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.
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?
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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."
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."
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.
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."
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.
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.
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.
"I started checking the ingredients. That's very important with sensitive skin. I couldn't even use a toner in my face 'cause it would get irritated."
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.
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."
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."
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.
Driving through downtown Hartford, you’ll see a lot of empty storefronts, plenty of parking garages, and some impressive high rises. And while the city has a hard time getting businesses to fill the office space - now at 26% vacancy -- developers can’t build housing fast enough to meet demand.
In fact, several of those old office buildings are being retrofitted for new housing. So people are voting for downtown housing with their dollars, but is there enough retail to keep feet on the street?
While shoppers gear up for Black Friday – maybe even for the midnight doorbusters on Thanksgiving – small businesses are hoping they won’t be forgotten in the holiday rush. This weekend marks the third annual Small Business Saturday. WNPR’s Harriet Jones reports.
If you’re a regular traveler on I-95, the name Clinton might bring to mind the big outlet mall that looms over the highway near that town.
Today we're broadcasting from one of the cultural meccas of Fairfield County - a waterside aquarium that hosts a half-millionlion visitors each year. Among other things, they have exhibits of seals and fish, and lots of stuff for kids.
Four times a year, WNPR's Small Business Project goes on the road to take the pulse of small business in our state. Today, we'll be visiting with business leaders from the shoreline to talk about something that's unavoidably important this year: the politics of small business.