Business

War Means Money
8:55 am
Tue March 19, 2013

Iraq and Connecticut's Defense Industry

Sikorsky Aircraft

The war in Iraq has had a profound effect on Connecticut’s economy in the last decade. As WNPR’s Harriet Jones reports, it has vastly increased the importance of the defense industry.

 

Connecticut has always had a strong reliance on the Department of Defense, but Pentagon spending here acquired a new importance in recent years.

 

“You’ve seen about a threefold increase since  2003. That’s an enormous number and it’s an enormous part of our state’s GDP.”

 

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Aviation
10:55 am
Mon March 18, 2013

Connecticut Goes To Paris

Despite the economic downturn, aerospace is a thriving international business. But for small manufacturers in Connecticut, it can be a challenge to plug into global markets. This summer, some of them will have a chance to show their wares at the famous Paris Air Show. WNPR’s Sujata Srinivasan reports.

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No Luck For Business Owners
9:17 am
Fri March 8, 2013

Business Owners Seek Support at Capitol

Harriet Jones

Small business owners from around Connecticut came to Hartford this week – urging the Governor and the legislature not to add to their burdens. WNPR’s Harriet Jones reports.

                                                   

When pundits talk sometimes about Connecticut being business un-friendly, this is an example of what they mean.

 

“I wrote all of the senators, all the representatives, I wrote Malloy’s office, I put phone calls in, I put emails in, and I have never received a single reply from anybody.”

 

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The Little Guy
11:23 am
Thu March 7, 2013

State Reboots Small Business Counseling

Boating Business
1:46 pm
Mon March 4, 2013

Connecticut's Marine Industry Impacted By Hurricane Sandy

When Hurricane Sandy blew across the Northeast it caused devastating damage to the boating industry. The losses could amount to more than half a billion dollars. And as WNPR’s J Holt reports, Connecticut’s marine industry is still feeling the effects four months later.

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Beer and Liquor Industry
2:40 pm
Wed February 27, 2013

Beer Distributors Step Into the Spotlight

Harriet Jones

Connecticut is once again facing a fight over the beer and liquor industry. After the introduction of Sunday sales, this year the focus will be on alcohol pricing. WNPR’s Harriet Jones reports on a lesser known tier of the industry -- the distributors.

 

 

At a massive warehouse in West Haven, a forklift shifts several cases of beer to be loaded for a delivery. This is the premises of Star Distributors, one of ten liquor and beer distributing businesses in the state.

 

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Tourism
2:07 pm
Wed February 27, 2013

Tourism Districts Under Threat

Harriet Jones

Connecticut’s tourism districts are preparing to make their pitch to the legislature about why they should survive in these straitened economic times. WNPR’s Harriet Jones reports.

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Local Support
9:54 am
Wed February 27, 2013

Nurturing Home Grown Business

Sujata Srinivasan

Economic recovery is often tied to increasing exports and attracting foreign investments. But some economists say it’s just as important to grow what’s known as the “non-tradable” sector - small businesses that provide products and services for people who live here. WNPR’s Sujata Srinivasan reports.

 

History major Maggie Downie was working in museum education when she realized she wanted to start her own business. 

 

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International
9:48 am
Wed February 27, 2013

Eurozone Troubles Cause Connecticut Ripples

Sujata Srinivasan

Europe’s economy is in trouble. Just last week, the European Commission said it believes the continent is about to see a second consecutive year of economic contraction. That could be bad news for some companies in the Nutmeg state, as WNPR’s Sujata Srinivasan reports.

 

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Employment
9:37 am
Wed February 27, 2013

Jobless Experiencing "Search Friction"

Sean Mack, Wikimedia Commons

Connecticut’s recovery has been marked by persistent high unemployment. But many employers are starting to complain that they can’t find the skilled workers they need. WNPR’s Sujata Srinivasan asks – is that because they aren’t out there, or could it be that they’re just hard to find?

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Where We Live
3:50 pm
Thu February 21, 2013

LIVE from The Grove, New Haven

Chion Wolf

A few years ago, we broadcast from "The Grove" in New Haven's Ninth Square, when it was part of "Project Storefront" - an attempt to breath life into a neighborhood that needed help.

Now, this co-working space, which draws entrepreneurs from all over, is part of a state-sponsored innovation "hub" - as well as a center of activity for a thriving neighborhood.

