Small Business Resources

Growth Company Grants

CTNEXT Growth Company Grants of up to $25,000 are available for promising start-ups to pursue projects in a variety of areas.  

Eligible companies must be

  • Incorporated for 10 years or less
  • Able to raise private capital…
  • And show annual gross revenue increases of 20 percent over the last three years

*Grants require a one-third match and match dollars must come from external, non-state sources.

Unlock your potential with a Growth Company Grant from CTNEXT! Visit for details!

Entrepreneur Learner’s Permit

The Entrepreneur Learner’s Permit program provides up to $1,500 in reimbursements for first-time entrepreneurs in IT, biotechnology, and green technology!

Only fees paid after July 1, 2016 will be eligible for reimbursement, please visit to see if you qualify!

Innovation Places

Starting in 2017, corporations, associations, nonprofits, municipalities and colleges are all eligible to compete for CTNEXT Innovation Places planning and implementation grants of up to $50,000 to launch the next start-up community.

Eligible projects include business incubators and accelerators, co-working and public meeting spaces, housing development, events, marketing outreach and improvements to technology and physical infrastructure.

Imagine a space where business, cultural, environmental and high-tech interests collide and big ideas are born...that’s an Innovation Place!

Make sure the “next big thing” is happening in an Innovation Place in your backyard! Visit to learn more!

Small Business Express

Is your small business creating new jobs in precision manufacturing, business services, green tech, bioscience or IT? Then Connecticut’s Small Business Express Program might be right for you!

If your business has operations in or plans to relocate to Connecticut and employs less than 100 workers, you may be eligible for $10,000 to $300,000 in loans and matching grants to purchase machinery and equipment, start construction, get training or cover other business-related expenses. Visit and click on the Small Business Express banner to find out more!

DECD Office of Small Business Affairs

The Office of Small Business Affairs provides rapid response to business owners whose growth and success could benefit from assistance from the state and its partners. Whether you are developing your business in Connecticut or considering relocating it here, our staff can quickly refer you to a solution for financing, trainingtechnical assistance and other important resources.

For more information, contact Sheila Hummel at 860-270-8105 or

DECD Info On Financing

Growing businesses need capital, and no state realizes and responds to that need better than Connecticut. Whether the financing requirement is equity investment, fixed asset purchases of land, building acquisition, leasehold improvements, working capital, or the purchase of machinery and equipment, there are a multitude of financing programs available to support businesses large and small.

State programs include direct funding from the Department of Economic and Community Development and Connecticut Innovations. In addition, there is a network of local and regional revolving loan funds across the state to assist businesses with their financing needs. Visit this page to find regional lending partners.

U.S. Small Business Administration

The U.S. Small Business Administration (SBA) provides a wealth of resources on how to start or maintain a small business.

SBA – Connecticut District Office

SBA’s Hartford office includes a calendar of events for entrepreneurs as well as access to more local resources.

280 Trumbull St, 2nd Floor, Hartford

Phone: 860-240-4700

Secretary of the State’s Business Startup Tool

The Business Startup Tool will help you to get your business started in Connecticut on the right footing, using an online tool that leads you easily through all the steps.

For more information contact the Business Services Division or call 860-509-6002.

Service Corps of Retired Executives

SCORE connects entrepreneurs with mentors to help them build their businesses with free business advice. For more information or to get started call them at 800-634-0245. Also check out these regional offices:

SCORE Greater Hartford

SCORE Western Connecticut

SCORE Southeastern Connecticut

SCORE Fairfield County

Women’s Business Development Council

The Council’s mission is to provide entrepreneurial and financial training to women in Connecticut. They also include a calendar of events. Email them at

Office Locations:

WBDC Headquarters - Stamford
184 Bedford Street, Suite 201
Stamford, CT 06901
Phone: 203-353-1750

WBDC Regional Office - Derby
412 Roosevelt Drive
Derby, CT 06418
Phone: 203-751-9550

WBDC Satellite Office - Danbury
Western Connecticut State University
43 Lake Avenue Extension
West Side Classroom Building Room 238
Danbury, CT 06811
Phone: 203-969-5158

WBDC Satellite Office - Hartford
McCarter & English
185 Asylum Street, 36th Floor
Hartford, CT 06103
Phone: 203-969-5158

University of Hartford’s Entrepreneurial Center

Whether you need to learn how to start your own business, obtain a loan, or how to run a business more profitably, the University of Hartford’s Entrepreneurial Center supports you with resources, tools, and free and low-cost services. They also have a Women’s Business Center. For more information call 860-768-5681.

CT Innovations Resources for Small Business

The goal of the SBIR Acceleration and Commercialization program is to increase the participation of Connecticut-based firms in federal SBIR and STTR grant programs. These highly competitive federal programs improve your small business’s chance of advancing its technology and achieving commercialization, higher profits and job growth.

If you have questions, contact Johnna Scott at or 860-258-7807.

Community Economic Development Fund

The CEDF provides access to capital to start up and existing businesses who cannot obtain financing elsewhere. CEDF is a non-profit business development organization serving low-to-moderate income small business owners in Connecticut. In addition to capital, they offer educational workshops, business advice and other resources.

Hours: Monday – Friday 9:00 a.m. to 5:00 p.m. eastern time (excluding national holidays).

View the Team Directory for individual extensions.

965 East Main Street, Meriden, CT 06450
Phone: 203-235-2333
Toll Free: 888-835-2333
Fax: 203-235-2913

Department of Administrative Services Supplier Diversity Program

The Office of Supplier Diversity, formerly the Set Aside Program, primary focus is to improve economic opportunities for the State‘s Small And Minority Businesses.

For questions about the DAS Supplier Diversity (set-aside program) SBE/MBE call 860-713-5236, or Meg Yetishefsky, Manager of Supplier Diversity, at 860-713-5228.