By Nan Price, Content Manager, MetroHartford Alliance

Small Business Week 2019 takes place May 5 through 11. The annual event recognizes the important contributions of small businesses, entrepreneurs, and small business advocates throughout the country.

“Small businesses are the backbone of our communities,” says Julio A. Concepción, Executive Director of the Hartford Chamber of Commerce. “The Hartford Chamber of Commerce collaborate with organizations in and around Greater Hartford to help local businesses succeed and thrive.”

According to the U.S. Small Business Administration, more than half of Americans either own or work for a small business, and small businesses make up 97% of Connecticut’s total businesses.

The Alliance asked several business owners to share their thoughts about what it means to be a small business owner in the Greater Hartford region:

“The Greater Hartford region is ripe for entrepreneurship. Connecticut small business owners in every industry—from high tech, to research, to manufacturing—are taking risks, embracing new ideas, and most importantly, creating jobs.”
— Michael Keiser, Co-Founder of the E Circle, Manchester, CT

“We’ve discovered hives of energetic, excited, mutually supportive individuals and organizations in our community. They’re the drivers of forward-oriented thought and they’re always game to collaborate and create together. This willingness to explore synergies creates momentum and energy that attracts like minds and feeds our ability to bring positive impact and change to our clients in this region.”
— Ellen Feldman Ornato, Founding Partner The Bolder Company, West Hartford, CT
Ellen Feldman Ornato pictured (left) and Jenny Drescher (right) are founding partners of West Hartford startup The Bolder Company.

“Independently owned businesses and the smallest of businesses deserve praise and support. These are folks who often take on huge personal risk to do what they love for a living while staying in Greater Hartford. They’re not moving outside the area in search of other opportunity. They are creating opportunity for themselves here.”
— Annisa Teich, Co-Owner, West Hartford Coworking