As the state continues to award the largest of employers with forgivable loans and grants as an incentive to come to Connecticut, to stay in Connecticut and to grow in Connecticut, one must ask about how the state is similarly supporting the over 300,000 small businesses in Connecticut.
While the Small Business Express Program offers low interest loans and some grants, the most attractive provision of the program, in the form of highly achievable tax incentives, expired at the end of 2014. In the meantime the First Five program, which awards incentives, loans and grants to the biggest employers, continues to thrive.
It has resulted in an imbalance in government support and stimuli, which has been provided to a grand total of less than 20 employers. With the state’s reputation as a place unfriendly to business, as has been well documented by several major business outlets, it’s time for the state to reintroduce and fund programs to designed to help ALL businesses vs. just the largest.
David Lewis is CEO of OperationsInc in Norwalk.