Economic Development News & Updates in
Greater New Haven
State releases new COVID vaccination target dates for all age groups through spring; educators, childcare providers to get dedicated clinics starting in March
Governor Ned Lamont announced Monday the state will continue with the age-based approach to COVID-19 vaccine eligibility, but added that educators and childcare providers will have dedicated clinics beginning in March.

The state says this is “in an effort to ensure that Connecticut continues taking the most equitable and efficient approach to quickly administering the COVID-19 vaccine to as many people as possible.” They have been implementing the age-based phase approach, “because of the very limited supply of the vaccine that it has been receiving from the federal government.”

They added, “other previously considered scenarios proved overly complex and confusing, would potentially exacerbate inequities in vaccine distribution, and slow down the process of providing it to Connecticut residents.”

To provide clarity and predictability, the governor announced a schedule for age-based eligibility for the next several months:

   March 1, 2021: Expands to age group 55 to 64
   March 22, 2021: Expands to age group 45 to 54
   April 12, 2021: Expands to age group 35 to 44
   May 3, 2021: Expands to age group 16 to 34

Gov. Lamont said this schedule is dependent on weather and vaccine availability. Read More
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Two-week Window Exclusively for “Mom and Pop” Businesses to Apply for PPP
Yesterday the White House announced targeted changes to the Paycheck Protection Program (PPP) that will provide minority-owned businesses, “mom-and-pop” businesses, and very small nonprofits with access to the support they need.

Businesses and nonprofits with fewer than 20 employees will have a two-week exclusive window to apply for PPP loans starting Wednesday, February 24. This period of exclusivity will give lenders and community partners more time to work with the smallest businesses to submit their applications and ensure these organizations are prioritized.

Other changes include:
  • Self-employed and sole proprietors can now use gross income (versus net income) to calculate the PPP loan amount, increasing potential loan size.
  • Business owners behind on their federal student loan payments are now eligible for PPP loan forgiveness.
  • Clarification that non-citizen small business owners who are lawful U.S. residents can use an Individual Taxpayer Identification Number (ITIN) to apply for the PPP
  • Small business owners with prior non-fraud felony convictions are no longer excluded from applying for PPP loans.

Click here to read the announcement and learn more about the steps that are being taken to promote equitable access to this important program. The SBA website also includes tools to help you get matched with a lender or find lenders in your area.

I encourage you to act quickly. Unless the federal government extends the deadline, the PPP will expire on March 31, 2021.

Sincerely,

David Lehman, Commissioner

Boston Fed chief predicts strong economic recovery begins in 2nd half of 2021 if vaccine reaches enough people
While the ongoing rollout of the COVID-19 vaccine is promising, federal and state policymakers, as well as business leaders, will have to act to reverse an economic decline that has exacerbated longstanding inequalities, the president of the Federal Reserve Bank of Boston warned Friday.

Speaking at Yale University’s Economic Development Symposium, Eric S. Rosengren predicted the national and regional economies could see significant gains in the second half of 2021, provided the vaccine distribution is successful.

“The disparate economic outcomes for some individuals and groups during the pandemic have further exacerbated longstanding issues in our economy,” Rosengren said. “The uneven nature of this downturn has highlighted the need to rebuild the economy in a more inclusive way.”

The Fed has laid some of the groundwork for an economic recovery at the macroeconomic level, consistently setting low short-term interest rates since March and purchasing U.S. Treasury and mortgage-backed securities to keep the financial markets strong.

But Rosengren said the economic recovery will hinge on more than just a big-picture approach. Read More
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Changes at DEEP Make it Easier to Do Business in CT
As the state continues to introduce solutions that make it easier to start, manage or grow your business in Connecticut, there are two programs at the Connecticut Department of Energy and Environmental Protection (DEEP) you should be aware of.

DEEP has launched the Client Concierge Service, a central point of contact that guides applicants through the environmental permitting and review process. The service is available to all businesses, but is particularly helpful for organizations managing complex, multiple-permit projects.

DEEP also announced this week the adoption of significant changes to two sets of regulations that will speed up pollution cleanup, while providing property owners with additional flexibility and significant cost savings.
If you are planning any construction projects, I encourage you to read more about the changes to the Remediation Standard Regulations (RSRs) and the Environmental Use Restriction Regulations (EURs).

While our attention remains focused on the pandemic and managing the associated economic challenges, we continue the important job of making it easier for Connecticut companies to do business here in the state.
Sincerely,

David Lehman, Commissioner
Connecticut to loosen COVID capacity guidelines for indoor and outdoor commercial venues in March
Gov. Ned Lamont said Connecticut will be loosening COVID-19 restrictions regarding private, social, and recreational events at commercial venues beginning March 19.

Indoors capacity will be increased by 50% and capped at 100 people. Outdoors venues will increase to 200 people. Gov. Lamont said this move will depend on Connecticut's COVID-19 metrics. Read More

At Yale, new neuroscience institute to unravel the mysteries of cognition
The human brain is the source and conduit of all ideas, beliefs, and dreams.

It drives us to produce art, literature, and science, to feel and describe love, to invent for survival and diversion alike.

Through it, we perceive, we wonder, we question: Why? How? What if?

Researchers at Yale University have been studying the brain for generations. Now, a new and historic philanthropic gift is launching an ambitious research enterprise devoted to the study of human cognition that will supercharge Yale’s neuroscience initiative and position the university to reveal the brain in its full, dynamic complexity.

The gift, made by Yale alumnus Joseph C. Tsai ’86, ’90 J.D., and his wife, Clara Wu Tsai, will establish the Wu Tsai Institute, a new kind of research organization that bridges the psychological, biological, and computational sciences. The Institute will pursue a mission to understand human cognition and explore human potential by sparking interdisciplinary inquiry. It will harness and amplify Yale’s strengths in neuroscience broadly defined, joining hundreds of researchers in a university-wide effort to understand the brain and mind at all levels — from molecules and cells to circuits, systems, and behavior. Read More