small business

Harriet Jones

Black Friday is rapidly approaching, and ads from the national chains and the big box stores are hard to ignore. But once again this year, small retailers are hoping to catch a slice of the holiday shopping action.

Crowdfunding is popular among musicians, filmmakers and artists looking for a way to finance their next project.

Now the Securities and Exchange Commission is considering rules that, for the first time, would allow small companies to solicit investments over the Internet and sell shares to the general public.

For some small firms, these new rules come as welcome news.

Wonderlane, Creative Commons

This hour, we listen back to our live conversation from The Big Connect at the Toyota Oakdale Theater in Wallingford, our last "Small Business After Hours" event of the year.

We get together a few times a year to talk about issues concerning small business, and what's a bigger, broader topic than "technology?"


Individuals who've received cancelation notices on their health insurance policies in Connecticut must now find an alternative. Governor Dannel Malloy said he will not allow insurance companies to renew plans that don't comply with the Affordable Care Act, rejecting President Obama's fix announced last week.

Sujata Srinivasan

The U.S. Food and Drug Administration is taking steps to reduce artificial trans fats in processed foods. According to the agency, the move could help prevent 20,000 heart attacks and 7,000 deaths each year. This means manufacturers, retailers, and restaurants could have to reformulate some of their recipes.

Darnyi Zsóka / Creative Commons

When the Affordable Care Act is fully implemented, large companies will be subject to a penalty if they don't provide coverage for their workers. But life is also changing in unexpected ways for small companies as the health care rollout continues.

Sujata Srinivasan

October is “Manufacturing Month” in Connecticut, and efforts are underway to create the next generation of engineers and innovators as part of the state’s “Dream It. Do It” program. Companies, nonprofits, academic institutions and the state government are working together to promote the high-tech sector to youngsters through month-long events such as “Manufacturing Mania,” where school kids are exposed to manufacturers and career opportunities.

Chion Wolf / WNPR

Connecticut is preparing to undertake a searching review of state regulations. Governor Dannel Malloy sees it as a way to kickstart economic growth.

Sujata Srinivasan

The ripple effects of the government shutdown are starting to extend beyond federal employees into the private industry. Small businesses are bracing for a range of issues from delayed regulatory approvals to a possible crunch in cash flow.

Tucker Ives / WNPR

People who immigrate to the United States are twice as likely as native born Americans to start their own businesses. A new organization in Hartford says that entrepreneurial spirit needs to be fostered to help the city's economy.

The Connecticut Captive Insurance Association

Stamford hosts a major conference on Wednesday on what's known as the "captive" insurance industry, a business Connecticut wants a bigger piece of.

Health care has always been a stumbling block for small businesses. Many want to provide it but found it out of their reach. The new health care law is supposed to change all that, and Connecticut's exchange is ahead of the curve in providing small business plans. Will anyone take them up on the offer?

Jan Ellen Spiegel

Governor Dannel Malloy pointed small businesses in Connecticut who were affected by Superstorm Sandy to a new state website, Connecticut Recovers, to apply for a share of $10.5 million in federal grants. The site is intended to streamline the process of filing for relief.

Chion Wolf

It’s Harvest Time for farms all over Connecticut, and that means a growing number of small farms that work on the “community supported agriculture” model. In CSAs, members share the risk of a volatile New England growing season, and share in the bounty as well.

First in a series about small businesses in America.

Small businesses are celebrated and exalted as the hard-working, most deserving members of the political economy. They get tax breaks, and they're touted as the engines of job creation.

But a basic question: What is a small business? It turns out there is no one definition.

Classifications Of Small

Harriet Jones

Officials' estimates say that in the next twenty years there could be as many as 30,000 drones flying in US airspace. Depending on your point of view, that's either a great technological leap forward, or a very scary prospect. Businesses are similarly divided about our drone future.

Tucker Ives / WNPR

Have you visited the Quiet Corner lately? In nighttime satellite imagery, it shows up as a swath of darkness in a field of twinkling lights. This rural area is larger than you might think - it’s about half the size of Arizona’s Grand Canyon, and about ten times the size of Acadia National Park in Maine. And it’s almost 80 percent forest and farmland.


