COVID19 Business Resource Center

We are here to assist you during these unprecedented and difficult times. This page is being continuously updated with COVID19 information relevant to small businesses, including resources, videos, and links to additional material from various government agencies. Please reach out for no-cost assistance.

Reopen CT

Governor Lamont recently issued rules for businesses to follow as he announced Phase 2 of reopening Connecticut on June 17th. This second phase includes many businesses including amusement parks, hotels, sports complexes/gyms, libraries, personal services, and many more. 

All documents relating to the reopening of the state amid COVID-19 can be found on the state’s coronavirus  businsess recovery website.

Please note, these guides reflect the latest information available from the state. 

Indoor Recreation​

For bowling alleys, cinemas, and other indoor recreation they may open at 50%.  Onsite dining should follow recommendations of restaurant guidelines.

Indoor recreation guidelines – click here

Personal Services​​

Personal services businesses may open at 50% capacity, by appointment only, with waiting rooms closed. No services that require removal of mask are allowed in phase II. 

Personal Services guidelines – click here

Sport Complexes & Gyms

Gyms and fitness centers may open at 50%. Outdoor sporting events may operate within certain limits and indoor sporting events will also have limitations. 

Sports, sport complexes, gyms, and pool guidelines – click here

Amusement Parks​​

The guidelines in this complete guide should be considered a minimum and expanded where necessary.

Amusement park guidelines – click here

Hotels/ Lodging​​

Hotels should implement a program administrator, cleaning plan, and offer training among other guidelines explained below.

Hotel guidelines – click here

Outdoor Events​

Outdoor events taking place on a certain date at a certain time are allowed but must follow strict guidelines as outlined below.

Outdoor events – click here

Libraries

Libraries may open at 50% capacity and should consider certain modifications to allow for social distancing.

Library guidelines – click here

Dental Offices

Dental offices can start to provide non-emergency services with some new guidelines developed by a select council.

Dental office guidelines- click here

Museums, Zoos, and Aquariums

In phase 2, museums, zoos, and aquariums may open for indoor use as well as outdoor at 50% capacity.

Museums & Zoos Guide – click here

Offices

Offices can open at up to 50% capacity following strict safety protocols. Employees should continue to work from home where possible.

Offices Guide – click here

Restaurants

Restaurants may open indoor dining at 50% capacity and continue offering outdoor dining as appropriately approved by the municipalities. 

Restaurants Guide – click here

Retail & Malls

Remaining retail businesses (non-essential) and malls can open at up to 50% capacity implementing additional safeguards.

Retails & Malls Guide – click here

CTSBDC’s Resource Guide

We continue updating our easy to follow guide to include recent updates such as the eligibility expansions that now include most private non-profit organizations, as well as individuals operating as sole proprietors or independent contractors.

  • EIDLs below $200,000 can be approved without a personal guarantee.
  • Borrowers can receive an up to $10,000 emergency grant cash advance that can be forgiven if spent on eligible expenses (same as those for the EIDL loan)
  • Expanded EIDL (loan & grant) eligibility for agricultural businesses.

This document will continue to be updated. Download here.

Paycheck Protection Program

SBA

The Paycheck Protection Program is designed to provide a direct incentive for small businesses to keep their workers on payroll by providing each small business a loan up to $10 million for payroll and certain other expenses.

If all employees are kept on payroll for eight weeks, SBA will forgive the portion of the loans used for payroll, rent, mortgage interest, or utilities. Up to 100 percent of the loan is forgivable. Independent contractors DO NOT count towards an employer’s payroll, they can apply on their own. (See below)

Eligibility:

Businesses – including eligible non-profits, Veterans organizations, Tribal concerns, sole proprietorships, self-employed individuals, and independent contractors described in the Small Business Act – with 500 or fewer employees may apply. Businesses in certain industries may have more than 500 employees if they meet the SBA’s size standards for those industries. Our Resource Guide (to the left) also provides a brief comparison chart between EIDL and PPP for your information.

Please reach out with questions so we may help you select for and apply to the program that best suits your needs.

