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.

Pages

Housing
11:12 am
Tue August 21, 2012

As Housing Market Recovers, Small Businesses Pick Up The Pieces

Harriet Jones

There are widespread reports of the resurrection of the housing market. National data due out this week are expected to show a bump in sales of both existing and new homes. But for the small businesses supported by the industry, it’s been a long slow journey out of the deepest housing slump in a generation. 

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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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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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Entrepreneurs
11:30 am
Mon February 6, 2012

Stamford Innovation Center Opens For Business

Harriet Jones

The City of Stamford hopes to attract high-tech entrepreneurs with a new initiative to convert its Old Town Hall into a business incubator. 

Stamford’s gracious, marble-lined Old Town Hall occupies some prime real estate in the center of town, but it hasn’t served as a hub for the town since the 1960s. Now it’s bustling once again.

“It’s a center of gravity and it works for the whole community.”

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Veterans
2:42 pm
Wed January 11, 2012

Connecticut Businesses Mull Hiring Jobless Vets

Unemployed veterans hope new tax credit initiatives at the state and federal levels will help them find jobs. Some Connecticut businesses say they’re just waking up to the opportunity.

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Trees
11:22 am
Mon November 7, 2011

Connecticut and Trees: Is the Love Affair Over?

Harriet Jones

Most storm clouds have a silver lining, and the freak October snowfall was no exception. Connecticut’s tree companies have work ahead of them for many, many months. 

In Vernon, Sue Peterson is surveying the scene of devastation in her front yard.

“It was huge Norway maple. Huge, huge tree.”

She was in the dark after her power failed on the Saturday night of the storm.

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Small Business
10:37 am
Mon September 12, 2011

Social Media Marketing Revolution

courtesy Plastic Forming Company

Small businesses everywhere are learning the lesson – adapt to technology or die. Consumers increasingly look for both marketing and retailing online and companies need to meet those expectations or lose sales. In the first of a series of reports on the rise of social media in marketing, WNPR’s Harriet Jones looks at how one manufacturer is facing up to the challenge.

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Deconstruction
9:13 am
Fri July 8, 2011

Preservation Through Deconstruction

Harriet Jones

Green construction is a pretty familiar concept these days. But did you also know there’s a green way to remove a building? Instead of demolition, it’s called deconstruction, and one small Connecticut business hopes to grow it into an industry. WNPR’s Harriet Jones reports.

Back in the 1930s, the town of Hamden built itself a brand-new firehouse… some seven decades later, it’s no longer a firehouse, but it’s still here on Putnam Avenue, and I’m visiting its present owner, Frank Poole.

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First Five
1:25 pm
Tue July 5, 2011

Do Corporate Tax Breaks Work?

State and local governments collectively give more than $70 billion a year of incentives to lure business and jobs. Connecticut’s latest tax break deal is called First Five – and it aims to create a thousand new jobs in the state. But critics of the program say that once again, the state is focusing too much on big employers and not enough on small business. WNPR’s Harriet Jones reports.

Gene Bartholomew is an HVAC technician. A few years ago he was working as a factory rep for Carrier, a division of United Technologies.

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The Entrepreneurial Community
1:40 pm
Fri July 1, 2011

Reaching Out To The Business Community

Harriet Jones

Connecticut’s Small Business Development Center – the SBDC – has been using federal funds to provide help and advice to companies in the state for some 30 years. Now it’s re-organized itself to be closer to the entrepreneurial community. WNPR’s Harriet Jones visited with one of the center’s new regional representatives.

This is Three Rivers Community College in Norwich. It’s the home base for a new adviser for the Connecticut Small Business Development Center.

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Electronic Plants
9:36 am
Thu June 30, 2011

From North Stonington To China

Harriet Jones

A lot of effort in recent years has been focused on reducing US dependence on foreign oil. Not so much thought is given to making that oil last longer. One small North Stonington company sends technology around the world that does just that. WNPR’s Harriet Jones reports.

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Speed Dating
7:00 am
Fri June 24, 2011

Speed Dating For Businesses

Harriet Jones

In business, time is money, and time was at a premium yesterday at a special event in West Hartford. Small businesses from around Connecticut gathered to meet with government agencies and big government contractors for a chance to win new work. But as WNPR’s Harriet Jones reports, they had to be quick.

