These great small businesses deserve to be in the spotlight. 

Connecticut is full of great small businesses with amazing stories to tell. We’re excited to give some of our favorites a showcase. Read their stories and learn how they’re growing right here in Connecticut. Do you have a small business that deserves some time to shine in the spotlight? Simply fill out the form on the bottom of the page for consideration.

Spotlight: J&J Acoustics

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J&J Acoustics

Hometown Partners J&J Acoustics and Liberty Bank

Launching a small business is a dream of many Americans. Yet, actually reaching that dream and being successful at it takes dedication, passion, and lots and lots of hard work. Middletown-residents, Denise and James Vernale and their son Jaiden, knew what it would take to become self-made entrepreneurs, but that didn’t stop them. They also knew that every second would be worth it …for their family and their livelihood. With all the drive in the world, in late 2017, their vision came into focus. The three partners opened an acoustic ceiling tile company. This marked the start of a remarkable small business journey – a journey full of many triumphs, overcoming challenges, grabbing onto opportunities, and achieving the impossible.

Denise coined the company J and J Acoustics, LLC, a woman-owned business, in honor of the two most important men in her life. After working for her mother-in-law’s company for some time, Denise, along with her husband, brought over 37 years of industry knowledge to the company. Owning a small business was their calling and the timing was perfect. Jaiden recently got accepted into Connecticut’s Union Apprentice Program, inspiring his parents to start the business so he could get more experience in the field.

In March 2018, Denise applied for a State of Connecticut minority/small business enterprise certification. A year later, they received a certificate for the City of Hartford and a DAS certificate that allows them to bid on larger state projects. Everything was working in their favor except they needed a very important boost; the funding to kick their company into the next gear and earn enough capital so they could grow.

This is where Liberty Bank stepped in.

Denise switched over her personal banking to Liberty a few years ago following the recommendation from several close friends. Now, she was seeking financial support to help her family’s business. She was very satisfied with Liberty and when the business financing need arose, Denise inquired about lines of credit, small business loans, and more.

She visited our Cromwell Cobblestone Branch to get the $125,000 loan underway, a process that took over a year. She partnered with Business Banking Officer, Manny Caccomo, to learn about the best options for her business and financial situation.

If a few jobs overlap, the loan from Liberty allows the projects to run smoothly and efficiently with little worry.  

“It seemed against all odds that I received funding.  Manny always checked in to keep me up to date on new programs that I qualified for.  His patience and persistence and the dedication of the entire Cobblestone Branch staff is so admirable," stated Denise Vernale.

J and J Acoustics, LLC has received several growth opportunities for all employees who would have been jobless without the startup of the new small business.  The funding from Liberty makes it possible for them to bid on state and city projects of various sizes. For Denise and James, the most rewarding part of small business ownership has been teaching their son the trades, seeing him develop as a professional and gain more skills.  They are thrilled and grateful to work together, and to build the business to the next level as a family.

“Our Liberty Bank experience has been so memorable right from the start and it’s the employees that keep us coming back time and time again. We are grateful for this partnership and what it has allowed us to accomplish so far; we are thankful for Liberty Bank and their outstanding staff for their support. They made a stressful situation more exciting and made our goals obtainable.”

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