small business

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.

Burlington Mom's Products Reach Whole Foods

Jun 3, 2013

When her husband's work relocated their family to Connecticut, Ada Rios' primary job was raising her toddler. Shortly after she began to develop the skin condition eczema. It forced her to rethink her entire beauty regimen. 

Burlington Mom's Products Reach Whole Foods

Jun 3, 2013

When her husband's work relocated their family to Connecticut, Ada Rios' primary job was raising her toddler. Shortly after she began to develop the skin condition eczema. It forced her to rethink her entire beauty regimen. 

Commercial insurers are very close to revealing the rates they’ll charge for healthcare plans under the new Connecticut healthcare exchange. As WNPR’s Harriet Jones reports, it’s been a long, uncertain road to get here.

No matter the industry, small companies are more dependent than ever on their computer networks. And it turns out those networks are more at risk than ever – because of the explosion of personal wireless. WNPR’s Harriet Jones explains.

                                      

No matter the industry, small companies are more dependent than ever on their computer networks. And it turns out those networks are more at risk than ever – because of the explosion of personal wireless. 

J Holt

Businessman Chris Runyan isn't one to follow a trend. In an online, downloadable world, he's built a successful brick and mortar business. And, in a time when companies are moving out of state, he relocated from Arkansas to Connecticut to do it. WNPR's J Holt met him.

When Chris Runyan moved to Connecticut in 2009, he came with the intention to start his own business.

Runyan- "My goal was to get 6 stores on the ground in 3 years." 

J Holt

Businessman Chris Runyan isn't one to follow a trend. In an online, downloadable world, he's built a successful brick and mortar business. And, in a time when companies are moving out of state, he relocated from Arkansas to Connecticut to do it.

When Chris Runyan moved to Connecticut in 2009, he came with the intention to start his own business. He said, "My goal was to get six stores on the ground in three years." 

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."

 

Sujata Srinivasan

Almost six months after Superstorm Sandy, some businesses are still fighting to get back on their feet. Pop’s Grocery, a 52-year-old corner store in Bridgeport, was inundated by floodwater during the storm. As part of her series on recovery after Sandy, WNPR’s Sujata Srinivasan went back to visit.

J. Holt

The 2013 Craft Brewers Conference was held in the nation's capital this past week, and it drew over 6,000 attendees from an industry growing steadily amid an otherwise struggling economy. As WNPR's J. Holt reports, Connecticut's Craft Brewing industry is experiencing an explosion of it's own.

Mark Sigman: "Basically we're just transferring the second round of water, hot water, into the mash tun here." 

Chion Wolf

In his State of the Union address, President Obama issued a challenge:

"To grow our middle class, our citizens must have access to the education and training that today’s jobs require. But we also have to make sure that America remains a place where everyone who’s willing to work hard has the chance to get ahead."

Sujata Srinivasan

Specialty foods like handcrafted chocolate and gluten-free organic pasta may be pricey, but some small business owners say they’re seeing a pick up in demand. WNPR’s Sujata Srinivasan reports on how entrepreneurs in the high-end food business have pulled through the recession, priming their business for growth.

 

Harriet Jones

Connecticut’s small businesses took a hit from Hurricane Sandy last fall, but they fared better than their counterparts in New York and New Jersey. WNPR’s Harriet Jones looks at a new study from insurer The Hartford.

 

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.

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.”

 

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.

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.

 

Nurturing Home Grown Business

Feb 27, 2013
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. 

 

Sujata Srinivasan

State officials have warned businesses and municipalities to clear roofs of snow loads to prevent possible collapse from the weight. WNPR’s Sujata Srinivasan reports.

 

Heavy rain on Monday in addition to three feet of snow over the weekend, is putting quite a bit of load on rooftops. Gov. Dannel Malloy at a press conference in Branford:

 

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.

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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