Rescigno to Retire from Greater New Haven Chamber

Dear Friend,

I am writing to let you know of my decision to retire as the President of the Greater New Haven Chamber of Commerce on December 31, 2017. Such news will spread quickly and I wanted you to hear about it from me.

This decision has not been easy, but board leaders have been extremely supportive as I made the decision to redirect this stage of my career. The Chamber will lose no momentum during this transition. I expect to work with the Chamber’s board over the coming months to find a successor who will take the Chamber to greater heights.

The new executive will have a solid platform from which to launch his or her ideas to keep the Chamber and the community on a path of constant improvement. In fact, if the Chamber were not in such good shape, I would not have considered taking this step. But, finances, Chamber leadership and staff, board engagement, member confidence and key relationships have never been stronger – so good, that I’m confident I can let go.

It’s time to change the pace and scope of my work, but I plan to continue assisting those who lead businesses and communities in whatever ways I can. It’s part of my DNA. Some of that work will undoubtedly involve the Chamber, making it very likely that our paths will continue to cross indefinitely. So, no good-byes, please!

My to-do list is long and the remainder of my 2017 calendar is already over-booked. I will spend 2018 working on special projects that will bring value to the Chamber and its members. Meanwhile, a search committee has been formed and will be chaired by Michael Schaffer, head of commercial leasing for CA White, Inc., and a long-time member of the Chamber’s executive committee.

After a request for proposal process, the search committee selected Chamber member United Personnel to assist with the search. United Personnel offers recruitment and staffing services throughout Connecticut and Western Massachusetts.

As Frank Sinatra once said, “The best is yet to come and won’t that be fine.”

In closing, thanks again to all of you. With your continuing support for me and our seasoned staff of professionals during the coming months, I am confident the transition will be a positive process with a great outcome for our Chamber.

Thank you in advance for your support and for all you do for our Chamber and for our communities.

~ Tony

Zoning Changes Have Potential to Slow Job and Economic Growth in New Haven

cropped-cropped-nhv.jpgPlease join us on Thursday, May 18 at 6:30 p.m.- 2nd Floor, New Haven City Hall, 165 Church St., for a public hearing on zoning changes in New Haven. The proposal was drawn up by New Haven’s Board of Alders Legislation Committee. If passed, these amendments would transfer some zoning authority from the Board of Zoning Appeals and City Plan to the Board of Alders. Please review the May 18 agenda.

The Greater New Haven Chamber believes this new ordinance will negatively impact economic development in our region. The proposed legislation will have a negative impact on the entire City by creating a burdensome approval process with no clear standards.  Please read the Community Impacts Text Zoning Ordinance Text Amendment.

These “high impact” special exceptions would scare off other developers and businesses if they see the hurdles that are required for developing the area and could be placed upon them in the future. Jobs will be delayed as projects are put on hold or prevented from proceeding.

The ordinance would also impact smaller businesses who want to set up shop in residential districts, such as barber shops, accountants, and doctors’ offices.

Please read this New Haven Independent article  for more details on this zoning ordinance.

We hope you’ll help us make some noise on this issue. To sign a petition objecting to the proposed amendment, please email here.

“We, the undersigned, concerned residents of New Haven, local businesses, and other interested parties, object to the proposed amendment to Section 63.D(6) and request that it be denied in its entirety.”

Rep. Perone Talks Transportation in Connecticut

Last Friday, newly appointed Chief Transportation Financial Officer for House Democrats, State Rep. Christopher Perone, D-Norwalk, stopped by the Greater New Haven Chamber offices to talk with our partners about transportation issues in Connecticut.

He is responsible for overseeing how Connecticut funds and prioritizes road, rail and other infrastructure projects as the House Democrats’ newly appointed “transportation czar.”

As chairman of the transportation subcommittee of the Finance, Revenue & Bonding Committee, Rep. Perone oversees capital funding and helps set priorities for infrastructure projects including roads, bridges and rails. He  is working with other state agencies,  chambers of commerce to come up with what’s best, and to evaluate where transportation challenges impact thousands of residents every day. Perone is also responsible for putting together the state budget for the Connecticut Department of Transportation.

