Business

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 Faith Middleton Show
10:46 am
Tue May 31, 2011

Overcoming Tough Times Financially

Our roller coaster economy has been a leveler - throwing the formerly rich and lower income people into the same basket.

We thought we'd talk about debt, credit cards and bankruptcy with Mitchell Allen, author of A Survival Guide to Debt.  He has been a debt counselor to many.

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New Haven
3:54 pm
Wed May 25, 2011

You Could Stand To Read a Positive Story, Right? About Gelato and Pianos?

Thomas MacMillan Photo

People told Giuliana Maravalle she was crazy when she moved her piano bar and gelato factory to a neglected industrial warehouse on Sargent Drive. One year later, she’s ready to expand the business with a new country and western bar, and people are eating her “artisanal” Italian treat from the Boston Symphony to JFK airport thanks to the work of a dozen additional employees.

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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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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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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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Where We Live
12:48 pm
Wed May 4, 2011

Bridgeport Small Business Breakfast

Connecticut lawmakers have passed a new, two year budget that raises taxes - and is counting on union concessions.  What will it mean for small business?

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Where We Live
11:26 am
Tue May 3, 2011

Millennials Redefine the Workplace

creative commons

Workplace expert Al Bhatt says our places of employment should be made up of jazz bands, rather than a marching band.

Bhatt’s done consulting work for big companies like Facebook, Siemens, American Express, and State Farm Insurance.

Now Facebook, I can see them being pretty improvisational...but an insurance company?  

Today, in advance of our “small business breakfast” tomorrow in Bridgeport, we’re going to look at the changing workplace in big businesses, and how they’re adapting to a new workforce.  

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Budgets
4:58 pm
Mon April 25, 2011

Malloy: Would Work With Legislature If Cuts Are Necessary

Jeff Cohen/WNPR

Governor Dannel Malloy said his administration is continuing its talks with state labor unions to fill a $2 billion hole in the proposed budget.  WNPR's Jeff Cohen reports.

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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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Africa
2:56 pm
Tue April 12, 2011

Discussion Of African Capital Markets At Yale

via WikiMedia Commons

The Deputy Chief Executive of the Johannesburg Stock Exchange was in New Haven on Tuesday.  She spoke about African capital markets at a special Yale University event.

Nicky Newton-King says its important to talk about, in her words, the “elephants in the room."  "Things that we don’t talk about that we should talk about if we’re trying to improve and  position capital markets on my continent to be really meaningful global players."

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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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Marine Industry
6:56 pm
Fri April 8, 2011

Changes Proposed For Connecticut's Marine Tax Laws

J. Holt, WNPR

Connecticut’s marine industry is one of many facing tax increases in governor Malloy’s proposed budget. But those in the industry say the changes could have unintended consequences. 

Early April is a quiet time for boating here in Connecticut. Most pleasure boats are still tucked under winter covers, but for Connecticut boatyards this is just as important a time of year as any other.

At pilot’s point marina in Westbrook, Rives Potts is inspecting a 46 foot sailboat that his yard has been rebuilding in one of their sheds.

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Manufacturing
9:16 am
Tue April 5, 2011

Connecticut Aerospace and Engineering Company Using Local Talent

In 1970, a former Pratt and Whitney employee, Henry A. Backman, started the aerospace engineering and manufacturing company HABCO in Glastonbury with only 5 employees.

40 years later, his daughter, Kristen Muschett, owner and CEO of the company, employs 32 people, and oversees a growing portfolio of innovative products. WNPR's Sarah Miner reports.

(Machines working on the shop floor)

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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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Building
6:15 pm
Mon March 28, 2011

Butt Ugly Building First To Go, Capitol West Possibly Next

Courtesy Kenneth Gosselin/The Hartford Courant

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Assessing Opportunity
7:47 am
Mon March 28, 2011

New Economic Development Chief Listens to Business

Harriet Jones

The state’s main economic development agency gets a new chief this week. On Thursday, insurance executive Catherine Smith will take up her post as Commissioner of the Department of Economic and Community Development. As she prepared for her new role, she sat down with WNPR’s Harriet Jones.

Many people might feel daunted by the challenge that Catherine Smith has taken on. But she says when the call came from Governor Dannel Malloy, she didn’t hesitate.

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Where We Live
10:43 am
Wed March 23, 2011

Northeast Utilities and NSTAR Move to Merge

Paul Cross, Creative Commons

The proposed merger of Northeast Utilities and NSTAR would create the third largest utility in the country and the largest in New England

NU of course is based in Connecticut and NStar in Massachusetts.  The companies would retain headquarters in both states, but the top executives would be in Boston.

So, what does this mean for you?

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The Colin McEnroe Show
2:36 pm
Tue March 22, 2011

Building a Connecticut Startup

Flickr Creative Commons, Hampton Roads Partnership

On today's show we're going to look at the elaborate networks -- pipeline is too straight and straightforward a word -- that exist in Connecticut to nurture new businesses -- which came to be called, in the last two decades -- "start ups."

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Health Care Reform
10:29 am
Tue March 22, 2011

Connecticut Insurers Weigh in on Federal Reform

Courtesy of Aetna

Insurers in Connecticut say they’re in dialogue with state officials as the new federal health care exchanges are constructed. The exchanges are due to go into effect in 2014. 

The Malloy administration has put new efforts into implementing the federal health care reform law, and special adviser to the governor, Jeanette DeJesus says many stakeholders, including the insurers are active in the process.

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Health Care
10:13 am
Tue March 22, 2011

Businesses Question Health Care Reform in Connecticut

WNPR’s Small Business Project is taking an in-depth look at the health care crisis facing small employers. In the second of our two reports, WNPR’s Harriet Jones reports on what’s being done to address the problem.

Almost everything about health care reform is controversial. But one thing everyone does agree on. It’s time to act.

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