2:36 pm
Wed August 14, 2013

Trying Times for Connecticut's Shellfish Industry

U.S. Army photo/Pamela Spaugy

It's been a rough summer for Connecticut's shellfish industry.

A recent Connecticut law states that Connecticut oysters must be at least three inches long when harvested. The state's shellfish industry supported the bill, despite neighboring states allowing smaller sized oysters to be harvested in their waters.

Now a recent inspection by the State Department of Agriculture revealed that 20 of 24 randomly chosen samples by 11 harvesters had oysters smaller than three inches. Steven Reviczky is the commissioner of the Department of Agriculture.

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12:38 pm
Fri August 9, 2013

Connecticut Will Pioneer Alternative Jet Fuel Center

Courtesy: Rep. Larson's office

Connecticut is known for its aerospace industry, and it also has some pretty nice farming country. The two might not seem to have a lot in common, but new study hopes to use waste from one to power the other. 

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9:59 am
Wed August 7, 2013

Connecticut Shellfish Beds Closed Due to Bacteria Outbreak

A trend of warming waters may be to blame for an outbreak of the Vibrio parahaemolyticus bacteria, related to cholera, in 22 shellfish beds that were recently closed by the state agriculture department.
In the wake of five reported illnesses, the state agriculture department has shut 22 shellfish beds in Norwalk and Westport and instituted a so far voluntary recall of oysters and clams harvested since July 3. The culprit is Vibrio parahaemolyticus, naturally occurring bacteria that is generally seen more on the west coast.
Social Responsibility
11:33 am
Mon July 22, 2013

Making Conscious Capitalism Work

Sujata Srinivasan

Many companies are finding that conscious capitalism is good for the brand. What's called corporate social responsibility can also boost employee morale and sometimes even the bottomline. In the second of a three-part series, WNPR’s Sujata Srinivasan looks at the ways in which businesses are making virtuous practices work for them.

“The fishing now upstream since this fish ladder went in is premo; it’s extraordinary. It’s much better than it’s ever been. I’m just psyched you guys have done it.”

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Meeting of the Governors
7:34 am
Tue June 18, 2013

Malloy, Perry in "Civil" Meeting

Tyler Salomon, CPBN Media Lab

Governor Dannel Malloy took the fight to visiting Governor Rick Perry of Texas Monday, crashing a luncheon in Hartford that Perry was giving for business owners. WNPR's Harriet Jones reports.


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Pharmaceutical HQ
11:13 am
Mon June 17, 2013

Alexion Breaks Ground On Its New Headquarters

Courtesy Alexion Pharmaceuticals

Homegrown pharmaceutical company Alexion will break ground on its new headquarters in New Haven Monday. As WNPR's Harriet Jones reports, the move will also mean future hiring.

Alexion will build an eleven story global headquarters in New Haven's downtown crossing redevelopment, investing $100 million. The company began as an offshoot of research carried out at Yale, but moved out to Cheshire about 13 years ago, so spokesman Irving Adler says this is viewed as a homecoming.

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Weathering the Downturn
11:55 pm
Thu May 23, 2013

Exporters Shift Focus

Sujata Srinivasan

The great recession drove many companies to look for sales overseas. A new survey of Connecticut companies shows that half of those responding said exports helped them weather the downturn. Now, domestic markets are looking up, but those firms still want to diversify across the world. WNPR's Sujata Srinivasan reports.


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4:54 pm
Tue May 21, 2013

Seaweed and the Sound

Jan Ellen Spiegel

For the last decade or so, Connecticut’s fishermen and shell fishermen have weathered a nearly non-stop storm of difficulties;  some related to climate change; some from pollution.

One fisherman who has had enough is embarking on a new enterprise that many hope will help to save or create jobs on Long Island Sound, and clean it up.

Brendan Smith: Isn’t it beautiful?  Look at that. 

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Gun Market
10:59 am
Mon April 29, 2013

GE Capital Ends Funding for Small Gun Retailers

Wikimedia Commons

When GE Capital announced it will no longer finance gun purchases at small firearms dealers, it predictably drew both praise and criticism. But the company’s own explanation of the move seemed to raise more questions than it answered. 

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9:38 pm
Sun April 28, 2013

Companies Learn to Blend Physical and Virtual Commerce

The debate over the Amazon tax seemed to put e-commerce giants on one side of a bright line, and brick and mortar businesses on the other. But the fact is that the distinctions between real and virtual businesses aren't so clearly defined.... as WNPR's Harriet Jones reports.


Manufacturing might seem to you and me to be the ultimate brick and mortar business. It's an industry where you make things you can drop on your toe in a building you can walk into. Not so, says David Drake.


"All the commerce I do is done electronically."


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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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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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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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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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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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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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2:12 pm
Wed November 7, 2012

Threat Of Sequestration Looms In Connecticut

Harriet Jones

The nation’s growing deficit looms large over this election season, and once the vote is over, the winners will have to grapple with sequestration – a threatened across-the-board cut to federal budgets. WNPR’s Harriet Jones reports on what that might mean for Connecticut ’s defense jobs. 

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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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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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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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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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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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Lobster Harvest
2:21 pm
Mon July 30, 2012

Depleted Long Island Sound Lobster Harvest Hurts Commercial Industry

Decumanus (Wikimedia Commons)

Environmental advocates and Connecticut lobstermen are calling on state and federal lawmakers to do more to restore the health of Long Island Sound. As WNPR's Lucy Nalpathanchil reports, the state's commercial lobster industry has been hit hard by a severely depleted lobster harvest.

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Sunday Sales
7:45 am
Mon May 21, 2012

Sunday Sales Begin In Connecticut

Harriet Jones

For many package stores in Connecticut, this is the morning after. They’re tallying up the take from their first ever day of Sunday sales. WNPR’s Harriet Jones reports.

They knew it was coming, but up until last week, package store owners didn’t know exactly when.

“It’s done….”

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9:29 am
Mon April 30, 2012

Biotech Startup Relocates To Connecticut

Harriet Jones

Governor Dannel Malloy has taken a bet that Connecticut can become a hub for the next generation of biotechnology companies. He’s hoping his pricey gamble to bring Jackson Labs to the state will kickstart a whole industry. WNPR’s Harriet Jones went to visit with one company that shows how that could work.

“Essentially we have half the lab and we’re kind of moving in this direction….”

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Local Impact
10:24 am
Tue April 3, 2012

Connecticut Bids To Attract, Retain Foreign Companies

Connecticut is home to nearly a thousand U.S. subsidiaries of foreign companies. Names like Lego, UBS, RBS, and Nestle. WNPR’s Sujata Srinivasan reports on how insourcing – the growth of these companies here in Connecticut – plays a role in the state’s economy.

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Rocky Hill
11:25 am
Mon March 5, 2012

New Leadership For Connecticut Innovations

Sujata Srinivasan

Connecticut Innovations has a new chief executive officer in charge of a potential merger and a much larger investment portfolio. Claire Leonardi spoke to WNPR’s Sujata Srinivasan on how she plans to shake up the organization.

Claire Leonardi brings more than 30 years of experience in the financial services industry to her new job as CEO of Connecticut Innovations – or CI – a state-funded organization in Rocky Hill that invests in advanced technology ventures.

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11:16 am
Fri March 2, 2012

Angels Seek Connecticut Investments

falcon1961, Flickr Creative Commons

Connecticut’s angel investment tax credit appears to be working as new figures show increased funding for start-up companies. Less encouraging, venture capital investments, the next stage of funding required for a company to grow, declined statewide last year. WNPR’s Sujata Srinivasan reports. 

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