Resources for COVID-19 National Emergency

The Chamber is working to keep our business community informed of the resources and tools available to them during the COVID-19 national emergency. In response to Governor Lamont’s executive order, the Chamber offices are closed at this time. All staff are available via email.

We would appreciate your feedback on how we can help you during this time. Click here to participate in our survey.

Please click the following links for information:

NEWEST INFO ADDED:

Educational Vaccine Resources from Nuvance Health

 

For the latest vaccines information in Connecticut and New York (in English, Portuguese and Spanish), visit nuvancehealth.org/coronavirus/vaccine.

 

Summary

  1. Nuvance Health experts and community partners launch video series about vaccines
  2. Nuvance Health hosts fourth Facebook Live Q&A in series
  3. Nuvance Health launches Spanish-language Facebook page

 

1) Nuvance Health experts and community partners launch video series about vaccines

 

Thank you, Nuvance Health experts and community partners for participating in Q&As about COVID-19 vaccines. They dispel myths and answer questions about vaccines in the following videos.

 

Q&A featuring Dr. Brenda Ayers, Dr. Lee Isabell and Michelle James, Executive Director, Community Action Agency of Western CT:

  1. https://youtu.be/6pj6AbPLvY4
  2. https://youtu.be/6ARqO22HL2U

 

 

Q&A in Portuguese featuring Fabiana Bras, RN:

  1. https://youtu.be/p0q3PXSEy8Q
  2. https://youtu.be/7XKdWE9p2eE

 

 

Q&A in Spanish featuring Dr. Aparna Oltikar and Angel Tejeda, MBA, Network Administrative Director, Facilities

  1. https://youtu.be/5lpcw5F8pm4
  2. https://youtu.be/ZV5NeP8BZNo

 

 

3) Nuvance Health hosts fourth Facebook Live Q&A in series

 

  • Dr. Valerie Cluzet addressed who should get vaccines (already had COVID-19, immunocompromised, pregnant, etc.) in the latest Nuvance Health COVID-19 Vaccines Q&A. Watch and share: https://youtu.be/4zEY1OmepiU
  • On April 14, Dr. Brenda Ayers will address reactions to vaccines and how to tell the difference between reactions and side effects.
  • Visit Nuvance Health on Facebook to submit your questions before the Wednesday Q&As.

 

4) Nuvance Health launches Spanish-language page

As our communities continue to grow and become more diverse, it is incumbent upon us to expand our outreach to our sizable Hispanic/Latinx communities through education, engagement, information and activities.

 

  • The Nuvance Health en Español Facebook page — https://www.facebook.com/nuvancehealthenespanol — will host the latest information on our health care system, programs, services and practices, wellness tips, patient stories and much more. Please give our page a follow and share with friends and family.

 


April 9, 2021


SBA to Open Shuttered Venue Operators Grants for Applications on April 8th

SBA to Open Shuttered Venue Operators Grants

for Applications on April 8 at 12 p.m. EDT

Help is here with $16.2 billion for venues, theatres, and more 

 

WASHINGTON – The U.S. Small Business Administration will officially open the Shuttered Venue Operators Grant (SVOG) application portal today, April 8, 2021 at 12 p.m. EDT for operators of live venues, live performing arts organizations, museums and movie theatres, as well as live venue promoters, theatrical producers and talent representatives to apply for critical economic relief, as those eligible entities are some of the first that had to shutter their doors a year ago in response to the COVID-19 pandemic.

 

“Concerts, plays, dance performances, movie premieres, museum exhibits – these are the lifeblood of culture and community, and often the anchor for travel, tourism and neighborhood food and retail stores. We know that for the stage and venue operators across the nation that help make this culture happen, the pandemic has been devastating. Too many have been forced to lower the final curtain on their businesses. Today, with more than $16.2 billion available through the Shuttered Venue Operators Grants, help is here,” said SBA Administrator Isabella Casillas Guzman. “The SBA is committed to moving as quickly as possible to deliver this vital funding effectively and equitably – ensuring relief goes to those venue operators whose revenues have been most impacted by the pandemic.”

 

The SVOG program was appropriated more than $16.2 billion for grants via the Economic Aid to Hard-Hit Small Businesses, Nonprofits and Venues Act and the American Rescue Plan Act. Of these funds, at least $2 billion is reserved for eligible SVOG applications with up to 50 full-time employees. Eligible applicants may qualify for grants equal to 45% of their gross earned revenue up to a maximum amount of $10 million for a single grant.

