Connecticut's small businesses constitute 97% of employers and together employ nearly half the private-sector workforce. We have a variety of resources available in the Fourth District to help our small businesses and to help our economy grow.
The Small Business Administration
The SBA website is a clearinghouse for information on counseling, capital, and contracting expertise. Whether you're starting a business, looking for advice, or seeking funding, the SBA site is informative and user-friendly. You can find SBA information specific to Connecticut at the page for Connecticut's district office.
SBIR and STTR
The SBA adminsters two programs, called Small Business Innovative Research (SBIR) and Small Business Technology Transfer (STTR), which award about $2 billion annually to small high-tech businesses. Both are focused on supporting research and development of new technologies; SBIR awards funding to small businesses alone, while STTR funds R&D partnerships between small firms and colleges or universities. Eleven federal agencies and departments participate, including the Department of Defense, the EPA, and the Department of Energy.
The System for Award Management (SAM.gov) is an official website of the U.S. Government. There is no cost to use SAM.gov. You can use this site to:
- Register to do business with the U.S. Government
- Update, renew, or check the status of your entity registration
- Search for entity registration and exclusion records
- Search for assistance listings (formerly CFDA.gov), wage determinations (formerly WDOL.gov), contract opportunities (formerly FBO.gov), and contract data reports (formerly part of FPDS.gov).
- View and submit BioPreferred and Service Contract Reports
- Access publicly available award data via data extracts and system accounts
SCORE is a non-profit organization with more than 350 chapters nationwide. It is "dedicated to educating entrepreneurs and helping small businesses start, grow, and succeed nationwide" through its "network of 13,000+ volunteers who offer small business entrepreneurs confidential business counseling services at no charge." SCORE sponsors workshops and events to help small business owners. They also offer online workshops, a library of templates, like sample contracts, and more. You can connect with a mentor in person or simply via email to get valuable advice.
Click here to find a SCORE location in your area.
Connecticut Small Business Development Center
The Connecticut Small Business Development Center offers expert assistance at no cost to entrepreneurs and small business owners and helps Connecticut's businesses start, grow and thrive. They can be reached at 860-576-0641 or via their website.
Women's Business Development Council
The Women’s Business Development Council is a non-profit organization dedicated to providing the tools and resources to help women thrive in business.
Connecticut Minority Business Initiative
Connecticut’s Department of Economic and Community Development developed the Minority Business Initiative (MBI). This initiative focuses on enhancing access to the support minority-owned businesses need to thrive and grow in three key areas: business training and tools, public and private financing and government contract opportunities.
Spanish American Merchants Association
The Spanish American Merchants Association, Inc. is a non-profit organization in Connecticut that serves as a vehicle for the economic growth of businesses. SAMA was created to assist business people, in particular Latinos, to acquire a better understanding of economic principles. Technical assistance is provided to promote business expansion, job creation and new entrepreneurship.
City of Bridgeport Small & Minority Business Enterprise
Specifically for the City of Bridgeport, the Small & Minority Business Enterprise provides the resources and information small, minority, and women-owned businesses need to compete for business opportunities with the City of Bridgeport.
In Connecticut, we have an additional resource to help small high-tech businesses — Connecticut Innovations which provides strategic capital and operational insight to push the frontiers of high-tech industries such as energy, biotechnology, information technology, and photonics. Over the years, CI has helped over 100 emerging companies research, develop, and market new products and services. This activity has attracted over $1 billion dollars in additional investments from private equity providers.
The Export-Import Bank
If your local business sells overseas, the Export-import Bank of the United States helps finance the export of U.S. goods and services to international markets. Any small business exporter who has been exporting for a year or more is eligible for help from Ex-Im. The bank has initiatives which enable you to extend credit, access vital working capital, and provide term-financing to buyers.
Connecticut Procurement Technical Assistance Center
CT PTAC's mission is to provide marketing and procurement assistance to Connecticut businesses interested in selling their goods or services to federal, state or local governments. CT PTAC is a statewide program serving all cities and towns in Connecticut and its services are provided at no charge.