Joan Hartley

State Senator

Joan Hartley

Chief Deputy President Pro Tempore

An Independent Voice

May 8, 2021

Sen. Hartley Joins Governor to Announce CT Future Fund Supporting Small Business Recovery; Investment in Women-Owned and Minority-Owned Businesses

State Senator Joan Hartley (D-Waterbury), Senate Chair of the Commerce Committee and member of the Banking Committee, joined Governor Lamont to announce the directing of $150 million to drive small business recovery and formation, along with stimulating entrepreneurship across Connecticut. To further underscore a commitment toward an equitable recovery, at least 50 percent of the announced funds will support minority, women, and veteran-owned small businesses and businesses owned by individuals with a disability. The new fund program is expected to create or retain over 14,000 jobs.

“This is a welcome opportunity to assist small businesses in underserved communities and to provide greater flexibility to businesses in accessing capital. The CT Future Fund is a methodical plan that will boost support to entrepreneurs and businesses across the state, which will benefit the municipalities they reside in,” said Sen. Hartley. “I appreciate Governor Lamont’s and Commissioner Lehman’s continued cooperation with legislators and Connecticut businesses in charting a path for the state’s economic recovery from the impact of the coronavirus pandemic.”

David Lehman, Commissioner for the Connecticut Department of Economic and Community Development, and State Senator Doug McCrory (D-Hartford), Senate Vice Chair of the Banking Committee, also participated in the announcement.

The announcement of the CT Future Fund to drive significant investment in Connecticut’s small businesses, start-ups and entrepreneurs consists of two main parts:

  • Accelerating small business recovery and drive multicultural innovation – $100 to $125 million
  • Partnering with Connecticut Innovations to encourage diversity in the C-Suite – $25-50 million

The CT Future Fund will be funded by a combination of $75 million in American Rescue Plan Act funds and from the State Small Business Credit Initiative (SSBCI), and $75 million in state bonding while leveraging at least $150 million of private sector capital.

Highlights for the two parts include:

Small Business Recovery and Private Sector Lending Accelerate Small Business Recovery and Drive Multicultural Innovation:

  • Investments prioritized to support minority, women, individuals with a disability, and veteran-owned small businesses
  • Enabled to offer flexible capital to small businesses: equity investments, low-cost debt, grants, and financial support for training and technical assistance
  • Up to 3 funds that will be managed by Community Development Financial Institutions or non-bank community lenders
  • A state-supported partial-loan guarantee program
  • Collaborate with private and philanthropic sector to co-invest

Partnership with Connecticut Innovations and Support Diversity in the C-Suite

  • Investment in businesses that are aiming to improve quality of life, including companies in the information technology, cleantech, and life science sectors
  • Between $250,000 and $2.5 million per business in 25 to 50 early-stage businesses
  • Funding focused on supporting businesses with diversity in leadership: CEOs, management teams, and on the board level