OLR Bill Analysis

sHB 5584 (as amended by House "A")*

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 networking resources, and access technical and financial assistance from state and quasi-public agencies. The commissioner must do this by October 1, 2017 (the bill's effective date). She must also operate and staff the hotline within available appropriations. Lastly, the commissioner may establish, operate, and staff the hotline in collaboration with a nonprofit organization.

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 and how it is advertised, summarize the most common types of assistance entrepreneurs and small businesses request, and provide statistics on the hotline's call volume.

*House Amendment “A” (1) requires the commissioner to establish and operate the hotline by October 1, 2017; (2) specifies that she must operate and staff it within available appropriations; (3) allows her to establish, operate, and staff the hotline with any nonprofit organization, not just with the Connecticut Economic Resource Center; and (4) drops the requirement that the hotline must be operated by a natural person during normal business hours.

EFFECTIVE DATE: October 1, 2017

COMMITTEE ACTION

Commerce Committee

Joint Favorable Substitute

Yea

20

Nay

1

(03/21/2017)