Click here to learn more.

Business Resiliency Series

The magnitude of business disruption related to the COVID-19 pandemic is historic and will serve to motivate all future business continuity planning.

But what about right now? How do you move your business from stalled, as is the case for many non-essential businesses, to recovery? And for essential businesses, how will you shift today’s modified operations to meet your business’s future needs?

Follow the link below for more information on this series, to watch the available webinar recordings and read a summary of what has been covered so far.

In addition, you can register for additional upcoming webinars on this series and get more tools to prepare and recover.

For more details, click here.

Small Business Administration Updates

On Monday, June 15, the Small Business Association announced they will re-open the EIDL program to new applications for COVID-19 relief. 

SBA’s COVID-19 Economic Injury Disaster Loan (EIDL) and EIDL Advance

  • The SBA is offering low interest federal disaster loans for working capital to small businesses and non-profit organizations that are suffering substantial economic injury as a result of COVID-19 in all U.S. states, Washington D.C., and territories.
  • These loans may be used to pay debts, payroll, accounts payable and other bills that can’t be paid because of the disaster’s impact, and that are not already covered by a Paycheck Protection Program loan.  The interest rate is 3.75% for small businesses.  The interest rate for non-profits is 2.75%.
  • To keep payments affordable for small businesses, SBA offers loans with long repayment terms, up to a maximum of 30 years. Plus, the first payment is deferred for one year.
  • In addition, small businesses and non-profits may request, as part of their loan application, an EIDL Advance of up to $10,000. The EIDL Advance is designed to provide emergency economic relief to businesses that are currently experiencing a temporary loss of revenue. This advance will not have to be repaid, and small businesses may receive an advance even if they are not approved for a loan.
  • SBA’s EIDL and EIDL Advance are just one piece of the expanded focus of the federal government’s coordinated response.
  • The SBA is also assisting small businesses and non-profits with access to the federal forgivable loan program, the Paycheck Protection Program, which is currently accepting applications until June 30, 2020.

Read the full press release here

On Monday, June 8 the SBA released a joint statement between SBA Administrator Jovita Carranza and U.S. Treasury Secretary Steven T. Mnuchin to address the Paycheck Protection Program Flexibility Act. 

SBA, in consultation with Treasury, will promptly issue rules and guidance, a modified borrower application form, and a modified loan forgiveness application implementing these legislative amendments to the PPP.  These modifications will implement the following important changes:

  • Extend the covered period for loan forgiveness from eight weeks after the date of loan disbursement to 24 weeks after the date of loan disbursement, providing substantially greater flexibility for borrowers to qualify for loan forgiveness.  Borrowers who have already received PPP loans retain the option to use an eight-week covered period.
  • Lower the requirements that 75 percent of a borrower’s loan proceeds must be used for payroll costs and that 75 percent of the loan forgiveness amount must have been spent on payroll costs during the 24-week loan forgiveness covered period to 60 percent for each of these requirements. If a borrower uses less than 60 percent of the loan amount for payroll costs during the forgiveness covered period, the borrower will continue to be eligible for partial loan forgiveness, subject to at least 60 percent of the loan forgiveness amount having been used for payroll costs.
     
  • Provide a safe harbor from reductions in loan forgiveness based on reductions in full-time equivalent employees for borrowers that are unable to return to the same level of business activity the business was operating at before February 15, 2020, due to compliance with requirements or guidance issued between March 1, 2020 and December 31, 2020 by the Secretary of Health and Human Services, the Director of the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, or the Occupational Safety and Health Administration, related to worker or customer safety requirements related to COVID–19.
     
  • Provide a safe harbor from reductions in loan forgiveness based on reductions in full-time equivalent employees, to provide protections for borrowers that are both unable to rehire individuals who were employees of the borrower on February 15, 2020, and unable to hire similarly qualified employees for unfilled positions by December 31, 2020.
     
  • Increase to five years the maturity of PPP loans that are approved by SBA (based on the date SBA assigns a loan number) on or after June 5, 2020.
     
