside, sniffed the air and looked around, but did not see her shadow, according to Bob Eckerd, the executive director of the museum.

Will New Jobs Save Connecticut's Budget?

Feb 1, 2011
Flickr Creative Commons, smemon87

Diane Orson

New Haven Mayor John DeStefano says changes to city pension plans are urgently needed to keep from bankrupting the funds.  

He says New Haven is facing a growing budget gap.

"Over four years the next year this is a total budget gap of $309 million. The largest single expenditure item contributing to that gap is the increasing city contribution to our two pension plans."

Cash is the lifeblood of any small business, and access to financing can be a critical factor in whether a small enterprise can grow and thrive. Businesses need credit to hire and to make capital investments. It may sometimes seem as if the chips are stacked against them.

For 17 years, Joe Petti ran a small manufacturing firm, Delaney Engineering in Milford. He says one of the biggest issues he faced growing his company was dealing with the banks.

Bringing Farmers and Chefs to the Table

Feb 1, 2011
Nancy Eve Cohen

The Connecticut Department of Agriculture convened a meeting today to introduce farmers to chefs looking for local food. As WNPR’s Nancy Cohen reports the agency held a kind of “speed dating” exercise to bring people together.

“30 seconds left! 30 seconds left!”

A clang of a cow-bell moves the participants from table to table. About two thirds are from restaurants, hospitals and food distributors. One third are harvesters and farmers, like Alysson Angelini from Jones Family Farms.

Winter Markets Help Northeast Farmers Survive

Jan 31, 2011
Nancy Eve Cohen

Farmers markets have seen huge growth in the past three decades. They give consumers access to local food, sometimes at a lower price. And farmers can sell without a middleman getting a cut.

Now, some markets now run through the entire winter. As part of a collaboration of Northeast stations WNPR’s Nancy Cohen reports the number of winter-long markets have doubled, tripled... even quadrupled in some states.

A census on domestic violence services offered in Connecticut shows the need for them has grown in the last year.  

Jeff Cohen/WNPR

courtesy Larry Berk

“Buy local” has become a rallying cry for small businesses attempting to revive the high street. But it’s also a good message for those small businesses whose customers are big business. Plenty of small suppliers in Connecticut would like to see big corporations and state government look first in their own backyard when they spend money.

For the latest of WNPR’s small business profiles, business reporter Harriet Jones met with one such small supplier. 

East Haven’s Police Chief says he’s done his best to comply with all requests for information in connection with a federal investigation into alleged racial profiling by the town’s police officers.  

Hydro Quebec: 'Green' Enough for the Northeast?

Jan 27, 2011
John Dillon

Northeast states are increasingly looking to Canada to meet a growing demand for low cost hydro electricity from renewable sources. But the energy imports are stirring controversy. In northern New Hampshire, local activists are fighting a power line that would send the electricity south. And questions are being raised about whether big hydro is really green.

As part of a collaboration of Northeast stations John Dillon of Vermont Public Radio reports:

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