Providing funding to small businesses in Southeastern Connecticut.

SeCTerRise is a highly competitive grant program, funded through the Department of Economic and Community Development, designed to help small businesses grow in southeastern Connecticut. Grants will be awarded to businesses for projects that will have a measurable impact on the business, its growth and profitability. Businesses may apply for a grant of up to $20,000.

50% of seCTerRise funding will be awarded to businesses that are minority, veteran, or women-owned, and / or businesses located in a distressed municipality.

If you are an entrepreneur, or your newly established business does meet the eligibility criteria below, contact us about the seCTerRise business pitch and business plan competitions!

Eligible Uses:

  • Purchase of equipment, inventory, professional services.
  • Funds must be used to grow / expand the business within a defined project scope.

Eligibility Criteria:

Businesses must meet all of the criteria below to apply.

  • A for-profit business located in the towns: Ashford, Borough of Jewett City, Bozrah, Brooklyn, Canterbury, Chaplin, Chester, City of Groton, Clinton, Colchester, Cromwell, Deep River, Durham, East Haddam, East Hampton, East Lyme, Eastford, Essex, Franklin, Griswold, Haddam, Hampton, Killingly, Killingworth, Lebanon, Ledyard, Lisbon, Lyme, Middlefield, Middletown, Montville, New London, North Stonington, Norwich, Old Lyme, Old Saybrook, Plainfield, Pomfret, Portland, Preston, Putnam, Salem, Scotland, Sprague, Sterling, Stonington, Stonington Borough, Thompson, Town of Groton, Union, Voluntown and Woodstock (all in Windham County) and the Town of Union, Waterford and Windham, and Westbrook.
  • In business for at least one year.
  • Revenues not more than $2 million.
  • Have a separate and established business checking account.
  • Good standing with the CT Department of Revenue Services.
  • Business is registered in the state of Connecticut.
  • Completed W9.
  • Business must be able to explain in detail how it keeps track of business transactions. seCTer will be requesting financial reports to evaluate current project definition and business financial status.
  • Applicants must submit documents such as, but not limited to, balance sheet, profit and loss statement, financial projections, and/or project budget.
  • Owner(s) at least 18-years-old.

Ineligible businesses include:

  • Current seCTer vendors, board members, employees.
  • Franchise operations.
  • Adult businesses such as strip clubs; vape retailers; tobacco shops and smoking lounges; businesses having to do with gambling; gun stores and ranges; cash advance, check cashing, or pawn shops; bail bonds; collection agencies or services; and auction or bankruptcy or fire or “lost-our-lease” or “going-out-of-business” or similar sale.
  • A business that has not previously won a seCTerRise grant award.

Award Announcements:

  • Award announcements will be made quarterly.

What to consider when preparing your application:

  • Provide a clear and thorough explanation of project need.
  • Application will have a meaningful impact on the business and help the business grow and scale.
  • Provide a clear explanation of the project to be accomplished with the grant.
  • Provide a clear explanation of the project budget and how they would be used.
  • Present a clear explanation of how the grant will grow the business.
  • Job creation potential.
  • Provides a clear timeline of grant implementation.
  • Business revenues reflect opportunity for growth.

Need Help?

  • If you need assistance to support your application, complete this form to start a conversation with Thomas Caliento, seCTer’s business advisor.

All awards and disbursements are at the discretion of seCTer. seCTer may require additional documentation to further examine your application and funding request. seCTer may revise the program eligibility requirements as needed.