Malloy uses Seymour visit to mark milestone for Small Business Express Program [New Haven Register, Conn. :: ]
(New Haven Register (CT) Via Acquire Media NewsEdge) March 11--SEYMOUR -- Gov. Dannel P. Malloy Monday marked a milestone in his job creation initiative during a visit to Microboard Processing, Inc. in Silvermine Industrial Park.
He launched the Small Business Express Program in 2012 and since then 1,015 Connecticut companies have taken advantage of it. Microboard Processing Inc. was the 1,000th business to be assisted.
"You folks have expanded your work force," Malloy said. "Congratulations."
Department of Economic and Community Development Commissioner Catherine Smith and other officials joined Malloy at the 60,000-square-foot facility to discuss the program.
Smith called Microboard Processing "an innovative company staying ahead of the curve." The company provides electronics manufacturing services to high-tech industrial markets.
She said a few years ago she and Malloy "took a jobs tour" throughout the state and out of that the Small Business Express Program was born. "We've invested money in human capital in the state of Connecticut," Smith said.
Malloy said he has introduced legislation to continue funding the program to help more employers grow jobs.
Through the Small Business Express Program the DECD has awarded more than $136 million to 1,015 businesses. Those companies have created or retained more than 14,000 jobs, according to a release from the governor's office.
MPI owner and President Nicole H. Russo said that with the financial assistance MPI was able to make renovations including installation of LED lights, new ceilings and applying spray foam to the building exterior. The company also purchased sophisticated 5D X-ray equipment, she sad.
Russo's father, Craig Hoekenga, founded the company in 1983. He said the company started in Stratford and moved to Silvermine Industrial Park in 1995. He thanked Malloy for his vision in creating the small business program.
First Selectman Kurt Miller said the loan program has helped Microboard expand its work force, which "has a ripple effect into the town's economy." He commended Malloy and Smith for establishing the job creation program. "This is a bipartisan effort,'" Miller said.
Economic Development Director Fred Messore said town officials are pleased to have "a joint partnership with the state and this family-owned company to retain and expand jobs here."
State Rep. Theresa Conroy, D-Seymour, said, "The Small Business Express Program has been a key arrow in Governor Malloy's job growth quiver. The governor and the legislature have made a strong commitment to the state's small businesses."
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