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9:14 am
Wed September 7, 2011

Connecticut's Realtors Find Sales, Paychecks Hard To Come By

The prolonged slump in the housing market has been tough on the economy and tougher on anyone trying to sell their home. It’s also been a trial for realtors, most of whom don’t see a paycheck from one long-delayed sale to the next. WNPR’s Harriet Jones reports.

Jordan and Elizabeth Hudak are members of that rare species, serious home buyers. They’re viewing a house in Avon. You might think they’re sitting pretty… not so, says Elizabeth Hudak.

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Running a Small Business
12:28 pm
Thu August 25, 2011

Doing Business With The Government - Easier Than It Seems?

Even in these uncertain times, the federal government has a lot of tax dollars to spend. But if you run a small business, taking advantage of that opportunity can seem pretty daunting. A recent conference in southeastern Connecticut aimed to demystify the process of doing business with the feds.

WNPR’s Harriet Jones reports.

Three Rivers Community College in Norwich hosted this day-long seminar, organized by the office of second district congressman Joe Courtney.

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Has Business Confidence Plummeted?
2:23 pm
Mon August 8, 2011

Are We Heading For A Double Dip?

Harriet Jones

It’s a question on the minds of many business owners right now – are we in for a double dip recession? With slower economic growth and a stalled unemployment rate, business confidence seems to have plummeted. WNPR’s Harriet Jones reports.

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National Debt
1:02 pm
Fri July 29, 2011

Republicans, Democrats Agree Changes In Debt Policies Needed

There’s not much that Republicans and Democrats agree on in the current debt-ceiling standoff. But one thing that all sides accept is that the nation's legal borrowing cap has failed in its primary goal: limiting the nation's red ink. From Washington Deirdre Shesgreen of the Connecticut Mirror reports.

No one can anyone argue that the debt ceiling has served to rein in federal borrowing. The cap has been lifted at least 80 times and the U.S. government’s total debt stands at about $14.3 trillion.

Himes:

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Gas Prices
8:41 am
Fri July 29, 2011

Gas Price Hikes Hit Small Businesses

Harriet Jones

The rest of Connecticut might groan at summer gas prices, but in Fairfield County, four dollar gas has a whole different meaning. Small businesses especially, pay the price for the county’s transportation woes. WNPR’s Harriet Jones reports.

When gas prices spiked this year, and gas was more than $4.30 a gallon in southwest Connecticut, the help wanted ads began going up all over Fairfield County.

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Where We Live
10:15 am
Tue July 12, 2011

Men At Work, With Added Stress

Chion Wolf

A new Pew study says the sluggish recovery from the “Great Recession” has been better for men than women.

But in the context of  the June recent jobs report that shows only 18,000 new jobs were created nationally - it might signal continued bad times for both sexes.

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Jobs
3:17 pm
Fri June 24, 2011

Malloy Says 7,500 Layoffs Coming Soon

Energy
10:42 am
Tue June 14, 2011

Natural Gas Taxis and Fueling Stations are Coming to Connecticut

via WikiMedia Commons

WASHINGTON -- As T. Boone Pickens lobbies Congress to enact subsidies for the natural gas industry, the Texas oil and gas tycoon also is bringing his zeal for natural gas vehicles to Connecticut in a deal involving a non-profit corporation, two taxi companies and millions in stimulus dollars.

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Where We Live
10:24 am
Wed June 1, 2011

Smart Giving

We give billions to charity every year, but are we actually solving the world’s problems? When we look at the programs meant to fight global poverty and disease, we tend to see two poles...either we just need more money thrown into the aid programs we now have, or we realize that all these billions are just going down the drain.

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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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The Sweet Stuff
9:19 am
Fri May 27, 2011

Abundant Snow Makes for a Good Maple Syrup Year

Serri Graslie/WNPR

Abnormal snowfall this winter may have made the season a pain for many Connecticut residents, but it's shaping up to be a boon for local maple syrup producers. Aea farmers have sap flows they haven't seen in years. Ron Wenzel's sugar house is a little oasis each winter. "My wife calls this my man cave; I'm up here for 10, 12 days," he says.

