Emergency Business Resources during CoVid-19
Restauraunt Revitalization Fund - UPDATED: 04/20/21
WASHINGTON – SBA Administrator Isabella Casillas Guzman today announced key details on application requirements, eligibility, and a program guide for the Restaurant Revitalization Fund (RFF). The restaurant industry has been among the hardest-hit sectors during the economic downturn caused by the COVID-19 pandemic. To help bring jobs back and revive the industry, the American Rescue Plan, signed into law by President Joe Biden, established the $28.6 billion Restaurant Revitalization Fund at the U.S. Small Business Administration (SBA). The SBA will administer the funds to the hardest-hit small restaurants.
“Today, we are starting the process to help restaurants and bars across the country devastated by the pandemic, and this is our message: Help is here. With the launch of the Restaurant Revitalization Fund, we’re prioritizing funding to the hardest-hit small businesses – irreplaceable gathering places in our neighborhoods and communities that need a lifeline now to get back on their feet,” said SBA Administrator Isabella Casillas Guzman. “And, thanks to clear directives from Congress, we’re rolling out this program to make sure that these businesses can meet payroll, purchase supplies, and get what they need in place to transition to today’s COVID-restricted marketplace.”
Administrator Guzman emphasized, “We’re also focused on ensuring that the RRF program’s application process is streamlined and free of burdensome, bureaucratic hurdles – while still maintaining robust oversight. Under my leadership, the SBA aims to be as entrepreneurial as the entrepreneurs we serve – and that means meeting every small business where they are, and giving them the support they need to recover, rebuild and thrive.”
Ahead of the application launch and over the next two weeks, the SBA will establish a seven-day pilot period for the RRF application portal and conduct extensive outreach and training. The pilot period will be used to address technical issues ahead of the public launch. Participants in this pilot will be randomly selected from existing PPP borrowers in priority groups for RRF and will not receive funds until the application portal is open to the public.
Following the pilot, the application portal will be opened to the public. The official application launch date will be announced at a later date. For the first 21 days that the program is open, the SBA will prioritize reviewing applications from small businesses owned by women, veterans, and socially and economically disadvantaged individuals. Following the 21-day period, all eligible applicants are encouraged to submit applications.
The groundwork for this announcement is the result of a comprehensive effort to reach out to diverse stakeholders in order to understand the needs and barriers restaurants face in accessing emergency relief aid.
“Local restaurants and bars are being served very good news today,” said Erika Polmar, Executive Director of the Independent Restaurant Coalition. “These guidelines were crafted by the SBA after conversations with independent restaurant and bar operators across the country. We are grateful to the SBA for their hard work to make this process as accessible as possible in a short period of time. It is clear the SBA and the Biden Administration care deeply about ensuring businesses struggling the most can quickly and effectively use this relief program, and we look forward to continued conversations and collaboration to ensure this fund works as intended for the independent restaurant and bar community.”
Community business leaders from underserved communities also welcomed RRF assistance as much-needed economic relief and are working with their broad membership bases to navigate the grant application process.
“In addition to historically having less operating liquidity and revenue than almost any other small business demographic, Black-owned restaurants received significantly less stimulus funding during the COVID-19 pandemic, heightening challenges and leading to disproportionate closures,” said Ron Busby, Sr., president and CEO, U.S. Black Chambers, Inc. “The USBC believes this initiative and collaboration with the SBA will bring needed resources and relief to these often underserved businesses to aid in stabilization, recovery and ultimately, strengthen our economy.”
In addition to restaurant groups and leading advocacy groups for underserved business communities, the SBA has engaged national and state trade associations, and other small business stakeholders in recent weeks to understand their concerns about relief programs.
“Small and independent craft breweries are vibrant community gathering places that can be found in nearly every congressional district in the U.S. and contribute to manufacturing, hospitality, retail, tourism, and agricultural industries,” said Bob Pease, president and CEO, Brewers Association. “We are pleased to work with the SBA to promote the Restaurant Revitalization Fund landing page and its available resources, and assist the breweries hit hardest by COVID-19 secure much needed additional relief to help them survive the pandemic and prepare for the restart of the economy.”