 

The SBA is accepting SVOG applications on a first-in, first-out basis and allocating applicants to respective priority periods as it receives applications. The first 14 days of SVOG awards, which are expected to begin in late April, will be dedicated to entities that suffered a 90% or greater revenue loss between April and December 2020 due to the COVID-19 pandemic. The second 14 days (days 15-28) will include entities that suffered a 70% or greater revenue loss between April and December 2020. Following those periods, SVOG awards will include entities that suffered a 25% or greater revenue loss between one quarter of 2019 and the corresponding quarter of 2020.

 

Prior to the opening tomorrow for SVOG applications, the SBA has hosted a national informational webinar (archived recording) to highlight the application process for potential eligible entities. The agency also  provided recurrent program updates and information via frequently asked questions, additional video tutorials, an application checklist, and eligibility requirements through SBA’s dedicated SVOG website – www.sba.gov/svogrant – and targeted outreach to potential applicants.

 

As the SBA built the SVOG program from the ground up, it worked closely with its federal partners, including those dedicated to the affected industries such as the National Endowment for the Arts and Institute of Museum and Library Services, and Congressional authors in analyzing the legislation and Congress’ intent. The agency also consulted industry partners, such as the National Independent Venue Association, National Association of Theatre Owners, National Independent Talent Organization, Performing Arts Alliance, Broadway League, American Alliance of Museums and the Associations of Art Museum Directors, Children’s Museums, Science and Technology Centers, and Zoos & Aquariums. The SBA’s collaboration with these organizations has been vital to SBA’s understanding of and guidance for potential SVOG applicants and the agency looks forward to their continued partnership during the launch of the program.

 

In addition, SBA’s resource partners, including SCORE Mentors, Small Business Development Centers, Women’s Business Centers and Veterans Business Outreach Centers, are available to provide entities with individual guidance on their applications. Applicants can find a local resource partner via SBA’s website at www.sba.gov/local-assistance or via a zip code at www.sba.gov/localassistance. (Per federal grant program guidelines that the same and equal information needs to be provided to each applicant, SBA’s team members are limited on responses they can provide to individual, specific questions regarding SVOG eligibility, potential grant amount, or other detailed information.)

 

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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.


March 22, 2021


Paycheck Protection Program (PPP) Update to Include more Small Businesses and Non-Profits

February 23, 2021- 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
david.lehman@ct.gov, (860) 500-2310


February 23, 2021


Connecticut CARES Small Business Grant

*Online applications estimated to be available week of November 9*

The State of CT has launched its latest program to assist small businesses and nonprofits through the economic downturn caused by COVID-19. Eligible small businesses and nonprofits can receive a one-time $5,000 grant by December 30, 2020.  There will be minimal eligibility requirements the online application will have an open and close date. The application process and the funding will be administered and disbursed by SoFi.

Which small businesses/nonprofits ARE eligible?

  • 20 or less full-time employees OR annual payroll of less than $1.5 million as of 12/31/19
  • 20% or more loss in revenue year to date as of September 30, 2020 compared with the same period in 2019
  • Established by October 1, 2019 and still active
  • Must be in good tax standing with DRS or current on a payment plan as of 12/31/19
  • Home-based businesses and Sole Proprietors
  • Those who already received federal PPP, EIDL and/or CT Bridge loans are still eligible

Which small businesses/nonprofits are NOT eligible?

  • Medical marijuana; 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.
  • Arts/cultural organizations that have already applied for CARES grants

How do you Apply? Online applications estimated to be available week of November 9, 2020

 

Frequently Asked Questions

What documents are needed to complete the application?

The goal of the CT CARES grant application is to be straightforward and easy. It is not a loan that needs to be paid back. All applicants will receive funding by December 30, 2020. Minimally applicants will need:

  • Social Security number
  • Federal EIN number
  • State TAX ID number
  • Bank Routing Number

 

Am I eligible if I already received federal CARES funds, PPP, CT Bridge or EIDL loans?

The short answer – yes. However, you cannot use the CT CARES Small Business grant for the exact same expenses incurred or expected to occur between March 1, 2020 thru December 30, 2020. All expenses must be new such as:

  • Payroll
  • Rent/Mortgage
  • Utilities
  • Inventory
  • Purchase of Machinery and/or Equipment
  • Cost associated to ensure compliance with CT Reopen Business Sector Rules

Will I qualify if I do not have very good credit?

Yes. Your personal credit score is not an eligibility requirement.

