Connecticut State Funding Programs
The Connecticut Department of Economic and Community Development is the main agency in Connecticut responsible for promoting economic growth in the state. Its programs aim to encourage new businesses to start up in the state, promote existing businesses, and offer support such as technical assistance and funding.
Some state support helps to reduce business costs, such as Enterprise Zones offering tax incentives to companies established in certain areas. The following programs offer direct funding opportunities for entrepreneurs:
Funds to promote brownfield redevelopment in the state. Currently the only program open to business owners is the Targeted Brownfield Development Loan Program, which provides loans of up to $4 million for the investigation, assessment, remediation, and development of brownfields.
Oversees several grant programs to assist agricultural businesses in Connecticut. Assistance is primarily run through the Bureau of Agricultural Development & Resource Preservation, though the Bureau of Aquaculture can assist with the establishment or development of an aquaculture-based business.
A quasi-public agency that leverages relationships with public and private investors to offer more than $500 million each year for affordable housing developments. Real estate developers can receive financing and tax credits for the construction of new properties or the rehabilitation of existing ones.
Connecticut offers a range of programs to assist businesses in making energy efficiency improvements, including:
- C-PACE (Commercial Property Assessed Clean Energy), which offers 100 percent financing for green energy upgrades
- EnergizeCT, whose programs include interest-free loans of up to $100,000 for energy efficiency improvements and low-interest loans of $2,000 to $1 million for electrical and gas upgrades
- Connecticut Green Bank, which offers numerous financing options for building owners and contractors to undertake energy efficiency improvements
Managed through the Connecticut Department of Labor, this program assists manufacturers with matching funds of up to $25,000 to help companies meet the costs of workforce training.
This program offers an “earn as you grow” incentive for employer businesses, providing grants-in-arrears to companies that bring jobs to Connecticut. To be eligible, a business must create at least 25 new jobs with salaries of at least 85 percent of the household median income in the municipality where the business is located
Grants are equal to 25 percent of the withholding taxes from net new employees, and businesses located in one of Connecticut’s distressed municipalities or Opportunity Zones may be eligible for 50 percent grants. Payouts are earned starting in the third year and continue through the seventh year, with discretionary grants in years eight and nine. Certain businesses receive priority consideration.
Administered through the Hartford Economic Development Corporation, the Minority Business Revolving Loan Fund offers loans or lines of credit to Connecticut businesses owned by minorities and/or women that have been in operation or officially registered for at least one year. Eligible businesses can receive between $10,000 and $100,000 with a fixed rate of 4 percent and a 10-year term.
The Small Business Express Program is a collaboration between DECD and partner organizations to help small businesses with private investments, sharing credit risk, and other assistance. Funding initiatives include partnerships to increase lending capacity to small businesses; targeted investments to support businesses in distressed municipalities and those owned by women, minorities, veterans, and people with disabilities; and funding sources for those whose higher credit risk profiles bar them from traditional financing.
The program is currently being updated based on 2021 legislation, and DECD plans to seek proposals from organizations on developing programs to meet these objectives.
A program to help small businesses explore new trade opportunities and access the global marketplace through exports. Grants can be used for a variety of expenses, including compliance testing, applicable fees, and trade mission or trade show costs.