  • Extend the deferral period for borrower payments of principal, interest, and fees on PPP loans to the date that SBA remits the borrower’s loan forgiveness amount to the lender (or, if the borrower does not apply for loan forgiveness, 10 months after the end of the borrower’s loan forgiveness covered period).
     
  • In addition, the new rules will confirm that June 30, 2020, remains the last date on which a PPP loan application can be approved.

Read the full press release here

SBAToday, the U.S. Small Business Administration announced a dedicated window for small community lenders to access the Paycheck Protection Program (PPP). The window will be open on April 29, 2020 from 4:00 PM EST – 11:59 PM EST.

During this window, the SBA will only accept loan applications from lending institutions with asset sizes less than $1 billion to ensure their customers have access to the program.

“The Paycheck Protection Program is saving jobs and providing much-needed relief to help New England’s small businesses make it through this challenging time,” said Wendell G. Davis, SBA’s New England Regional Administrator.  “This exclusive window for small banks to access the program will help the SBA reach the smallest of small businesses.”

Lending institutions with asset sizes less than $1 billion will still be able to submit PPP loans outside of this time frame. Lenders with asset sizes greater than $1 billion will be able to submit loans outside of today’s exclusive window.

We will provide access to the full press release once it is made available.

SBA

WASHINGTON – Administrator of the U.S. Small Business Administration Jovita Carranza and U.S. Treasury Secretary Steven T. Mnuchin issued the following statement today on the resumption of the Payroll Protection Program (PPP):

“We are pleased that President Trump has signed into law the Paycheck Protection Program and Health Care Enhancement Act, which provides critical additional funding for American workers and small businesses affected by the coronavirus pandemic.  We want to thank Leader McConnell, Leader Schumer, Speaker Pelosi, and Leader McCarthy for working with us on a bipartisan basis to ensure that the Paycheck Protection Program is funded so that small businesses can keep hardworking Americans on the payroll.

The Small Business Administration will resume accepting PPP loan applications on Monday, April 27 at 10:30 AM EDT from approved lenders on behalf of any eligible borrower.  This will ensure that SBA has properly coded the system to account for changes made by the legislation.”

Click here for the full press release.

SBA

WASHINGTON – Today, U.S. Treasury Secretary Steven T. Mnuchin and U.S. Small Business Administration Administrator Jovita Carranza issued the following statement regarding the Paycheck Protection Program and Economic Injury Disaster Loan Program:

“The SBA has processed more than 14 years’ worth of loans in less than 14 days. The Paycheck Protection Program is saving millions of jobs and helping America’s small businesses make it through this challenging time. The EIDL program is also providing much-needed relief to people and businesses.

“By law, the SBA will not be able to issue new loan approvals once the programs experience a lapse in appropriations.

“We urge Congress to appropriate additional funds for the Paycheck Protection Program—a critical and overwhelmingly bipartisan program—at which point we will once again be able to process loan applications, issue loan numbers, and protect millions more paychecks.

“The high demand we have seen underscores the need for hardworking Americans to have access to relief as soon as possible. We want every eligible small business to participate and get the resources they need.”

Click here for the press release.

SBA

The loans, which are 100% backed by SBA, are being provided to small businesses without collateral requirements, personal guarantees, SBA fees, or credit elsewhere tests. Those eligible for the program include small businesses, certain non-profits, veterans’ organizations, self-employed individuals, independent contractors, and other businesses meeting size standards based on their North American Industry Classification System code.

The Paycheck Protection Program’s maximum loan amount is $10 million with a fixed 1% interest rate and maturity of two years.

The loans are available to cover up to eight weeks of average monthly payroll (based on 2019 figures) plus 25% and payments are deferred for six months (interest does accrue). The SBA will forgive the portion of loan proceeds used for payroll costs and other designated operating expenses for up to eight weeks, provided at least 75% of loan proceeds are used for payroll costs. Eligible expenses for the eight-week forgiveness include:
 

  • Payroll costs (excluding the prorated portion of any compensation above $100,000 per year for any person. Payroll costs include salary, commissions, tips; certain employee benefits including sick leave and health care premiums, and state and local taxes;
  • Mortgage interest (not prepayment or principal payments) and rent payments on mortgages and leases in existence after February 15, 2020;
  • Utilities such as electricity, gas, water, transportation, phone and internet access for services that began before February 15, 2020; and
  • Additional wages paid to tipped employees.

