October 2017 DECD Business Edge
October 2017 DECD Business Edge
October 2017
From the Commissioner's Desk
Last week the State of Connecticut submitted its bid for Amazon's second headquarters. The state’s proposal featured sites in the Stamford and Hartford regions.
If you look through the proposal at www.CTisPrime.com, you will clearly see the competitive advantages our state has to offer. The outpouring of support DECD received from businesses, towns, government agencies, non-profits and everyday citizens was impressive. Your suggestions, stories and fast facts were instrumental in helping Connecticut put its best foot forward on the national stage. As many of you have suggested, this is a wonderful playbook for recruiting other companies to our state, and for helping Connecticut companies recruit employees.
I am really proud of the work that was done on the Amazon proposal. Thanks to everyone who lent a hand!
Charter Communications to build new 15-story HQ in Stamford, create 1,100 additional jobs
Charter Communications plans to build a new 15-story headquarters in Stamford, where it relocated in 2012. Charter, the nation’s second-largest cable operator, plans to create 1,100 headquarters jobs, which would double its Connecticut workforce. It also committed to a total of $100 million in capital improvements over the next several years. 
Charter will receive $10 million in low-interest financing, forgivable if it meets job-creation and retention targets, through the state’s First Five Plus program, and up to $10 million in Urban and Industrial Sites Reinvestment Tax Credits. In a separate announcement, Charter said it will also bring its entire captive insurance business to Connecticut.
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Connecticut agriculture adds over $4 billion to the state’s economy, accounts for 21,000 jobs
In Connecticut, agriculture is serious business. That’s the takeaway from a new report published by the Zwick Center for Food and Resource Policy at the University of Connecticut. Connecticut-grown produce, meat, ornamental plants and more are sold at the farm, in farmers markets and, increasingly, in local grocery stores.
Based on the most recent data available, researchers found agriculture pumps more than $4 billion into the Connecticut economy, up from about $3.5 billion in 2010. Agriculture also accounts for about 21,000 jobs with a total payroll of between $800 million and $900 million. Agriculture also means business for veterinarians, soil scientists, equipment dealers and more.
Read the report
Small Business Express helps Meadow Manufacturing grow, add jobs
When Mark Gregoretti took over Meadow Manufacturing in 2013, the company only had two workers at its Berlin factory. Gregoretti knew he needed capital so the company,  which makes small aircraft parts, could get moving. That's why he turned to the state's Small Business Express Program (EXP), which provides loans and grants to help small businesses create jobs.
With a $300,000 EXP loan, Gregoretti began to expand the company, adding new machinery and new workers. The business grew and was able to secure more financing to continue that growth. Today Meadow Manufacturing employs 14 people and is looking to add more for a second shift.
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Connecticut continues to attract Israeli tech firms looking to establish operations in US
They have names like SolView, Nervomatrix and H20 Farm, and they’re part of a growing wave of Israeli technology-based companies that are setting up and growing U.S. operations in Connecticut – the result of a state program created to establish ties with Israel and its burgeoning startup scene.
“I think there’s a growing awareness in Israel toward the opportunities that Connecticut has to offer in many respects  geographically, socially, commercially,” said Ofer Sadka, CEO of software maker SolView. “I personally believe these will lead to many more companies coming in.” DECD and Connecticut Innovations, the state’s venture-capital firm, are spearheading the recruiting of businesses from overseas.
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In the news: Growing Connecticut businesses
Check out these recent articles spotlighting businesses that are growing and thriving in Connecticut, including Newman’s Own, U.S. Beverage, FactSet Research and Superior Product Distributors.
Read the news
No more puddle-jumpers for Tweed flights; American to introduce bigger regional jets 
For passengers flying into and out of Tweed New Haven Airport, turboprop airplanes will soon be a thing of the past. American Airlines said it will begin using Canadair RJ 200 regional jets on its American Eagle routes to and from Philadelphia on Nov. 29.
Tweed officials said passenger counts on the American flights are, on average, about 77 percent of capacity. The new jets can carry 50 passengers, more than the existing Bombardier Dash 8’s 37, and airport officials say they expect an increase in passengers once the jets are in service. Tweed has not had regular jet service since 2006, when Delta discontinued its Delta Connection service to and from Cincinnati.
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The Insurance City, insurance industry team up on new accelerator for tech startups
A new accelerator for insurance-technology startups has been created. The InsurTech Accelerator, located at Upward Hartford, will accept 10 to 12 startups each year. They’ll get co-working space, mentorship and funding, including up to $1 million that an English fund is ready to invest.
The accelerator is looking for companies in several areas, including advanced analytics, the internet of things and cybersecurity. The Hartford, Cigna, Travelers, CTNext and the City of Hartford created the accelerator in consultation with city officials and other community stakeholders. Their goal was to develop a local innovation ecosystem that would attract new talent and technology to the area. 
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Smart bike helmet, lip balm applicator among five companies winning CTNext awards
Five Connecticut startups received a total of $54,000 in prizes in CTNext’s Entrepreneur Innovation Awards.
Winning $10,000 each were Deo2Go, whose device applies products such as deodorant, lip balm and sunscreen; Rumble Helmet, whose smart helmet communicates a cyclist’s intentions to other road users; EZ ICE, creator of a kit for making a backyard ice rink in under an hour; FallCall Solutions, developer of a telemonitoring system for elders and caregivers; and Sitrep, creator of a system for better communication of heating, ventilation and air conditioning problems. Deo2Go won the $2,000 Crowd Favorite prize and Rumble Helmet won the $2,000 Judges' Favorite prize.
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