Small Business Resource Guide
These reopening recommendations and guidelines from the Department of Economic and Community Development are designed to help small businesses plan for reopening.
It includes resources for:
- Financial needs: Explore funding options available
- Employee training: Find resources to help you train your employees so they understand the new policies and procedures you put in place for their protection and the customers’
- Physical layout: Get visual examples of how you can reconfigure your space to adhere to social distancing guidelines
- Suppliers: 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.
The full guide can be viewed on DECD’s website in English as well as Spanish:
View small business resource guide (English)
View small business resource guide (Spanish)
Governor Announces New Program for Minority & Women Owned Businesses
The Hartford Economic Development Corporation (HEDCO) has partnered with the State of Connecticut, the CT Department of Economic & Community Development (DECD) and the CT Minority Business Initiative to provide financial relief to minority-owned and women-owned small businesses negatively impacted by the coronavirus pandemic.
Under the COVID-19 Business Response Program, a qualifying small business with 20 or fewer employees may apply for a zero-interest Line of Credit for up to $20,000.
This $2 million program will be allocated to minority-owned and women-owned small businesses. The program will be administered and underwritten by HEDCO.
To be considered for this program, your small business must:
- Be a for-profit business with no more than 20 full-time and/or part-time employees
- Must be a minority-owned and/or woman-owned small business (minimum 51% of minority/woman ownership required)
- Be in good standing with the Department of Revenue Services (DRS)
- Have been conducting business for a minimum of 6 months
Terms & Conditions
- Line of Credit up to $20,000
- 0% interest rate
- One-year Line of Credit, payable in full 12 months from the date of closing
- Working capital Line of Credit
- No application fee
- Closing fee of $250.00, which can be included in the cash flow projections
- The debt is eligible to be forgiven if the company can demonstrate the funds were used to cover the first 3 months of expenditures due to COVID-19. In order to receive forgiveness, the business must show documentation of expenditures in accordance with your cash flow projections.
- 1-Page Application
- Profit and Loss Statement as of December 31, 2019
- Year–to-date (YTD) Profit and Loss Statement as of March 31, 2020
- 3-month projected cash flow needs
Please reach out for assistance applying to this program. You can find additional information & apply here.
CT Safe Workplaces Rules
Governor Lamont signs 23rd executive order to mitigate the spread of COVID-19
Governor Lamont today (April 7, 2020) signed another executive order – the 23rd since he enacted the emergency declarations – that builds upon his efforts to encourage mitigation strategies that slow down the transmission of the virus.
Governor Lamont’s Executive Order No. 7V enacts the following provisions:
- Safe workplaces in essential businesses: Requires the Department of Economic and Community Development to work in consultation with the Department of Public Health on the development of legally binding statewide rules prescribing additional protective measures that every workplace in Connecticut deemed essential – and any other business or nonprofit allowed to remain open – must follow. Such rules will be mandatory throughout the state.
- Temporary permits for certain health care providers extended and fees waived
- Practice before licensure for certain health care professional applicants and graduates
- Practice before licensure for marital and family therapy associates
- Practice before licensure for professional counselor associates
- Protection from civil liability for actions or omissions in support of the state’s COVID-19 response
Click here for the full press release.
CT Artists Respond Grant Program
The Connecticut Office of the Arts recognizes that artists help us through challenging times and is committed to investing in artists’ ability to provide respite through inspiration, connection and education.
The Connecticut Artists Respond Grant Program provides funding to artists and teaching artists to support the creation and presentation of free and accessible on-line arts-based experiences, learning opportunities and services to audiences across Connecticut – and beyond – using the World Wide Web. Grants for individuals artists are $1,000. Grants for an artist collaboration (two or more artists) are $2,000.
Through this funding opportunity, artists may:
- Create new works of art and share them with audiences digitally
- Live stream performances (dance, music, theater, etc.)
- Develop educational videos that support K-12 distance learning programs
- Present on-line professional development workshops (i.e. artists supporting artists and educators)
- Develop and present on-line master classes in an art form
- Present on-line arts activities, demonstrations and lessons
- Curate on-line exhibitions
- Lead a community arts forum
- Create other experiences, learning and/or services not listed above.
All activities must comply with the ever-changing social distancing measures implemented at the local, state and federal level as a result of COVID-19.
Applicants are advised to limit the procurement of materials as supply chains and quarantine measures may interfere with your ability to execute your project.
For eligibility requirements and to apply, please follow this link.
CT Mortage Payment Relief
(HARTFORD, CT) – Governor Ned Lamont today (March 31, 2020) announced that his administration has reached an agreement with over 50 credit unions and banks in Connecticut to offer mortgage relief to the state’s residents and businesses who continue to face hardship caused by the global COVID-19 pandemic. Under the agreement, the following relief policies are being offered by participating financial institutions:
- 90-day grace period for all mortgage payments: Participating financial institutions are now offering mortgage-payment forbearances of up to 90 days, which will allow homeowners to reduce or delay monthly mortgage payments. In addition, the institutions will:
- Provide a streamlined process for requesting forbearance for COVID-19-related reasons, supported with available documentation;
- Confirm approval and terms of forbearance program; and
- Provide the opportunity to extend forbearance agreements if faced with continued hardship resulting from COVID-19.
