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State Senator

Steve Cassano

Deputy President Pro Tempore

Representing Andover, Bolton, Glastonbury & Manchester

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Contact: Lawrence Cook

March 27, 2012

Cassano, Malloy: Small Business Program Assists Expansion & Job Growth

State Senator Steve Cassano (D-Manchester) and Governor Dannel P. Malloy today announced that five more small businesses—including one in the senator’s district—have qualified for grants through the state’s Small Business Express Program (EXP) to expand their businesses and create jobs.

EXP was created as part of the bipartisan jobs bill that Sen. Cassano voted for and which was passed during the legislature’s October special session

Marlborough Plastics Inc. has specialized in plastic injection molding and engineered thermoplastics in aerospace, computer, defense, electronic, engineering, health care, OEMs and sporting goods application for more than 40 years. Marlborough Plastics, which recently built a new 11,250-square-foot facility in Marlborough, will receive a $100,000 matching grant to purchase new machinery and equipment. The project will retain 6 jobs.

“Marlborough Plastics is investing in Connecticut because Governor Malloy and the legislature are working for Connecticut, as evidenced by our jobs bill and our investments in high-tech manufacturing and bioresearch,” Sen. Cassano said. “This matching grant—made possible by our jobs bill—preserves the kind of quality jobs that make Connecticut a great state to live and work in, and which make Connecticut one of the most productive states in the nation.”

“Connecticut must support its small businesses,” Governor Malloy said. “They are the foundations of local economies, helping to improve the quality of life for thousands of Connecticut residents. State investments through programs like this not only help the businesses on Main Street grow, they also aid in the state’s economic recovery.”

In total, EXP will provide $100 million to help the state’s small businesses hire more employees and fund capital investments. The program, administered by the Department of Economic and Community Development (DECD), offers loans and matching grants to Connecticut companies with fewer than 50 employees.

Four other small businesses receiving EXP grants and loans were also announced today:

  • SolarChange LLC of Bridgeport designs, manufactures and sells solar hybrid and solar thermal appliances and building products for both residential and commercial use. DECD has awarded the company a $100,000 matching grant and a loan of $250,000 to boost its operations and hire employees. SolarChange will create 31 full-time jobs. The project, moreover, will have a multiplier effect, as SolarChange will distribute its products through four other companies in Connecticut and will generate new installation and servicing jobs.
  • Cheshire Fitness Zone is a complete physical, occupational, and speech therapy center designed specifically to meet the needs of children and adolescents of all ages and abilities. The fitness zone has a full array of exercise equipment biomechanically designed to fit children. The company was awarded a matching grant of $100,000 and a loan of $250,000, which will go toward the purchase of property so it can build a larger facility. Fourteen jobs will be created and nine retained as part of the $1,500,000 project.
  • Centerplan Construction Company of Middletown was established in 2008 to serve the construction needs of its sister company Centerplan Development. Since then the company has grown, and is now planning to expand its space and operations. DECD has awarded Centerplan a $100,000 matching grant for the build-out and fit-out of additional office space and for equipment. An additional $500,000 loan was awarded through the Small Business Revolving Loan Fund. The company plans to add five employees to its 31-member staff in 2012 and 20 to 25 in the next five years.
  • Fields of Fire is currently building an outdoor paintball facility on 50 acres in Mystic. Additional activities such as rock climbing and zip lines will be added as the company grows. A $100,000 Small Business Express Grant will be used to buy equipment and materials to create paintball battlefields. As part of the project three full-time employees will be hired, as well as 20 or more seasonal positions.

For more information on EXP or to apply for the program, visit the Small Business Express Program website or contact Michelle Lugo at DECD at 860-270-8052 or Michelle.Lugo@ct.gov.



Chair: Planning & Development

Vice Chair: Public Safety; Transportation

Member: Finance, Revenue & Bonding

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Lawrence Cook

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Hartford, CT 06106-1591

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