The Women’s Business Development Council prepares to establish an office in downtown Waterbury

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Waterbury officials are preparing to commit $1.5 million to help the Women’s Business Development Council open a new office in downtown Waterbury.

Waterbury Mayor Neil O’Leary’s administration is asking the City Council of Aldermen to approve spending $1.5 million of the city’s American Rescue Plan Act allocation to help the organization nonprofit, dedicated to helping women succeed in business.

“The city plans to provide $300,000 per year over five years to help the WBDC establish a permanent physical office in downtown Waterbury City; extend its highly successful technical assistance, advice, workshops and courses to Waterbury-based small businesses at all stages of development and extend its small business micro-grant programs specifically to Waterbury-based businesses,” wrote Sarah Geary , responsible for developing and overseeing Waterbury’s budget in a memo. to the aldermen.

Of the $300,000 Waterbury would provide to the non-profit each year, $160,000 will be used for a grant pool for small businesses “that meet certain eligibility criteria”, $140,000 will be used for supporting technical assistance programs and operating costs for the new Waterbury office, Geary wrote. .

The WBDC will “provide matching funds” of $250,000 a year for five years and has secured a commitment of $60,000 a year from Webster Bank, according to Geary’s memo.
JoAnn Gulbin, director of marketing and communications for the Women’s Business Development Counsel, declined to comment.

The non-profit organization currently has regional offices in Stamford, New London and New Haven. On its website, the nonprofit – which was founded in 1997 – said it had served nearly 19,000 clients and helped start 1,800 businesses, as well as sustain and expand of 3,800 established businesses.

“The administration believes that its partnership with WBDC on this initiative will promote economic development by providing significant assistance that will help launch and/or grow successful small businesses in Waterbury, particularly those owned by women and minorities. reads part of Geary’s. memo to the aldermen of Waterbury.

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