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COVID-19 Business Resources

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) has created an Interim Guidance for Business and Employers to respond to the virus. Please visit link for recommendations on how to plan, prepare and respond to the coronavirus disease.

Small Business Administration (SBA)

The Coronavirus Aid, Relief, and Economic Security (CARES) Act passed by Congress 3/27/20, is a relief package that is intended to assist business owners and employees with immediate needs as a result of the COVID-19 crisis.

A guide for small businesses can be found here. When implemented, here are some of the highlights for small businesses and nonprofits:

  • Paycheck Protection Program (PPP) Loans: Provide cash-flow assistance through federally-guaranteed loans to employers who maintain their payroll during COVID-19 crisis. If employers maintain their payroll, the loans will be forgiven. Available Now! Check out: Active SBA Lenders in CT Frequently Asked Questions can be found here.
     
  • Emergency Economic Injury Grant: An emergency advance of up to $10,000 to small businesses and private nonprofits harmed by COVID-19 within three days of applying for an SBA Economic Injury Disaster Loan. Grants and loans may be used to keep employees on payroll, pay for sick leave, meet obligations, including debts, rent and mortgage payments. Available Now!
     
  • Small Business Debt Relief Program: Provides immediate relief to small businesses with non-disaster SBA loans, in particular 7(a), 504, and microloans. Under this program, the SBA will cover all loan payments on previously secured SBA loans, including principal, interest, and fees, for six months.
     
  • Employee Retention Credit for Employers Subject to Closure or Experiencing Economic Hardship: A refundable payroll tax credit for 50% of wages paid by eligible employers to certain employees during COVID-19 crisis.
     
  • Delay of Payment of Employer Payroll Taxes: Allows taxpayers to defer paying the employer a portion of certain payroll taxes through the end of 2020, with all 2020 deferred amounts due in two equal installments, one at the end of 2021, the other at the end of 2022.
     
  • Coronavirus (COVID-19): Small Business Guidance & Loan Resources on the SBA's webpage for further details and updates.

For business owners who are substantially impacted by COVID-19, you may be eligible to apply for an SBA Disaster Loan Assistance. The US Small Business Administration is offering low-interest federal disaster loans for working capital to small businesses. 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.

SBA Express Bridge Loan Pilot Program allows businesses who currently have a business relationship with an SBA Express Lender to access up to $25,000 with less paperwork. These loans can provide economic support to small businesses to help overcome the temporary loss of revenue they are experiencing due to COVID-19.

The SBA has announced automatic deferments through December 31, 2020 for borrowers who are currently paying back SBA loan from previous disasters. For more information, visit their website.

The CT Small Business Development Center (CTSBDC) will be offering support to businesses interested in applying for SBA Economic Injury Disaster Loans as well as assisting businesses with additional access to capital and navigate available resources.

Department of Economic and Community Development (DECD)

Department of Community and Economic Development (DECD) working with federal partners, has several programs and initiatives in place to assist businesses during this period. They have established the DECD Small Business Hotline at 860-500-2333 which can also be reached by email at COVID19.JIC@ct.gov, where staff are available to answer specific questions related to small business and guide them through available programs based on their specific needs.

COVID-19 Business Response Program provides qualifying minority-owned and women-owned small businesses negatively impacted by the coronavirus pandemic the ability to apply for a zer-interest Line of Credit for up to $20,000. Small businesses must have 20 or fewer employees. This program is available through HEDCO, in partnership with DECD and the CT Minority Business Initiative.

3/26/20 - The State of CT through DECD has finalized the bridge loan program for businesses affected by COVID-19. To provide emergency cash flow relief to small businesses and nonprofits negatively impacted by the coronavirus, Connecticut is now offering qualifying organization with 100 or fewer employees access to no-interest loans. Under the Recovery Bridge Loan Program, a qualifying business or nonprofit organization can apply for up to $75,000 or three months of operating expenses (whichever is lesser). This $50 million short-term emergency loan program will be allocated on a first-come, first-served basis. Note: This program is currently not accepting any new applications.

Executive Order 7H- Business Exemptions for Coronavirus, directing all businesses and nonprofit entities in the State of Connecticut to utilize, to the maximum extent possible, any telecommuting or work from home procedures that they can safely employ. The order also directs each non-essential business or nonprofit entity shall reduce the in-person workforce at each business location by 100% from pre-state of emergency declaration employment levels. Requests by businesses to be designated an essential function who are not covered under the guidance, can request a designation as an Essential Business by clicking here.

Small Business Express Program is available through the Department of Economic and Community (DECD). This program provides an array of financing options to businesses that cover capital purchases, working capital, and other business-related expenses.

AdvanceCT, DECD and CBIA have issued a Survey for Connecticut Businesses Regarding COVID-19. The goal is to provide the State and policymakers feedback regarding how Connecticut businesses are responding to the COVID-19 crisis. Please consider filling out this survey to help the state modulate its response and prioritize initiatives for recovery.

Department of Labor

The Department of Labor offers the Shared Work CT Program for employers who are reducing work between 10%-60% for their employees. The program allows employers to temporarily reduce employee hours and supplement lost wages with the help of partial unemployment benefits. This allows businesses alternatives to laying off employees, helping save jobs and retain skilled workers. For more information, employers can visit their website, call 860-263-6660 or email DOL.SharedWork@ct.gov

Frequently Asked Questions about COVID-19 for workers and employers from the Connecticut Department of Labor, including Unemployment Insurance, Paid Sick Leave (PSL) and Other Absences, Wages and Hours, and Family Medical Leave Act (FMLA).

Additional Support

The Department of Revenue Services has extended deadlines for filing and payments associated with certain state business tax returns. For more information, visit their website.

Visit our partner's at the West Hartford Chamber of Commerce to learn more about their ongoing business support services.

The Connecticut Restaurant Association has launched a relief fund to help hospitality workers through the State. The CT Hospitality Employee Relief Fund will distribute individual $500 grants to employees whose jobs have been impacted by the COVID-19 crisis. The fund will be supported by private, community, and individual donations. Online applications are currently available. Check out their website for more information on the Fund.