CHAMBER HAS STARTED NEW FOCUS ON HELPING BUSINESSES RE-OPEN
The Chamber is creating a new page on our website called “Back 2 Work-CT Re-Opens”. The page will include important information for businesses to think about and incorporate in their plans to open up. It will include resource links, the most up to date info on programs, resources and supplies, and webinars that can help you market and grow your business. News will be included in our e-newsletters but the resources will be available for everyone to access at any time.
KIDS OUT OF SCHOOL UNTIL NEXT YEAR
Governor Ned Lamont today announced that due to the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic, he is ordering in-person classes at all K-12 public school facilities in Connecticut to remain canceled for the rest of the 2019-2020 academic year and continue providing distance learning during this period. Schools will also be required to continue providing meals to children under the school lunch and breakfast programs for consumption at home, as they have been throughout this emergency. The governor is consulting with state and local education officials regarding whether summer school programming should commence as scheduled. He anticipates having guidance on that matter toward the end of this month.
CT RE-OPEN SURVEY
What are your business’ plans to recover from the coronavirus’ impact? What additional assistance and guidance from the state would help you during Connecticut’s reopening process?
Your feedback is critical and will help direct the response from the Lamont administration and state Department of Economic and Community Development in conjunction with AdvanceCT and CBIA. The surveys should each take less than 10 minutes. Responses are always confidential and reported in aggregate.
For business owners: Please participate in the
Small Business Reopen survey
. Either follow that link or copy and paste this URL into your web browser:
EIDL LOANS AVAILABLE NOW FOR FARMERS
Agricultural businesses are now eligible for SBA’s Economic Injury Disaster Loan (EIDL) and EIDL Advance programs. SBA’s loan is a result of funding authorized by Congress through the Paycheck Protection Program and Healthcare Enhancement Act. The legislation, signed into law by the President one week ago, provided additional funding for farmers and ranchers and certain other agricultural businesses affected by the Coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic.
“For more than 30 years, SBA has been prohibited by law from providing disaster assistance to agricultural businesses; however, as a result of the unprecedented legislation enacted by President Trump, American farmers, ranchers and other agricultural businesses will now have access to emergency working capital,” said Administrator Carranza. “These low-interest, long-term loans will help keep agricultural businesses viable while bringing stability to the nation’s vitally important food supply chains.”
Agricultural businesses include businesses engaged in the legal production of food and fiber, ranching, and raising of livestock, aquaculture, and all other farming and agricultural related industries (as defined by section 18(b) of the Small Business Act (15 U.S.C. 647(b)). Eligible agricultural businesses must have 500 or fewer employees.
The SBA will begin accepting new EIDL applications on a limited basis only, in order to provide unprecedented relief to
U.S. agricultural businesses
. For agricultural businesses that submitted an EIDL loan application through the streamlined application portal prior to the legislative change, SBA will move forward and process these applications without the need for re-applying. All other EIDL loan applications that were submitted before the portal stopped accepting new applications on April 15 will be processed on a first-in, first-out basis. Apply here:
APPLY FOR EIDL HERE
. For more information, please visit:
WINDHAM RE-OPEN TASK FORCE
Windham launches Task Force to reopen economy- remove regulatory barriers.
The Town of Windham is launching a series of web and teleconference meetings in anticipation of the May 20
partial reopening of the state’s economy.
The “Reopen Windham/Willimantic” task force was put in place by Town Manager, Jim Rivers, “The goal here is to provide assistance and information to Windham and Willimantic businesses so they can be in the best position as we approach the May 20 reopen date,” said Rivers.
Council President, Tom DeVivo, who brought the initiative forward at a recent meeting elaborated on the effort. “We have been working on the health aspect of things throughout this process. But even before the Governor made his announcement about the May 20 date, we recognized the need for creating a mechanism that focused on how businesses can transition into the reopening phase.”
The task force will be composed of Economic Development Director, Jim Bellano and Windham Region Chamber of Commerce President, Diane Nadeau. Also joining the task force will be Andrew Gutt, owner of Cafemantic and member of Thread City Development, the town’s Main Street business association. Assisting with logistics and Latino outreach will be economic development administrator, YukShan Li, and Xiomara Bruder, the town’s executive administrator.
For Windham and Willimantic businesses, the task force’s initial focus will be on retail, hair and nail salons and restaurants. Under Governor Lamont’s order, restaurants can enhance their current take-out and delivery services to include outdoor dining.
In Windham, however, only a small number of town restaurants have existing outdoor seating capacity. Therefore, under one task force initiative, the town will offer an expedited process for restaurateurs to expand and/or create new outdoor seating during COVID-19. “Ultimately, businesses will decide whether or not to reopen based on a number of factors, “said Windham Economic Development Director, Jim Bellano. “We want to put the business community’s mind at ease with regard to the town’s regulatory process as one of those factors,” added Bellano.
Since the COVID-19 shutdown commenced, the Windham Chamber of Commerce and the town’s Office of Economic Development have been blanketing businesses with information about financial assistance programs, such as the Paycheck Protection Program (PPP). “This is an evolutionary process and we are ready to move from the triage stage- where businesses were just trying to survive- to getting them ready to reopen,” said Windham Chamber President, Diane Nadeau.
The town will create a prominent hyperlink on its homepage that will take individuals to a
webpage for the latest updates. The town is also using #reopenwindham in its social media campaign and will conduct a signage program in town to inform residents about the effort.
Funding for CT Arts Organizations