- Relief from fees and charges for 90 days: For at least 90 days, participating financial institutions will waive or refund mortgage-related late fees and other fees including early CD withdrawals.
- No new foreclosures for 60 days: Financial institutions will not start any foreclosure sales or evictions.
- No credit score changes for accessing relief: For those taking advantage of this COVID-19-related relief, late or missed payments will not be shared with credit reporting agencies.
CT Extends Sales & Room Occupancy Tax Deadlines
(Hartford, CT) – At the direction of Governor Ned Lamont, and in recognition of the impact of COVID-19, the Department of Revenue Services (DRS) is providing immediate administrative tax relief to Connecticut small businesses. DRS is granting an automatic extension of filing and payment deadlines for Sales Tax and Room Occupancy Tax.
What small business taxpayers qualify for this relief?
- Taxpayers that have $150,000 or less in annual Sales Tax liability qualify for an automatic extension of time to file and pay. Similarly, taxpayers that have $150,000 or less in annual Room Occupancy Tax also qualify for this relief. A taxpayer that collects both Sales Tax and Room Occupancy Tax must evaluate each tax separately to determine eligibility for relief.
How does a taxpayer determine if it is a qualified small business?
- Taxpayers are required to utilize a calendar year look back period of January 1, 2019, through December 31, 2019. Any taxpayer that reported $150,000 or less in tax during that period qualifies for the relief.
What returns are covered by this extension?
- For monthly Sales Tax and Room Occupancy Tax filers: returns and payments due March 31, 2020, and April 30, 2020, are extended to May 31, 2020.
- For quarterly Sales Tax and Room Occupancy Tax filers: returns and payments due April 30, 2020, are extended to May, 31, 2020.
Please click here for the full press release.
CT Extends Annual Tax Filing Deadlines
“To support businesses during the COVID-19 outbreak,” the Connecticut Department of Revenue Services (DRS) is granting an automatic extension of filing and payment deadlines for certain annual tax returns due on or after March 15, 2020, and before June 1, 2020. The extension is effective immediately. Please note for some only the payment deadlines have been extended and you still must file by April 15, 2020. For others, both the filing and payment deadline have been extended to June 15, 2020.
Please follow this link
for additional details.
CT Department of Labor Unemployment
The Connecticut Department of Labor has issued a document that contains guidance for workers and employers navigating temporary closures or absences due to quarantine or COVID19-related illness.
This guide includes provisions related to unemployment insurance for workers and employers, paid and medical family leave. It also includes important information on the ShareWork Program which allows businesses to reduce employee hours without laying them off, while workers collect partial unemployment benefits to replace a portion of their lost wages.
The document is for general informational purposes only and is not to be used as a substitute for relevant state statutes. Please check back often as this FAQ is updated regularly. You will notice updates highlighted in red.
Click here for the guide.
CT Bridge Loan Program
PROGRAM PAUSED AS OF 6 PM, March 27, 2020.
To provide emergency cash flow relief to small businesses and nonprofits negatively impacted by the coronavirus, Connecticut is now offering qualifying organizations with 100 or fewer employees access to
Under the Connecticut Recovery Bridge Loan program, a qualifying business or nonprofit organization can apply for a loan of up to $75,000 or three months of operating expenses (whichever is lesser).
This $25 million short-term emergency loan program will be allocated on a first-come, first-served basis. The program will be administered by the Department of Economic and Community Development (DECD) and expedited with the administrative and underwriting support of Connecticut Innovations.
COVID19 Tristate Measures
(HARTFORD, CT) – Governor Ned Lamont of Connecticut, Governor Andrew M. Cuomo of New York, and Governor Phil Murphy of New Jersey today (March 16) announced a regional approach to combatting the novel coronavirus – or COVID-19 – throughout the tri-state area.
These standards will limit crowd capacity to 50 people effective 8PM tonight.
The governors also announced that restaurants and bars that serve food will temporarily be required to move to take-out and delivery services only. Bars that do not serve food will be required to temporarily close. These measures will take effect at 8PM tonight.
Read the full press release here
Utilities & Telecom Relief
State regulators have announced that utilities will no longer be able to shut off the water, electricity or natural gas of residential customers if they don’t pay their bills. The order came during a week when Gov. Ned Lamont declared a public health emergency in response to the global COVID-19 pandemic.
On Thursday, Attorney General William Tong petitioned the Public Utilities Regulatory Authority (PURA) to order utilities to temporarily stop service cutoffs in cases of nonpayment in light of the public health emergency.
Electric utilities include Eversource and United Illuminating. Natural gas providers include Connecticut Natural Gas Corp. (CNG), Southern Connecticut Gas Co. and Eversource (formerly Yankee Gas Services Co.). Water utilities would include Aquarion, the Connecticut Water Co., the Avon Water Co., and the Torrington Water Co.
For the full press release click here