OLR Bill Analysis
AN ACT CONCERNING A "CONNECTICUT-MADE" MARKETING CAMPAIGN
This bill requires the Department of Economic and Community Development (DECD) commissioner to encourage the development of the state's manufacturing and production sectors by establishing and administering a program that promotes the marketing of Connecticut-made products.
The program must provide a marketing plan and website; help manufacturers access state economic development programs; and foster relationships between them and retailers, business associations, and other specified groups. The commissioner must engage these groups in running the program, including soliciting matching funds. She may provide grants to individuals and private organizations that market Connecticut-made products.
The commissioner must administer the program, including the grants, within available appropriations, and submit annual reports to the Commerce Committee on the program's activities. She may also adopt implementing regulations.
EFFECTIVE DATE: October 1, 2012
The bill specifies the components the commissioner must include in the program. She must:
1. provide for the design, planning, and implementation of a multiyear, state-wide marketing and advertising plan that includes television and radio advertisements showcasing Connecticut-made products and the advantages they offer;
2. establish and continuously update an associated website that lists Connecticut manufacturers, the products they make, and the retailers that sell them;
3. help Connecticut manufacturers and producers needing assistance access the appropriate economic development organizations; and
4. foster contacts and relationships between businesses making or producing Connecticut products and retailers, marketers, chambers of commerce, regional tourism districts, and other potential institutional customers (i. e. , program stakeholders).
The last component includes providing a feature on the website linking Connecticut manufacturers and producers with potential buyers and staging statewide or regional promotional events where these groups can participate.
In addition to these required components, the bill allows the commissioner to make grants to individuals and businesses that promote and market Connecticut-made products. Grant recipients must clearly incorporate the phrases, “CONNECTICUT-MADE” or “CT-Made” in their promotional and marketing activities.
The bill requires the commissioner to engage the program's stakeholders in its activities. She must make her best efforts to solicit their cooperation and participation in advertising Connecticut products, developing the website, and planning events, including soliciting private funds to match state funds.
The bill requires the commissioner to submit annual status reports to the Commerce Committee but does not specify a reporting deadline. The report must describe the program's activities and the amount of private matching funds DECD received and spent.