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  • WBDC Celebrates Grand Opening of New Office in New London, Announces Small Business Grant Program in Partnership with City

    NEW LONDON, Conn. — The Women’s Business Development Council (WBDC) officially opened the doors to its brand new office in downtown New London (61 Bank St.) with the announcement of a grant program offered in partnership with the City of New London. The New London/WBDC Small Business Grant Program makes available grants of between $2,500 and $10,000 to eligible New London-based businesses.

    WBDC established its Eastern Connecticut regional office in New London in 2018 with a small, 4th-floor office on State Street. The larger, street-level Bank Street location will help WBDC to further establish itself as a critical part of the New London economic community and will help the organization increase the number of small businesses it serves in the region. With the additional office space, WBDC also plans to offer co-working opportunities to members of the community.

    “With increased visibility and accessibility, not only can we bring even more support to the entrepreneurs and businesses across Eastern Connecticut, but we can also be more engaged with this wonderful community,” said WBDC Founder and CEO Fran Pastore. “We are also thrilled to partner with the City of New London to offer grants that will help New London’s small businesses grow and continue to contribute to the vitality of the community.”

    “The grant program with the City of New London and the Women’s Business Development Council will provide funding to city businesses that will demonstrate a measurable impact to our local economy,” said New London Mayor Michael Passero. “This is another real example of city ARPA dollars at work, rebuilding our business infrastructure and strengthening our community.  It is particularly important to note that this program is open to all New London businesses that meet the criteria.”

    To be eligible for the grant program, businesses must:

    • Be located in the City of New London

    • Be headquartered and registered in the state of Connecticut

    • Be owned by a Connecticut resident

    • Have been in business for at least two years (established on or before September 30, 2020)

    • Have a record of annual sales/revenue in the last twelve months greater than $25,000 and less than $2,000,000

    • Be in good standing with the Connecticut Department of Revenue Services

    • Have an established business banking relationship

    • Utilize a formal, digital bookkeeping/financial system (e.g., QuickBooks, Sage, FreshBooks, Wave Accounting)

    • Be a for-profit business (nonprofits are not eligible to apply)

    • Be owned by a person at least 18 years old.

    Businesses do not need to be women-owned to be eligible.

    The New London program is substantially similar to WBDC’s Equity Match Grant program, which to date, has awarded 167 grants totaling more than $1.53 million to women-owned businesses across the state.

    New London businesses are eligible to submit applications beginning October 19. More details on the program and the application can be found at https://ctwbdc.org/new-london-wbdc-small-business-grant-program

    New office location

    WBDC announced earlier this year a move to 61 Bank Street from its location at 300 State Street, where the organization had established its Eastern CT regional office in 2018. The building was built in 1905 and was most recently occupied by Liberty Bank. The new location is significantly larger than the State Street office, as WBDC will now occupy the entire street level of the building, approximately 3,300 square feet. The move to a street-level office in the heart of New London’s business district increases accessibility to the business support services offered by WBDC.

    About the Women’s Business Development Council

    The Women’s Business Development Council’s (WBDC) mission is to support economic prosperity for women and strengthen communities through entrepreneurial and financial education services that create and grow sustainable jobs and businesses across Connecticut. WBDC educates, motivates, and empowers women to achieve economic independence and self-sufficiency. Since 1997, WBDC has educated and trained more than 16,670 clients in all of Connecticut’s 169 towns—helping women to launch, sustain and scale over 12,500 businesses, create and maintain over 25,880 jobs in Connecticut, and access more than $28.7 million in capital. Visit ctwbdc.org for more information.