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Connecticut's Reputation
9:15 am
Tue February 19, 2013

Victim of Its Own Success?

Harriet Jones

The Malloy administration has made an explicit effort to change Connecticut’s reputation as a state that’s unfriendly to business. To that end, 2011’s Jobs Bill offered loans and tax incentives to companies already hard at work in the state. One of those programs might be about to become a victim of its own success. As WNPR’s Harriet Jones reports, the Job Expansion Tax Credit might have more takers than the state has dollars.

 

 

 

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Expenses
8:51 am
Mon February 11, 2013

Rant & Rail: Transportation and the Budget

Governor Malloy’s proposed budget includes some bad news for commuters, including bus-riders. Some transportation advocates say Malloy is cutting too much money at a time when transit ridership is at an all-time high and infrastructure is crumbling. 

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Creating Revenue
8:49 am
Mon February 11, 2013

New Director for Mark Twain House

Sujata Srinivasan

The Mark Twain House & Museum will soon have a new executive director. WNPR’s Sujata Srinivasan spoke to Cindy Lovell on her plans to preserve Twain’s legacy, increase revenue, and promote tourism.

 

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Electricity
8:38 am
Mon February 11, 2013

Power Restoration Largely Complete

Harriet Jones

Connecticut Light and Power says only around 140 homes remain without power after Friday’s storm. In all the utility has restored power to almost 70,000 homes, most of them in the Southeast of the state. WNPR’s Harriet Jones reports from Stonington.

 

 

Sunday afternoon, a utility crew raises a bucket truck under wires running along Pequot Trail in Pawcatuck. According to CL&P’s Bill Quinlan, crews like these worked literally around the clock this weekend.

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Sales Tax
1:30 pm
Tue February 5, 2013

Amazon Will Charge CT Sales Tax, Build Distribution Center

alancleaver_2000, Flickr Creative Commons

Connecticut residents will have to start paying sales tax on purchases from Amazon.com later this year. As WNPR’s Harriet Jones reports, the web giant has plans to site a distribution facility in the state.

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Connecticut's New Entrepreneurial System
8:46 am
Mon February 4, 2013

Starting Something at Startup Weekend

Harriet Jones

This Friday, wannabe entrepreneurs will gather at UConn for the second annual Startup Weekend Storrs. It’s a 54 hour marathon which aims to develop and launch new companies into the real world. But does it work? --  and does that matter? WNPR’s Harriet Jones reports.

 

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Affordable Care Act
12:27 pm
Fri February 1, 2013

Obamacare Explained

courtesy Barbara Glassman Dell, MetroHartford Alliance

The Affordable Care Act is nothing if not complicated. Now a series of workshops aims to educate Connecticut employers about just how to comply. WNPR’s Harriet Jones reports.

 

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Where We Live
10:58 am
Tue January 29, 2013

Connecticut Startup Culture

Chion Wolf

It’s been a little over a year since Governor Dannel Malloy announced Startup Connecticut - an effort to support entrepreneurship in the state. The idea is to create an “innovation ecosystem” to grow the economy. The state is setting up four innovation hubs.  

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Jobs
3:59 pm
Fri January 25, 2013

Unemployment Data Conundrum

Sujata Srinivasan

The state unemployment rate dropped for the second month in a row in December. But the numbers have been volatile with intermittent highs and lows that sometimes don’t seem to add up. WNPR’s Sujata Srinivasan takes a look at why short-term figures may not always show the long-term picture. 

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In the workplace
9:03 am
Tue January 22, 2013

Employers Urged to Tackle Domestic Violence

Harriet Jones

Advocates who work with domestic violence victims in Connecticut say many times the workplace can be a key to stopping abuse and saving lives. And they say many of the state’s employers could be doing a whole lot more to help. 

 

 

The law firm of O’Brien Tanski and Young is located right in downtown Hartford.

“We used to be a very open law firm. We didn’t lock the door and people came and went without thinking.”

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Job Growth
9:58 am
Fri January 18, 2013

Are We Still the Land of Yankee Ingenuity?

Wiki Commons

Economists and policymakershave been shaking their heads at the lackluster job growth in the aftermath of the Great Recession. But economic downturns are nothing new. With ingenuity, the state has bounced back through some very tough times in the past. WNPR’s Sujata Srinivasan takes a look at the nature of the recovery from an historical perspective.

