The release of $10 million in bonds Tuesday is expected to help alleviate a backlog in the Small Business Express Program, which was designed to help small businesses remain in Connecticut.
At a State Bond Commission meeting Tuesday, Department of Economic and Community Development Commissioner Catherine Smith said that the coffers are “down essentially to zero.”
As a result, Gov. Dannel P. Malloy said businesses are not receiving the grants they have expected.
“There is a backlog of applicants waiting for additional dollars,” he said.
According to Smith, the backlog is affecting about 40 businesses in the state. Smith said that while the state has authorized about $30 million under the Small Business Express Program, the DECD does not allocate the funds until the bond commission releases them.
That process has resulted in the backlog which, with the commission’s approvals Tuesday, should clear up, Smith said.
“As we need money we take it through the bond commission,” Smith said. “We don’t issue commitments until we get it through the bond commission.”
The average allocation is more or less $250,000 per business, Smith said.
One year ago, when he was seeking reauthorization of the Small Business Express program, Malloy said the program had worked with 1,000 Connecticut companies, creating about 14,000 jobs.
“I am proud to say that we have already helped more than 1,000 small businesses, in industries representing a cross section of Connecticut’s diverse economy, do what they do best — grow, innovate, and create jobs,” Malloy said in March 2014. “Small businesses have always been a stabilizing force in our nation’s economy, stimulating economic growth when times are good and driving recovery when bad.”
In 2014, Smith said 20 percent of the businesses applying for loans through the program were manufacturers.
“Express supports our small, local companies and ensures that they have the resources they need to keep Connecticut residents working and the Connecticut economy expanding,” she said.
The Small Business Express program was created in 2011 during a bipartisan special session focused on jobs.