Minority-owned businesses in Connecticut could receive a boost, thanks to new state bonding that brings a $2 million grant to The Community Economic Development Fund in Bridgeport.
“The best way to improve Connecticut communities is by encouraging and assisting the entrepreneurs from these areas so that they may reinvest in their neighborhoods,” said state Sen. Anthony Musto, D-Bridgeport/Trumbull. “The work done by The Community Economic Development Fund does this by helping minority-owned businesses access capital, meet bidding requirements and successfully complete contracts. The growth of these Connecticut businesses will help create jobs for Bridgeport residents and contribute to our local economy.”
State Sen. Andres Ayala, D-Bridgeport/Stratford said, “The Community Economic Development Fund is a welcome addition to Bridgeport that will help our local business-owners establish themselves and thrive.”
Gov. Dannel P. Malloy, a Democrat, said the state has “implemented a number of initiatives over the last several years aimed at increasing the participation of minority business enterprises in contracting and have allocated funding for CEDF’s program because it is designed to do just that.”
“This program takes a start to finish approach, meaning eligible contractors will get the support they need from bidding all the way through successful project completion,” Malloy said.
The fund has worked since 1994 “to revitalize Connecticut neighborhoods by helping local entrepreneurs establish successful businesses.” The fund said in a statement that since its inception it has provided millions of dollars in loans to small businesses and created or retained hundreds of jobs for state residents.
Bridgeport Mayor Bill Finch said that the city’s Small, Minority Business Resource Office was one of his administration’s first initiatives when he was elected seven years ago.
“The creation of this new enterprise assistance program will be an excellent complement to the work of our resource office, helping very qualified local, minority contractors compete for major construction projects in southern Connecticut,” Finch said.