Click here for the full press release.

Federal Resources

This new website provides small businesses with access to a consolidation of COVID-19 related information and resources from multiple federal agencies. It has information regarding funding options, contracting assistance, tax credit and filing assistance, among other resources. 

Visit this new website

CARES Act

SBA

Expanded eligibility for agricultural businesses as of April 23, 2020: Agricultural enterprises now qualify for the grant and loan program under the SBA’s Economic Injury Disaster Loan & Cash Advance. Those businesses engaged in the production of food and fiber, ranching, and raising of livestock, aquaculture, and all other farming and agricultural-related industries are now eligible as long as they meet the under 500-employees standard.

Small businesses and private non-profits harmed by COVID19 that have either applied or a seeking to apply for the SBA’s Economic Injury Disaster Loan (EIDL), can request an emergency advance of up to $10,000 within three days of applying. To access the advance, you first apply for an EIDL and then request the advance.

Within the context of the EIDL, the advance does not need to be repaid, even if the loan application is denied, and it may be used  to cover payroll and sick leave costs, as well as to meet production costs, pay business expenses such as debts, rent, and mortgage payments.

“In response to the Coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic, small business owners in all U.S. states, Washington D.C., and territories are eligible to apply for an Economic Injury Disaster Loan advance of up to $10,000.

The SBA’s Economic Injury Disaster Loan program provides small businesses with working capital loans of up to $2 million that can provide vital economic support to small businesses to help overcome the temporary loss of revenue they are experiencing. The loan advance will provide economic relief to businesses that are currently experiencing a temporary loss of revenue. Funds will be made available within three days of a successful application, and this loan advance will not have to be repaid.”

Please review the SBA Loan Programs section below to get more details, read our Emergency Business Response Guide, and request no-cost assistance to understand and apply for any of the available programs.

The Paycheck Protection Program initiative, provides 100% federally guaranteed loans to small businesses. Importantly, these loans may be forgiven if borrowers maintain their payrolls during the crisis or restore their payrolls afterward. The administration will soon release additional details including the list of lenders offering loans under the program.

We wanted to highlight a few important points, as we work to update our Resource Guide with the most  and accurate information as details are worked out and formally released:

ELIGIBILITY

  • Small businesses & 501(c)(3)’s with fewer than 500 employees or otherwise meeting the SBA’s size standards.
  • Individuals operating as sole proprietors
  • Individuals operating as independent contractors
  • Self-employed individuals who regularly carry on any trade or business
  • Tribal businesses concerns that meet SBA size standards
  • 501(c)(19) Veterans Organizations that meet SBA size standards

Read the full article here. Download our Emergency Response Business Resource Guide.

SBA

The SBA Debt Relief program will provide a reprieve to small businesses as they overcome the challenges created by this health crisis.

Under this program:

  • The SBA will also pay the principal and interest of new 7(a) loans issued prior to September 27, 2020.
  • The SBA will pay the principal and interest of current 7(a) loans for a period of six months.

The employee retention credit is a payroll tax credit equal to 50 percent of “qualified wages” paid by “eligible employers” to certain employees during the COVID-19 crisis. The credit applies against the employer’s share of FICA (social security) tax. The credit is capped at $10,000 per employee.

To the extent that the credit exceeds the employer’s share of FICA taxes for the quarter, the excess will be refunded to the employer. The bill grants the Internal Revenue Service the authority to advance tax credit payments to eligible employers and to waive failure to deposit penalties for employers that do not make payroll tax deposits in anticipation of receiving the credit. The credit will apply to wages paid between March 12 and December 31.

The credit is not available to employers receiving small business interruption loans under the CARES bill.