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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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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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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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Where We Live
10:22 am
Mon April 18, 2011

Tax Day

Chion Wolf

When critics say the state shouldn’t increase taxes on the wealthy, they often say that it’ll force the rich to leave Connecticut.  So, is it true?

Two new studies show - well, that’s it’s not true at all.  That other factors, beyond the tax rate, are what drives people to make decisions about where to live.  

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Carbon Trade
12:59 pm
Fri April 8, 2011

Three Northeast States Debate Carbon Cap and Trade

Public Service of New Hampshire

The nation’s first carbon trade system, which started in the northeast, may be in trouble. The Regional Greenhouse Gas Initiative, or RGGI, is designed to reduce greenhouse gas emissions ten percent by 2018. But now, three of the ten states in the initiative are considering withdrawing, in part, because of the cost to electric ratepayers. As part of a collaboration with Northeast stations, Amy Quinton with New Hampshire Public Radio reports.

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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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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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The Colin McEnroe Show
2:35 pm
Thu March 24, 2011

The New York Times and the Price of News

Flickr Creative Commons, Don Hankins

Here, to me, are the killer statistics:

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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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Education
6:16 am
Tue March 15, 2011

Closing The Gap - In The Suburbs, Too

Connecticut Mirror

First of three parts

    WEST HARTFORD--Xavier Rosa is stuck. The fourth-grader at Braeburn Elementary School knows that five is not a factor of 57-he got the question right on his homework assignment. And he knows that any number that ends in five is divisible by five. But his teacher, Michele Cashman, presses him to remember what the other half of the rule is, asking him how many cents he would have if he had two nickels.

    "Ten," he says.

    "So, what's in the one's place?"

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    Tourism
    11:26 am
    Tue March 1, 2011

    Fight Brews Over Tourism Dollars

    Harriet Jones

    Tourism is vital industry for Connecticut, generating some $14 billion in visitor spending each year. Small businesses are the mainstay of the sector. But as WNPR’s Harriet Jones reports, many are worried about the future.

    Governor Dannel Malloy says he gets it on tourism.

    “We’re going to rethink in its entirety our approach to tourism—we’re going to work where partnerships work and we’re not going to carry partnerships that don’t work.”

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    Where We Live
    10:24 am
    Fri February 18, 2011

    The State of Big Biz

    Chion Wolf

    Governor Malloy says Connecticut’s “open for business” – but not everyone in the business community sees the same thing.

    First it was United Technologies saying that Connecticut might be too expensive a place to do business.  Now, Aetna’s saying the same thing. Is it possible that big corporations are making plans to get out of the state? Today we’re joined by The Hartford Courant’s Dan Haar, to talk about the role of Connecticut’s big employers in the future of the state.

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    Small Business
    2:48 pm
    Mon February 14, 2011

    Connecticut Exports Hit Record Level

    Last year President Obama challenged the nation’s businesses to double their exports within 5 years. Connecticut has been responding to that call, and as WNPR’s Harriet Jones reports, small business has been a key part of the effort.

    Exporting—selling products overseas—is complex and often challenging. It may not seem to be a natural fit for a small business. Not so, says economist Peter Gioia of the Connecticut Business and Industry Association.

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    The Faith Middleton Show
    9:17 am
    Tue February 1, 2011

    The Great Depression

    When the stock market crashed in 1929, Benjamin Roth was a young lawyer in Youngstown, Ohio. After he began to grasp the magnitude of what had happened to American economic life, he decided to set down his impressions in his diary.

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    Where We Live
    1:12 pm
    Wed January 26, 2011

    Waterbury Small Business Breakfast

    Chion Wolf

    We keep hearing that “small business” is what's going to drive an economic recovery.  But I have a question:  What is a small business anyway?

    The Small Business Administration says anything under 500 employees is the number - but that's depending on the industry. The state’s jobs bill last year says it's under 50 employees, although most economists seem to agree under 100 is a more realistic and inclusive measurement.

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    Small Business
    7:29 am
    Mon January 24, 2011

    Small Businesses Lead City Revitalization

    Harriet Jones

    WNPR’s Small Business Project is in Waterbury this week. 

    A special edition of Where We Live this Wednesday will come live from the Palace Theater in downtown Waterbury. 

    The Brass City has seen its share of hard times and economic upheaval, but revitalization efforts, many led by small business, are underway. 

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