Bank, NEDC partner for small business initiative

NAUGATUCK — Liberty Bank is teaming up with the Naugatuck Economic Development Corporation to help educate small business owners.

The pair, in collaboration with the Community Economic Development Fund, is launching a Small Business Academy, the bank announced in a press release.

“Small business is at the very heart of a community’s ability to sustain itself,” said Liberty Bank President and CEO Chandler Howard in the release. “As a community bank, Liberty Bank is committed to helping businesses get off the ground, stay healthy and grow. This initiative represents Liberty’s commitment to facilitate economic development in the greater Naugatuck community.”

The academy, which is free, is open to businesses that have been in business for three years or less and startups. Participants don’t have to be customers of the Liberty Bank, which acquired Naugatuck Valley Savings and Loan early this year.

The academy will offer an eight-week curriculum and cover a variety of topics, including financial management, recordkeeping, risk management, marketing and tax planning, the release stated.

NEDC President and CEO Ronald Pugliese said as far as he knows this is the first time the NEDC has partnered on such an initiative. He called the Small Business Academy a natural extension for the NEDC.

“I think this is a tremendous opportunity for small businesses to hear from true professionals,” he said.

Participating business owners who successfully complete at least six of the classes will be eligible for a $5,000 line of credit from Liberty Bank, with a potential matching line of credit from the development fund.

The academy is limited to 20 business and registrations will be accepted on a first-come, first-served basis. To register, small businesses must print and complete the registration form on the banks website, www.liberty-bank.com/asb, and mail it to: Glenn Davis, Liberty Bank, 315 Main St., Middletown, CT 06457 by Sept. 16.