Business

Shoreline Towns
1:30 pm
Fri November 2, 2012

Southeastern Connecticut Mops Up After Sandy

Harriet Jones

Southeastern shoreline towns are cleaning up and assessing damage after the hurricane, which brought a record storm surge. WNPR’s Harriet Jones reports.

Outside his Stonington home, Gary Giramonti is wading through several feet of water.

“We left Monday morning, and just came back this morning after a neighbor said, called and told us you need to get back”

The structure, which faces Fishers’ Island sound is still standing, but the interior has been turned upside down.

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Hurricane Sandy
8:05 am
Fri November 2, 2012

Businesses Batten Down The Hatches For Sandy

Just as many households prepared for the worst of Hurricane Sandy, so too did employers. But what’s the evidence that businesses have learned anything from the natural disasters Connecticut experienced last year? WNPR’s Harriet Jones reports.

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Business Environments
10:54 am
Tue October 23, 2012

A New Downtown For Mansfield

Harriet Jones

University towns face a unique challenge in fostering a successful downtown business environment. And perhaps none more so than the rural town of Mansfield, dwarfed by UConn’s massive Storrs campus. But the town is hopeful that a decade’s worth of work to construct an entirely new downtown will shortly come to fruition. WNPR’s Harriet Jones reports.

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Where We Live
9:53 am
Fri October 19, 2012

Gambling in Connecticut

graciepoo (Flickr Creative Commons)

After two decades, casino gambling in Connecticut has become a regular part of life here. Foxwoods Resort Casino and Mohegan Sun bring in visitors from around the country and they’re two of the biggest casinos in the world.

The state relies on them for revenue, which comes from those who lose money while gambling. They’re also bigtime entertainment destinations for area residents.

We’ll talk to the authors of two very different books about Connecticut’s casinos.

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New Technologies
11:05 am
Wed October 17, 2012

Green Jobs Push Includes Vo-Tech Training

Harriet Jones

Training the workforce of the future requires a lot of foresight about which new technologies will succeed in the long run. Connecticut wants to make an investment in green jobs, according to a new report, and its technical high schools are writing a new curriculum to suit. WNPR’s Harriet Jones reports.

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The Mortgage Industry
7:32 am
Mon October 15, 2012

Mortgage Industry Grapples With New Regulation

If you’re planning to buy or sell a house, changes are on the way. The creation of the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau and the tightening of mortgage lending rules mean the industry is in the process of being turned upside down. WNPR’s Harriet Jones reports.

It’s been a turbulent period for the mortgage industry and four years after the financial crisis, the debates are still going on.

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Manufacturing
5:00 pm
Mon October 8, 2012

Manufacturing Mania!

Harriet Jones

Manufacturing might be a tiny part of the economy these days but the state of Connecticut is making the case that it’s vital to the future. This has been declared Manufacturing Month, and today hundreds of school kids descended on a new show in Hartford designed to showcase the industry.

Welcome to Manufacturing Mania, the kick off for Connecticut’s month long celebration of the industry that’s defined its past, but struggles these days to stay in the public eye.

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Energy Overhaul
12:22 pm
Mon October 8, 2012

Energy Plan Makes Bet On Natural Gas

Harriet Jones

The Malloy administration’s new energy overhaul is winning both plaudits and protests. The centerpiece of the policy is a huge investment in natural gas infrastructure, and as WNPR’s Harriet Jones reports, it has implications for many businesses in the state.

Governor Dannel Malloy says his new energy policy reframes an old debate.

“It used to be that you could only be pro-business or pro-environment. Let me say clearly that I reject that as a false choice.”

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Where We Live
11:14 am
Wed October 3, 2012

Fast-Growing Companies

Chion Wolf

We recently learned about the 40 “fastest-growing” tech companies in the state. The list includes bio-science, IT, manufacturing, and green technology firms. Matt Nemerson of the Connecticut Technology Council says the list is a kind of guide to a new economy for the state.

