Governor Dannel P. Malloy today announced that five Connecticut small businesses located in Berlin, Mansfield, Meriden, Stamford and Westport have qualified for assistance through the state’s Small Business Express Program (EXP). The program was created as a part of the bipartisan jobs bill passed during last year’s jobs special session to encourage business expansion and job growth.
“The jobs created by retail and service companies are often the product of hardworking and determined self-employed entrepreneurs,” Governor Malloy said. “The Small Business Express Program is proving very responsive to this important sector of our economy, one that has tremendous potential for job growth and retention.”
In total, EXP will provide $100 million to help the state’s small businesses hire more employees and fund capital investments. The program, administered by the Department of Economic and Community Development (DECD), offers loans and matching grants to Connecticut companies with fewer than 50 employees at the time of application.
The Music People!, Inc. of Berlin will retain 48 jobs and anticipates hiring for eight positions as the company extends its 32-year track record as a worldwide leader in the pro-audio field. The largest supplier of music stands and accessories in the United States, The Music People!, Inc. has a globally recognized brand and exports its products to 39 countries. The company is receiving a job creation matching grant, equaling its investment of $90,275, for information technology, training, and marketing.
“I’m delighted that this longtime and successful Berlin business is receiving a state grant,” said State Senator Terry Gerratana (D-New Britain, Berlin and Farmington). “This is exactly the type of business we had in mind when we passed the jobs bill in October – and we hope to build on that success this year by doubling the size of the companies that are eligible for such state assistance.”
“This job creation matching grant of $90,275 is great news for both The Music People!, Inc. and Berlin,” said State Representative Joseph Aresimowicz (D-Berlin, Southington). “There is no more important challenge facing us than job retention and job creation in Connecticut. The matching grant helps the company retain 48 jobs and anticipates the hiring for eight positions, an investment that makes sense and recognizes the great track record of this Berlin-based company.”