In the spring, the city of Hartford launched the iConnect program, meant to fill vacant storefronts with new businesses. It's an idea that's been tried - with some success - in cities like New Haven, but Hartford's "Pop-up Storefront" has taken months longer than expected.

Harriet Jones

  It’s been just over a year since Connecticut began to create an ecosystem for entrepreneurs. Dubbed CT Next, the system has launched four hubs, hosted many events, signed up hundreds of nascent companies and spent almost five million dollars. But as it goes into its second year it has changed direction and some are left wondering if enough has been achieved.


A Connecticut businessman running for the Republican Senate nomination in Kentucky is taking on charges that he's not conservative enough.

Matt Bevin owns the Bevin Brothers Manufacturing Company in East Hampton, Connecticut. After the factory was destroyed in a fire last year, he received $100,000 in state grants to help him rebuild.

Angel investors pump a lot of cash into start-up businesses in this country - by some accounts about $23 billion a year. But some say they'll back off from looking for new opportunities if the Securities and Exchange Commission implements new rules on funding -- rules that are due to go into effect September 10. The irony is that the rules were supposed to make it easier for start-ups to find seed money.

J Holt

Hartford's Downtown gained another dining option this week, and one that's been a long time coming. For the two institutions behind it, fresh food and good coffee are just the starters. WNPR's J Holt has more.

When the Downtown branch of the Hartford Public Library underwent a major renovation in the early two thousands, a three story tall, glass walled atrium space was built right up front, with the intention of it becoming a cafe.

Diane Orson / WNPR

With law school grads facing a tough job market, some entrepreneurial attorneys are trying out hybrid businesses. One Connecticut attorney has opened a shop that combines his passion for the law with his skill as a barber.

Donald Howard says he first got the hybrid-business idea working as a paralegal for a personal injury attorney who doubled as a sports agent. Then he saw the concept again on a reality television show.

"It was a guy in California who did Legal Grind, a coffee house and a law office."

Harriet Jones

It's a common story for a personal passion to lead to a business opportunity. For one Connecticut entrepreneur it was the convergence of two passions -- baseball and art -- that launched her on the road to success. 



"Well, I grew up listening to the Red Sox on the radio, and on the only station that we had on our TV, you know, back in the Seventies. And my dad was a baseball coach and an umpire, so we just grew up with the Red Sox as sort of part of the family."

Sujata Srinivasan

Social entrepreneurship is becoming a buzzword with more people looking to solve social problems through the private market. In the conclusion of a three-part series on corporate social responsibility, WNPR’s Sujata Srinivasan looks at how entrepreneurs and policymakers are growing this sector.

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.”

Hartford's La Paloma Sabanera Closes

Jul 1, 2013
Johnathon Henninger

After a nearly decade long presence in Hartford's Frog Hollow neighborhood, a popular coffee shop and community hub closed its doors at the end of June.  

The story of the closing of La Paloma Sabanera Coffee House is a hard one to tell right. There's the recession, controversy over the new Hartford busway, an absentee landlord and a difficult rent negotiation, and even some tough winter weather. 

Iacobucci- "So it always seemed like we'd be able to take two steps forward, and one step back."

Johnathon Henninger

After a nearly decade long presence in Hartford's Frog Hollow neighborhood, a popular coffee shop and community hub closed its doors at the end of June. WNPR's J Holt brings us its story.


The story of the closing of La Paloma Sabanera Coffee House is a hard one to tell right. There's the recession, controversy over the new Hartford busway, an absentee landlord and a difficult rent negotiation, and even some tough winter weather. 

Sandy Hook Center Coming Back To Life

Jun 18, 2013

For months after the Newtown school shootings last December, area shops and restaurants struggled to find customers in the Sandy Hook neighborhood. That trend may finally be reversing as a number of new businesses open up.

I’m standing at the doorway of Foundry Kitchen and Grill, a new restaurant in the Newtown neighborhood of Sandy Hook. Back in March this place was still under construction. Now, it’s buzzing with diners, even during lunch hour in a district that’s lost one of its major daytime customer bases: Sandy Hook Elementary School. 

Ragesoss (Wikimedia Commons)

Running a restaurant is hard. Most fail the first year, and most of the rest fail soon after. Those who make it are rewarded with long hours, lots of bureaucracy, and the knowledge that they’re doing what they love.