Community Conversation Shares Accessible Financial & Technical Business Resources


CT Latino News produces stories focused on the responses to the social determinants of health. Economic Stability is vital to affording lifestyle choices and paying for quality medical care that keeps people healthy. A well-paying, steady job is critical for food security and housing stability. Savings are essential for managing chronic conditions or emergencies.

Three years since the COVID-19 pandemic began, Connecticut small businesses and nonprofits continue to recover—with a disproportionate impact on organizations in historically underserved communities that tend to face more barriers in accessing federal resources.

CT Latino News partnered with the CT Small Business Boost Fund to produce an informational presentation on free resources available to small businesses and nonprofits across the state.

The virtual event was released on Facebook and Youtube Wednesday evening.

Originally planned as a hybrid event at the Hartford Public Library’s Park Street Branch, CTLN transitioned the event to be completely online to accommodate accessibility and health & safety concerns.

CTLN Writer/Editor Belén Dumont moderated the event and briefly spoke on a few local support networks that provide free online resources and offer funding specifically to women and minority-owned organizations.

Sheila Hummel, Director of the Small Business Development Office within the CT Department of Economic and Community Development, shared available financial resources for small businesses and nonprofits across the state.

She highlighted the CT Small Business Boost Fund for its advertised accessible and flexible loans, before answering a few common questions from applicants.

“The focus is really on deploying to small businesses and nonprofits in underserved markets and [to] women, people of color, people with disabilities, and veteran-owned businesses,” she explained.

Hummel also emphasized the importance of technical assistance, explaining where businesses can find this support—for free.

“These organizations will help you build the capacity of your organization,” Hummel said. “[Technical Assistance] kind of provides you with, if you have a development need or a problem in your business, or you need help with your financials…they’re there to help you.”

The online event then featured highlights from Capital For Change Earl Randall’s appearance on CTLN Opinion+.

Director Randall of Small Business Lending explained how his work looks to specifically support businesses in local underserved communities. He also emphasized the role that accessible loan programs play within the state’s economy.

“At Capital For Change, we understand that and we try to structure our programs such that we have some degree of flexibility to account for that,” Randall said. “That’s really our core focus, to…help the minority community to provide some degree of fairness and equity, we want the capital to flow to communities that have not had capital provided to them.” 

Randall also spoke on Capital For Change’s role within the CT Small Business Boost Program, and how his team looks to support interested applicants.

“We encourage any interested businesses to call our office or email our office. My team is charged with reaching out directly via a call, more likely, to get some indication as to what their needs are,” Randall said. “Our objective is to provide some degree of counseling or guidance such that they can ask us questions before the formal application process.”

Access The Statewide Resources for CT Small Businesses Presentation Below:

Contact Director Sheila Hummel of the Small Business Development Office at

Contact CTLN Writer/Editor Belén Dumont at

Publisher’s Notes: CT Latino News is a partner of the CT Small Business Boost Fund in supporting the state’s Hispanic and Latino communities.

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