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Connecticut launches five-year grant program to support underserved communities

Lamont Community Fund.jpg
Michael Lyle, Jr.
Connecticut Governor Ned Lamont announces a new five-year state grant program to help increase economic development Thursday in Hartford.

Connecticut Governor Ned Lamont announced a new program that will increase economic development in underserved communities.

The Community Investment Fund will help revive micro-loan programs and create start-up funding to establish small businesses throughout the state.

“What this means is you compete and show us what this could mean to your community,” Lamont said. “And not just for a year, but for years to come — what does it also mean in terms of equity, what does it mean in terms of environmental justice— and we’ll put real resources to this over a longer period of time.”

Eligible towns and cities can apply for a piece of the fund’s nearly $875 million online. The goal is to fund capital improvements like brownfield remediation, affordable housing, rehabilitation facilities and renewable energy.

“If those communities do their homework and do it right and get approved, they will be able to create a funding stream to keep themselves viable for years,” state Rep. Geraldo Reyes, Jr., D-Waterbury, said.

Not-for-profit groups and community development corporations that operate within these municipalities can also apply micro-loans and gap financing to create small businesses.

Mike Lyle is a former reporter and host at WSHU.