One of the biggest financial concerns most small businesses face is providing health care. This week, WNPR’s Small Business Project is taking a two-part look at the health care crisis facing small employers. In the first of her reports, Harriet Jones talks to the businesses that are feeling the pinch.
Connecticut doesn’t yet have a reputation as a breeding ground for new high-tech companies, but there are efforts underway to change that image. In 2008, Connecticut Innovations introduced the CTech Incubator Program. WNPR’s Andrew Huston reports on some of the companies growing there.
Tourism is vital industry for Connecticut, generating some $14 billion in visitor spending each year. Small businesses are the mainstay of the sector. But as WNPR’s Harriet Jones reports, many are worried about the future.
Governor Dannel Malloy says he gets it on tourism.
“We’re going to rethink in its entirety our approach to tourism—we’re going to work where partnerships work and we’re not going to carry partnerships that don’t work.”
Many communities around Connecticut rely on small businesses to provide essential, basic services. For WNPR’s latest small business profile, Harriet Jones visited a home-based daycare in Hamden that’s helping children and parents alike.
Morning exercise is all part of the routine at Every Child Ahead in Hamden.
“I just care for them like they’re my children, and I think that’s why I keep my daycare full.”
If Connecticut is to have an engaged and productive workforce it must have reliable childcare. Childcare comes in many different forms, but an increasing number of providers are small, home-based businesses. WNPR’s Harriet Jones reports.
In a tiny condo in Hamden, Lushanna Thompson is allowing her small charges to let off some steam.
Getting into the international market can be both exciting and challenging for a business. It offers the chance for new customers and growth, but it’s also a steep learning curve. WNPR’s Harriet Jones visited one Meriden firm that’s sending Connecticut-made medical products all around the world, and bringing work back from overseas.
“So this is our production floor. We have 21 production lines, that are operating on two shifts….”
Last year President Obama challenged the nation’s businesses to double their exports within 5 years. Connecticut has been responding to that call, and as WNPR’s Harriet Jones reports, small business has been a key part of the effort.
Manufacturing used to be a mainstay of employment in Connecticut. Competition from lower-cost states and overseas production has decimated the industry. But small manufacturers persist in the state and are finding ways to survive. WNPR’s Harriet Jones visited one shop in Milford for our latest small business profile.
Connecticut has around 5,000 manufacturing companies. You may be picturing Pratt & Whitney or Electric Boat, but of course the vast majority of manufacturers are small businesses. WNPR’s Harriet Jones looks at the challenges facing those firms in a shrinking industry.
It’s a typically busy day on the shop floor at Prestige Manufacturing in Milford. Ken Dugan has run this business for 27 years.
We hear all the time that small businesses are having trouble accessing credit. But sometimes it’s hard to picture what that means both for an individual firm, and for the wider economy. To find out more, WNPR’s Harriet Jones visited a construction company that’s currently rehabbing several old homes in Middletown.
Cash is the lifeblood of any small business, and access to financing can be a critical factor in whether a small enterprise can grow and thrive. Businesses need credit to hire and to make capital investments. It may sometimes seem as if the chips are stacked against them.
For 17 years, Joe Petti ran a small manufacturing firm, Delaney Engineering in Milford. He says one of the biggest issues he faced growing his company was dealing with the banks.
“Buy local” has become a rallying cry for small businesses attempting to revive the high street. But it’s also a good message for those small businesses whose customers are big business. Plenty of small suppliers in Connecticut would like to see big corporations and state government look first in their own backyard when they spend money.
For the latest of WNPR’s small business profiles, business reporter Harriet Jones met with one such small supplier.
We keep hearing that “small business” is what's going to drive an economic recovery. But I have a question: What is a small business anyway?
The Small Business Administration says anything under 500 employees is the number - but that's depending on the industry. The state’s jobs bill last year says it's under 50 employees, although most economists seem to agree under 100 is a more realistic and inclusive measurement.
This year, WNPR’s Small Business Project is taking apart what it means to be a small business owner. As part of our coverage we’re showcasing the huge diversity of the state’s small businesses and what they’re accomplishing. Most businesses start very, very small—even at the kitchen table. For the first of our small business profiles, WNPR’s Harriet Jones visits a tiny commercial kitchen in Griswold.
Jennifer Chominski is spending the morning pressing out piecrust for her baking business, Gracie Mae’s Kitchen.