Veterinarian Says Program Designed to Help Businesses Like Hers Came Up Short – NBC Connecticut

While many small businesses have received government help during the pandemic, others have felt they have been left behind.

Most of the complaints have been about federal aid like the Paycheck Protection Program, but one business owner told NBC Connecticut one of the programs offered in the state has her disappointed.

Veterinarian Lori Brault has had a location in Wilton several years, after first working in someone else’s practice, and having a mobile service. 

“In a global pandemic a relatively new small business is in a precarious position”, Brault said.

On her second try, she got a small federal Paycheck Protection Program loan. 

Yet she was unsuccessful in getting a small, low-interest loan from a program affiliated with the state called HEDCO, which is geared toward female and minority-owned businesses.


North Wilton Animal Hospital

Dog following treatment at North Wilton Animal Hospital

“The HEDCO loan looked like a real option for somebody like me.”

Brault explained HEDCO told her earlier in the pandemic that she qualified for a loan, but it was out of funds and would let her know if more became available.  Then last week she heard about a new HEDCO  program geared toward New Haven county businesses only.

“You ran out of money, you now have more money but now I’m ineligible because of my business’ geographic location.”

HEDCO told NBC Connecticut “HEDCO provides access to capital to support small businesses on a local, regional or statewide basis under different funding sources,” perhaps explaining why its webpage features loan programs directed toward specific municipalities.

Brault said it’s hard to get answers. At this point, she is not holding out hope she’ll get HEDCO help.  Without it, she thinks she can last just a couple of months.

There are other small business programs Brault can apply
for.  Her point is that one that seems precisely geared for her, can’t
seem to assist. 

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