This has been done before under other disaster declarations, most recently Hurricanes Irma and Harvey. Additional details will be updated and provided as they become available from the Internal Revenue Service.

Section 2302 of the CARES Act allows employers and self-employed individuals to postpone deposits of their share of federal Social Security tax on employees’ wages paid as of the enactment date through and including December 31, 2020. Employers are generally responsible for paying a 6.2 percent Social Security tax on employees’ wages. The CARES Act allows employers to deposit 50 percent of the deferred taxes on or before December 31, 2021, and the remaining 50 percent by December 31, 2022. Employers utilizing either payroll agent arrangements under IRC Section 3504 or certified professional employer organizations arrangements under IRC Section 3511 will ultimately be liable for the taxes if such taxes were delayed at the request of the employer. Further, if taxpayers received loans under the Small Business Act and such loans were forgiven under section 1106 of the CARES Act, then such taxpayers are not eligible for this relief.

Note that relief from Medicare tax or other applicable employment taxes (for example, federal income tax) does not apply to either of the above CARES Act provisions.

Details will be updated as they become available from each issuing agency.

SBAThe following loan programs are currently available through the Small Business Administration (SBA):

Economic Injury Disaster Loan (EIDL): Please review our Guide for details on who qualifies, as well as the application process for EIDL. We continue updating the guide as changes are released.

Paycheck Protection Program

Please review the following article for an explanation on the basics of this program. Applications will open on April 3rd for small businesses, and April 10 for independent contractors.

Express Bridge Loan: In response to the COVID-19 National Emergency, the Express Bridge Loan (EBL) Pilot Program has been modified and the term extended. The EBL Pilot Program is designed to supplement the Agency’s direct disaster loan capabilities and authorizes SBA Express Lenders (banks and nonprofit lenders) to provide expedited SBA-guaranteed bridge loan financing on an emergency basis in amounts up to $25,000 for disaster-related purposes to small businesses  while those small businesses apply for and await long-term financing (including through SBA’s direct Disaster Loan Program, if eligible).

It’s done through a local bank approved as an SBA Express Lender, and not directly through the SBA.

Please review the Small Business Administration Updates section above for details on the loan programs currently available to small businesses through the SBA. Updates will be added as details emerge on the relief package currently being discussed in Congress.

Families First Coronavirus Response Act Helps Americans Overcome COVID-19 Workplace Challenges

WASHINGTON, DC – The U.S. Department of Labor today announced new action regarding how American workers and employers will benefit from the protections and relief offered by the Emergency Paid Sick Leave Act and Emergency Family and Medical Leave Expansion Act, both part of the Families First Coronavirus Response Act (FFCRA).

The department’s Wage and Hour Division (WHD) posted a temporary rule issuing regulations pursuant to this new law, effective today, April 1, 2020.

FFCRA helps the United States combat the workplace effects of COVID-19 by reimbursing American private employers that have fewer than 500 employees with tax credits for the cost of providing employees with paid leave for specified reasons related to COVID-19. The law enables employers to keep their workers on their payrolls, while at the same time ensuring that workers are not forced to choose between their paychecks and the public health measures needed to combat the virus. WHD administers the paid leave portions of the FFCRA.

WHD offers a number of plain-language compliance assistance materials to explain FFCRA’s benefits and requirements. Tools include a Fact Sheet for Employees and a Fact Sheet for Employers, available in both English and Spanish, and an expansive list of Questions and Answers addressing the questions WHD has most frequently received from stakeholders to date.

Available guidance also includes two new posters, one for federal workers and one for all other employees, available in both English and Spanish, that will fulfill notice requirements for employers obligated to inform employees about their rights under this new law, and Questions and Answers about posting requirements.

While the IRS has discontinued face-to-face service, guidance and payment extension deadlines have been published through a variety of notices. Most businesses qualify for extensions through July 15, 2020.

The Treasury Department and Internal Revenue Service announced today that the federal income tax filing due date is automatically extended from April 15, 2020, to July 15, 2020.