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Historic Bell Making
11:08 am
Wed October 3, 2012

Bells Ringing Once Again In Belltown

Matthew Bevin returned to his family's historic bell making business in 2008. It was running at a loss, and Matt's uncle was about to sell the last bell factory in East Hampton.  Bevin, who is a serial entrepreneur in his own right, turned the business around within a year. In 2010 and 2011, Bevin Brothers, a 180 year old five-generation family business, turned a profit. 

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Temporary Jobs
12:28 am
Tue October 2, 2012

Seasonal Hiring Picks Up

Harriet Jones

It’s time for additional hiring in some industries, as we head into the holiday season. WNPR’s Sujata Srinivasan reports on the outlook for seasonal employment this year.

Connecticut retailers are cautiously optimistic at what could be a promising holiday season. A key indicator, the Consumer Confidence Index measured by the Conference Board rose nine points this September, rebounding to levels seen earlier in February. Timothy Phelan is president of the Connecticut Retail Merchants Association.

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Family Businesses
12:04 am
Tue October 2, 2012

Keeping It In The Family Part 2

Family businesses are arguably at the heart of the American economy, and yet there’s little recognition of their contribution. In the second of our series, WNPR’s Harriet Jones reports on the unique challenges facing families that go into business together.

Just how important are family businesses to the economy?

“There are statistics that say that family businesses comprise 80 to 90% of the business entities throughout the country.”

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Business and Industry Association
1:51 pm
Mon October 1, 2012

Has State Recovery Lost Its Way?

Harriet Jones

Connecticut and the U.S. may appear to be in a recovery that’s lost its way, especially given recent disappointing jobs numbers. But the message from economists at a Rocky Hill conference seemed to echo President Obama – hang on and it’s going to get better. WNPR’s Harriet Jones reports.

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Funding education
1:40 pm
Mon September 24, 2012

New Cash for Connecticut's Community Colleges

Harriet Jones

U.S. Labor Secretary Hilda Solis was in Connecticut Friday, bringing a two-fold message to the state’s community colleges. She promoted the $12 million the administration has invested in new programs here, but as a prominent Latina, she also spoke about the importance of training the Latino workforce. 

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Business
11:35 am
Mon September 24, 2012

QE3 - The Good, The Bad And The Ugly

Sujata Srinivasan

The US Federal Reserve launched a third round of quantitative easing last week, concerned about a lack of consumer and business spending. Dubbed QE3, the policy’s great for borrowers, bad for retirees on fixed income, and a mixed bag for Connecticut regional banks. WNPR’s Sujata Srinivasan reports.

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Where We Live
9:52 am
Wed September 19, 2012

Small Business Breakfast: Norwalk

Fred S.C. Li

Today we're broadcasting from one of the cultural meccas of Fairfield County - a waterside aquarium that hosts a half-millionlion visitors each year.  Among other things, they have exhibits of seals and fish, and lots of stuff for kids. 

Four times a year, WNPR's Small Business Project goes on the road to take the pulse of small business in our state.  Today, we'll be visiting with business leaders from the shoreline to talk about something that's unavoidably important this year: the politics of small business.

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Keeping it in the Family
11:41 am
Mon September 17, 2012

Keeping It In The Family, Part 1

Harriet Jones

“Keeping it in the family” takes on a whole new meaning when that family runs a business. In the first of a two part series, WNPR’s Harriet Jones visits two very different family businesses here in Connecticut.

In an ordinary looking house in an unremarkable street in Bridgeport, an extraordinary enterprise is being carried on.

“I’m Beverlee Dacey and I am second generation of the family business….”

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Training Centers
11:36 am
Wed September 12, 2012

New CT Centers Training Future Manufacturing Workers

Harriet Jones

Three new training centers opened this fall at Connecticut’s community colleges, aimed at turning out hundreds of workers ready to take jobs in advanced manufacturing. WNPR’s Harriet Jones reports.

These students at Housatonic Community College in Bridgeport are learning the theory behind computer numerical control, or CNC machining. Christopher Heun says he chose this manufacturing certificate course because he enjoys working with his hands.