Hone your elevator pitch and get ready to make a great first impression, because you only have minutes face-to-face with the government contractor of your dreams.

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Paris Air Show
9:53 am
Tue June 21, 2011

Connecticut On Show In Paris

Paris Air Show

Connecticut companies both large and small are doing business at the prestigious Paris Air Show this week, the world’s largest gathering of aerospace companies. WNPR’s Harriet Jones reports.

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Transportation
8:41 am
Mon June 13, 2011

Meriden Businesses Await High-Speed Renaissance

Harriet Jones

Connecticut’s multi-million dollar investment in a new high-speed rail line from New Haven to Springfield is supposed to spur economic development. And for some communities it will mean big changes. WNPR’s Harriet Jones went to talk to small business owners in Meriden about their hopes for the city as the new line comes through.

It’s a sunny day in downtown Meriden and Ron Dagan and I are walking on a street parallel to the nearby train tracks.

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Internet Retailers
2:15 pm
Mon June 6, 2011

"Amazon Tax" Divides Small Businesses

alancleaver_2000, Flickr Creative Commons

Two types of small businesses in Connecticut have been pitted against one another in recent months by a controversial piece of legislation. The measure, which goes into effect July 1st, attempts to force Internet retailers to levy sales tax in the state for the first time.

As WNPR’s Harriet Jones reports, some are calling it the “Amazon tax.”

This is North Cove Outfitters in Old Saybrook, where Iain McGowan is helping a customer.

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The Coast Guard Academy
2:47 pm
Fri June 3, 2011

Coast Guard Academy Welcomes First Female Superintendent

PA1 NyxoLyno Cangemi, USCGA

The Coast Guard Academy makes history today, as the first female superintendent to command any service academy begins her term. WNPR’s Harriet Jones spoke with Rear Admiral Sandra Stosz.

Colors are raised early Friday as usual at the Coast Guard Academy, but this is far from being a routine day for the New London institution. It becomes the first military academy in the nation to be commanded by a woman.

“I was very fortunate to be able to come through these gates 33 years ago in 1978.”

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UConn Conference
2:23 pm
Wed May 25, 2011

UConn Reaches Out To Tech Companies

courtesy eGen

Connecticut would like to reinvent itself as the next Silicon Valley. Some economic development experts say our future lies with the state’s small technology companies. If that’s to become a reality, Connecticut’s universities will have to be a key part of the change. A conference today at UConn aims to show the way. WNPR’s Harriet Jones reports.

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Technology
2:23 pm
Wed May 25, 2011

UConn Reaches Out to Tech Companies

courtesy eGen

Connecticut would like to reinvent itself as the next Silicon Valley. Some economic development experts say our future lies with the state’s small technology companies. If that’s to become a reality, Connecticut’s universities will have to be a key part of the change. A conference today at UConn aims to show the way. 

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Home Building
12:29 pm
Mon May 23, 2011

Connecticut Home Builders Find Ways To Survive

Harriet Jones

This recession began with the bursting of the housing bubble, and home building has been one of the industries hardest hit in its aftermath. Eighty percent of new houses in Connecticut are built by local, small construction companies. WNPR’s Harriet Jones went to find out how those survivors have reinvented themselves.

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National Small Business Week
12:06 pm
Mon May 23, 2011

Bringing The Small Business Message To Washington

Courtesy Dymax

This has been National Small Business Week. The President proclaims this week to honor and recognize the contribution of small businesses to the economy. Tonight the Small Business Person of the Year will be chosen in a special ceremony in Washington DC. WNPR’s Harriet Jones reports.

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Recovering a Business
12:54 pm
Mon May 16, 2011

La Petite France Recovers From Roof Collapse

Harriet Jones

This was one of the snowiest winters in recent memory in Connecticut. There seemed to be almost an epidemic of roof collapses as buildings all over the state gave way under the weight of accumulated snowfalls. Many of those affected were businesses. WNPR’s Harriet Jones went to visit with one of them, to see how the recovery is progressing.

One snowy day last February, the two staff working at Alexandra Litor’s French bakery in Stafford Springs heard the sounds of the building collapsing all around them.

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Starting a New Business
10:01 am
Fri May 13, 2011

Starting a Business? Do It Right!

