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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Open Government
11:56 am
Wed December 4, 2013

Malloy Touts Economic Track Record, Launches New Transparency Initiative

Governor Dannel Malloy signed a new executive order to increase transparency in state investments to promote economic development.
Sujata Srinivasan

The public will soon have access to a one-stop web portal for information on tax credits and direct financial assistance the state is offering to help businesses grow and expand in Connecticut. Governor Dannel Malloy at a press conference in Bloomfield said taxpayers have the right to know what their state government is doing to promote economic development and job creation. 

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Affordable Care Act
4:30 pm
Wed November 27, 2013

Small-Business Access To Online Health Exchanges Delayed Again

Small employers can still enroll in Affordable Care Act coverage through insurers or brokers, but not through the online exchanges.
iStockphoto

The Obama administration is delaying yet again online signup for small businesses through the Affordable Care Act. The program was intended to make it easier for small employers to provide health insurance to their workers on a more equal footing with big business.

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Small Business Saturday
9:03 am
Wed November 27, 2013

Downtown Businesses Look for Holiday Boost

Trumbull Street in downtown Hartford
Harriet Jones

Black Friday is rapidly approaching, and ads from the national chains and the big box stores are hard to ignore. But once again this year, small retailers are hoping to catch a slice of the holiday shopping action.

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Entrepreneurship
9:06 am
Tue November 26, 2013

Small Firms May Soon Turn To Crowdfunding To Sell Shares

iStockphoto

Originally published on Tue November 26, 2013 1:28 pm

Crowdfunding is popular among musicians, filmmakers and artists looking for a way to finance their next project.

Now the Securities and Exchange Commission is considering rules that, for the first time, would allow small companies to solicit investments over the Internet and sell shares to the general public.

For some small firms, these new rules come as welcome news.

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Small Biz, Big Tech
12:00 am
Tue November 26, 2013

Small Business After Hours: The Big Connect

Credit Wonderlane, Creative Commons

This hour, we listen back to our live conversation from The Big Connect at the Toyota Oakdale Theater in Wallingford, our last "Small Business After Hours" event of the year.

We get together a few times a year to talk about issues concerning small business, and what's a bigger, broader topic than "technology?"

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Health Insurance
9:16 am
Mon November 25, 2013

No Individual Health Insurance Policy Fix for Connecticut

Deputy Insurance Commissioner Anne Melissa Dowling gives evidence to lawmakers
Credit CT-N

Individuals who've received cancelation notices on their health insurance policies in Connecticut must now find an alternative. Governor Dannel Malloy said he will not allow insurance companies to renew plans that don't comply with the Affordable Care Act, rejecting President Obama's fix announced last week.

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Artificial Food
6:27 am
Mon November 25, 2013

Connecticut Food Industry Readies for Potential Regulation of Trans Fats

Barbara Bucknam of Stew Leonard's (at right), with Beth Leonard Hollis, said the group is making strides in eliminating trans fats in in-house foods.
Sujata Srinivasan

The U.S. Food and Drug Administration is taking steps to reduce artificial trans fats in processed foods. According to the agency, the move could help prevent 20,000 heart attacks and 7,000 deaths each year. This means manufacturers, retailers, and restaurants could have to reformulate some of their recipes.

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Affordable Care Act
7:46 am
Mon November 18, 2013

Health Care Law "a Maze" for Small Businesses

Credit Darnyi Zsóka / Creative Commons

When the Affordable Care Act is fully implemented, large companies will be subject to a penalty if they don't provide coverage for their workers. But life is also changing in unexpected ways for small companies as the health care rollout continues.

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Spotting Talent
8:04 am
Mon October 21, 2013

Manufacturing Event Targets Future Workforce for Connecticut-Made Products

The Connecticut Center for Advanced Technology, Inc. had several 3D printers on display.
Sujata Srinivasan

October is “Manufacturing Month” in Connecticut, and efforts are underway to create the next generation of engineers and innovators as part of the state’s “Dream It. Do It” program. Companies, nonprofits, academic institutions and the state government are working together to promote the high-tech sector to youngsters through month-long events such as “Manufacturing Mania,” where school kids are exposed to manufacturers and career opportunities.

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Economy
2:35 pm
Wed October 16, 2013

State Regulation Under Review

Governor Dannel Malloy during a visit to WNPR.
Credit Chion Wolf / WNPR

Connecticut is preparing to undertake a searching review of state regulations. Governor Dannel Malloy sees it as a way to kickstart economic growth.