At all levels, the SBA will continue engaging with stakeholder communities to inform and design delivery of financial assistance programs. As the SBA builds and prepares to roll out the program, this dedicated SBA website is the best source for up-to-date information for eligible restaurants interested in the RRF.
About the U.S. Small Business Administration
The U.S. Small Business Administration makes the American dream of business ownership a reality. As the only go-to resource and voice for small businesses backed by the strength of the federal government, the SBA empowers entrepreneurs and small business owners with the resources and support they need to start and grow their businesses. It delivers services to people through an extensive network of SBA field offices and partnerships with public and private organizations. To learn more, visit www.sba.gov.
Below are links and resources for business during the challenging time of the CoVID-19 outbreak.
This page will be updated as new information becomes available:
Paycheck Protection Program (PPP) Policy Update - January 11, 2021
The U.S. Small Business Administration, in consultation with the Treasury Department, announced on January 8, that the Paycheck Protection Program (PPP) will re-open the week of January 11 for new borrowers and certain existing PPP borrowers. To promote access to capital, initially only community financial institutions will be able to make First Draw PPP Loans on Monday, January 11, and Second Draw PPP Loans on Wednesday, January 13. The PPP will open to all participating lenders shortly thereafter. Updated PPP guidance outlining Program changes to enhance its effectiveness and accessibility was released on January 6 in accordance with the Economic Aid to Hard-Hit Small Businesses, Non-Profits, and Venues Act.
“To efficiently and effectively implement the Economic Aid Act and to ensure increased access to PPP for minority, underserved, veteran, and women-owned business concerns, SBA is accepting PPP loan applications only from community financial institutions (CFI) for at least the first two days starting today, Monday January 11, 2021. In Connecticut, as of now, New Haven Bank and Nutmeg State Financial Credit Union are participating”, stated Catherine Marx, SBA, Connecticut District Director.
This round of the PPP continues to prioritize millions of Americans employed by small businesses by authorizing up to $284 billion toward job retention and certain other expenses through March 31, 2021, and by allowing certain existing PPP borrowers to apply for a Second Draw PPP Loan.
Key PPP updates include:
- PPP borrowers can set their PPP loan’s covered period to be any length between 8 and 24 weeks to best meet their business needs;
- PPP loans will cover additional expenses, including operations expenditures, property damage costs, supplier costs, and worker protection expenditures;
- The Program’s eligibility is expanded to include 501(c)(6)s, housing cooperatives, destination marketing organizations, among other types of organizations;
- The PPP provides greater flexibility for seasonal employees;
- Certain existing PPP borrowers can request to modify their First Draw PPP Loan amount; and
- Certain existing PPP borrowers are now eligible to apply for a Second Draw PPP Loan.
- A borrower is generally eligible for a Second Draw PPP Loan if the borrower:
- Previously received a First Draw PPP Loan and will or has used the full amount only for authorized uses;
- Has no more than 300 employees; and
- Can demonstrate at least a 25% reduction in gross receipts between comparable quarters in 2019 and 2020.
SBA, in consultation with the Treasury Department, has recently released additional PPP forms and guidance: Learn More Here
Governor Lamont announces Connecticut will roll back to Phase 2.1 rules beginning Friday -UPDATED 11/2/20
Governor Lamont today announced that due to the steadily increasing rate of COVID-19 in Connecticut, he is ordering the entire state to roll back to Phase 2.1 rules – a slightly modified version of the previously enacted Phase 2 rules – effective at 12:01 a.m. on Friday, November 6.