The poet P.B. Shelly said: “History is a cyclic poem.” That may well hold true for the land of steady habits, which – since Colonial times – has reinvented its economy repeatedly to meet the needs of the day.

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FuelCell Energy Inc.
4:26 pm
Thu January 17, 2013

North America's Largest Fuel Cell Plant Coming to Bridgeport

Courtesy of FuelCell Energy, Inc.

The Danbury-based FuelCell Energy Inc. recently announced plans to go forward with construction in nearby Bridgeport, Conn. of what will be North America's largest fuel cell. 

Covering a space less than two acres, the plant will produce 15 megawatts of electricity from natural gas provided by the Connecticut utility company United Illuminating. The electricity, which will be enough to power 15,000 homes, will then be sold to Connecticut Light & Power.

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Defense
10:38 am
Mon January 7, 2013

Why CT's Defense Industry Is Still Under Threat

Harriet Jones

The fiscal cliff could have had serious consequences for Connecticut’s defense industry. Across the board spending cuts were projected to threaten thousands of jobs in the state. And industry experts say last week’s deal didn’t change a whole lot. WNPR’s Harriet Jones reports.

Turning away from the fiscal cliff, says Pratt & Whitney’s Jay DeFrank was necessary, but the fix produced last week really fixes nothing.

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Finance
8:34 pm
Sun January 6, 2013

Microfinance Faces A Remade Future

Sujata Srinivasan

Microfinance – or small-scale loans – has rapidly grown into an international business that connects investors with impoverished borrowers around the world. Currently, microfinance institutions (MFIs) operate in over 100 countries and fund more than 92 million borrowers, according to the Microfinance Information Exchange. For-profit firms like Stamford-based Developing World Markets (DWM) invest in MFIs in India, which in turn provide loans to poor entrepreneurs, primarily women.

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Retirement
12:03 pm
Wed January 2, 2013

Retirement Tax Rules At Issue In Fiscal Talks

Legislators appear to have stepped away for the minute from significant changes to tax advantaged retirement accounts in the latest attempt at a fiscal cliff fix. That’s welcome news for those who say right now most Americans don’t do enough to save for retirement. WNPR’s Harriet Jones reports.

Surveys consistently show that working for or owning a small business is a woefully bad way to plan for your golden years.

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Credit Unions
11:18 am
Wed January 2, 2013

No Deal For Credit Unions On Small Business Lending

Harriet Jones

One group that didn’t get the Christmas present they were hoping for this year is the nation’s credit unions. They want to expand their lending to small businesses, but as Harriet Jones reports, regulation – and opposition from the banks -- stands in their way.

Many credit unions have a history of humble beginnings, and the Charter Oak credit union, based in Groton, is no exception.

“We were born in the Electric Boat boatyard, out of a lunchbox where five people put in $25.” 

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Doubling the Workforce
12:17 am
Thu December 20, 2012

CT Firm Doubles Workforce on Export Order

Harriet Jones

A small Middletown company is about to double its workforce, as it signs a huge European export contract. WNPR’s Harriet Jones reports.

“This is our demonstration room. So you’ll see the flags. All these flags represent countries that we’ve installed equipment to…”

Gerard Fenerty is something of a world traveler. In recent years he’s collected more than a few airmiles.

“First one was in El Salvador and the United Kingdom. Then we did business in Venezuela and Colombia. And we did a number of other countries in Europe – Germany, France, Belgium, Denmark…”

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Jobs
4:44 pm
Thu December 13, 2012

Hartford's Colt Complex Gets New Tenant

Jeff Cohen/WNPR

The historic Colt complex in Hartford just got a new tenant. WNPR's Jeff Cohen reports. The Colt has been in development limbo for years, and it's gone through a series of developers. But things are looking up.

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Manufacturing
8:38 am
Thu December 13, 2012

CT Manufacturing Shows "Creative Destruction"

Harriet Jones

The Malloy administration has made a big commitment to nurture manufacturing in Connecticut, despite the fall off in employment in the sector over a period of decades. Are they right to place so much faith in making things here?  A new analysis attempts to answer that question.

The Naugatuck River Valley is one of the great seats of Connecticut’s manufacturing history. And Bill Purcell, president of the Valley Chamber of Commerce says that’s still relevant today.

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