The Connecticut Small Business Development Center (CTSBDC) located at the University of Connecticut (UConn) was awarded $1.3 million by the U.S. Small Business Administration to lead a team of seven partners in creating a program to educate the small businesses of Connecticut on how to recover and rebuild from Hurricane Sandy and from future disasters.
“Our objective is to help the Connecticut small business community to prepare and recover quicker from emergencies, keeping jobs and economic growth in the state,” says Emily Carter, state director of CTSBDC. According to the Association of Small Business Development Centers (ASBDC), almost 40 percent of small businesses that close due to a disaster event never re-open. “We’ll help the lifeblood of Connecticut’s economy get back to normal operations by implementing this innovative program.”
The seven partners working together on this initiative are the Connecticut SCORE chapters, Spanish American Merchant Association (SAMA), Women’s Business Development Council (WBDC), Connecticut Association of Chambers of Commerce Executives (CACCE), CONNSTEP Manufacturing Extension Partnership (MEP), Connecticut Certified Public Accountants Group and the Greater New England Minority Supplier Development Council (GNEMSDC).
“The partnerships are critical in expanding the reach of this program throughout the state,” says Mary Holz-Clause, vice president of the Office of Economic Development (OED) at UConn. “They will provide training and education in the form of workshops, seminars, course certifications and web-based applications focusing on emergency preparedness, disaster resiliency, renewal and recovery and overall community coordination of plans.”
“This new project will integrate with the existing infrastructure of SBA’s Disaster Preparedness and Recovery Plan (DPRP) and FEMA to focus on community disaster planning and response to assist the community as a whole,” states Bernard Sweeney, U.S. Small Business Administration District Director for the State of Connecticut. “Integrating federal, state and local recovery efforts creates a comprehensive and holistic emergency response plan.”
This expanded program segues from CTSBDC’s special initiative of helping small businesses recover from Hurricane Sandy and evolves into an overarching educational opportunity to teach small businesses how to prepare and recover from any type of emergency whether it be natural, technological, environmental or otherwise.
About the Connecticut Small Business Development Center:
The Connecticut Small Business Development Center (CTSBDC) provides no-cost business advising to entrepreneurs in the state who are starting or growing their business. Small business owners and entrepreneurs can meet with professional business advisors to learn more about everything from startup planning and marketing, to assisting with loan package development, international trade, growth strategies and emergency preparedness planning.
Located in the UConn School of Business, the Connecticut Small Business Development Center is funded in part through a cooperative agreement with the U.S. Small Business Administration, the Connecticut Department of Economic and Community Development and the University of Connecticut. The SBDC program remains one of the nation’s largest small business assistance programs in the federal government with a proven track record of providing over 30 years of service to small businesses.
For more information on the Connecticut Small Business Development Center and the services they provide to small businesses and entrepreneurs throughout the state, visit www.ctsbdc.com.