How do I demonstrate loss of revenue?

You will need to determine your revenue for the 3 months ending 9/30/19 and compare to your revenues ending year to date 2020.

What is the process once my application has been approved? How will the grant be disbursed?

This one-time $5,000 grant will be disbursed to all approved applicants by December 30, 2020 directly to the bank account you will provide in the application. You will receive an email from SoFi once approved. This is a grant that does not require repayment.

Will I be required to sign a legal grant agreement?

Yes. However, there are no fees or costs. This is not a loan that requires repayment.

Where can I go if I have more questions or need more information?

For additional questions, call the DECD hotline (860) 500-2333 or email DECDCTRecovery@ct.gov


November 4, 2020


Connecticut CARES Small Business Grant Program

The state has created the Connecticut CARES Small Business Grant Program to help small businesses and nonprofits that continue to be negatively impacted by COVID-19.

Small businesses and nonprofits in Connecticut with a 2019 payroll of less than $1.5 million OR 20 or fewer employees can apply for a one-time grant of $5,000. DECD will administer the program and online applications are estimated to begin the week of November 9. All funding will be disbursed by the end of the year.

Per Governor Lamont’s direction, half of the funds will be allocated to small businesses and nonprofits located in towns and cities that have been designated as distressed municipalities. The program is funded from Connecticut’s portion of the federal CARES Act.

DECD will also host webinars and online discussions in the coming weeks to assist businesses and nonprofits with the application process.
Additional information, along with eligibility requirements, can be found here.


October 21, 2020


FINALLY CT WILL OPEN UP TO PHASE 3: WHAT DOES THIS MEAN EXACTLY?

Governor Ned Lamont announced details for his plans to move Connecticut into Phase 3 of the state’s reopening amid the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic. The plan, which took effect on Thursday, October 8, 2020, will ease some of the restrictions that were put into place on businesses and gatherings, while ensuring that the state continues taking a safe approach to limit spread of the virus.

 

Business changes in Phase 3 will include:

  • Increase from 50 percent to 75 percent capacity indoors – subject to COVID-19 safety requirements – for restaurants, personal services, hair salons, barber shops, and libraries;
  • Outdoor event venues (e.g. amphitheaters, race tracks, etc.) will increase from 25 percent to 50 percent capacity with masks and social distancing requirements;
  • Indoor performing arts venues will be able to open at 50 percent capacity with masks and social distancing requirements; and
  • Bars and nightclubs will continue to remain closed.

In addition, Phase 3 also includes the following changes to the sizes of gatherings:

Private Gatherings – Social and Recreational

Occurs at commercial establishment / places of business:
INDOOR: 50% capacity, capped at 100 people (Currently 25)
OUTDOOR: Capped at 150 people (Currently 100)
Occurs at private residence, indoor and outdoor: capped at 25 people-no change

Graduations
INDOOR: 50% capacity, capped at 200, Masks/social distancing (Currently not allowed)
OUTDOOR: 50% capacity of 6-foot spacing, no cap, Masks/social distancing (Currently
One-time exemption capped at 150)

Religious
INDOOR: 50% capacity, capped at 200, Masks/social distancing (Currently 25% capacity, capped at 100 people)
OUTDOOR: 50% capacity and 6-foot spacing, no cap, masks/social distancing (Currently capped at 150 people)


October 8, 2020


Nuvance Health – Sharon Hospital updates visitation policy

Sharon Hospital welcomes back more visitors

Sharon, Conn. — June 23, 2020 — Sharon Hospital, part of Nuvance Health, has updated its visitation policy to bring back more visitors. The hospital can expand visitation following safety guidelines because the campus and the region are observing a decrease in the rate of new COVID-19 infections.

“Restrictions will be lifted in a phased approach over the next several weeks to ensure high levels of safety and security for staff, patients and the community,” said hospital president Dr. Mark Hirko.

Allowable visitors:

Effective Wednesday, June 24, the hospital will begin the first phase of visitation: One visitor per surgical patient is permitted in the outpatient surgical and procedural areas of the hospital at time of discharge.

People age 18 and older are allowed to visit if they meet specific requirements.

