Five more Connecticut small businesses have won $2.5 million in grants from the state's economic development arm to expand operations to add or preserve jobs, the governor's office says.
Gov. Dannel P. Malloy announced Tuesday the five in Bridgeport, Cheshire, Marlborough, Middletown and Mystic section of Stonington have qualified for grants through the state's Small Business Express Program (EXP).
In total, EXP will provide $100 million to help the state's small businesses hire more employees and fund capital investments.
The program, administered by the Department of Economic and Community Development, offers loans and matching grants to Connecticut companies with fewer than 50 employees.
Earlier this month, four firms -- Healthy Mom LLC of Cheshire, Enfield Printing Co., CPR Training Professionals LLC of South Windsor, and the New Britain Museum of American Art -- got EXP grants.
Firms getting grants in the latest round:
· SolarChange LLC of Bridgeport designs, manufactures and sells solar hybrid and solar thermal appliances and building products for both residential and commercial use. DECD has awarded the company a $100,000 matching grant and a loan of $250,000 to boost its operations and hire employees. SolarChange will create 31 full-time jobs. The project, moreover, will have a multiplier effect, as SolarChange will distribute its products through four other companies in Connecticut and will generate new installation and servicing jobs.
· Cheshire Fitness Zone is a complete physical, occupational, and speech therapy center designed specifically to meet the needs of children and adolescents of all ages and abilities. The fitness zone has a full array of exercise equipment biomechanically designed to fit children. The company was awarded a matching grant of $100,000 and a loan of $250,000, which will go toward the purchase of property so it can build a larger facility. Fourteen jobs will be created and nine retained as part of the $1.5 million project.
· Marlborough Plastics Inc. has specialized in plastic injection molding and engineered thermoplastics in aerospace, computer, defense, electronic, engineering, health care, OEMs and sporting goods application for more than 40 years. Marlborough Plastics, which recently built a new 11,250-square-foot facility in Marlborough, will receive a $100,000 matching grant to purchase new machinery and equipment. The project will retain 6 jobs.
· Centerplan Construction Co. of Middletown was established in 2008 to serve the construction needs of its sister company Centerplan Development. Since then the company has grown, and is now planning to expand its space and operations. DECD has awarded Centerplan a $100,000 matching grant for the build-out and fit-out of additional office space and for equipment. An additional $500,000 loan was awarded through the Small Business Revolving Loan Fund. The company plans to add five employees to its 31-member staff in 2012 and 20 to 25 in the next five years.
· Fields of Fire is currently building an outdoor paintball facility on 50 acres in Mystic. Additional activities such as rock climbing and zip lines will be added as the company grows. A $100,000 Small Business Express Grant will be used to buy equipment and materials to create paintball battlefields. As part of the project three full-time employees will be hired, as well as 20 or more seasonal positions.