Staff expansion allows launch of Business Services Team

Addition of Tom Caliento, Joe Violette provides support for RT Brown’s regional competitiveness initiatives  

seCTer has established a Business Services Team to strengthen the region’s business community.

The Business Services Team will help entrepreneurs and veteran business owners identify both opportunities and challenges in their sector of the economy. Guidance will be offered across the spectrum, and will include assistance with business plans, financial statements, regulatory requirements, operations, marketing, expansion planning, foreign markets, navigating loan programs, succession planning, and more.

The team also will serve as a resource for new and existing businesses to make connections with third-party experts for additional guidance in specific areas. By helping to make connections with other organizations, particularly local chambers of commerce, the team will enable more efficient networking opportunities as well.

“By building out a Business Services Team we can help entrepreneurs and established business owners alike to better understand regional opportunities and challenges and all that seCTer can offer in addressing both,” said Executive Director Paul Whitescarver.

RT Brown, seCTer’s Regional Economic Competitiveness Officer, initiated the effort and is leading the Business Services Team. Brown is an economic development professional with extensive experience in regional economic development, developing business resiliency and sustainability strategies, as well as entrepreneur ecosystem development.

“Small businesses and employers are what drive an economy. There’s no singular place in southeastern Connecticut where businesses can get the resources they need to start, grow, and expand – that’s changing,” said Brown.

A key member of the team will be Thomas Caliento, an accounting and finance professional hired this Spring to serve as seCTer’s Business Adviser.

Caliento served as Financial Division Controller for NTT Data of Boston, Director of Finance and Operations for King Phillip Regional School District in Wrentham, Mass., and CFO for the town of East Longmeadow, Mass., in addition to previous similar finance positions.

Caliento is responsible for providing business advising and technical assistance to new and established businesses through sector analysis, financial planning, regulatory requirements, and resources for loan programs.   

Joseph Violette, hired in January as Business Retention and Expansion Specialist, will focus on small businesses of 5 to 99 employees by providing expertise to negotiate challenges and act on opportunities. In addition, Violette is responsible for encouraging business owners to make use of seCTer’s training services in financial literacy, human resources, cyber security, digital marketing, small-business management tactics, and assistance with grants and low-interest loan programs.

“This is a strong team with deep, varied experience in small-business operations and regional economic development strategies,” Whitescarver said.

Staff expansion allows launch of Business Services Team featured image.
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