Kupchick: Small business program should be open to all

State Rep. Brenda Kupchick (R-132)

State Rep. Brenda Kupchick (R-132)

State Representative Brenda Kupchick (R-132) expressed strong disappointment with a bill that will redirect a state jobs loan and grant program, which was for every city and town in Connecticut to only the big cities.

The new bill HB 6827, An Act Concerning The Small Business Express Program and Underserved Communities hijacks the 2011 bipartisan law which was supported by Rep. Kupchick as a way to assist small businesses in every town and city retain their workforce or even expand operations within Connecticut.

Rep. Kupchick said, “By permitting the Department of Economic and Community Development (DECD) to give preference to larger municipalities gives cities an obvious advantage over smaller towns. The playing field for state subsidies should be level, not unfairly skewed. Only eight cities in Connecticut have a population over $70,000. I cannot support a bill that shuts out Fairfield businesses.”

The Small Business Express program was passed as a way to help small businesses stymied by the credit gap that dragged on after the 2008 recession, when banks were not lending.

The Small Business Express loan and grant program has seen unprecedented success since its inception. According to the state Department of Economic and Community Development, 1,160 small businesses statewide have received funding while committing to create 4,171 jobs and retain 12,095 existing jobs.

The total amount of money disbursed so far is $159.4 million in three components: $14 million in revolving loans; $83.9 million in job creation loans and $61.4 million in the matching grant program.

The bill  changes the minimum loan and grant from $10,000 to $1,000, eliminates the twelve-month-lifespan requirement and gives selection preference to municipalities with populations over 70,000.

Kupchick said, “Decreasing the minimum for loans and grants to $1,000 is not a financially viable option. At $1,000, a loan would cost too much for the state to underwrite, so the new minimum would mean most of the money would be distributed as grants, which would not have to be paid back. Additionally, removing the twelve-month-lifespan requirement would potentially increase the rate of loan failure. A business that has proven it can survive for twelve months is a much better investment risk.”

About author

By participating in the comments section of this site you are agreeing to our Privacy Policy and User Agreement

© HAN Network. All rights reserved. Fairfield Sun, 1000 Bridgeport Avenue, Shelton, CT 06484

Designed by WPSHOWER

Powered by WordPress