seCTerRise enhances resilience with $222K to 9 growing businesses

A wide variety of small businesses from across Eastern CT will be able to expand and remain resilient in the face of unforeseen challenges with the help of $145,512 recently awarded through the seCTerRise program.

This most recent distribution to nine businesses comes after an initial round of grants earlier in the year to four businesses totaling $77,290 for a total of $222,802 distributed in 2023.

Comfort Catering, a popular, woman-owned, Norwich-based business, is using its grant to purchase an additional freezer and refrigerator, two warmers, and holding transport boxes to be able to take on more business rather than turning business away. Adding this equipment also will reduce expenses for rental items.

Toesty Sheets, a local internet phenomenon from East Haddam that produces top sheets that feature  fitted corners at the foot of the bed to keep the sheets in place, will use the seCTerRise grant to broaden its reach into the market. Additional styles will be produced to fit RV beds, college dorm beds, and split kings, as well as more colors.

Whisk Together Catering has been using commercial kitchens across the region to accommodate events wherever needed. With seCTerRise funding – and help from Norwich Community Development in finding a suitable location — chef Roman will be able to rent and equip a commercial kitchen of her own.

Epicure Brewing, an independent craft brewery and taproom in the heart of the historic Norwich Harbor district, will use its grant for digital advertising and new equipment that will allow a transition into canned packaging.

Flavours of Life, a premier retail gift store in downtown New London featuring quality products from certified fair-trade organizations, will replace outdated point-of-sale equipment with new technology, providing better customer experience and improved accounting and inventory data.

Fringe Modern & Vintage, a thrift shop for men and women in Clinton, will use its seCTerRise grant to purchase new display equipment and changing room equipment as well as signage and mannequins for the storefront.

GEM Electrolysis and Esthetics in Old Mystic will purchase new equipment intended to provide a better experience for customers and technicians, which should lead to increased retention of both and more potential for growth.

Jessica Tuesdays, an award-winning, destination restaurant key to downtown Putnam’s revitalization, turned to seCTer to fund a new commercial exhaust and fire suppression hood for its kitchen to meet new federal and state regulations. seCTerRise funding will offset the significant cost of this equipment, which posed a major financial threat to this Putnam icon.      

Trade Labels of Stonington, which produces nutrition labels for bulk containers used in supermarkets and independent grocers across the country, will now be able to expand into a wider area of the market with new software allowing customer labels markets of small natural food stores and co-ops to drive additional growth.

To learn more about this program, visit seCTerRise or contact seCTer at 860-437-4659. seCTerRise is funded by the Connecticut Department of Economic and Community Development.

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