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Larson Celebrates Small Business Week with Local Entrepreneurs

May 6, 2016
Press Release

East Hartford, CT – In recognition of National Small Business Week, Rep. John B. Larson (CT-01) met with Connecticut entrepreneurs and small business startups in East Hartford yesterday. Larson kicked off the day with a visit to the Connecticut Center for Advanced Technology (CCAT) to learn about the technology startups in their business incubator program. CCAT provides entrepreneurs with state-of-the-art incubator space and access to the latest technology both at its headquarters and Advanced Manufacturing Center. Later, he toured RSL Fiber Systems, which specializes in the development of fiber optics to improve workplace safety and productivity. RSL was the first company to supply fiber optic lighting solutions to the U.S. Navy and remains its sole source provider of this innovative technology.

“Small businesses drive our economy,” said Larson. “They are the job creators and innovators that keep America on the cutting edge in a global market. Right here in Connecticut, entrepreneurs are developing new technology to keep us safer and make our lives easier. I am extremely proud to seeso many employers like Giovanni Tomasi of RSL Fiber Systems are benefiting from the permanent extension of the R&D Tax Credit that Ways and Means Chairman Kevin Brady and I authored and fought for—allowing them to hire even more people. I also want to commend Elliot Ginsberg of CCAT for providing valuable support for startups to help more big ideas get off the ground.”

“CCAT was pleased to host Congressman Larson and give him an opportunity to meet with the entrepreneurs of our Technology Incubator, which offers them essential business resources and a collaborative setting for reaching out to our extensive network of strategic partners,” said Elliot Ginsberg, CCAT president and CEO. “Through this visit, the Congressman was able to talk directly with small business leaders about their issues and concerns.”

“Congressman Larson was instrumental in helping RSL Fiber Systems secure funding to develop the most advanced fiber optic lighting for the US Navy, grow our business by exporting to the Italian Navy, and expand into the commercial sector,” said Giovanni Tomasi, RSL Fiber Systems CEO.  “The permanent extension of the R&D tax credit is another initiative that will benefit us as we continue to grow.”         

National Small Business Week has been recognized every year since 1963. The R&D Tax Credit passed in December of last year.