The major changes that will occur under Phase 2.1 include:
- Restaurants will reduce to 50 percent capacity with a maximum of 8 people limited to a table;
- Restaurants and entertainment venues (i.e. bowling allies, movie theaters, arcades, etc.) will be required to close by 9:30 p.m., with the exception of food takeout and delivery services, which will be allowed to continue after 9:30 p.m.;
- Personal services, such as hair salons and barber shops, will remain at 75 percent capacity;
- Event venues will be limited to 25 people indoor, 50 people outdoor;
- Performing arts venues and movie theaters will have a capacity of 100 people; and
- Religious gatherings will be limited to 50 percent capacity or 100 people maximum.
- Employers are reminded to maximize telework to the extent possible, and those over 60 and with chronic conditions are urged to remain home as much as possible.
The governor is expected to soon issue an executive order implementing Phase 2.1, and the Department of Economic and Community Development in the coming days will provide businesses with further guidance on the changes.
Learn more on CT.gov HERE
CT CARES Small Business Grant Program - Updated 10/20/20
The Department of Economic and Community Development (DECD) has created a $50 million grant program to help our small businesses in Connecticut recover from the ongoing challenges of COVID-19. Eligible businesses and nonprofits can receive a one-time $5,000 grant and all funds will be disbursed to approved applicants by December 30, 2020.
We estimate the online application will be available the week of November 9, 2020. Please check back on this page for more details including links to informational webinars and updates.
Although minimal, there are specific eligibility requirements to receive the grant. Please see below to make sure your business or nonprofit meets the below requirements before you apply.
- Business must have no more than 20 total FTEs in 2019 across all of their Connecticut locations, or have total 2019 payroll of less than $1.5 million (annualized). FTE and payroll include affiliated companies.
- Businesses must be able to demonstrate a 20% or more loss in revenue year to date as of September 30th, 2020 compared with the same period in 2019.
- Business must have been established by October 1, 2019 and still be active (as verified by DRS).
- Home-based businesses are eligible.
- Eligible entities: for-profit businesses that use any type of incorporation, as well as 501(c)(3), 501(c)(4), 501(c)(6), 501(c)(7), and 501(c)(19) nonprofit organizations.
- The business must remain a viable business, be planning to reopen, and be planning to rehire any workers let go due to COVID as business conditions recover, and have a material financial need that cannot be overcome without the grant of emergency relief funds.
- Companies must be in good tax standing with DRS or current on a payment plan or consent to use a portion and/or all of their grant to remedy the delinquency.
- Sole proprietorships are eligible.
- Businesses in which the majority of revenue is earned from the following activities:
- Liquor stores and alcohol distributors; adult businesses such as strip clubs; vape retailers; tobacco shops and smoking lounges; businesses having to do with gambling; gun stores and ranges; cash advance, check cashing, or pawn shops; bail bonds; collection agencies or services; and auction or bankruptcy or fire or "lost-our-lease" or "going-out-of-business" or similar sale.
- Business establishments that are 50% or more owned by another establishment such that the FTE count for the umbrella establishment (when counting the FTEs of all subsidiaries in which the umbrella establishment has 50%+ stakes) is more than 500. For example, this would include non-franchised outlets of major national food and retail chains.
- Businesses and not-for-profit entities may not participate in this program if they received another assistance grant from State of Connecticut CRF funds.
Eligible Activities & Uses
GRANTS CAN BE USED FOR:
- Purchase of Machinery and/or Equipment
- Cost associated to ensure compliance with CT Reopen Business Sector Rules
- $25 million to businesses/nonprofits located in the state’s distressed municipalities
- $25 million to businesses/nonprofits located outside of the state’s distressed municipalities
- Applicants will only be allowed a single grant regardless of multiple locations
- All funds will be disbursed to approved applicants by December 30, 2020
Phase 3- Reopen: Click HERE for details
Chemical Management and Climate Resilience: DEEP has developed fact sheets, online training, videos and more. All of these can be found on CT DEEP's P2 Chemical Management & Climate Resilience webpage: HERE
CT Business Reopening and Recovery Center - Includes information regarding Required Certification for Reopening Businesses - Click Here - Update 5/15/20
The U.S. Chamber is working closely with the White House, U.S. government agencies, and foreign government officials to inform and equip businesses with the most important and up-to-date information to prevent the spread of the virus and prepare businesses for the near and long-term impact.
