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Economic & Community Development News

Posted on: July 29, 2020

07/29/2020: Business Reopening Updates

Trumbull Economic Development

Reopen Connecticut: Updated Industry Rules Now Available

While we have paused on the Phase 3 reopening of the state to protect the health of all of our residents, we have made some updates to our industry-specific rules after consulting with industry leaders and public health officials.

These updates provide more specific guidance, as well as new recommendations for a broad range of sectors.

Highlights include:

  • New rules for Indoor Recreation and expanded guidance for Outdoor Events.
  • Changes impacting OfficesPersonal ServicesHair Salons & BarbershopsRetailLibraries, etc:
    • Non-essential businesses have the right to refuse service to anyone not wearing a mask.
    • In the event an employee tests positive for COVID-19, it is recommended the business implement a 24-hour passive decontamination and follow CDC guidelines for cleaning and disinfecting.
    • For bathrooms, the posting of signage encouraging reduced capacity and reminding individuals to wash their hands and wear masks is suggested.
  • Hotels are now permitted to provide non-essential services and amenities (e.g., valets, ice machines).
    • These and other sector-specific updates go into effect immediately. Businesses and non-profits that have already completed the self-certification process as part of Phases 1 or 2 do not need to re-register, but must comply with any new rules for their sector.

Governor Lamont Signs Executive Order Strengthening Workers’ Compensation Claims for Essential Workers Impacted by COVID-19

Governor Ned Lamont announced that he has signed an executive order creating a rebuttable presumption that workers who contracted COVID-19 in the early days of the pandemic contracted it on the job and are eligible for workers’ compensation benefits.

“As I promised last week, I have signed an executive order providing workers who contracted COVID-19 during the early stages of the pandemic the straightforward opportunity to claim any benefits they are due through Connecticut’s workers’ compensation system. Our state owes a debt to all of the health care professionals, grocery store clerks, and other essential workers who served vital roles during the earliest and darkest stages of this public health crisis. I am thankful for the employers who have done the right thing by their employees, the Connecticut Workers’ Compensation Commission for operating continually throughout this pandemic, and most of all, the workers for their efforts and sacrifice. The executive order is an important step to ensure our essential workers, who went to work while others stayed safe and stayed home, are made whole.” Click here for more information.

Paycheck Protection Program totals in Connecticut as of July 25, 2020

The Paycheck Protection Program is a loan designed to provide a direct incentive for small businesses to keep their workers on the payroll. As of July 25th SBA’s Paycheck Protection Program has supported over 62,377 loans in Connecticut totaling $6,665,606,988 in net dollars!

SBA will forgive loans if all employee retention criteria are met, and the funds are used for eligible expenses. Click here to read more about PPP loan forgiveness.

How To Apply

You can apply through any existing SBA 7(a) lender or through any federally insured depository institution, federally insured credit union, and Farm Credit System institution that is participating. Other regulated lenders will be available to make these loans once they are approved and enrolled in the program. You should consult with your local lender as to whether it is participating in the program. View a list of lenders participating in the Paycheck Protection Program by state.

If you wish to begin preparing your application, you can download a copy of the PPP borrower application form (revised June 24, 2020) to see the information that will be requested from you when you apply with a lender. The new deadline to apply for a Paycheck Protection Program loan is August 8, 2020.

State & Federal

Paycheck Protection Program (PPP): The Paycheck Protection Program is a loan designed to provide a direct incentive for small businesses to keep their workers on the payroll. SBA will forgive loans if all employees are kept on the payroll for eight weeks and the money is used for payroll, rent, mortgage interest, or utilities. Click here for details.

If you received a PPP loan, you must complete the PPP Forgiveness Application and submit it to your lender to have the loan fully forgiven. You may begin submitting your forgiveness application beginning July 1, 2020. Click here for the loan forgiveness application.

Main Street Lending Program: The Federal Reserve Bank of Boston operates the Main Street Lending Program. The MSLP is a Federal Reserve program designed to help credit flow to small and medium-sized eligible businesses that were in sound financial condition before the COVID-19 pandemic, and that were either unable to access the Small Business Administration’s (SBA) Paycheck Protection Program (PPP) or that require additional financial support after receiving a PPP loan. Importantly, MSLP loans (as opposed to PPP loans) are not forgivable. Click here for more information.

Economic Injury Disaster Loan: This loan will provide economic relief to small businesses and non-profit organizations that are currently experiencing a temporary loss of revenue. SBA resumed accepting new Economic Injury Disaster Loan (EIDL) applications on June 15 to all qualified small businesses, including U.S. agricultural businesses. Click here for more information.

PPE & Cleaning Suppliers List: The CT DECD has compiled a downloadable list of suppliers (both in-state and beyond) to assist business owners with obtaining cleaning supplies, PPE equipment, plexiglass barrier materials and more. Click here for more information.

Unemployment Benefits: Workers directly impacted by the coronavirus pandemic no longer must be actively searching for work and employers who are furloughing workers can use the Department of Labor’s shared work program, which allows businesses to reduce working hours and have those wages supplemented with unemployment insurance. Self-employed individuals, including independent contractors and “gig” workers, can also apply for unemployment benefits. Click here for details.

EDA Fraud Alert

EDA is aware of recent incidents of fraudulent emails, letters, or other communications sent to individuals offering to provide EDA grants in exchange for money or personal information. The scammers behind these fraudulent communications often pose as EDA employees or agents in an attempt to extract payment. Please note that EDA does not provide grants to individuals and does not ask individuals to disclose personal information. In addition, EDA does not require applicants to submit a processing or other fee. EDA grants can only be obtained by following the procedures described in the Notices of Funding Opportunities provided for the programs listed on our Funding Opportunities page.

If you believe you have been the victim of one of these scams or are aware of such incidents with your members, please contact the Department of Commerce Office of Inspector General and submit a report.

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