Requirements for approved visitation include:

  • A visitor may drop off a patient at the hospital but must wait outdoors for the duration of their procedure.
  • A single visitor per patient is allowed inside the facility only upon discharge to receive post-care instructions from their physician. This applies to the operating room, ambulatory care unit and interventional radiology.
  • Visitors must arrive wearing a medical face mask. Masks with a valve, or a bandana, scarf, or any other type of face covering are not permitted.
  • Visitors must pass screening for COVID-19 risk factors.
  • Visitors need to show a government-issued photo ID (examples: driver’s license, passport) to check-in. Their visit will be recorded for contact tracing purposes if necessary.
  • The duration of a daily visit is limited to two hours.

Exceptions apply for patients under age 21, maternity patients, and for those with extenuating circumstances.

Entrance and Visitation Hours
Monday through Friday, the Main Lobby is open from 5:45 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. Patients can enter the hospital through the emergency department after 4:30 p.m.

Visitation hours are 5:45 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. Monday through Friday. Visiting times for outpatient surgical and procedural areas may vary based on procedure scheduling.

No Visitation:

Sharon Hospital’s top priority is the health and safety of all patients, staff and visitors. That’s why no visitors are permitted for patients with suspected or confirmed COVID-19 who are receiving high flow oxygen, are on Bi-PAP or CPAP, or are unable to tolerate wearing a mask. No visitors are allowed for non-medical purposes such as going to the cafeteria.

“Over the next few weeks, we will be phasing in visitation to inpatient care areas and the emergency department,” Hirko said.

Nuvance Health will continue to reevaluate the visitation policy as conditions evolve. Please visit nuvancehealth.org/coronavirus for the latest updates about COVID-19, or find Sharon Hospital on social media @SharonHospital.

CONTACT

Marina Ballantine, Associate, Public and Community Affairs

(845) 554-1734 | Marina.Ballantine@nuvancehealth.org


June 23, 2020


BOARD OF REGENTS FUNDS FREE COMMUNITY COLLEGE PROGRAM FOR FALL 2020 SEMESTER

(HARTFORD, CT) – The Board of Regents for Higher Education (BOR) today allocated $3 million in one-time funding to launch the Pledge to Advance Connecticut (PACT). Passed as part of the 2019 biennial budget, but without a designated source of funding, PACT is Connecticut’s tuition and fee-free community college program. The BOR’s action is expected to cover PACT scholarships for eligible students for the fall 2020 semester, but additional state funding would be required for the program to continue in the spring.

“With the economic effects of the pandemic lingering, the opportunity for individuals to access a community college education is more imperative than ever,” said David Levinson, Interim President of Connecticut State Community College. “The Board of Regents’ action today is an important, albeit temporary, step to get the tuition and fee-free community college program up and running for the fall semester. We look forward to working with our legislative partners to find a permanent solution – and in the meantime, we encourage folks to apply to the community college nearest them.”

In order to qualify for PACT, potential students must meet the following requirements:

  • Be a graduate of a public or private Connecticut high school (GED and homeschooled students qualify).
  • Be a first-time college student (those who participated in dual enrollment programs while in high school are not excluded).
  • Fill out FAFSA and accept all awards.
  • Attend community college full-time (12 or more credits per semester).
  • Apply and register by July 15, 2020 for priority consideration.
  • Participate in a degree or credit-bearing certificate program.
  • Once enrolled, remain in good academic standing.

“For everyone from recent high school graduates to older adults seeking a college education for the first time, community college provides a high-quality educational option close to home,” said Alison Buckley, Vice President for Enrollment Management at Connecticut State Community College. “With first time students now eligible to pursue an associate degree tuition and fee-free, which can transfer seamlessly to a four-year university, there has never been a better time to apply and register at one of Connecticut’s community colleges.”

Potential students seeking to learn more about PACT can visit ct.edu/pact.


June 18, 2020


Guide to PPP Loan Forgiveness

The updated U.S. Chamber Guide to PPP Loan Forgiveness.  This guide reflects recent substantive changes made by Congress and the administration to the PPP program to provide borrowers with more flexibility.  These changes include:

  • Extending the time to spend PPP funds from 8 weeks to 24 weeks;
  • Lowering the amount that must be spent on payroll from 75% to 60%;
  • Extending the deadline to restore FTEs and payroll from June 30, 2020 to Dec. 31, 2020; and
  • Setting the repayment term for loans made after June 4, 2020 at five years.

The U.S. Chamber’s updated Guide to PPP Forgiveness reflects all of these changes, as well as others made in recent guidance issued by the Department of the Treasury.  It is designed to help your members more easily understand the forgiveness application process.  However, note that while this guide reflects all of the most recent changes, it is possible that further changes could be made.  Therefore, we will continue to update this guide as needed.


June 16, 2020