DECD Update on Mortgage Relief and Tax Filing Extensions: Updated 04/01/20
Governor Lamont and all of us on his team continue to work closely with public and private partners on COVID-19 financial relief strategies. I wanted to quickly share our latest progress on two fronts.
PAYCHECK PROTECTION PROGRAM (PPP) INFORMATION SHEET: BORROWERS - Updated 04/01/20
The Paycheck Protection Program (“PPP”) authorizes up to $349 billion in forgivable loans to small businesses to pay their employees during the COVID-19 crisis. All loan terms will be the same for everyone.
At the direction of Governor Lamont to provide Connecticut small businesses with immediate administrative tax relief in recognition of the impact of COVID-19, the Department of Revenue Services (DRS) today announced that it granting a two-month extension of filing and payment deadlines for certain small businesses.
On Friday, March 27, 2020, President Trump signed into law the CARES Act, which provides additional assistance for small business owners, including the opportunity to receive up to a $10,000 Advance on an Economic Injury Disaster Loan (EIDL) for emergency capital. The SBA is updating our system to implement this provision so small businesses can request an EIDL advance when they apply for the loan. This update will be available in the coming days. In the interim period, you can still apply for a full Economic Injury Disaster Loan, but will need to reapply for the Advance when the system is updated with a streamlined application. Once updated, the Advance will be included in your EIDL application process.
Connecticut Recovery Bridge Loan Program - 03/26/2020
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.
Business Exemptions for Coronavirus - Executive Order 7H - Updated 03/23/2020
COVID-19 Update for West Hartford Businesses from Town Economic Development Specialist Kristen Gosrski
SIOR (Society of Industrial & Office Realators) INTRODUCES INITIATIVE TO PROVIDE CRITICAL COMMUNITY SUPPORT DURING COVID-19 CRISIS
Recording of Governor Lamont's Call with DECD -March 19, 2020
Survey for Businesses:
DECD and Advance CT, a nonprofit organization that works to advance economic competitiveness in Connecticut, today began distributing a comprehensive survey to businesses to get information on what types of resources they need throughout the duration of this pandemic. This will help the state gather important information on the economic recovery from the COVID-19 pandemic. Businesses interested in participating in this survey can access it here
CBIA's Coronavirus Employers Guide
CBIA's Information Regarding SBA's Disaster Relief Loans
Information regarding Unemployment Insurance from CT Department of Labor
Resources for Businesses, Economic Developers, and Local Governments for COVID 19 Preparedness
From CBIA - Coronavirus: An Employer's Guide
Information for Businesses from The Department for Economic & Community Development
Disaster Assistance for Small Business - Updated 3/17/20
SBA Offers Disaster Assistance to Connecticut Small Businesses Economically Impacted by the Coronavirus (COVID-19)
Atlanta – The U.S. Small Business Administration is offering low-interest federal disaster loans for working capital to Connecticut small businesses suffering substantial economic injury as a result of the Coronavirus (COVID-19), SBA Administrator Jovita Carranza announced today. SBA acted under its own authority, as provided by the Coronavirus Preparedness and Response Supplemental Appropriations Act that was recently signed by the President, to declare a disaster following a request received from Gov. Ned Lamont on March 15, 2020.
The disaster declaration makes SBA assistance available in the entire state of Connecticut; and the contiguous counties of Berkshire, Hampden, and Worcester in Massachusetts; and Dutchess, Putnam and Westchester in New York; and Kent, Providence and Washington in Rhode Island.
