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. 

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Bottom Five
11:02 pm
Wed July 2, 2014

Business Climate: Is Connecticut Really That Bad?

Perception or reality?

A recent study saw Connecticut drop once again in the ranking of business-friendly states. According to CNBC, we’re now among the bottom five states in the nation in terms of our business climate.

There is a view out there, however, that things may not be so bad after all.

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Technology
11:27 am
Fri June 20, 2014

Yo Is The Buzzy App Of The Moment, Whether Yo Like It Or Not

justyo.co

Originally published on Fri June 20, 2014 2:41 pm

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Made in Connecticut
9:26 am
Wed June 18, 2014

Connecticut Vaccine Company Gets $50 Million in Federal Funding

The Meriden labs of Protein Sciences.
Credit Harriet Jones / WNPR

Meriden’s Protein Sciences has been awarded a multi-million dollar extension to its contract with the federal government to provide flu vaccines.

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Made in Connecticut
9:27 am
Fri June 13, 2014

How Connecticut Manufacturing Businesses Have Beat the Odds For 100 Years

Bill Potvin at Hosmer Mountain Soda continues to sell flavors that are uniquely New England.
Sujata Srinivasan WNPR

The odds were never in favor of small businesses. Data from the Small Business Administration shows that only about one-third of all start-ups make it beyond the first ten years. 

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Where We Live
9:00 am
Mon May 26, 2014

Bringing Manufacturing Jobs Back to Connecticut

John Dankosky speaks with (from left) Chris Murphy, Kris Lorch, and Sonny Morneault.
Lydia Brown WNPR

This hour, we kick off our year-long Made in Connecticut series with a conversation about keeping jobs in and bringing jobs back to Connecticut. Senator Chris Murphy joined us, along with WNPR’s Harriet Jones, and some folks from the local manufacturing industry, to take an in-depth look at the present and future of manufacturing in our state.

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Non-Profits
1:45 pm
Wed May 21, 2014

Finding a New Business Paradigm For Connecticut Non-Profits

Volunteer Louise Thoman works with a client at IICONN.
IICONN

Giving to good causes is something many of us think about at the end of the year, as we send off a donation to a non-profit that we support. But what if you had the means and business expertise get more deeply involved in the work of your chosen cause? A new organization in Connecticut wants to harness that kind of talent.

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Technology
12:41 pm
Mon May 5, 2014

Teen's App Helps Pay Family's Bills

Courtesy of Michael Sayman

Originally published on Mon May 5, 2014 5:51 pm

Michael Sayman is a 17-year-old game developer from Miami, whose app — 4 Snaps — has been going strong in the iTunes App Store. Sayman was highlighted at Facebook's development conference last week by Mark Zuckerberg. He graduates from high school this month and starts an internship at Facebook headquarters later this summer. Sayman spoke with Tell Me More about his app, how he used the proceeds to help his family and how some schools and teachers are overlooking the importance of tech.

How did you get into tech?

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Startup Culture
9:54 am
Tue April 29, 2014

How a Stamford Startup Is Disrupting the Online Ad Market

Bill Lederer and Ted Yang in the Stamford office of MediaCrossing.
Harriet Jones WNPR

Do you ever wonder how the banner ad that pops up on your favorite website gets there, and who chooses what you’ll see?

At the moment, the buying and selling of digital ads is largely controlled by big legacy agencies. But there’s a tiny upstart company in Stamford that wants to disrupt the growing market.

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Made in Connecticut
10:56 am
Mon April 28, 2014

Reshoring Reaches Connecticut Manufacturers

Operator Angela Hernandez performs a trimming operation and visual inspection on a prototype molding process at NPI Medical in Ansonia.
David Butler II Butler Photography, LLC

As World War II came to a close, manufacturing in Connecticut employed close to half the state's working population. Now it accounts for only eleven percent of employment. That dramatic decline over half a century is due to one irresistible force: off-shoring, and the loss of work to cheaper labor markets in Asia. But that force may not be so irresistible after all.

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Japanalia Eiko
4:55 pm
Sun April 20, 2014

End May Be Near For Hartford Cabaret Series

Dan Blow at the piano inside Japanalia Eiko.
David Borawski

Dan Blow, the noted Hartford-based fashion designer who creatively refashioned himself into one of the city’s most industrious and illustrious concert producers, plans to pull up stakes in Hartford to live in the Bahamas; shutter his clothing business, sell his elegant Woodland Street condo, and in a severe blow to the local music scene, perhaps end his enormously popular Music@Japanalia series held primarily in his West End boutique.

