Harriet Jones

Reporter/Editor

Harriet Jones reports on all aspects of the business world for WNPR. She's covered such diverse issues as the threat to close Connecticut's submarine base, the sub prime mortgage crisis and the impact of casinos on the state.

In 2011, she created WNPR's Small Business Project as a way to tell stories about the companies that make up 90 percent of our economy, but often get overlooked in the media.

She is the winner of an Edward R. Murrow award for her reporting on Connecticut's 2010 floods.

Harriet joined WNPR in October 2000 as Morning Edition producer and reporter. Born in Scotland, she worked for the BBC for much of her early career.

She was news director at Scotland's largest commercial radio station, ScotFM, and was lucky enough to cover that country's two biggest political events in 300 years - the referendum which delivered a new parliament, and the subsequent elections.

She has also taught broadcasting for the BBC at some of their international schools in Eastern Europe, delivering courses to journalists in Romania, Albania and Bosnia.

Harriet lives in Stonington with her husband, Bob Statchen, and their three children.

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Jobs
1:37 pm
Mon August 6, 2012

A Fresh Start For Manufacturing Training?

Harriet Jones

State estimates say there may be as many as a thousand unfilled jobs in advanced manufacturing currently available in Connecticut. As our series continues on education in Science, Technology, Engineering and Math, we look at how the state is preparing the workers who will take this industry forward. WNPR’s Harriet Jones reports.

This is the precision manufacturing program at Asnuntuck Community College.

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Reforming Education
1:24 pm
Mon August 6, 2012

STEM Skills Learning Lacks Coordination, Funding in CT

Connecticut’s Governor has staked a lot on reforming the state’s educational system. And a large part of the motivation is to provide a workforce literate in science, technology, engineering and math – the STEM skills. But the pace of technological change is getting quicker every year, and figuring out how to train workers for the high value industries of the 21st century is ever more challenging. This week on the business report we begin a series of reports on three industries vital to Connecticut’s future, and ask whether the state is living up to its reputation for a superior workforce.

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Small Business Lending
12:08 pm
Mon August 6, 2012

Lending Drops Amid Small Business Caution

Levels of lending to small businesses took a long dip this year, before recovering slightly in May. As WNPR’s Harriet Jones reports, it’s the first time since the height of the recession that borrowing has seen a prolonged decline.

It’s often said that credit is the lifeblood of a small business. And therefore when small businesses aren’t getting loans, it’s significant.

“Small business is at the forefront of the economy.”

Bill Phelan runs PayNet, a firm that tracks small business lending.

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Small Business Conferences
7:13 am
Mon July 9, 2012

Innovation, Trade Summit Comes To CT

Connecticut will be the destination later this month for hundreds of small high tech companies from all over the Eastern United States. They’ll be here for the national Small Business Innovation Research and Global Trade Summit, to be held at Mohegan Sun. WNPR’s Harriet Jones reports.

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Celebrations
11:47 pm
Sun July 8, 2012

Connecticut Welcomes OpSail

Harriet Jones

The tall ships of OpSail will take their leave of New London this morning after a weekend of celebration. WNPR’s Harriet Jones reports.

The Coast Guard Barque Eagle, a familiar sight on the Thames River, lead the parade of sail into New London Saturday as 23 ships berthed at the final port of call for OpSail. Joanne Broat is the medical officer and the cook aboard the Amistad.

“It’s good, it’s good to be back here – it’s been 2000, so 12 years – everybody’s happy.”

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OpSail
8:42 am
Fri July 6, 2012

New London Preps For OpSail

Harriet Jones

The tall ships sail into New London this weekend for OpSail – the first time in 12 years that Connecticut has hosted the event. WNPR’s Harriet Jones visited the city to see how it’s getting ready.

Coming into New London on Eugene O’Neill Drive, you might glance across one of the city’s car parks and notice two painters hard at work on an enormous mural. Ten feet up in the air on a hydraulic platform. 

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Small Business Express Program
9:33 am
Thu June 14, 2012

State Loan Package Broadens Its Focus

Sujata Srinivasan

It’s been about six months since Connecticut issued its first loan under the Small Business Express program. The aid package has proved wildly popular with business owners in the state, but as WNPR’s Harriet Jones reports, it’s raised some questions along the way.

What do a printing firm, a financial services company, a hardware store and a biomedical device maker have in common? They all qualify for funding under the state’s small business express program.

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Innovation
12:14 pm
Tue May 29, 2012

Orphan Inventions Get New Life

Courtesy of the IP Factory

When it comes to inventing things, Connecticut still punches way above its weight. But sometimes the good ideas dreamed up here end up languishing on a shelf instead of making a difference in people’s lives. WNPR’s Harriet Jones reports on a new project that aims to find a home for orphan technologies.

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State Agencies
9:15 am
Fri May 18, 2012

Can State Government Run Lean?

Harriet Jones

Some Connecticut state agencies have a horrible reputation among the businesses that use them. The way they implement regulation is seen as onerous, confusing and above all, expensive. WNPR’s Harriet Jones reports on an effort to change that.

