June 15, 2012 | last updated June 15, 2012 11:41 am

CT debuts $5M fund to make towns job magnets

Connecticut's governor announced an initial $5 million in funding for a new economic-development aid program to help smaller communities attract small businesses and jobs.

Governor Dannel P. Malloy said Friday the program will issue grants of up to $500,000 to build and improves roads, streetlighting, sidewalks and other infrastructure necessary to enhance municipalities' commercial centers.

Communities with 30,000 or fewer residents – essentially the bulk of the state's 169 cities and towns – are eligible.

The program also provides unspecified financial incentives to private commercial property owners who spend to spruce up their assets to support and enhance a qualified municipal project.

"The Main Street Investment Fund will respond to the needs of small communities around the state by strengthening their commercial centers and creating lasting partnerships with the local merchants," Malloy said in a statement.

Established by the legislature last fall, the State Bond Commission earlier this month approved $5 million for the fund. Malloy chairs the bond commission.

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