OLR Bill Analysis

sHB 5584

AN ACT CONCERNING THE CREATION OF A SMALL BUSINESS HOTLINE.

SUMMARY

This bill requires the Department of Economic and Community Development (DECD) commissioner to establish and operate a hotline that provides individualized information and guidance to entrepreneurs and small business owners across the state on how to start and develop a business, identify resource networks, and access technical and financial assistance from state and quasi-public agencies.

The commissioner may collaborate with the Connecticut Economic Resource Center (CERC) to establish and operate the hotline, which must be operated by a natural person (presumably, as opposed to a fully automated or pre-recorded system) during normal business hours. CERC is a nonprofit organization that provides economic development services to businesses, often in partnership with the state's utilities and state and local economic development agencies. Its services include providing technical assistance to businesses seeking to start, expand, or relocate to Connecticut.

The commissioner must submit a report on the hotline's operation to the Commerce Committee by January 1, 2019. The report must describe the hotline's services, summarize the most common types of assistance entrepreneurs and small businesses request, and provide statistics on the hotline's call volume.

EFFECTIVE DATE: October 1, 2017

COMMITTEE ACTION

Commerce Committee

Joint Favorable Substitute

Yea

20

Nay

1

(03/21/2017)