The appointment comes as Gov. Dannel P. Malloy works to implement the “Let’s Go CT!” transportation plan and lawmakers grapple with major budget pressures. As transportation czar, Perone said his work would include protecting and preserving the state’s transportation fund, stabilizing debt related to “Let’s Go CT!” and communicating various infrastructure projects to communities.
As part of the discussion with the Greater New Haven Chamber,  Rep. Perone looked favorably on the possible conveyance of Union Station to the City of New Haven. He also suggested closing some highway entrances in order to reduce congestion on the interstates.
“Companies make their decisions on whether or not they can get their employees, their workforce to and from where they need to go, in an efficient manner,” Perone said. “And when you’ve got the kind of congestion we have and the challenges we have, that just depresses interest in the state of Connecticut.”

Why Value Your Business?

By guest blogger, Ron Numon, Managing Director, A Neumann & Associates LLC

There are many reasons business owners need to value their business: estate planning, partnership splits, refinancing, recapitalization, outright sale of the business, mergers, acquisitions, generational transfers, or divorce are just a handful of situations where an accredited valuation is essential.

Equally important is the rigorous process of due diligence that supports the valuation process and presents the business in its most favorable light. “Due diligence” is commonly referred to as the process of verifying information in preparation for the types of events noted above.  Unlike buying a car or house, justifying the price of a business entity requires credible financial documentation to verify the true cash flow of the business and to support a full “quality of earnings assessment.” Typically, this process requires the cooperation of various parties, including the principals, the CPAs, the lender, and an accredited business appraiser.

In today’s business environment, a certified business valuation by an accredited firm is the only accepted way to accurately and confidently determine a business’ true market value. The major benefits to buyer and seller are obvious: it helps set and justify the asking price to the buyer and to the bank that is financing the acquisition and lets the investor obtain a quick decision from the bank on financing. That’s crucial because 80 percent of all acquisitions are at least partially financed by a lender and backed by the SBA.

For a seller, the lack of a valuation will leave one in the dark about the proper asking price. If the asking price is too low, the seller leaves money on the table. Conversely, if the business is overpriced, it won’t sell and can compromise the confidentiality of the transaction by causing the business to be on the market too long.

However, there are other less obvious implications of not having an accredited valuation. Most importantly, it will immediately render any offer suspect, since the owner would never know if it’s a fair offer.

Moreover, a qualified valuation will allow the owner’s experts (think CPA, wealth advisor, estate planner, attorney, tax accountant, etc.) to plan in advance for the sale and maximize after-tax net proceeds. Finally, investors, who might conclude that the business is as poorly prepared operationally for a transition as it is in its financial presentation, almost always view the lack of a third-party valuation negatively.

Without a business valuation, a potential buyer may not take the seller seriously, won’t make a fair offer, and will likely want to conduct their own due diligence. This will require the business owner to expend valuable time and resources to produce financial reports, tax returns, support buyer investigations, and potentially lead to a breach of confidentiality exposing the potential sale to employees, customers and vendors causing irreparable harm to the business. To make matters worse, the buyer is under no obligation to buy and can simply walk away after months of making request after request for information.

In sum, whereas a business seller might perceive the upcoming due diligence with trepidation, in reality, it’s merely a professional verification and re-casting of previously presented business information.  Most importantly, with today’s technology, such due diligence is commonly executed off-premises with no employee involvement ensuring confidentiality.

A highly qualified M&A firm that is well versed in both business valuation and due diligence can guide the business owner through the preparatory, due diligence, and valuation processes in a confidential manner. Without such guidance, the process can be quite daunting and fraught with many pitfalls.

Ron Numon is the Managing Director for the state of Connecticut representing A Neumann & Associates LLC (ANA), a mergers and acquisitions adviser and business brokerage firm.  ANA has offices in eight states and is affiliated with national networks of qualified investors and sellers and has assisted owners and buyers with business transfers for over 15 years.

Women’s Entrepreneurship: Find Funding to Start, Run and Grow Your Business

By guest blogger, Julie Fritz, Vice-President, Business Banking Manager at Wells Fargo in New Haven

Women’s History Month is a great time to recognize the important role of women-owned businesses in the nation’s economy. From tech to fashion to healthcare and manufacturing, there are 9.9 million women-owned firms spanning almost every industry, and representing a third of all small businesses in America. And that number is only expected to grow. According to the latest U.S. Census data, women-owned firms increased more than 26 percent from 2007-2012, and had receipts of $1.4 trillion in 2012.

