Small Business

WNPR’s small business coverage elevates understanding of the challenges faced by small business, educates policy-makers, and highlights the vital role of small business to the state’s economy. 

David DesRoches / WNPR

A group of teenage boys hoist a red Columbia racing bike into the air, and lock it into place on a bike lift. They’re replacing the brake hoods – devices that house the thing you squeeze when you want to stop.

Thimble Island Brewery

A recent deal to combine two of the largest beer conglomerates in the world could put the squeeze on Connecticut's 32 craft beer makers. 

Stephanie Riefe / WNPR

Actor Kevin Bacon, who's currently performing in “Rear Window” at Hartford Stage, took time on Wednesday to bring awareness to a culinary job training program in Hartford's community.

Bridgeport’s business community is absorbing the news that Joe Ganim will soon be back in the mayor’s office. It's a city that’s always needed all hands on deck to stimulate economic development, attract businesses, and boost employment.

For centuries, Vermont has been able to turn fall foliage into tourist dollars for the state. But there are two men who are now exporting the colorful leaves — for a price.

Connecticut Technology Council

A software firm that helps community banks comply with government regulations has been named as the fastest growing technology company in the state.

Chion Wolf / WNPR

In June, General Electric confirmed it’s considering a move out of Connecticut. The news came amid a state budget battle over corporate tax hikes. 

Lunch on Wheels: The Food Truck Revolution

Aug 20, 2015
State Library Victoria College / Creative Commons

Not that long ago, you might not have known what a food truck is, but today it's hard to avoid them. They seem to be everywhere, serving every kind of cuisine, but they still face a gauntlet of legal challenges to operate - and still aren't allowed to operate in some towns in the state.

Jeff Cohen / WNPR

Former Hartford insurance broker Earl O'Garro pleaded not guilty Tuesday to three charges in a new federal indictment, and it appears both sides are preparing for an October trial.

Connecticut Craft Beer: A New Industry is Brewing

Aug 7, 2015
Chion Wolf

To say Connecticut is known for its world class craft beers is not accurate-- at least not yet. But a bold band of merry (and quite innovative) beer brewers from cities all around are on a mission to change that, one small batch at a time. With nearly 40 in-state breweries currently in operation-- a ten fold increase from the number we had only six years ago -- the Connecticut craft beer industry is booming.

Mark Walerysiak

The "cultural ninjas" are back at it, weeks after stealthily transforming five empty storefronts into beautiful, impromptu art installations. Now, Bristol's Art Squad is tackling abandoned properties.

Adavyd / Creative Commons

Small businesses owners descended on the Capitol to protest proposals for tax hikes in the Democrats’ draft budget. At a public hearing organized by Republican lawmakers, companies provided seven hours of testimony on the budget bill, which would extend sales tax to a new range of services. 

Jay Cox / Creative Commons

Business closures were up sharply in Connecticut in the first quarter of this year. New data from the Secretary of the State’s office show that almost 3,300 companies closed their doors between January and March.

Creative Commons

Two UConn professors who’ve been accused of misusing funds from the National Science Foundation didn’t fully read documentation that required them to disclose a conflict of interest, according to state auditors.

Chion Wolf / WNPR

Five out of six New England governors will meet in Hartford on Thursday for a closed-door energy roundtable. Together, they’ll work on developing a cooperative strategy to address some of the region’s biggest energy challenges. 

Ken Teegardin/SeniorLiving.Org / Creative Commons

Connecticut should act to close loopholes that allow big corporations to pay less tax. That’s the recommendation of pressure group ConnPIRG, which says small businesses in the state pay thousands of dollars extra each year to make up for corporate tax avoidance. 

Less than three months after the U.S. announced it will ease travel to Cuba, home rental site Airbnb is listing properties in the island nation. The average price for a room or home in Havana is currently $43. The company says it's starting out with more than 1,000 listings.

A look at the offerings Thursday morning found everything from "beautiful colonial rooms for rent in the heart of Havana" for $27 a night to a "a holiday sanctuary" chalet on the outskirts of Havana that can accommodate 10 guests for $1,000. It includes a pool.

A neighborhood market that would be in the shadow of the MGM Springfield casino is closing after 73 years.

Springfield Mayor Domenic Sarno who has been coming to Albano’s Market since he was a boy brought the Key to The City and a proclamation Wednesday to honor its owners as pillars of the South End Italian-American community.  Filomena Bruschi and her sister Theresa D’Angelantonio took over the small business from their parents in 1942 and are now retiring after accepting an offer to sell to a developer.


A Cornwall farm operator, accused of mistreating dairy goats, has been arrested on animal cruelty charges. Tara Bryson, who operates Butterfield Farm Co. with her boyfriend, Michael Hearl, was arrested Thursday.


The Back9Network, a cable and Internet-based network devoted to golfing that opened in Hartford with state assistance nearly two years ago, has suspended operations. Without elaborating Monday, Back9 cited a "temporary shortfall in capital."

The network said it is planning the next steps and will continue to seek long-term operating capital. 

Coventry Regional Farmers' Market / Facebook

The well-known Coventry Regional Farmers' Market is heading into its final summer season, beginning on May 31 and running every Sunday until October. While local businesses and vendors are sad to see the market go, they are grateful for the executive board’s dedication and ambition over the past 12 years.

New England Brewing Co.

A Connecticut brewery says it will no longer use the name and likeness of Mohandas Gandhi on one of its beers following complaints that the marketing was offensive.

Chion Wolf / WNPR

This hour, we talk about two Connecticut dance halls, each springing from the vision of two very different men who took their respective dance halls down very different paths. One's dream soared, bringing thousands of concert-goers to over 3,000 acts over an eleven-year history. The other's dream stalled, his elaborate dance hall sitting idle for decades.

When upscale food trucks roared into popularity a few years ago, the folks running them praised their rolling operations as far cheaper and simpler to launch than a bricks-and-mortar restaurant.

Now, entrepreneurs are finding similar advantages in food bikes.

Brewers, chefs, baristas and even farmers are turning to pedal-powered vehicles to bring their goods to consumers — and, sometimes, actually produce them on the street.

Chion Wolf

It’s inauguration day in Connecticut! And it’s also Wednesday...and that means The Wheelhouse, our weekly news roundtable. How convenient is that?

Chion Wolf / WNPR

It doesn't really even make any sense what has happened at the Goodspeed Opera House every since  Michael Price took over the late 1960s. East Haddam, which is conveniently located near absolutely nothing, has played host to Mike Nichols, Idina Menzel, Jerry Herman, Mark Hamill, Kristin Chenoweth, Sutton Foster, Julie Andrews...I could go on.

Sujata Srinivasan / WNPR

The head of Connecticut Innovations, Claire Leonardi, has announced her resignation from the quasi-state agency. Leonardi has led Connecticut’s technology investment arm for almost three years. 

Mark Hillary / Creative Commons

It’s the holiday season, meaning it’s time for Americans to hit the stores for Christmas sales and New Year's bargains. This November and December, millions of shoppers will peruse the aisles of big-box stores and chain retailers, hoping to find the coolest gifts and lowest prices.

Mike Oliveri/flickr creative commons

Carving birds? Knitting sweaters? Paper cutting? Blowing glass? If you're a crafts person, paid or unpaid, please call and tell us what it adds to your life.

When it needs to serve 75,000 raw oysters to 3,000 people in one weekend, Washington D.C.'s landmark Old Ebbitt Grill calls in reinforcements. It hires expert oyster shuckers to help out with its Oyster Riot event each year. And for most of the last 20 years, those experts have included 59-year-old George Hastings.