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Internships
9:05 am
Tue September 4, 2012

Internships to Stem the Brain Drain

Harriet Jones

Internships are a common way for big companies to bring on new talent and to decide on possible future hires. But running an internship program can be financially impossible for many of Connecticut’s small technology companies. WNPR’s Harriet Jones reports on a program that aims to change that.

Strain Measurement in Wallingford is an engineering firm that makes sensors, primarily for medical devices.

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Where We Live
10:29 am
Thu August 23, 2012

Regional Roundtable: Casinos, Lobsters, and Presidential Politics

MGM Springfield

Could we someday have the “Springfield Strip?”  

Yesterday MGM unveiled their plans to revive the struggling Massachusetts city by pumping 800 million dollars into a gambling resort, entertainment complex, and housing development. It’s one of several proposals on the table as Mass tries to take on Connecticut casinos.

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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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Forming a Union
10:19 am
Thu August 16, 2012

Mystic Seaport Workers Ready For Union Vote

Harriet Jones

Workers at Mystic Seaport take to polls Friday to vote on whether to form a union. As WNPR’s Harriet Jones reports, it’s the latest stage in what has become a contentious labor relations saga for the famous museum.

Working at Mystic Seaport is about as far as you can get from the traditional 9 to 5.

“I do blacksmithing, sailmaking, coopering, sail handling, and then talk about the historical relevance of all the artifacts and exhibits around the Seaport.”

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Stonington Borough
2:51 pm
Thu August 9, 2012

Stonington Gets Ready For Its Closeup

Harriet Jones

The tiny village of Stonington Borough is hoping Hollywood stardom can put it on the map. Hope Springs, the movie shot last year on location in the Borough, starring Meryl Streep and Tommy Lee Jones, opened Wednesday. WNPR’s Harriet Jones reports.

The last time Stonington Borough hit the silver screen it had to give all the glory to its next door neighbor.

“I’m not going to be slinging pizza for the rest of my life.”

“The best pizza!”

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Starting a New Company
4:45 pm
Mon August 6, 2012

Helping Entrepreneurs To Spread Their Wings

courtesy: FSW Inc.

Starting a new company is a lonely business. It can be particularly difficult if you have nowhere to turn for guidance or support. One program in Bridgeport has aimed to fill that gap for local entrepreneurs for the last 12 years. WNPR’s Harriet Jones reports.

“Good to see you!.......

“Thank all of you for coming. Hope you guys are enjoying your meal….”

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Franchises
2:26 pm
Mon August 6, 2012

Hit By Recession, Franchising Hopes To Bounce Back

Harriet Jones

Franchised companies have been through very tough times, just like other small businesses during the recession, but some are betting they have what it takes to make a quicker recovery. WNPR’s Harriet Jones reports.

This is Connecticut’s latest Wireless Zone location, in Cromwell, and it’s the grand opening day. Co-owner Matt Pensiero says for him, the cell phone business is a smart place to be.

“Maybe ten years ago it was kind of a toy, kind of, you know, something nice to have; but now, it’s a have-to-have.”

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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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Credit Ratings
7:47 am
Wed August 1, 2012

Ratings Agencies Downgrade New Haven's Financial Outlook

Last week  two ratings agencies changed their financial outlook for the city of New Haven from stable to negative. Mayor John DeStefano says he can’t disagree with that.

Mayor DeStefano says he’s pleased that Standard and Poor’s and Fitch Ratings did not downgrade New Haven’s credit ratings. The actual ratings were affirmed. But the city’s financial outlook declined.  

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Manufacturing
4:36 pm
Wed July 18, 2012

Sustainable Building Systems, Inc. to Open Global Headquarters in Connecticut

Diane Orson

Governor Malloy announced on Wednesday that a newly formed company - Sustainable Building Systems, Inc. - will establish its global headquarters in Connecticut with financial help from the state. The startup is expected to employ more than 400 people within four years.

The joint venture between Arizona-based Diverse Services Group and The Weeks Group of Australia will be headquartered in North Haven. 

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