Governor Lamont Announces Federal Approval of Connecticut’s Plan To Support Entrepreneurs and Small Businesses Growth With COVID Recovery Funding
(HARTFORD, CT) – Governor Ned Lamont today announced that the U.S. Treasury Department has approved the State of Connecticut’s plan to deploy up to $119.5 million in funding through the American Rescue Plan Act’s (ARPA) State Small Business Credit Initiative (SSBCI).
Connecticut’s SSBCI program will support underserved entrepreneurs across the state through a variety of loan and equity programs designed to spur small business growth, create jobs, promote equity, and catalyze green technologies.
“We are thrilled to accept SSBCI funding from Treasury and get it into the hands of small businesses, which are at the heart of Connecticut’s strong economy,” Governor Lamont said. “I thank the Biden administration and Connecticut’s Congressional delegation for providing this funding through ARPA to accelerate our COVID recovery.”
“Congress’s goal in passing the American Rescue Plan Act was to help our country quickly recover economically from the COVID pandemic,” the members of Connecticut’s Congressional delegation said in a joint statement. “This use of ARPA funds will spur small business growth and green energy through major investments in entrepreneurship. These vital investments will create thousands of new jobs and will work to make Connecticut more equitable and sustainable. Our delegation is proud to have fought to bring these funds back to Connecticut.”
“This is an historic investment in entrepreneurship, small business growth, and innovation through the American Rescue Plan that will help reduce barriers to capital access for traditionally underserved communities,” Secretary of the Treasury Janet L. Yellen said. “I’m excited to see how SSBCI funds will promote equitable economic growth across the country.”
This new federal support will enable the launch of two initiatives central to the overarching Governor’s Economic Development Action Plan, a strategic package of initiatives undertaken in 2021 that totals more than $600 million over five years that will result in a projected 80,000 new jobs.
SSBCI funds will be administered by Connecticut Innovations, the state’s strategic venture capital arm and leading source of financing and ongoing support for innovative, growing companies.
With this capitalization, Connecticut Innovations will launch two new funds:
- The Connecticut Future Fund, supporting entrepreneurs from underserved and diverse backgrounds who lead small businesses in a variety of sectors; and
- The ClimateTech (CT) Fund, supporting early-stage businesses with a focus on clean energy, environmentally safe manufacturing, and climate resiliency.
Both of these new funds will be supplemented with existing Connecticut Innovations funds. Other SSBCI funds will support existing Connecticut Innovations programs, such as initiatives to support bioscience and advanced manufacturing businesses. Connecticut Innovation’s investments will include early-stage venture debt and equity investments.
“This funding allows us to support underrepresented founders and allow us to grow, attract and retain the most promising green tech companies in Connecticut,” Connecticut Innovations CEO Matthew McCooe said. “We look forward to putting these dollars to work and helping Connecticut-based companies succeed.”
“Our strategic investments in underserved entrepreneurs and green technologies will now be supersized thanks to SSBCI,” Connecticut Department of Economic and Community Development (DECD) Commissioner David Lehman said. “As soon as ARPA became law, DECD and our partners at Connecticut Innovations have been hard at work planning how to optimize our use of new federal funding, and we are now ready to hit the ground running with this award.”
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