Governor Lamont Announces New $150 Million Loan Program for Connecticut Small and Nonprofit Businesses
The Public-Private Partnership will support organizations in Historically Underserved communities
(HARTFORD, CT) – Governor Ned Lamont today announced the launch of the Connecticut Small Business Incentive Fund, a public-private partnership that provides low-interest loans to small businesses and nonprofits in Connecticut. Applications are now being accepted for loans ranging from $5,000 to $500,000.
The program aims to assist small businesses and nonprofit organizations, particularly those in low-income and historically underserved communities, with access to flexible working capital. The loans have a fixed interest rate of 4.5% and are available to qualified small and nonprofit businesses with operations in Connecticut that have 100 or fewer full-time employees and annual revenue of less than $8 million.
“We are excited to launch the Connecticut Small Business Growth Fund, a new collaboration with private sector partners and investors that will provide companies and nonprofits with the working capital they need to grow and thrive . said Governor Lamont. “This fund was created to support small business owners who may have previously experienced barriers to accessing financial support and works with and through community lenders who are committed to equitable lending practices.”
The state is making a $75 million seed investment in this public-private partnership, which aims to award $150 million or more to eligible businesses and nonprofits. The goal is for the fund to become self-sustaining as more private funds are invested.
Small businesses and nonprofits can apply online at CTSmallBusinessBoostFund.org, and if they qualify, they will be matched with a lender. Once matched, the participating lender will assist the business owner throughout the application process. This lending model has previously found success in programs based in California, New York and Washington state.
The Fund works with and through local community development financial institutions (CDFIs) and lenders that have decades of experience serving historically under-resourced and under-funded communities. The following CDFIs are participating in the program:
- Climbing up
- Capital for Change
- NDC Community Impact Loan Fund
- Southeast CT Enterprise Region (SeCTer)
It is administered by the National Development Council (NDC) with funding arranged by Calvert Impact Capital. In addition to funding from the Connecticut Department of Economic and Community Development (DECD), seed funding was provided by Citizens Bank, M&T Bank and First Republic Bank.
“We consider this program to be a one-stop service for small business owners,” DECD Commissioner David Lehman said. “What separates the Connecticut Small Business Incentive Fund from other loan programs is that it provides support and guidance services, in addition to financial assistance, that help set recipients on the path to success.”
“At M&T we understand that small businesses are the backbone of our local economies, especially in underserved and diverse communities.” Michael Weinstock, M&T Bank regional president for Hartford, said. “That’s why we’re proud to be teaming up with the Connecticut Small Business Incentive Fund to support small businesses and nonprofits that too often don’t have access to affordable, flexible credit. Our focus as a community bank has always been on providing resources that financially empower our customers. This partnership is another important step we are taking to further this mission.”
“As part of the Citizens’ Economic Opportunity Funds initiative, this effort will leverage the bank’s resources to help drive real and sustainable progress for small businesses and nonprofits in the Connecticut community.” Reza Aghamirzadeh, head of community development at Citizens Bank, said. “Creating access to capital and thereby improving opportunities for those in the communities we serve represents a further step toward achieving needed change in a way that strongly aligns with our values.”
For more information and to apply, visit CTSmallBusinessBoostFund.org.
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