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Government Shutdown
1:47 pm
Mon October 14, 2013

Shutdown Puts Small Businesses in Tight Spot

Manon Cox of Protein Sciences is impacted by the government shutdown on the regulatory front.
Sujata Srinivasan

The ripple effects of the government shutdown are starting to extend beyond federal employees into the private industry. Small businesses are bracing for a range of issues from delayed regulatory approvals to a possible crunch in cash flow.

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International Hartford
1:52 pm
Fri October 11, 2013

Hartford Boosts Immigrant Entrepreneurs

Park Street in Hartford.
Credit Tucker Ives / WNPR

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.

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Insurance
3:35 pm
Wed October 2, 2013

Connecticut Aims to Lure Captives

Thomas Leonardi, Commissioner of the Connecticut Insurance Department and the 2012 Symposium on Captive Insurance.
Credit The Connecticut Captive Insurance Association

Stamford hosts a major conference on Wednesday on what's known as the "captive" insurance industry, a business Connecticut wants a bigger piece of.

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Insuring Employees
10:18 am
Tue October 1, 2013

Connecticut Businesses "Wait and See" on Health Care Exchange

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?

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Sandy Relief
10:46 am
Sun September 29, 2013

Malloy Announces Online Sandy Relief Application for Small Businesses

Cosey Beach in East Haven, Connecticut, on October 28, 2012.
Credit Jan Ellen Spiegel

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.

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Where We Live
10:00 am
Thu September 26, 2013

Where We Farm, Live From Holcomb

Holcomb Farm, West Granby
Chion Wolf

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.

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Small Business
4:47 am
Tue September 24, 2013

When It Comes To Businesses, How Big Is Small?

iStockphoto.com

Originally published on Wed October 16, 2013 4:41 pm

First in a series about small businesses in America.

Small businesses are celebrated and exalted as the hard-working, most deserving members of the political economy. They get tax breaks, and they're touted as the engines of job creation.

But a basic question: What is a small business? It turns out there is no one definition.

Classifications Of Small

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Business
10:08 am
Mon September 23, 2013

Commercial Drones Ready to Fly

A StillFly drone in the air over the Saybrook Point Inn
Harriet Jones

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.

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Where We Live
10:00 am
Fri September 20, 2013

Small Business After Hours: The Not-So-Quiet Corner

Live radio inside The Vanilla Bean in Pomfret, Connecticut.
Credit Tucker Ives / WNPR

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.

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Small Business
4:08 pm
Wed September 18, 2013

Hartford Storefront Project Running Months Late

Vacant storefront on Hartford's Trumbull St. waiting for iConnect tenants
Credit iConnect/Hartford

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.

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Business
8:11 am
Mon September 9, 2013

New Direction for CTNext

reSET, the co-working space that hosts Hartford's CTNext hub
Credit Harriet Jones

  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.

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Kentucky Ringer
4:57 pm
Thu September 5, 2013

Bevin: Connecticut "Wanted to Help Out" My Company

Matt Bevin on MSNBC's "The Daily Rundown" with Luke Russert.
Credit MSNBC

A Connecticut businessman running for the Republican Senate nomination in Kentucky is taking on charges that he's not conservative enough.

Matt Bevin owns the Bevin Brothers Manufacturing Company in East Hampton, Connecticut. After the factory was destroyed in a fire last year, he received $100,000 in state grants to help him rebuild.

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Business
11:46 am
Tue September 3, 2013

Changes Could Mean Angel Flight

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.

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Small Business
8:13 am
Fri August 30, 2013

Kitchen At Hartford Public Library

J Holt

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.

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Barbershop Law
6:32 am
Fri August 16, 2013

A Connecticut Lawyer on the Cutting Edge

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."

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Books
11:27 am
Fri August 9, 2013

Twin Passions Lead to Major League Business Opportunity

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."

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Social Responsibility
12:57 pm
Mon July 29, 2013

Doing Well By Doing Good: Social Enterprise

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.

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Social Responsibility
11:33 am
Mon July 22, 2013

Making Conscious Capitalism Work

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.”

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Small Business
8:33 am
Mon July 1, 2013

Hartford's La Paloma Sabanera Closes

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. 

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Small Business
8:33 am
Mon July 1, 2013

Hartford's La Paloma Sabanera Closes

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."

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