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. 

Connecticut has seen robust growth in businesses owned by women over recent years, and much of the increase appears to be driven by minority entrepreneurs. 

Mike Mozart / Creative Commons

The parent company of Eastern Mountain Sports and Bob's Stores has filed for bankruptcy protection and plans to shutter several New England bricks-and-mortar locations.

A New Hampshire-based bakery chain is showing its support for Equal Pay Day Tuesday by giving female customers a break on their bills.

Women who visit The Works bakery locations in Concord, Keene, Portsmouth and Durham today will be charged only 79 percent of their bills.

Men will still have to pay full price.

That’s meant to highlight the oft-cited statistic of women earning 79 cents on the dollar compared to their male counterparts.

gildemax

The thaw in relations with Cuba has sparked a huge amount of interest in the possibility of doing business with that nation, after 60 years of isolation. And one Connecticut entrepreneur hopes it's not just U.S. giants that get to play in Cuba.

Open Grid Scheduler / Flickr Creative Commons

An effort is underway to bring high-speed internet to residents across Connecticut and create competition for the existing cable and broadband companies. The CT Gig Project includes public officials who say it is needed for economic development, competition, and innovation. Opponents don't think the government should get involved in the internet business. 

Senado Federal / Flickr Creative Commons

It goes by many names: the sharing economy, the collaborative economy, the peer economy, just to name a few. Whatever you want to call it, one thing's for sure: this new way of doing business -- where idle assets equal big profits, and the hard-earned currency of trust comes through user reviews -- is changing the economic landscape of our country.

Open Grid Scheduler / Flickr

An effort is underway to bring high-speed internet to residents across Connecticut and create competition for the existing cable and broadband companies. The CT Gig Project includes public officials who say it is needed for economic development, competition, and innovation. Opponents don't think the government should get involved in the internet business. 

David Shankbone / Creative Commons

A large crowd of package store owners has gathered at the state Capitol to oppose the governor's proposal to eliminate minimum pricing rules in Connecticut for certain alcoholic beverages.

Shana Sureck / WNPR

Right near the intersection of Park and Broad Streets in Hartford, there’s a building covered in an enormous fluorescent mural. Below it is the giant pink banner for Pelican Tattoo.

The multi-national corporation General Electric announced they’ll move their global headquarters to Boston, Massachusetts, this summer. They’ll be leaving Fairfield, Connecticut, where they’d been based for more than 40 years. The local damage will go beyond the loss of 800 jobs.

Senado Federal / Flickr

It goes by many names: the sharing economy, the collaborative economy, the peer economy, just to name a few. Whatever you want to call it, one thing's for sure: this new way of doing business -- where idle assets equal big profits, and the hard-earned currency of trust comes through user reviews -- is changing the economic landscape of our country.

If you want to see how refugees are changing Buffalo, N.Y., the West Side Bazaar is a good place to start. It's an incubator for immigrant-owned businesses. And it's the only place in town where you can eat Ethiopian sponge bread, Burmese noodles and Peruvian chicken at the same table. It's also a market with clothing and gifts.

"We are like family here — families from different countries," says Nadeen Yousef, who moved to Buffalo from Iraq last year. Yousef now has a booth at the bazaar, where she sells handmade macrame wall hangings and art.

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.

bldsteelpointe.com

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.

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