Derek Slap


Derek Slap



March 17, 2022

Initiative to Help Small Business with E-commerce One Step Closer to Becoming Law

State Senator Derek Slap helps lead passage of Senate Bill 3 in Higher Ed Committee

Today, the Higher Education and Employment Advancement Committee, co-chaired by State Senator Derek Slap (D-West Hartford), voted in support of legislation that would connect small businesses to vital online marketplaces. Senate Bill 3 would support the development of new programs for employees to learn important internet skills; it now heads to the Senate floor for consideration. This legislation would improve small business prospects considering modern standards, which have shifted increasingly to internet resources and utilities, by giving them equal footing among more established competitors. It also focuses on fee avoidance and cyber-security concerns, new pressures for small businesses to balance.

“Small businesses are the backbone of Connecticut, and we need to give them access to every tool and resource supporting their continued success,” said Sen. Slap. “This proposal offers a strong way to ensure businesses are ready to adapt to the new digital age. It would provide free training for employees to better utilize e-commerce and social media, and importantly, aid them in fee avoidance and cyber-security. That will play a role in preventing them being negatively impacted by hackers and keep money in their pockets that could otherwise be siphoned by major online food delivery fees. I look forward to introducing it on the Senate floor in the coming weeks.”

Senate Bill 3, “An Act Requiring the Board of Regents For Higher Education To Develop Seminar Programs For Small Businesses,” would require the Board of Regents for Higher Education to develop seminar programs aiding small businesses with courses in electronic commerce, social media and virtual currency, among other topics taking on increased relevance today. Employees of small businesses with 25 employees or less would be eligible to enroll in up to five seminar programs or courses, provided by state community colleges, at no cost to small businesses. The programs would be funded by American Rescue Plan Act federal funding.

The Connecticut Business and Industry Association, Connecticut’s largest business association, testified in favor of this legislation, noting that many small companies do not have the ability to invest time and resources into pivoting their business models and that creating seminars to aid education would benefit them. The CBIA specifically mentioned the advantages that cybersecurity training could provide businesses, as that would protect both businesses and consumers alike in protecting important information.

In testimony during a public hearing on the bill, the Senate Democratic Caucus said the state can aid businesses in adapting to increased emphasis on online platforms through offering free education where employees can gain training on navigating such platforms. “While the cost is minimal, the impact it can have on our small businesses could be significant,” the caucus testified. “These businesses sustained us during the darkest days of the pandemic, it is our turn now to make sure they are sustained in the future.”

According to the Small Business Administration, 99.4% of all Connecticut businesses are small businesses, employing 48.4% of all Connecticut employees; from 2019 to 2020, the Connecticut Small Business Development Center found 75% of small businesses surveyed saw revenue decline at least 25% from 2019 to 2020. This comes as worldwide e-commerce sales have roughly tripled from 2014 to 2021, making internet presence more important than ever in a more challenging environment for businesses.