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Five local businesses get state loans

By Lee Howard

Publication: theday.com

Published February 21. 2013 3:00PM   Updated February 21. 2013 3:55PM

This article was edited to reflect that these are loans not grants.

Five businesses in southeastern Connecticut have won more than $600,000 in loans from the state to help purchase new equipment, build new facilities and launch new products, the Southeastern Connecticut Enterprise Region announced Thursday.

SeCTer, in partnership with the state Department of Economic and Community Development's Small Business Express program, said the most recent round of state funding will go to Marty Gilman Inc. of Bozrah, a manufacturer of sports gear; Seconn Fabrications Inc. of Waterford, which does custom manufacturing, powder coating and screen printing; StoryForge Labs LLC of New London, a conceptual design, animation and visual effects studio; AgroSci Inc. of Colchester, which sells and distributes irrigation systems, and Mystic Cheese Company LLC of Franklin, which will build a cheese-making facility at the Hill Top Flex Park.

"We look forward to seeing these companies grow and flourish in southeastern Connecticut for many years," Ann Chambers, seCTer's loan program director, said in a statement.

SeCTer did not initially release the exact amounts each business received.

Marty Gilman Inc., which does business as Gilman Gear, will use its funding to add three new sales employees and to design a new catalog, as well as for enhancing its website design.

Seconn will use its funding to purchase new machining equipment and to add at least two more employees. The company currently outsources its machining work.

StoryForge Labs, which does business as Killer Minnow, will purchase new equipment and software, expand its office space and add more staff.

AgroSci plans to use loans to move its operations from Stephenville, N.Y. It also intends to hire 10 new employees in the next two years.

Mystic Cheese, founded by Salem native Brian Civitello, will open a new state-of-the art operation using hormone-free milk from Connecticut dairy farms.

For information on seCTer loan programs, call Deborah Donovan, director of economic development and marketing for the New London-based agency, at 860-437-4659, ext. 202.

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