Since 1997, CERC has contracted with the Office of Policy and Management (OPM) to operate the Smart Start program, the personal business assistance service of the Connecticut Licensing Info Center (www.CT-CLIC.com). Utilizing a streamlined customer friendly approach, Smart Start guides new, relocating and expanding businesses through the state regulatory process. In addition to Smart Start, CERC provides support for the Connecticut Licensing Info Center web site and most recently (2007) updated the site with a new look and new logo, enhanced tools and an improved searchable database. Visitors to the revamped site find it easier to navigate and can now utilize a step-by-step system for those looking to start, move or expand a business.
Starting, expanding or relocating a business in Connecticut requires some form of licensing, registration or permitting. The process can be confusing and daunting. Prior to CT-CLIC and Smart Start individuals wishing to start, expand or relocate a business had to contact each agency directly for information and service. While each agency is knowledgeable of their own requirements they are not necessarily familiar with requirements for other agencies making it confusing for the customer. In addition to learning their licensing requirements, forms must be filled out properly. Smart Start assists customers in both learning the requirements as well as completing the necessary forms.
Co-located with the Connecticut Business Response Center (BRC) at CERC, Smart Start is uniquely positioned to provide the highest level of customer service utilizing a toll-free number where customers speak with knowledgeable, customer friendly Business Information and Registration Specialists. Customers not only obtain licensing assistance, but may also obtain information on state, federal and local business resources. Customized information packages, as well as e-mail replies to Internet inquiries, are created and mailed to customers.
To date, Smart Start has assisted more than 30,000 customers and has consistently maintained a high level (above 90%) of customer satisfaction.
Additionally, CERC provides fiscal reporting and marketing/research services to support the overall licensing initiative.