**COVID-19 Current Business Information**
CT Recovery Bridge Loan Program - Currently Closed
Administered by DECD, the program is for businesses and nonprofits that have fewer than 100 employees. Qualifying organizations can apply for:
- Zero-interest loans of up to $75,000 or three months of operating expenses (whichever is lesser).
- As of March 27, 2020, the initial round of funding for this program is closed.
Paycheck Protection Program (PPP)
- Provide cash-flow assistance through federally guaranteed loans to employers who maintain their payroll during this emergency
- If employers maintain their payroll, the loans will be forgiven.
Economic Injury Disaster Loan (EIDL)
- An emergency advance of up to $10,000 to small businesses and private nonprofits.
- Grants and loans may be used to keep employees on payroll, pay for sick leave, meet increased production costs due to supply chain disruptions, or pay business obligations, including debts, rent and mortgage payments.
SBA Express Bridge Loans
- Allows small businesses who currently have a business relationship with an SBA Express Lender to access up to $25,000.
- These loans can provide vital economic support to small businesses to help overcome the temporary loss of revenue they are experiencing and can be a term loan or used to bridge the gap while applying for a direct SBA Economic Injury Disaster Loan.
SBA Debt Relief
- 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.
HEDCO - COVID-19 Business Response Program Line of Credit
- The 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. This $2 million program will be allocated to qualified businesses on a first-come, first-served basis. The program will be administered and underwritten by HEDCO.
- A qualifying small business with 20 or fewer employees may apply for a zero-interest Line of Credit for up to $20,000.
Connecticut Manufacturing Innovation Fund Voucher Program (MVP)
- Connecticut manufacturers can now apply for grants of up to $75,000 to assist in the production of critical equipment and supplies needed to respond to the COVID-19 emergency. The grants, offered through the state’s Manufacturing Innovation Fund Voucher Program, can be used for working capital, new equipment, and other purposes that help companies build capacity or repurpose their operations.
Employee Retention Credit
- A refundable payroll tax credit for 50% of wages paid by eligible employers to certain employees during the COVID-19 crisis.
CT DOL’s Shared Work Program
- Allows employers to reduce employees’ hours by up to 60% and DOL will step in to provide unemployment insurance (UI) benefits that help offset the lost wages, as well as the new federal UI supplement.
DECD's COVID-19 Business Emergency Response Unit: The Connecticut Department of Economic and Community Development (DECD) has created a COVID-19 Business Emergency Response Unit dedicated to assisting businesses navigate resources and develop new resources. A dedicated phone line is available at 860-500-2333 to provide assistance to Connecticut's small businesses for this purpose.
Essential Safe Stores Mandatory Statewide Rules: Effective, April 3, 2020, every essential retail establishment in the state is required to take additional protective measures to reduce the risk of transmission of COVID-19. Executive Order No. 7S requires the commissioner of DECD to issue mandatory statewide rules prescribing such additional protective measures. Such rules will be mandatory throughout the state and supersede and preempt any current or contemplated municipal order. DECD published the Essential Safe Stores Rules on its website, outlining guidance for retail establishments.
Safe Workplace Rules for Essential Employers: Effective April 7, 2020, every essential workplace in the state is required to take additional protective measures to reduce the risk of transmission of COVID-19. Executive Order No. 7V requires the commissioner of DECD to issue mandatory statewide rules prescribing such additional measures. Such rules will be mandatory throughout the state and supersede and preempt any current or contemplated municipal order. DECD published the Safe Workplace Rules for Essential Employers on its website, outlining guidance for essential workplaces.
Small business owner's guide to the CARES Act: On March 27, 2020, the United States Congress approved the Coronavirus Aid, Relief, and Economic Security (CARES) Act to provide the country with relief from the impact of COVID-19. For a guide about how the act will impact small businesses, click here.
SBA assistance: On March 16, the U.S. Small Business Administration approved Governor Lamont's request to begin offering disaster-relief loans to Connecticut small businesses and nonprofits. Companies in the state can now apply for loans of up to $2 million through a special page on the SBA website. SBA also has more valuable information for businesses.
Tax filing extensions: The Department of Revenue Services has extended deadlines for filing and payments associated with certain state business tax returns. Details are on DRS’s website.
Unemployment assistance: Workers directly impacted by the coronavirus pandemic no longer must be actively searching for work to qualify for unemployment assistance. And employers who are furloughing workers can use the Department of Labor’s shared work program, which allows businesses to reduce working hours and have those wages supplemented with unemployment insurance. DOL has more information about these and other changes.
Business Interruption Insurance: A business interruption insurance policy should list or describe the types of events it covers. Events that are not described in the policy are typically not covered. It is important to review the policy exclusions, coverage limits, and applicable deductibles with your agent, broker or insurer. The Connecticut Insurance Department has an FAQ that provides more information.
Reimbursement of medical leave costs for small and medium-sized businesses: The Connecticut Department of Insurance reminds small and medium-sized employers of recent guidance from the Internal Revenue Service (IRS) on COVID-19 - related medical leave.
Bethel -The Right Choice for Your Business.
Bethel is a vibrant, growing community in northern Fairfield County. Bethel has retained its small town charm in the downtown shopping district while providing 21st century facilities and services. Access to major highways, Metro North Railroad and HART bus service makes Bethel attractive to national retailers, corporate and professional offices, light manufacturing, and hospital venues.
Bethel’s convenient location, safe environment, quality schools, affordable real estate and taxes, and superb quality of life make it the ideal town in which to live and work, attracting solid middle class residents and a skilled and educated workforce.