October 2015
Local News
Eastern Connecticut State University for recently making it into U.S. News and World Report's "Top 100" Best Colleges. Eastern achieved a ranking of 92nd.  Along with this accomplishment Eastern was also ranked 27th in the best public university category in the North region in the 2016 edition of "Best Colleges."  
The Northeast CT Economic Alliance is proud to be associated with Eastern and pleased to acknowledge their educational and economic commitment to the Willimantic community.
Click here to read President Elsa Nunez's message to the Eastern community.

Economic News from James Bellano, Director of Economic Development

In an email dated September 9th to community leaders Jim advised that the State of Connecticut's "Distressed Municipality" rankings have been posted for 2015.  Windham's rank dropped four places (from 9th to 13th) from the 2014 list.   Also, Windham's unemployment rate continues a downward trend, posting 6.8% for August, 2015- the lowest in 7 years.   


Small Business Development Center

Just a reminder that CT SBDC has Office Hours at the Windham Region Chamber of Commerce the first Wednesday of each month from 3:00 - 5:00 pm. To schedule an appointment, call 860-486-4629.   

offical irs 
Extension Filers:  Don't Miss the Deadline
If you are one of the 13 million taxpayers who asked for more time to file your federal tax return and still haven't filed, your extra time is about to expire. Oct. 15 is the last day to file for most people who requested an automatic six-month extension. Click here if you have not yet filed, for things you should know.

IRS Calenda r:
Important dates for small businesses to remember can be accessed by one click of the mouse.  Click here  to access the IRS tax calendars.


Thanks to our sponsors for their support!







Are you prepared for the EMV chip card technology and how it will affect your business?  Or can your business survive the next natural disaster?  We were fortunate this time; Hurricane Joaquin went out to sea!  In this month's newsletter you will find articles and links to resources that explain everything you need to know about the EMV chip card technology and help prepare both your business and family for a disaster; natural or man-made.  Please take a look at the webinars, templates, and advice the CTSBDC, SBA, SCORE and FEMA have to offer. 


Also please be sure to read part two of five more ways to minimize your business risk.


As always, the Northeast CT Economic Alliance is here to assist entrepreneurs of northeast Connecticut with business loans for starting or expanding a business as well as providing beneficial resource information.


Visit our website - www.nealliance.com - to get started with your loan application today. Don't hesitate to call us at 860-465-5141 with any questions or concerns, or stop in Tuesday-Friday between the hours of 8:30-4:00.  We are located on the corner of Valley and High streets in Willimantic, CT.



 EMV Chip Card Technology and Your Small Business

U.S. major credit card companies including MasterCard, Visa, Discover and American Express are making the transition from magnetic strip cards to cards with embedded chips.  Chip cards are based on a global card payment standard called EMV Europay, MasterCard and Visa.  This technology is currently used in more than 80 countries, the United States is now in the process of migrating to EMV technology.  What does this mean to your small business?   The switch to EMV means new point-of-sales card readers and internal processing systems.  The change to EMV also means a change in liability for credit card fraud.  Prior to October 1st the payment processor or issuing bank was libable for a fraudulent charge.  As of October 1st the liability will shift to the least EMV-compliant party in the transaction, which may be the small business owner. 

The SBA is committed to making sure small business owners understand what this transition means for you, your business, and your customers through webinars, online resources, and in-person events.  Click here   to access the SBA website for more information on the resources available to bring you up to speed on this new technology.  

AreAre You Prepared

For a Disaster or Emergency?

As we all know a disaster or emergency can strike at any time and come in many forms; hurricane, fire, flood, technological failures, the list is limitless.  Can you or your business survive a natural or man-made disaster that may occur?  Did you know 40-60% of businesses don't survive a disaster! 


Don't become part of that statistic.  Take the time to identify the risks associated with a natural or man-made disaster and develop a plan to safeguard your investment, your business.  A good disaster recovery plan will lessen the recovery and financial impact if a disaster or emergency should hit. 


Here is list of resources made possible by the Connecticut Small Business Development Center (CTSBDC), the Small Business Administration (SBA), Service Corps of Retired Executives (SCORE), and the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA).  All are designed to assist you in developing and maintaining a comprehensive recovery plan.

  • CTSBDC and PrepareCT:  Provides free online training and templates on how to complete and maintain a disaster recovery plan.
  • SBA:  Provides tips on how to prepare for a disaster and the agencies to turn to for assistance.
  • SCORE:  Provides online preparedness workshops and tools. 
  • FEMA:  Provides tips on how to protect your home and business.


Ways 5 More Ways to Minimize Business Risk
Part 2
By Mary Juetten
SCORE Guest Blogger
Mary Juetten continues her series on Business Protection with 5 more tips on to avoid business risk.

1.  Be Cautious When Fundraising
Even though there are provisions in some states that enable startups to accept funds from non-accredited investors, it's wise to exercise caution when going down this path.  If you're putting together a crowdfunding campaign, pitch, or business plan, it's a good idea to talk to a professional to make sure that your plan is vetted and to ensure that you have an intellectual property strategy in place. You should also be aware of who's able to see your campaign or pitch and who you're trying to target. If you just want accredited investors to look at your pitch, make sure you have your campaign set up correctly, or that you're using the right platform for the audience you're seeking.
2.  Keep Good Records
Meticulous bookkeeping is probably no entrepreneur's idea of a good time. But good records are vital to any business. An accurate accounting of your business is important not just for the purposes of the IRS, but for investors and banks as well. If accounting isn't an area of strength for you or anyone at your company, outsourcing to professional bookkeepers is one option to ensure your records are kept accurately and in order.
Click here to read the remaining 3 tips.


Chamber News

Windham Chamber Logo
Chamber of Commerce, Windham Region
Seasonal Sips 2015 - Don't Miss Out On One Of The Best Events Of The Year!
Thursday, October 29, 2015
5:30-7:30 PM @ Uconn Alumni Center,
$50 per person Click here for more information and to register.
Business After Hours: 
Westcott-Wilcox Elderly Residential Housing, Inc.
Tuesday, October 13th  
5:00-7:00 PM 50 Capron St., Danielson, CT.
For more information and to register call 860-774-8001 or email info@nectchamber.com

WorkshopWorkshops and Seminars
sba EMV 101: What Small Businesses Need to Know About The Switch to Chip Card Technology
Wednesday, October 14, 2015 2:00-3:00 PM ET
Join SBA and Square for a free webinar presentation: "EMV 101: What Small Businesses Need to Know About the Switch to Chip Card Technology".
Participants will learn :
  • What the transition to EMV chip card technology means for small businesses
  • What EMV chip card technology is and why it's more secure

What the new fraud liability rules that take effect October 1st mean for merchants.  Click here to register.


Don't let weather-related events knock you and your business down.
Let SCORE help you develop a preparedness plan.
SCORE Mentors would like to help you prepare for any possible type of business interruptionClick here to download a hurricane preparedness check list and to access previously-aired webinars.
The Northeast CT Economic Alliance is an independent, community-based partnership of business, education and government
interests dedicated to enriching the long-term vitality of the communities of:
  Ashford · Brooklyn · Canterbury · Chaplin · Columbia · Coventry · Eastford · Hampton · Killingly · Lebanon · Mansfield · Plainfield · Pomfret · Putnam · Scotland · Sterling · Thompson · Union · Willington · Windham · Woodstock

This institution is an equal opportunity provider and employer.