seCTerRise offers business guidance, funding, and more to new and existing businesses

Entrepreneurs and existing business owners now have access to free advising services paired with growth funding up to $20,000 from seCTer, the Southeastern Connecticut Enterprise Region, through its seCTerRise business retention and expansion program launched today.

seCTer, the federally designated economic development agency for southeastern Connecticut, is overseeing the use of $4.5 million over the next five years in business resiliency and sustainability funding targeted to this region by the State’s Department of Economic and Community Development.

Industries of focus include childcare, cybersecurity, agriculture, and sustainable energy. Businesses located in economically distressed communities, as determined by state criteria, will also receive priority consideration. Fifty percent of program funds will be awarded to minority, women, and veteran-owned businesses.

Business owners will be able to work with seCTer staff for help in applying for the funds and determining how best they can be used to sustain and expand their business.

Later this year, seCTerRise will help sponsor business pitch and business plan competition events for entrepreneurs and start-ups, awarding winners with up to $5,000 in seed funding.

“seCTer is one of three local agencies administering these funds from DECD and we’ll work collaboratively to find the best fit for guiding businesses when applicants reach out to us,” said Paul Whitescarver, seCTer executive director.

The Women’s Business Development Council and the Black Construction Alliance are also administering funds from DECD.

“This DECD program is about agencies such as ours working collaboratively to offer the most relevant guidance to particular businesses to help them prosper and expand,” Whitescarver said. “This is a significant opportunity to strengthen the regional economy and the workers and families who live here.”

For eligibility criteria, eligible uses, application details, and more information, visit or contact Business Retention & Expansion Specialist Joe Violette at 860-437-4659 or

seCTerRise offers business guidance, funding, and more to new and existing businesses featured image.
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