Connecticut Seal

House Bill No. 5500

Public Act No. 10-145

AN ACT CONCERNING THE OFFICE OF SMALL BUSINESS AFFAIRS AND ESTABLISHING THE SMALL BUSINESS ADVISORY BOARD.

Be it enacted by the Senate and House of Representatives in General Assembly convened:

Section 1. Section 32-9n of the general statutes is repealed and the following is substituted in lieu thereof (Effective from passage):

(a) There is established within the Department of Economic and Community Development an Office of Small Business Affairs. Such office shall aid and encourage small business enterprises, particularly those owned and operated by minorities and other socially or economically disadvantaged individuals in Connecticut. As used in this section, minority means: (1) Black Americans, including all persons having origins in any of the Black African racial groups not of Hispanic origin; (2) Hispanic Americans, including all persons of Mexican, Puerto Rican, Cuban, Central or South American, or other Spanish culture or origin, regardless of race; (3) all persons having origins in the Iberian Peninsula, including Portugal, regardless of race; (4) women; (5) Asian Pacific Americans and Pacific islanders; or (6) American Indians and persons having origins in any of the original peoples of North America and maintaining identifiable tribal affiliations through membership and participation or community identification.

(b) Said Office of Small Business Affairs shall: (1) Administer at least one regional office of the small business development center program [run by] within the Department of Economic and Community Development; (2) coordinate, with the director of the small business development center program, the flow of information within the technical and management assistance program [run by] within the Department of Economic and Community Development; (3) encourage the Connecticut Development Authority to grant loans to small businesses, particularly those owned and operated by minorities and other socially or economically disadvantaged individuals; (4) coordinate and serve as a liaison between all federal, state, regional and municipal agencies and programs affecting small business affairs; [and] (5) administer any business management training program established under section 32-352 or section 32-355 as the Commissioner of Economic and Community Development may determine; (6) provide a single point of contact for small businesses seeking financial and technical assistance from the state and quasi-public agencies; (7) coordinate all state funded revolving loan funds used to assist small businesses; and (8) establish, in cooperation with the Commissioner of Economic and Community Development, and within available appropriations, an informational web page with a list and links to all small business resources available and post them in a conspicuous place on the department's web site. The office shall update this information on its web site on at least a quarterly basis.

(c) On or after February 1, 2011, the Office of Small Business Affairs shall compile a summary of all small business activities and programs available and incorporate such summary into the report required pursuant to section 32-1m.

Sec. 2. (NEW) (Effective July 1, 2010) (a) The Department of Economic and Community Development shall appoint and convene a Small Business Advisory Board, which shall include, but not be limited to, the Commissioner of Economic and Community Development and representatives of the Connecticut Economic Resource Center, the Connecticut Center for Advanced Technology, Incorporated, a manufacturing association, a business association, a chamber of commerce and an economic development entity. Such representatives shall serve for a term of five years. The board shall meet on or before December 31, 2010, and at least annually thereafter.

(b) The Small Business Advisory Board shall provide guidance to the department with regard to resources available to small businesses.

Approved June 7, 2010