December 19, 2011 | last updated June 1, 2012 11:31 am

95 CT small firms apply for new state help

Connecticut's top economic development official says her office had received 95 applications for the state's new small business assistance program and that she expects more will be filed, The Associated Press reports.

The Small Business Express Program includes three initiatives: a revolving loan fund, a matching grant program and a job creation incentive program.

On Friday, the State Bond Commission approved $50 million to fund the Small Business Express Program.

The Department of Economic and Community Development's commissioner, Catherine Smith, said businesses have been seeking loans and grants for things such as new equipment and for help hiring more employees and covering shortfalls. Smith said Friday that interest from businesses "has exceeded my expectations."

Smith said she ultimately expects hundreds of companies will participate in the program, approved by the General Assembly during a special session on job creation in October.

Smith said the first checks to eligible businesses should be sent out by the end of this month. There is a 30-day approval process.

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