GOV. MALLOY: IMPROVING CONNECTICUT’S EXPORT ENVIRONMENT WILL STRENGTHEN ECONOMY, MAKE STATE GLOBALLY COMPETITIVE
New Small Business Express Program Legislation Widely Touted
(HARTFORD, CT) – Governor Dannel P. Malloy, joined by U.S. Commerce Department Acting Director of International Trade Ken Hyatt, Congresswoman Rosa DeLauro, Department of Economic and Community Development (DECD) Commissioner Catherine Smith, state and local officials, and representatives of the Connecticut Business and Industry Association (CBIA) today celebrated the passage of Public Act 13-56
– An Act Concerning Encouraging the Exportation of State Products and Services Through the Small Business Express Program
“I’m so pleased to stand here today in partnership with Director Hyatt, Congresswoman DeLauro, business representatives, and state and local officials—all of whom have been working tirelessly to expand economic growth in Connecticut,” said Governor Malloy. ““With more than 37,600 private sector jobs created in the past two years, Connecticut is slowly but surely recovering from the recession—but until everyone who wants a job has a job, we have much more work to do. We know that our industries are primed for growth and we’ve been aggressive about increasing their visibility in foreign markets. This bill will help us continue that work and compete in the global marketplace.”
The bill allows DECD to prioritize Small Business Express assistance to economic base industries—industries that directly bolster the economy by creating jobs or otherwise supporting economic expansion—in the fields of precision manufacturing, business services, sustainable technology, bioscience, and information technology. Priority may also be given to companies interested in exporting their products or services to foreign markets.
“The Small Business Express Program is doing exactly what it was designed to do—it is helping small businesses across the state grow and prosper,” said Commissioner Smith. “This new bill helps companies leverage their skills and capabilities into international markets. We are delighted that the business community has embraced this program and we look forward to working with them in the future.”
Connecticut is already a top destination for foreign direct investment. According to the 2012 State New Economy Index, the state ranks third in foreign direct investment with over 14 billion dollars invested and more than 106,000 people employed. We are also a leading exporter, ranking tenth in per capita exports. The total value of exports in Connecticut in 2012 was almost 16 billion dollars.
The ceremonial bill signing was held at Test Logic, a Middletown company that is a leading provider of complete test cell system packages for many major foreign and domestic aerospace companies. Test Logic exports 15-25 percent of their total sales.
“Over the past sixteen years, Test Logic has helped to write the next chapter in Connecticut's proud story of manufacturing and innovation,” said Congresswoman Rosa DeLauro. “Supporting our small business exporters is central to furthering that tradition. It was great to see federal and state partners come together to support our small business exporters and help create good jobs right here in Connecticut.”
“The City of Middletown and the State of Connecticut are a hub for manufacturing export activity,” said Mayor Dan Drew. “This bill will foster international trade which will create jobs for our residents.”
“Increased exports are a key component for Connecticut’s manufacturers and their continued success. This law will help Connecticut’s businesses hire, grow, and become more productive,” said State Senator Gary LeBeau, Co-Chair of the General Assembly’s Commerce Committee (D-East Hartford).
"I applaud the Governor's decision to sign this bill because it expands the net that Connecticut small businesses can use to sell their products," said State Representative Chris Perone, Co-Chair of the General Assembly’s Commerce Committee (D-Norwalk). "Small businesses traditionally only have the means to do business within their town or regional market. But by creating an incentive, and letting them know that the state supports them in their effort to expand, I think small businesses will jump at this opportunity to trade globally. The state's economy will ultimately reap the benefits from this bill."
“Connecticut is emerging as a world leader in a number of competitive new industries, bioscience and green technologies among them. We also have longstanding strengths in precision manufacturing and business services, and it makes sense to be supporting our small businesses in all of these areas, particularly as they look to export Connecticut goods and services abroad. I thank Governor Malloy for his leadership in advocating for and signing this bill,” said State Senator John Fonfara, Co-Chair of the General Assembly’s Finance Committee (D-Hartford).
"Connecticut businesses have the talent and expertise to compete in today's global economy,” said State Representative Patricia Widlitz, Co-Chair of the General Assembly’s Finance Committee (D-Branford). “I enthusiastically support PA 13-56 to assist our Connecticut entrepreneurs in their pursuit of international markets. This is an important initiative for Connecticut businesses to grow and prosper."
In the past two and half years, 868 companies have worked with the state to retain 29,607 jobs and create up to 11,300 jobs. This is in sharp contrast to assistance under previous administrations when only 118 companies were assisted in the eight years between 2002-2010.
For Immediate Release: July 15, 2013
Contact: Jim Watson
Connecticut Department of Economic and Community DevelopmentJim.Watson@ct.gov