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Lamont announces $150M loan program to benefit small businesses and nonprofits

The Connecticut Small Business Boost Fund will accept loan applications of $5k to $500k with a 4.5% interest rate.
Credit: AP
FILE — Connecticut Gov. Ned Lamont delivers the State of the State address during opening session at the State Capitol, Feb. 9, 2022, in Hartford, Conn. As he pursues an election rematch with Gov. Lamont, Republican Bob Stefanowski said, Wednesday, June 8, 2022, that his personal financial information will be forthcoming, including tax returns for him and his wife, but did not provide a time frame. (AP Photo/Jessica Hill, File)

HARTFORD, Conn. — Gov. Ned Lamont announced the start of a $150 million loan program today to benefit Connecticut small businesses and nonprofits.

The new Connecticut Small Business Boost Fund will accept loan applications of $5,000 to $500,000, with a fixed 4.5% interest rate, for eligible small businesses and Connecticut nonprofits with 100 or less full-time employees and annual revenues of less than $8 million.

"This fund was established to support small business owners who may have previously experienced barriers to accessing financial support and works with and through community lenders that are dedicated to equitable lending practices," Lamont said.

The state will make a $75 million investment to the program with the goal that it will sustain itself as more private funds are invested, according to the governor's office.

RELATED: Lamont announces new climate bill with plans to create zero-emission school buses

Online applications for small businesses and nonprofits can be submitted at CTSmallbusinessboostfund.org. Those that qualify will be matched with a lender that will work with business owners through the rest of the application process.

The lenders and local community development financial institutions involved in the program include:

  • Ascendus
  • Capital for Change
  • NDC Community Impact Loan Fund
  • Pursuit
  • Southeastern CT Enterprise Region (SeCTer)

RELATED: 'These vital investments will create thousands of new jobs' | Lamont announces new plan to help entrepreneurs, small businesses

The program, administered by the National Development Council, will have funding organized by Calvert Impact Capital. Among the initial funders include the Connecticut Department of Economic and Community Development, M&T Bank, and First Republic Bank.

"What separates the Connecticut Small Business Boost Fund from other loan programs is that it offers support and guidance services, in addition to the financial assistance, that helps put recipients on the path to success," said DECD Commissioner David Lehman.

Michael Weinstock, the CEO of M&T Bank, said that the funding will help "underserved and diverse communities" that "too often lack access to affordable, flexible credit" by "providing resources that financially empower our customers."

Reza Aghamirzadeh, the head of community development at Citizens Bank, said that the company will also use its resources to "help drive real and lasting progress for small businesses and nonprofit organizations."

"Creating access to capital and thus improving opportunity for those in the communities we serve represents a further step toward achieving necessary change in a way that aligns strongly with our values," he said.

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