Harriet Jones

It can feel daunting and perhaps lonely to start a new business. So where can you turn for some friendly advice and seasoned experience?

It turns out there are hundreds of retired executives in Connecticut who offer free counseling services to small business. They're known as SCORE.

WNPR's Harriet Jones sat down with four SCORE counselors, Dennis Peoples, Nazz Paciotti, Joe Beerbower and Eric Steinmetz, who have a pretty good perspective on what small business people do right...and wrong...when getting started.

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Taking the Next Step Toward Business
1:03 pm
Mon May 9, 2011

Is Connecticut Really Open For Business?

Harriet Jones

Governor Malloy has declared the state of Connecticut open for business. But many small businesses find when they come in contact with state government, their first experience is frustration. WNPR’s Harriet Jones looks at just how well the state is doing in streamlining its approach to business.

This is Larry’s Auto Power in Groton, and that’s a race car engine on the test block.

“We do street performance engine rebuilding, racecar engine building.”

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Small Business
10:52 am
Thu May 5, 2011

Electric Costs Hammer Small Business

Harriet Jones

One of the biggest financial pressures on small businesses in Connecticut comes from the cost of utilities. The cost of electricity in particular puts Connecticut businesses at a severe disadvantage. The burden is affecting companies, but work is being done to address the problem.

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Technology
1:11 pm
Mon April 25, 2011

Virtual Reality Comes to the Shop Floor

Harriet Jones

WNPR’s Small Business Project has reported on the high cost of training a skilled workforce to meet the needs of the state and the nation.

This week Harriet Jones visits a small business in Connecticut that’s working on providing a cost-effective and innovative solution to that problem.

I’m in East Hartford at the premises of a company called VRSim, getting a lesson on how to spray paint a vehicle door, from Rebecca McKnight.

“So I’ll do a quick spray for you.”

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Technical School System and the Workforce
4:02 pm
Mon April 18, 2011

Businesses Protest Vo-Tech School Plan

Harriet Jones

For many small businesses, training Connecticut’s workforce is a key issue for the state’s economic future. That’s one reason why Governor Malloy’s recent proposal to move the state’s technical high schools into municipal control raised so many eyebrows. WNPR’s Harriet Jones looks at how well Connecticut is planning to meet its workforce needs in the new millennium.

You might think in an economy like this, employers with a job to fill would be inundated with qualified candidates.

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Time is Money
9:19 am
Fri April 15, 2011

Small Businesses Call For Reform Of Tax Code

It can cost small businesses between $5,000 and $10,000 just to administer their tax returns each year. That’s the finding of a new survey, which calls for radical improvements to the tax code. WNPR’s Harriet Jones reports.

The National Small Business Association conducted a survey of its members on how much time and money it takes them to comply with the federal tax code.

“The tax code is incredibly complex”

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Opposition to Taxing the Nuclear Power Plant
9:01 am
Fri April 15, 2011

Millstone Threatens Shutdown Over Tax Issue

Legislators, municipal leaders and business people from Southeastern Connecticut have voiced opposition to a plan to tax the Millstone nuclear power plant. WNPR’s Harriet Jones reports.

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Entrepreneurship
10:00 am
Mon April 11, 2011

Recession Creates, Destroys Entrepreneurs

Photo: bodycoach2, Flickr Creative Commons

Starting a business from scratch is a mammoth undertaking. Starting a business in the midst of a bad economy might seem like an impossible task. But entrepreneurship traditionally spikes in any recession – and this latest downturn was no exception. WNPR’s Harriet Jones reports.

Christina Kazanas used to be the principal grantwriter for the City of Stratford. Her friend Rebekah Harriman wrote grants for the City of Bridgeport.

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Growing New Small Businesses
10:34 am
Mon April 4, 2011

Pfizer Layoff A Biotech Opportunity?

Harriet Jones

Over the next year or so, Pfizer will lay off more than a thousand people in Connecticut. If most of these highly skilled workers leave the state it’s estimated the hit to the local economy could be more than $100 million annually. WNPR’s Harriet Jones reports on the prospects for retaining some of these skills by growing new small businesses.

In a two thousand square foot former restaurant in New London you can catch a glimpse of what a homegrown biotech industry might look like in this part of the state.

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