DECD: Small Business Express Program

Small Business Express Program
The Small Business Express Program (EXP) provides loans and grants to Connecticut’s small business to spur job creation and growth.
Small businesses with operations in Connecticut, registered to conduct business for not less than twelve months,  in good standing with all state agencies and with the payment of all state taxes, and employing not more than 100 employees, are eligible to apply.  Priority for available funding will be given to those eligible applicants who (1) are creating new jobs and (2) are within Connecticut’s economic base industries, as defined in Connecticut General Statutes 32-222, including but not limited to: precision manufacturing, business services, green and sustainable technology, bioscience, and information technology sectors. 

DECD has implemented a customer relationship management system for the Small Business Express Program.  Effective Monday, March 26, 2018, please scan all required documents separately and label them with the name of the required document and email to  If you do not have the ability to scan documents, please contact the Express Hotline at (860) 500-2333, so we can provide an alternative way to submit the supporting documents.


In order to better serve our clients and improve the efficiency of the application process, DECD is implementing a new policy. Effective Tuesday, February 20, 2018, all applicants must meet with or speak with a Project Manager prior to submitting a Small Business Express application. Please email or contact the Express Hotline at 860-500-2333 in order to request that a Project Manager to be assigned to contact you.

DECD will generally no longer be accepting Express grant-only applications. Applications for a Matching Grant and Job Creation Incentive Loan combination will continue to be accepted as well as loan-only applications.

Situations where the LOI committee will consider grant-only funding:

  • Non-Profits – if the project is focused on capital improvements
  • A project, focused on capital improvements, where the majority of the project is funded through either bank financing and or other private funding sources (i.e. at least 1/3 leverage ratio)
  • A company receiving EXP funds from one of the lender partners for the same project
  • At the Commissioner’s discretion
All applicants for EXP loans must submit a Personal Financial Statement form with their application package. DECD may require all loan applicants to provide an unlimited personal guaranty as part of the collateral obligation for a loan.
Effective for all new applications received on or after August 28, 2017:
  • The job/grant ratio range generally considered has been changed to $5,000 to $10,000 per new full-time W-2 job created. Consideration is given to factors such as the salary level and the skills, education and experience needed to qualify for the job. If an applicant is applying for a grant and is proposing entry level or lower wage salary jobs, then a minimum of two new full-time W-2 jobs must be created to meet the $10,000 grant minimum ($5,000 per job).
  • The penalty for not meeting the employment obligation for applicants receiving grant funds has been changed. The penalty is now established by dividing the DECD grant amount by the total number of new full-time W-2 jobs created.

DECD encourages all companies to maintain or establish relationships with their local banks for their financing needs. Effective January 13, 2017, applicants must have had a conversation with a bank regarding the financing of their project prior to submission of a Small Business Express application.  Exceptions include companies that are located outside of Connecticut or in a foreign country and are planning to relocate to Connecticut as a part of the project.

Effective for all new applications received on or after January 1, 2017: All applications shall include a Letter of Good Standing from the Connecticut Department of Revenue Services (DRS).

The Department of Revenue Services has initiated a new online method for taxpayers (businesses and individuals) to request a tax Status Letter or Letter of Good Standing.  Going forward, only the taxpayer will be able to request Status Letters or a Letter of Good Standing through the DRS Taxpayer Service Center (TSC), or by submitting a paper request form using either the TPG-169, Individual Income Tax Status Letter Request or the TPG-170, Business Tax Status Letter Request available at

If the taxpayer is not in good standing or there are other reasons why a status letter cannot be generated online, the taxpayer will be prompted to submit a paper request for further review by DRS agency personnel, or the taxpayer will be informed of their outstanding obligations. More information is available in the recent DRS announcement, IP 2016(17), Informational Publication Status Letter.

Effective for new applications received after October 1, 2015: Each eligible small business applicant receiving financial assistance under the Small Business Express Program will be required to retain its contracted employment obligations for a period of twenty-four (24) consecutive months.

Click here to view Frequently Asked Questions.
Applying for financial assistance

Applicants must submit a business plan with the application. The business plan should be clear and concise and generally should include the following:

  • Executive Summary, a brief overview of the plan that summarizes the key points
  • Company Description, including a description of the company’s products and/or services
  • Marketing Plan, including the company’s target market and how the company will market to those customers
  • Goals for business growth
  • Management team and their prior experience
  • Financial Plan, including a three year cash flow projection

If you need assistance with a business plan, cash flow projections, marketing plan or other business planning documents in order to complete your Small Business Express application, the Connecticut Small Business Development Center (CTSBDC) is available to help. For no-cost confidential business advising services provided to small businesses located throughout the state, visit or contact CTSBDC at (860) 486-4270 or

The EXP Procedures and Guidelines will assist you in the application process and will answer many of your questions. 
For companies considering a loan request, the chart below may be helpful in understanding the amount of monthly payments required for various sample loan amounts. DECD loan repayments will be made via Automatic Clearing House (ACH) Debit Authorization.

                 Sample Monthly Payments and Pay Back Amounts

                  For a 10 Year Loan at a 3.50% Interest Rate



  Monthly   Payment

Principal Pay Back in 10 Years

Interest Pay Back in 10 Years

Total Payments in 10 Years

$  25,000

$   247.21

$  25,000

$  4,665.76

$  29,665.76

$  50,000

$   494.43

$  50,000

$  9,331.52

$  59,331.52

$  75,000

$   741.64

$  75,000


$  88,997.28


$   988.86













































To apply to the EXP Program, each applicant must meet with or speak with a Project Manager prior to submitting a Small Business Express application. Please email or contact the Express Hotline at 860-500-2333 in order to request that a Project Manager to be assigned to contact you. After the meeting, to apply to the EXP program, each applicant must complete and submit:

Applicants must be in good standing with the payment of state and local taxes and state agencies. If the applicant has outstanding obligations, these issues must be resolved prior to the submission of the application. The Connecticut Department of Revenue Services can be reached at (860) 297-5962 and the Connecticut Department of Labor can be reached at (860) 263-6000.
Each application package may be transmitted either by
  1. completing the EXP application online and then transmitting the required supporting documents transmitted separately via email, or 
  2. completing and including the one-page EXP application with the required supporting documents and transmitting via email to the DECD. (Email is the preferred method to submit applications and supporting documents. If you do not have the ability to scan documents, please let Michelle Peters know so we can provide an alternative way to submit the supporting documents.)
  3. If your business exports internationally, please fill out the Strategic Export Plan.
All documents and information related to each application should be sent to
If you have any questions, please contact the Express Hotline at 860-500-2333 or via email at The Program Administrator is Sheila Hummel (
Once all completed materials are submitted, DECD is required to follow a comprehensive due diligence process.
Please note: Applicants who have been denied for substantive issues, excluding DRS and DOL issues, will need to wait at least 12 months before reapplying to the Small Business Express Program. All outstanding concerns identified in the denial must be addressed prior to reapplying to the Program.
(Statutory Reference: Connecticut General Statutes Sec. 32-7g, as amended by the June 12 Special Session, 2012, HB-6001)