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Small Business Development

We provide technical assistance to neighborhood businesses and entrepreneurs interested in starting new businesses. Services are provided by a team of Small Business Specialists who walk the commercial corridors and build productive relationships with business owners. 

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We also work with reSET – a 501(c)3 non-profit organization that specializes in understanding the needs of start-up businesses, and helps them succeed by providing access to educational opportunities, resources, and networking opportunities.

Contact reSet


 EC logoThe University of Hartford’s Entrepreneurial Center(EC) provides hands-on coaching and business training for new and expanding small businesses, as well as aspiring entrepreneurs, throughout Connecticut. Part of the nationally-renowned Barney School of Business, the Center helps small business owners and employees to gain the business skills needed to succeed in the marketplace through business advising, technical assistance, educational programs, and networking events. For more information, visit www.hartford.edu/ec .

The EC partners with the City of Hartford’s Department of Development Services to offer a program specifically designed to support businesses located in Hartford. The Hartford Small Business Technical Assistance Program (HSBTAP) helps strengthen and grow Hartford businesses by developing a customized plan that includes individual appointments with business advisors and technical specialists as well as small group seminars. Technical help is available in areas such as marketing strategy, website improvement, business plan development, financial management, general business legal issues, operations, hiring and contracts, and government contracts. Program services are offered for free to eligible businesses. The goal of HSBTAP is to help keep small businesses in Hartford and establish them on solid ground, where they can blossom and succeed. For more information, visit www.hartford.edu/hartford-small-business.

 Starting a Business Toolkit

Getting started in business is an exciting event in one's life, a transformation from consumer to supplier. It's an opportunity to create, produce and provide a service or product for the community.

Before you begin to embark on this journey, we recommend certain steps to improve your chance of success and to determine if your idea is feasible. Starting a business toolkit will guide you in thinking about whether owning your own business is right for you, and if so, will aid you in completing the necessary steps to be taken in order to ensure that informed decisions could be made.

For more assistance, please contact the Small Business Development Team to guide you with the following tasks:


A careful analysis of yourself is the first step to be considered. Do you have what it takes? Have you identified your available skills? Do you know your strength and weakness?

Have you defined your business vision?

Have you identified available skills, information and support?

Do you have what it takes?

Have you reviewed available personal financial resources?
Personal Financial Statement Download

Have you checked your credit?
Request A Free Credit Report

Define the Business Opportunity

Is there a demand for your product or services? Who are your customers? Define your competitive advantages, determine your market niches, and evaluate potential risks and rewards. This will also help you in confirming your decision to proceed.

Have you defined the market?

Who are your customers?

Have you identified competition?

Have you defined your competitive advantages?

Have you determined your market niche?

Have you evaluated potential risks and rewards?

Have you confirmed your decision to proceed?

Write the Business Plan

A well thought out and constructed plan is crucial to starting a business. A business plan precisely defines your business startup expenses and ongoing cash requirements. It is a road map that describes weakness and strength as while defining your vision and opportunity. It also determines the financing you will need and how you will get it.

Business Plan Development Resources:

Download a Business Plan Template (Adobe PDF File)

Online Business Course

SBA - Direct Local Resources

SBA -Business Plan Basics

Business Plan Samples

Business Owner's Tool Kit

Hartford Public Library -Small Business Resources

Guide to SBA's Loan Guaranty Programs

Internet Resources- Entrepreneurs Blog

Inc. Magazine, How To Guides

CT-Clic - Registering & Licensing Your Business In Connecticut

IRS- Online Application - Form SS-4, Employer Identification Number (EIN)

City of Hartford Licensing and Permits (Contact Staff)

Cómo Iniciar su Negocio - Primeros Pasos

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Economic Development

250 Constitution Plaza
4th Floor
Hartford, CT 06103
Office Hours: 8:00am - 5:00pm

HARTFORD CITY HALL ADDRESS: 550 Main Street, Hartford, CT 06103 PHONE: (860)757-9311 HOURS: 8AM - 5PM