Dr. Craig Tini is giving his dental practice in Suffield a new smile thanks to a small business grant given by the State of Connecticut.
"A lot of my equipment is 30 years old so it's a good time to upgrade," said Tini, owner of Suffield Village Dental.
Tini's is one of five Connecticut small businesses to receive assistance through the state’s Small Business Express Program (EXP) to support their growth and create and retain jobs. The program was created as a part of the bipartisan Jobs Bill passed during last year’s jobs special session to encourage business expansion.
“From precision manufacturing to information services, small businesses succeed when they can act quickly on an opportunity,” Governor Dannel Malloy said. “The Small Business Express program is enabling Connecticut companies to innovate and grow, investing and adding jobs right here at home.”
In total, EXP will provide $100 million to help the state’s small businesses hire more employees and fund capital investments. The program, administered by the Department of Economic and Community Development (DECD), offers loans and matching grants to Connecticut companies with not more than 100 employees at the time of application.
Tini said the application and paperwork process was fairly easy although he would not have known about the program except for another business friend who also applied and tipped him off.
"It's kind of frustrating that there's stuff out there but there's often no way to find out about it," Tini explained.
The $25,000 grant requires an investment of the same amount from Tini to apply toward the hiring of a new employee as well as equipment and office upgrades.
Thanks to the newly hired assistant, the practice has 11 employees, not including Dr. Tini. He recently took over the practice from his business partner, Dr. Lawrence Albert and hired a new dentist, Dr. Edward Xu.
State Representative Elaine O’Brien (D-East Granby, Suffield, Windsor) applauded the program.
“Small businesses are economically vital to our communities and they deserve our support," she said.
“Helping businesses create jobs and make key upgrades is where our focus should be,” State Senator John A. Kissel (R-East Granby, Enfield, Somers, Suffield, Windsor Locks, Granby, Windsor) said. “We want to do all we can to help businesses of all sizes make capital investments and hire workers. This new small business program makes good sense in these uncertain economic times, and it’s great to see Suffield Village Dental growing and expanding.”