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Small Business
8:54 am
Fri April 11, 2014

New Haven Cardboard Furniture Company Goes Beyond One-Man Production

Zachary Rotholz of Chairigami.
Alan Yu WNPR

In New Haven, there's a furniture shop where everything is designed, hand-made, and shipped by just one employee working with cardboard.

Now Zachary Rotholz of Chairigami is working with manufacturers in Connecticut to scale up production of his cardboard furniture, and even make it high-tech.

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Vermont
8:50 am
Thu April 10, 2014

No Laptops, No Wi-Fi: How One Cafe Fired Up Sales

"We saw a lot of customers come in, look for a table, not find one and leave," owner Jodi Whalen says. "It was money flowing out the door for us."
Annie Russell VPR

Originally published on Thu April 10, 2014 8:46 am

Customers chat, read the paper and order sandwiches and espresso drinks at the counter of August First Bakery & Cafe in Burlington, Vt., but there's something different here. Where there used to be the familiar glow of laptop screens and the clicking of keyboards, now the devices are banned.

"I was here working on my laptop when I looked over and saw that there's a sign that says 'laptop-free,' " says Luna Colt, a senior at the University of Vermont.

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Local Business
11:33 am
Wed April 2, 2014

Bristol Business Gets a Boost -- From a Cash Mob

Bristol Rising supporters gathered outside West End Pizza, before the start of the cash mob.
J Holt

By the time Bristol's West End Pizza was ready to open its doors on Saturday morning, there were a dozen patrons already outside, waiting to get in. You may have heard of a flash mob. Well, this is a financial version. The family owned pizzeria was the target of a "cash mob," which is essentially a group of people joining forces to give a business a really good day. 

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Ironworker Mentoring
12:42 pm
Mon March 24, 2014

City of Hartford Launches Mentor-Protégé Program

Participants in the City of Hartford's first mentor-protégé program, from left: Ian Howell and his mentor, Nick Bonadies; Joslyn F. Chance and his mentors, Cathy Jo and Barry Cousineau; Shane Kelly and his mentor, Arthur "Chip" Martin.
Credit J Holt

Many cities promote minority and women owned businesses by hiring them to provide services. But Hartford is going one step further -- with a mentoring program. 

Shane Kelly is an ironwork contractor, and his company, Kelly Steel, has been a certified minority-owned business for years. He wants to expand his business into more areas of his industry. "I've been apprehensive, you know," he said. "No one wants to mess up."

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Technology
5:57 pm
Sat March 22, 2014

Need Money For Your Startup? Being An Attractive Male May Help

Men are more likely to get venture capitalist support than women, and a new study found that attractive males get even more points — from both genders.
iStockphoto

Originally published on Sat March 22, 2014 8:47 pm

Google. Twitter. Facebook. Back before they got big, companies like these were just startup ideas, born in dorm rooms and run out of garages. Then came the venture capitalists: rich, older men ready to fund the brilliant ideas of younger, creative men.

But what if you are a woman with a startup idea? A new study says you might not do so well. It's been well-documented that businesses started by women receive very little venture capital money.

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Unemployment
10:24 am
Mon March 17, 2014

Connecticut Job Numbers Tell a Complicated Story

The number of people actively seeking work declined in January.
Credit Harriet Jones

The latest employment report from the state Department of Labor showed a hopeful pick-up in job creation in Connecticut last year. But it also revealed a big loss in jobs in the first month of this year.

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The Faith Middleton Show
10:43 am
Tue March 11, 2014

Frank Rich Says Fox News Is Over

Credit Peter Bond/flickr creative commons

From Faith Middleton: One of the nation's most interesting thinkers, writer Frank Rich talks with us about his analysis of what's happened to Fox News. Essentially, Rich says liberals and centrists keep falling for the Fox game, by responding to Fox's silly stories, like the so-called war on Christmas, or the birther controversy. The bait is offered time and again, and usually taken. Witness MSNBC's constant responses to Fox “news” reports.

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Doing Business
2:40 pm
Fri March 7, 2014

Campaign Aims to Improve Business Climate in Connecticut

Legislative leaders address business owners at CBIA's Business Day
Credit Harriet Jones

The state's poor business climate is a perennial complaint for Connecticut's largest business organization. And now it's launched a campaign to make it an urgent priority. 

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Public Policy Divide
4:04 pm
Mon February 24, 2014

Mixed Effects on Industry and Workers as Malloy Pushes for Higher Minimum Wage

Dale Doll, pantry coordinator at MACC, said she sees minimum wage workers struggling to put food on the table.
Credit Sujata Srinivasan

As the pace of the gubernatorial campaign picks up, with the position up for re-election this November, Governor Dannel Malloy is making minimum wage a top priority issue. A further increase in the minimum wage is one of the most politically polarizing debates the legislature is likely to see this session. 