Taxpayers can also defer federal income tax payments due on April 15, 2020, to July 15, 2020, without penalties and interest, regardless of the amount owed. This deferment applies to all taxpayers, including individuals, trusts and estates, corporations and other non-corporate tax filers as well as those who pay self-employment tax.

Taxpayers do not need to file any additional forms or call the IRS to qualify for this automatic federal tax filing and payment relief. Individual taxpayers who need additional time to file beyond the July 15 deadline, can request a filing extension by filing Form 4868 through their tax professional, tax software or using the Free File link on IRS.gov. Businesses who need additional time must file Form 7004.

Please review this article with links to each release.

U.S. Treasury Department, Internal Revenue Service (IRS), and the U.S. Department of Labor (Labor) announced that small and midsize employers can begin taking advantage of two new refundable payroll tax credits, designed to immediately and fully reimburse them, dollar-for-dollar, for the cost of providing Coronavirus-related leave to their employees. This relief to employees and small and midsize businesses is provided under the Families First Coronavirus Response Act (Act), signed by President Trump on March 18, 2020.

The Act will help the United States combat and defeat COVID-19 by giving all American businesses with fewer than 500 employees funds to provide employees with paid leave, either for the employee’s own health needs or to care for family members. The legislation will enable employers to keep their workers on their payrolls, while at the same time ensuring that workers are not forced to choose between their paychecks and the public health measures needed to combat the virus.

It includes information on paid leave for workers, fast reimbursement for employers including health insurance costs and self-employed individuals, and protection from certain leave requirements for small businesses with fewer than 50 employees.

Please review this article with links to each release.

This technical assistance document provides information about Titles I and V of the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) and Section 501 of the Rehabilitation Act and pandemic planning in the workplace.

This document was originally issued in 2009, during the spread of H1N1 virus, and has been re-issued on March 19, 2020, to incorporate updates regarding the COVID-19 pandemic.  It identifies established ADA principles that are relevant to questions frequently asked about workplace pandemic planning such as:

  • How much information may an employer request from an employee who calls in sick, in order to protect the rest of its workforce when an influenza pandemic appears imminent?
  • When may an ADA-covered employer take the body temperature of employees during a pandemic?
  • Does the ADA allow employers to require employees to stay home if they have symptoms of the pandemic influenza virus?
  • When employees return to work, does the ADA allow employers to require doctors’ notes certifying their fitness for duty?

In one instance, to provide a complete answer, this document provides information about religious accommodation and Title VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964.

Please click here for the full document.

This interim guidance is based on what is currently known about the coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19). The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) will update this interim guidance as needed and as additional information becomes available.

CDC is working across the Department of Health and Human Services and across the U.S. government in the public health response to COVID-19. Much is unknown about how the virus that causes COVID-19 spreads. Current knowledge is largely based on what is known about similar coronaviruses.

Click here to read more and for a video with additional information.

OSHA

Occupational Safety and Health Act of 1970“To assure safe and healthful working conditions for working men and women; by authorizing enforcement of the standards developed under the Act; by assisting and encouraging the States in their efforts to assure safe and healthful working conditions; by providing for research, information, education, and training in the field of occupational safety and health.

The guide contains recommendations as well as descriptions of mandatory safety and health standards. The recommendations are advisory in nature, informational in content, and are intended to assist employers in providing a safe and healthful workplace. The Occupational Safety and Health Act requires employers to comply with safety and health standards and regulations promulgated by OSHA or by a state with an OSHA-approved state plan.

Included, are steps employers can take to reduce workers’ risk of exposure, classification of exposure levels, assistance and programs from OSHA.

Click here for additional details and to download the full guide.

Connecticut Resources

CT DECDThese 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)

CT DECDThe 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.

Eligibility

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.

Application Requirements

  •  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 DECDGovernor 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 DECD

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.

Gov Lamont

(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.

DRS(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.

DRS “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 DOL

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.

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 no-interest loans. 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. Read more.
Gov Lamont (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.
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.

COVID19 Scam Alerts

As you might all be aware, under the CARES Act signed into law on Friday, March 27, 2020, the Internal Revenue Service (IRS) will be delivering economic impact payments to eligible taxpayers who filed tax returns for either 2019 or 2018.