“SBA is strongly committed to providing the most effective and customer-focused response possible to assist Connecticut small businesses with federal disaster loans. We will be swift in our efforts to help these small businesses recover from the financial impacts of the Coronavirus (COVID-19),” said Administrator Carranza. SBA Customer Service Representatives will be available to answer questions about SBA’s Economic Injury Disaster Loan program and explain the application process. “Small businesses, private non-profit organizations of any size, small agricultural cooperatives and small aquaculture enterprises that have been financially impacted as a direct result of the Coronavirus (COVID-19) since Jan. 31, 2020, may qualify for Economic Injury Disaster Loans of up to $2 million to help meet financial obligations and operating expenses which could have been met had the disaster not occurred,” said Carranza.
“These loans may be used to pay fixed debts, payroll, accounts payable and other bills that can’t be paid because of the disaster’s impact. Disaster loans can provide vital economic assistance to small businesses to help overcome the temporary loss of revenue they are experiencing,” Carranza added.
Eligibility for Economic Injury Disaster Loans is based on the financial impact of the Coronavirus (COVID-19). The interest rate is 3.75 percent for small businesses. The interest rate for private non-profit organizations is 2.75 percent. SBA offers loans with long-term repayments in order to keep payments affordable, up to a maximum of 30 years and are available to entities without the financial ability to offset the adverse impact without hardship.
Applicants may apply online, receive additional disaster assistance information and download applications at https://disasterloan.sba.gov/ela. Applicants may also call SBA’s Customer Service Center at (800) 659-2955 or email firstname.lastname@example.org for more information on SBA disaster assistance. Individuals who are deaf or hard-of-hearing may call (800) 877-8339. Completed applications should be mailed to U.S. Small Business Administration, Processing and Disbursement Center, 14925 Kingsport Road, Fort Worth, TX 76155.
The deadline to apply for an Economic Injury Disaster Loan is Dec. 16, 2020.
For more information about Coronavirus, please visit: Coronavirus.gov.
For more information about available SBA resources and services, please visit: SBA.gov/coronavirus.
About the U.S. Small Business Administration
The U.S. Small Business Administration makes the American dream of business ownership a reality. As the only go-to resource and voice for small businesses backed by the strength of the federal government, the SBA empowers entrepreneurs and small business owners with the resources and support they need to start, grow or expand their businesses, or recover from a declared disaster. It delivers services through an extensive network of SBA field offices and partnerships with public and private organizations. To learn more, visit www.sba.gov.
Guidance from Governor Lamont on workplace cafeterias: Updated 3/18/2020
The Governor’s Executive Order restricting restaurants and other eating establishments to take out or delivery service does not require onsite workplace cafeterias to close or stop serving food. Employees in general are encouraged to bring their own meals to work if possible rather than using such facilities. To the extent feasible, employers are encouraged to permit or require employees who order food at workplace cafeterias to eat those meals in private work spaces. If employers permit employees to eat food within workplace cafeterias, they should implement appropriate social distancing measures and make every effort to minimize the number of people congregating within a confined space or area.
In addition, workplace cafeterias should stop or limit self-serve food and drinks such as:
• Salad bars
• Fountain sodas
• Reusable food and drink containers
One of our members, David Fortt of New Image Associates passed this along to us, due to our recent Economic Development panel we had.
He was thinking perhaps, gym owners could use this information to help, since that was a concern of gym owners at the event we did.
"Monitoring Carbon Dioxide (CO2) may be an effective tool for controlling indoor transmission of COVID19. Normal CO2 levels range between 400-1000 PPM and 1000 - 2000 PPM may lead to drowsiness and headaches. OSHA allows up to 10,000 PPM. The German Environment Agency (UBA) ventilation working group recommends monitoring classrooms and targeting 700 PPM of CO2 in times of epidemic. A gym owner in Virginia used this strategy and prevented transmission from a positive trainer to 50 exposed athletes.
Single gas C02 detectors cost as little as $100, but we would want one with an adjustable alarm setting. What would we do if the CO2 levels increased above 700PPM? Adjust the HVAC and/or open windows.
This may be a good tool for when people have to work in the office around other people, and remote/home is not an option."
Feel free to look into this.