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Selling Overseas
1:11 pm
Wed February 12, 2014

Connecticut Sets Export Record

Aerospace engines and parts account for half the value of Connecticut's exports.
Credit Pratt & Whitney

Connecticut set a new record for exporting goods and services in 2013, one of just 16 states to do so. Connecticut is also punching above its weight in the value of the goods it sends abroad.

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Connecticut First
6:04 pm
Tue February 11, 2014

Hearing Over Sexual Assaults on College Campuses; Connecticut Ranks Second in AP

The legislature’s higher education committee heard testimony on Tuesday over a bill aimed at improving sexual assault policies on Connecticut college campuses. The proposal would change how schools report sexual assaults involving both students and employees.

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Connecticut First
5:15 pm
Mon February 10, 2014

Malloy Touts Universal Pre-K; More Autistic Students in Seclusion

Near the end of his State of the State address last week, Governor Dannel Malloy discussed his propsosal for universal preschool by expanding state-supported early childhood education spaces by 4,000 over the next five years. The plan is already garnering nationwide attention. Malloy said the initiative would be a first in Connecticut history.

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Registering a Business
9:40 am
Mon February 10, 2014

Online Tool Helps Connecticut Businesses Navigate State Red Tape

Credit Ingram Publishing / Thinkstock

The Secretary of the State has unveiled a new online tool for businesses to help them get off the ground.

According to Secretary of the State Denise Merrill, the web resource has a very simple aim. "If you were a small business person who just wanted to start your own business for the first time," she said, "where would you start, and how would you do it?"

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Cats and Dogs
5:46 pm
Fri January 31, 2014

Task Force on Pet Shops Issues Final Recommendations

Lab mix pups
Credit Jason Neely

A task force created to examine the sale of cats and dogs in Connecticut pet stores has issued its recommendations to curb the sale of animals that come from puppy mills. 

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Aerospace Ramp-Up
3:59 pm
Thu January 30, 2014

Malloy Seeks $25 Million for Manufacturing Support

Chris DiPentima of Pegasus Manufacturing speaks to a press conference with Governor Malloy and DECD Commissioner Catherine Smith.
Credit CT-N

The Malloy administration wants to set aside more cash to help the state's manufacturers. The proposal seeks authorization from the legislature to set up a $25 million fund to help advanced manufacturing companies.

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Connecticut First
10:35 am
Wed January 15, 2014

DCF Developing Children's Behavioral Needs Plan; DEEP Commissioner Discusses Climate Change

Credit WNPR/CPTV

The proposal to address the behavioral, mental, and emotional needs of children is a requirement passed under legislation that was passed by the General Assembly last year. The plan is in response to the shooting in 2012 at Sandy Hook Elementary School. DCF is looking to create the plan with help from families along with experts and other advocates. It should be completed by October.

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Benefit Corporations
1:55 pm
Tue January 14, 2014

Social Entrepreneur Supporters Lobby Connecticut Lawmakers to Recognize B-Corps

Kate Emery of The Walker Group speaks before the Commerce Committee.
Credit CT-N

Supporters of social entrepreneurship are once again lobbying lawmakers to create a new business structure in the state. They want Connecticut to pass a law allowing social enterprises to register as B-Corps, or benefit corporations. That would set them apart from other business entities that don't have a declared social mission. 

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Health Insurance
12:45 am
Thu January 2, 2014

Employers Contemplate Private Health Care Exchanges

Credit Gubcio / iStock / Thinkstock

While we've heard a lot in the last few months about public health care exchanges, another, less publicized change is taking place in the world of employer sponsored health care: private exchanges.

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50 Years Of Theater
5:06 am
Tue December 31, 2013

Hartford Stage Sees Better Economy, Brighter Future

The cast of "The Tempest" from Hartford Stage's 2011-2012 season.
T. Charles Erickson

It’s that time of the year when miserly Ebenezer Scrooge and sweet Tiny Tim electrify the Hartford Stage with their heart-warming story, like they have these past 15 years. But now, in honor of the theater's 50th anniversary season, the production has redesigned costumes, more special effects, and new lighting.

The holiday cheer is much needed. The multiple award-winning Hartford Stage, like its counterparts nationwide, has struggled through the tough economy.

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Technology
3:17 pm
Mon December 30, 2013

5 New Year's Resolutions From Women To Watch

Maya Penn
Marla Aufmuth TED

New Year's resolutions: Sometimes we make them; usually we break them. The annual goals are intended to bring out the best in us — but what if you're already extremely accomplished?

These five women have worked hard to help others, through businesses, innovation and writing. Four of them were speakers at the TEDWomen conference earlier in December in San Francisco (Katrina Alcorn was an attendee).

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