Women’s Caucus Highlights Grant Programs Available for Women-Owned Businesses

Posted on January 19, 2022


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HARTFORD, CT – State Representatives Dorinda Borer (D-West Haven) and Rosa Rebimbas (R-Naugatuck), Co-Chairs of the Women’s Bipartisan Caucus, held a virtual conversation with Brenda Thickett and Louise Lisboa from the Women’s Business Development Council to discuss grant programs that are available for women-owned businesses in Connecticut.

The Equity Match Grant Program awards up to $10,000 to projects pertaining to business growth and profitability. The deadline for that program is February 13. The Child Care Business Opportunity Fund, made possible through partnership with the Connecticut Office of Early Childhood, grants up to $25,000 to qualifying childcare businesses.

This event was part of the Women’s Bipartisan Caucus virtual speaker series that has been running since the beginning of the COVID-19 pandemic, to continue to disseminate information to Connecticut legislators and constituents.

“As a business owner for the past 15 years, I know the challenges that women face when they even consider opening their own establishment. There are the start-up costs, finding clients and customers, hiring employees and running daily operations, all while balancing what are often long hours with dedication to family. But for those brave women who decide to take on that responsibility, I can tell you, it’s worth it, and would encourage them to take advantage of the WBDC’s grant opportunities,” said Rep. Rebimbas.

“Our hope with this event is that members of the caucus and other legislators who join us are able to bring this information to women business owners in their district and make them aware of the support programs that are available for them,” said Rep. Borer. “Grant programs, such as the ones established by the WBDC, not only help support women who have established businesses across the state, but also encourage women to take on the endeavor knowing that there is funding available.”

“We are thrilled to have this opportunity to share information about two of our most innovative and groundbreaking programs with members of the caucus so that they can spread the word among their constituents. Our goal is to help as many Connecticut women-owned businesses as possible and we are grateful to be partnering with our elected officials to achieve that goal,” said Fran Pastore, CEO of the Women’s Business Development Council.

“Programs like WBDC’s Equity Match Grant and Child Care Business Opportunity Fund (in partnership with OEC), not only support business development and expansion, but empower and inspire women throughout our state,” Lt. Governor Susan Bysiewicz said. “The pandemic has exposed the critical need to support our childcare providers to ensure parents can continue to work, and the need to support small businesses, especially those that are women-owned, is crucial for our state’s economy and workforce.”

“WBDC helped my small business to navigate through some of our toughest entrepreneurial adversities. The Equity Match Grant allowed our Brewing Co. to continue with the much-needed marketing resources that allowed us to stay connected with our customers,” said Alisa Bowens-Mercado, owner of Rhythm Brewing. “We are grateful to the WBDC for their unwavering dedication to Small, Women and Minority owned businesses.”

To date, the Equity Match Program has distributed nearly 100 grants totally $900,000 and the Child Care Business Support Program has awarded nearly 200 grants totaling $1.96 million. Grant applications open on Monday, January 17th. Application materials and support can be found on ctwbdc.org.