HARTFORD, Conn. (AP) _ Connecticut is expanding a $100 million small business jobs program.

The Small Business Express program has so far spent nearly $11 million to help companies keep 566 jobs and hire 393 workers.

In its special session on Tuesday, the General Assembly lengthened business loans to 10 years from five, increased maximum loans to $300,000 from $250,000 and made other changes.

The average cost is $11,000 for each job businesses keep or establish. Rep. Jeffrey Berger, the House chairman of the legislature’s Commerce Committee, says the cost is worth it because state aid helps small businesses survive.

Ronald F. Angelo Jr. deputy commissioner of economic development, said state officials are trying to increase jobs in the state, but are satisfied that the program has so far resulted in more jobs retained than created by companies.

(Copyright 2012 by The Associated Press.  All Rights Reserved.)


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