If you cast your mind back to the 2010 gubernatorial election, you’ll remember that state agencies and the conduct of state government took a kicking in the debates.

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Connecticut Legislature
10:17 am
Tue May 15, 2012

Business Community Rates The Session

The legislative session just past made some major changes in the state of Connecticut. It abolished the death penalty, established Sunday alcohol sales, legalized medical marijuana and began a process of reform of the education system. But what was in it for the business community? WNPR’s Harriet Jones reports.

The dust is beginning to settle on the short session that finished last week, and reflection is beginning.

“From the small business perspective I think honestly there’s not much that was achieved.”

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Slogans
10:04 am
Tue May 15, 2012

Connecticut Launches New Marketing Campaign

The state has launched its new marketing campaign with the slogan – “Connecticut, Still Revolutionary.” The campaign is the result of a four-month project conducted by an outside consultancy.

The state will spend $27 million over two years marketing itself as a tourism destination – a far cry from the recent past, when Connecticut’s marketing budget was reduced to just one dollar. At a press conference to launch the new campaign, the state’s tourism director Randy Fiveash says surveys elsewhere in the country show that budget cut hurt Connecticut.

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Senate Bill One
9:40 am
Fri May 11, 2012

The Strange Fate Of Senate Bill One

Chion Wolf

In every legislative session there are winners and losers, but one of the more extraordinary losses this time around was Senate Bill One, a high profile piece of economic legislation with broad bi-partisan support. WNPR’s Harriet Jones reports. 

Fresh from passing the legislation in his own chamber just a couple of weeks ago, this is how Senate President Pro Tem Don Williams spoke about the measure:

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Manufacturing For The Future
1:37 pm
Wed May 9, 2012

Manufacturing The Future In Hartford

Harriet Jones

More than four thousand manufacturing professionals are expected to visit Hartford this week for a trade show billed as Manufacturing For the Future. WNPR’s Harriet Jones reports.

This conference focuses on technological advances in four main industries, aerospace, defense, medical and energy. For Connecticut exhibitors like Thayer Brown of Modern Metal Finishing in Oxford, it’s a chance to meet potential customers from further afield.

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Biotechnology
9:29 am
Mon April 30, 2012

Biotech Startup Relocates To Connecticut

Harriet Jones

Governor Dannel Malloy has taken a bet that Connecticut can become a hub for the next generation of biotechnology companies. He’s hoping his pricey gamble to bring Jackson Labs to the state will kickstart a whole industry. WNPR’s Harriet Jones went to visit with one company that shows how that could work.

“Essentially we have half the lab and we’re kind of moving in this direction….”

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Healthcare Reform
11:45 am
Thu April 26, 2012

Demonstrators Protest Cigna Pay, Healthcare Lobbying

J Holt

Several demonstrators were arrested outside Cigna’s annual meeting in Hartford Wednesday, protesting about executive pay and what they say is the company’s interference with healthcare reform. WNPR’s Harriet Jones reports.

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Crowdfunding
10:01 am
Mon April 23, 2012

Crowdfunding: Progress or Pitfall?

war.ti: on Flickr Creative Commons

Entrepreneurs all over the country are buzzing about crowdfunding. A new federal law will make it possible for small companies to attract investors online. But not everyone in Connecticut is thrilled about the new rules. WNPR’s Harriet Jones reports.

Earlier this month President Obama signed into law the JOBS Act, a measure with rare bipartisan support.

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Minimum Wage
10:13 am
Tue April 17, 2012

Minimum Wage Proposal Passes Appropriations Committee

Another committee of the Connecticut legislature has approved plans to raise the state’s minimum wage. The appropriations committee passed the bill 29 to 20 on Friday afternoon. As the bill now makes its way to the full house, advocates are highlighting small businesses that support the measure. WNPR’s Harriet Jones reports.

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Tax Structure
9:40 am
Tue April 17, 2012

Complex State Taxes Holding Back Business Growth

Business advocates told an official hearing this week that Connecticut’s tax structure is too complex and too changeable. WNPR’s Harriet Jones reports.

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Economic Gardening
9:29 am
Mon April 16, 2012

Nurturing Small Business Growth In The "Economic Garden"

Harriet Jones

It’s spring, and lots of us are busy in the garden, making things grow. Some experts on business development think it’s also time Connecticut’s towns and cities began gardening – economic gardening, that is. WNPR’s Harriet Jones reports.

Economic development, like any other field is prone to fashions. One minute it’s tax incentives, another it’s industry clusters or enterprise zones. But one city in Colorado came up with an idea more than 20 years ago that’s been slowly spreading ever since. Economic gardening.

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Small Business and Health Insurance
2:13 pm
Thu April 12, 2012

Realtors Support Small Business Healthcare Access In CT

Harriet Jones

Connecticut’s realtors are throwing their weight behind the effort to allow small businesses to buy into the state’s health insurance pool. WNPR’s Harriet Jones reports.