In order to avoid falling victim to fraudulent individuals either impersonating or claiming to represent the IRS, the Treasury Inspector General for Tax Administration offers the following tips to taxpayers:

  • The IRS will generally first contact people by mail – not by phone – about tax related matters.
  • If the IRS does contact you by telephone, they will not insist on any pre-payment using an iTunes card, gift card, prepaid debit card, money order, or wire transfer, in order to receive economic impact payments.
  • The IRS will also never request personal or financial information by e-mail, text, letters, or any social media.

If you do receive a call or e-mail from someone claiming to be with the IRS asking for a pre-payment or for your personal or financial information in order to receive economic impact payments connected with the Coronavirus pandemic please report it at the link below.

IRS-Related Coronavirus Scam Reporting

The Cybersecurity and Infrastructure Security Agency (CISA) warns individuals to remain vigilant for scams related to Coronavirus Disease 2019 (COVID-19). Cyber actors may send emails with malicious attachments or links to fraudulent websites to trick victims into revealing sensitive information or donating to fraudulent charities or causes. Exercise caution in handling any email with a COVID-19-related subject line, attachment, or hyperlink, and be wary of social media pleas, texts, or calls related to COVID-19.

CISA encourages individuals to remain vigilant and take the following precautions.

Be aware that criminals are attempting to exploit COVID-19 worldwide through a variety of scams.  There have been reports of:

• Individuals and businesses selling fake cures for COVID-19 online and engaging in other forms of fraud.
• Phishing emails from entities posing as the World Health Organization or the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.
• Malicious websites and apps that appear to share virus-related information to gain and lock access to your devices until payment is received.
• Seeking donations fraudulently for illegitimate or non-existent charitable organizations.

Criminals will likely continue to use new methods to exploit COVID-19 worldwide.

If you think you are a victim of a scam or attempted fraud involving COVID-19, you can report it without leaving your home though a number of platforms. Go to:

In light of recent developments related to the coronavirus, the Federal Deposit Insurance Corporation (FDIC) is reminding Americans that FDIC-insured banks remain the safest place to keep their money. The FDIC is also warning consumers of recent scams where imposters are pretending to be agency representatives to perpetrate fraudulent schemes.

Since 1933, no depositor has ever lost a penny of FDIC-insured funds. Today, the FDIC insures up to $250,000 per depositor per FDIC-insured bank. An FDIC-insured account is the safest place for consumers to keep their money. Learn more about deposit insurance here. Some banks may have adjusted hours or services in compliance with Centers for Disease Control guidance on social distancing. Customers’ deposits remain safe in these banks, as does customer access to their funds. Banks continue to offer ATM, mobile, or online banking services, and many continue to provide services via drive-through windows.

FDIC’s Electronic Deposit Insurance Estimator (EDIE) is a tool that can help consumers determine deposit insurance coverage based on accounts they may already have with a bank or accounts they are considering opening. The agency recommends using EDIE for questions about FDIC deposit insurance coverage.

During these unprecedented times consumers may receive false information regarding the security of their deposits or their ability to access cash. The FDIC does not send unsolicited correspondence asking for money or sensitive personal information. The agency will never contact people asking for personal details, such as bank account information, credit and debit card numbers, Social Security numbers, or passwords.

Consumers may also be contacted by persons who claim to be employed by an agency, bank, or another entity. These scams may involve a variety of communication channels, including emails, phone calls, letters, text messages, faxes, and social media. Scammers might also ask for personal information such as bank account numbers, Social Security numbers, dates of birth, and other details that can be used to commit fraud or sell a person’s identity. Consumers should not provide this information.

Additional resources for consumers include:

Consumers are also encouraged to contact the FDIC’s Call Center at 1-877-ASK-FDIC (1-877-275-3342), Monday – Friday, 8 a.m. to 8 p.m. (ET), if they have any questions or believe they have been a victim of fraud or a scam.

COVID19 Posters for Your Business

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