Despite their successes, women entrepreneurs can face the same challenges as all business owners when it comes to obtaining funding for their businesses. This is especially true for new business owners who are just starting out and may have limited business credit history. There are, however, more small business funding options today than ever, and it pays to be familiar with each one.

Here are five types of funding to explore when starting, running and growing a small business.

SBA Loans and Resources – Whether you’re launching a new business or growing an existing business, the U.S. Small Business Administration (SBA) has a variety of lending products designed to meet the financing needs of businesses of all sizes, including smaller, newer businesses. Through SBA lending, Wells Fargo offers financing to businesses that may not be able to obtain a conventional loan or loan terms that meet their business needs.

The SBA also has a number of programs and resources devoted specifically for women entrepreneurs. A good place to start is with the SBA Women’s Business Centers, which consist of nearly 100 educational centers around the U.S. These centers are dedicated to helping women start and grow their businesses by offering seminars and workshops on various business owner topics, including raising capital.

Business Credit –At some point, most small business owners will see a need for credit as their business evolves and their financial needs change. When used appropriately, credit can fuel opportunities for business growth from helping cover basic expenses to supporting a capital expenditure. There are many types of credit to consider depending on your business financing needs and stage of business. Talk with a business banker to learn what option is right for your business.

Self-funding – Many entrepreneurs fund their businesses themselves, either by tapping into savings, selling assets for cash, or taking on personal debt. While self-funding increases your personal liability, there are several advantages to this method of financing, including having complete control over your business’ financial decisions. As our bankers will tell you, self-funding is also a smart way to show that you are truly committed to succeeding – the more you invest in your business, the easier it will be to secure capital from other sources down the road.

Investors – Another common way to fund a business is through investors. Often, an investor is a family member or friend with the means to invest capital upfront to cover startup costs. While this may seem like a good idea at first, it’s important to set up a formal arrangement to protect your relationship from losses that may result if the business fails. If you want to steer clear of personal connections, then an angel investor may be a better fit. Angel investors are typically affluent individuals or investment groups who are willing to invest in new businesses and ideas. To improve your chances of securing an investor, you’ll need to demonstrate a healthy credit history, and provide a written business plan complete with a strategy for paying back investors.

Crowdfunding –Based primarily online, crowdfunding is the practice of funding a project or venture by raising small amounts of money from a large number of people. While crowdfunding has been around for a long time, social media and online crowdfunding networks comprised of thousands of investors have helped it gain in popularity among entrepreneurs and startups. From donation-based, to rewards- and equity-based options, there are many types of crowdfunding options available. The method you choose may depend on the type of product or service your business offers, cash flow and revenue projections.

As you explore funding options, it’s also important to become familiar with the credit process so you know what to expect – from preparing to apply, applying and managing credit. Wells Fargo’s new Business Credit Center is designed to help inform business owners on the credit process and financing options, and address gaps in their understanding of credit.

No matter how you fund your business, remember that knowledge is power. Take time to arm yourself appropriately so you can confidently navigate the credit journey throughout all stages of your business.


The Debut of The Morning Mingle


We hear it often from business folks that they want more face-to-face networking.That’s one of the reasons why they join the Chamber. That’s why we are launching a new program that we think you are going to love…. it’s called ‘The Morning Mingle.’

It’s been months in the making.

Held monthly every fourth Wednesday, the ‘Morning Mingle’ is our new monthly networking event. The morning format allows business professionals to supercharge their day with some good networking and educational programming. Our goal is to provide you with an opportunity to meet new people, build connections and share good business practices.

Our first ever ‘Morning Mingle’ event kicks-off on Wednesday, March 22 from 7:30 a.m. to 9:30 a.m.  at the Shubert Theatre, 247 College St., New Haven, CT.

The program kicks off at 7:30 – 8:30 a.m. with networking and breakfast, followed by breakout sessions from 8:30 – 9:30 a.m.  Meeting locations will vary each month.

Click here to learn about our three break-out sessions, which will run concurrently.

The Morning Mingle cost is $10/pp for Chamber partners and $45/pp for non-partners. Admission is free for Greater New Haven Chamber’s VIP Pass holders. To register or learn more, visit here.