About 600 realtors gathered at the Capitol Thursday to lobby legislators about a range of issues. But Bob Kimball, the president of the Connecticut Association of Realtors says one issue at the forefront of everyone’s mind has little to do with the housing market – health insurance.

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Gas Prices
2:41 pm
Mon April 2, 2012

Swipe Fees Hit Retailers, Customers

Harriet Jones

As the price of gas climbs past $4 a gallon, there’s another phenomenon you may well have noticed at the pump – the re-emergence of cash and credit pricing. It comes as some retailers renew the push for legislation to curb credit card swipe fees. WNPR’s Harriet Jones reports.

It’s a busy lunchtime at J & A Gas and Go, a filling station on the main drag into Manchester.  And while most customers simply swipe their cards at the pump, some come inside before filling up.

“I’m getting gas – how much? -- five on two …..”

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International Trade
1:58 pm
Mon April 2, 2012

Connecticut Firms Seek Chinese Investors

Connecticut has many links with China, and companies from the state have been on successful trade missions to sell goods there. But this weekend a different kind of mission will set out for China – one that aims to bring investment back to the state. WNPR’s Harriet Jones reports.

Connecticut has had links with China’s Shandong province, its sister state for some 25 years. John Schuyler of accounting and advisory firm Marcum, was among the representatives who went out with that very first twinning mission. He’s been back more recently.

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Sales
10:40 pm
Wed March 21, 2012

Key Committee Agrees Sunday Sales

Connecticut is a step closer to Sunday alcohol sales, after a key committee voted in favor of the measure. But the bill leaves in place many protections for small package stores worried about sweeping deregulation. WNPR’s Harriet Jones reports.

This has been one of the consuming issues in this short legislative session – one that prompted a marathon 12-hour public hearing before the General Law Committee. Republic state Senator John Kissell said it was an extraordinary day.

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Open for Business
8:12 pm
Wed March 21, 2012

How Business Friendly Is Connecticut?

Governor Malloy has declared Connecticut open for business. But many business lobbyists continue to say it’s one of the least business friendly states in the nation.  So who’s right?  WNPR’s Harriet Jones takes a look at a new analysis of Connecticut’s competitiveness.

This year’s debate over the minimum wage has crystallized a lot of views of Connecticut’s legislature as anti-business.

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Small Business and Health Insurance
11:38 am
Wed March 21, 2012

Healthcare Bill Attempts To Improve Access For Small Businesses

Harriet Jones

A new bill before the legislature aims to provide more options for small businesses purchasing health insurance. But as WNPR’s Harriet Jones reports, it looks likely to stir up significant controversy.

Carolyn Malon runs a dental practice with her husband in Farmington.

“Every day in my own practice, I see the challenges that patients, self-employed people and small employers have in assessing good quality insurance coverage.”

As a small business owner she’s backing new legislation to increase access to health coverage for a very personal reason.

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Alcohol Sales
9:31 am
Mon March 12, 2012

Blue Law Changes Feared, Welcomed

Harriet Jones

In the past, attempts to reform Connecticut’s blue laws have been dominated by one simple issue – Sunday alcohol sales. But the bill before the legislature this year takes the debate much further. And it has the package store industry in uproar. WNPR’s Harriet Jones reports.

Here at the Legislative Office Building with the session in full swing, many of the conversations are about one thing.

“This has been such a significant issue in the building.”

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Proposed Bills
9:25 am
Mon February 27, 2012

Minimum Wage Proposal Provokes Controversy

The legislature’s labor committee will hear testimony this week on a bill to raise the state’s minimum wage. After last year’s successful passage of paid sick leave there are indications it may be a tough political battle. Many businesses also say it’s too soon in a weak economic recovery to further raise their costs. WNPR’s Harriet Jones reports.

House Speaker Chris Donovan, introducing his legislation to raise the minimum wage, invoked some high profile bi-partisan support.

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Retail
12:07 pm
Fri February 24, 2012

Award Winning Retailer Closes Doors

Harriet Jones

  We’re told the economic recovery is gaining pace, but some businesses are still finding it hard to keep their footing in this changed economic landscape. WNPR’s Harriet Jones reports on one high profile business failure in Connecticut this week.

The tills are ringing briskly at North Cove Outfitters in Old Saybrook, but that’s because bargains are flying off the shelves in a liquidation sale. Regular customer Mike Campbell summed up the mood.

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Jobs
10:47 am
Thu February 23, 2012

Grote & Weigel Will Remain In Business

Harriet Jones

The Grote & Weigel meat processing company has been saved from closure and 40 people will retain their jobs at the Bloomfield institution. WNPR’s Harriet Jones reports.

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Education and the Workforce
4:01 pm
Thu February 16, 2012

STEM Series: Employers Promote STEM Learning

Harriet Jones

Connecticut’s students are falling behind in science, technology, engineering and math. All this week WNPR is examining this problem, and its implications for our 21st century workforce. Today, Harriet Jones reports on efforts by employers to address the lack of STEM skills. 

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