Making way for new businesses and jobs the Department of Economic and Community Development’s ‘Reinventing Connecticut’ series is nearing the end of its course.

Two more sessions are scheduled, today in Danbury, and Jan. 19 in Branford and two additional webinar sessions are scheduled at 9 a.m., Jan. 18 and 1 p.m., Jan. 19.

—More photos.

Gov. Dannel P. Malloy’s Oct. 26 special session on jobs resulted in passage of bipartisan legislation, which offers opportunities to businesses looking to locate or expand in the state. The legislation will be funded with $626 million in bonding.

The informational series hosted by the Department of Economic and Community Development is meant to remind small businesses of the two-year timeframe they have to take advantage of the legislation.

“What we heard repeatedly was that small business seems to have been forgotten,” DECD Commissioner Catherine Smith said last week at the session in Meriden.

With the legislation signed into law, the informational sessions are being used by Smith to educate the business community about what’s in it for them.

The new law offers $20 million in job creation tax credits that employers can take advantage of from now through Jan. 2014. By consolidating and increasing existing credits employers will receive a $500 credit for each new job they create. That’s up from the current $200 credit. If they hire any unemployed, disabled, or veteran they will receive up to $900. To qualify for the credits the application must be completed before hiring takes place.

“It’s about time the state is doing something for small businesses,” Dan Bissette, a self-employed contractor who owns CLAD Construction LLC, said Monday. “These credits are the difference between being able to hire someone or not. I want to grow my contracting company, but the cost of doing business is astronomical. Workman’s Compensation insurance alone can be $15,000 annually, whether you use it or not.”

The item with the biggest price tag is a $340 million investment in the Manufacturing Reinvestment Account. It’s a program that allows manufacturers to invest pre-tax profits for a certain number of years in an investment account. That money is then reinvested in a company.

A Small Business Express Program is also being offered to companies that have been doing business for at least one year and have fewer than 50 employees.

Those small businesses can apply for loans ranging from $10,000 to $250,000 at 4 percent interest rate for up to five years. The money is available for marketing, training and working capital purposes. The application consists of a one-page, online application that includes some loan forgiveness and deferral period terms based on job creation levels of up to 50 percent of the loan.

“We are committed to a 30-day review process,” Smith said.

“Our main goal is to make Connecticut a great place to do business,” DECD Deputy Commissioner Ron Angelo told the group.

There were are also a range of training programs for unemployed individuals looking to gain a new skill included in the law.

But not everyone was sold. There were some skeptics in the audience.

One business owner suggested it’s been too easy for people to collect unemployment. Angelo responded, “The opportunity is there for people to find training necessary for work. Talk to the resources here today. That’s why we’re all here.”

Another businessman, Gary Fustino of Design for Communication said, “The process certainly seems streamlined. It’s worth it to look into if you’re ready to grow your company. I’m glad to know about what my options are.”

Representatives from lending partners with DECD were on hand to answer questions and helped applicants start the process.

For more information or to register for an informational session or webinar click here.