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SeCTer gets $2.3 million to help region's pandemic response

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The Southeastern Connecticut Enterprise Region, which provides economic development resources to small businesses and municipalities, has secured $2.3 million in CARES Act funding through the U.S. Department of Commerce's Economic Development Administration.

This includes two EDA CARES Act Recovery Assistance grants: one for $1.9 million and one for $400,000.

The one for $1.9 million, announced at the end of July, is lending money to assist businesses in southeastern Connecticut impacted by the pandemic.

"Examples might be a business that needs a piece of machinery or technology in order to be more resilient, a business that has an opportunity for a new business line in a post-COVID world, a business that needs technology in order to be able to do online ordering," said Nancy Cowser, executive director of seCTer.

The grant comes with a requirement that seCTer provide technical assistance.

"This is not money to bail out a failing business or to help a business close," Cowser said. "This is money to really help a business survive and grow."

The $400,000 grant, which seCTer found out about last week, is for general economic recovery. It funds the hiring of a recovery coordinator for two years, training and education, and regional marketing.

The recovery coordinator will help municipalities with their recovery work and provide data to businesses, Cowser said. The job posting will go out Monday, and she said seCTer is looking for someone who knows the region, knows how to network and can tell the region's story to the decision-makers in Hartford.

e.moser@theday.com

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