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:

Hartford Healthcare Opens Two New Locations for COVID-19 Vaccines

Hartford HealthCare opens two new locations for COVID-19 vaccines

TORRINGTON, CT – Hartford HealthCare and Charlotte Hungerford Hospital have opened two new locations in northwest CT to provide more convenient COVID-19 vaccines for the public and pre-op patients.

Charlotte Hungerford Hospital

Memorial Building Conference Hall

540 Litchfield Street, Torrington

Saturdays from 9 AM to 4 PM

Beginning Saturday, June 26

Hartford HealthCare HealthCenter

80 South Main Street, Winsted

Tuesdays and Thursdays, 9AM to 11 AM

Beginning June 22

Walk-ins are welcome. Anyone 12 years and older is eligible for a COVID-19 vaccine. Those under 18 need to be accompanied by a parent or guardian. For more information about hours of operation, directions and scheduling, visit HartfordHealthCare.org/vaccine.

“We strongly encourage getting the vaccination for yourself and family members who are eligible. It has been an important factor in reducing the spread of COVID-19 in our region.” said Paul Scalise, MD, regional Vice President for Medical Affairs at Charlotte Hungerford Hospital.


June 21, 2021


SBA Launches “Community Navigator Pilot” Program Application

SBA Launches ‘Community Navigator Pilot’ Program Application

$100 million competitive grant program to strengthen outreach to businesses in underserved communities enacted through the American Rescue Plan

 

WASHINGTON – The U.S. Small Business Administration (SBA) announced today that it is accepting applications for its new Community Navigator Pilot Program. This new initiative, established by the American Rescue Plan, will leverage a community navigator approach to reach our nation’s smallest businesses, with a priority focus on those owned by socially and economically disadvantaged individuals, as well as women and veterans. SBA will accept applications through July 12, 2021, and anticipates making award decisions by August 2021. The Biden-Harris Administration has made delivering equitable relief to hard-hit small businesses a top priority and will continue to take steps to ensure equitable distribution of relief.

“The Community Navigator Pilot Program is a crucial addition to our SBA programs because it helps us to connect with small businesses that have historically been underserved or left behind. These businesses – the smallest of the small in rural and urban America, and those owned by women, people of color, or veterans – have suffered the greatest economic loss from this pandemic,” said SBA Administrator Isabella Casillas Guzman. “We’ll be using a hub and spoke model in local regions across the nation to bridge the gap between local entrepreneurs and SBA’s resources and programs. If we’re going to build back better, we need to ensure that all entrepreneurs have the support they need to recover.”

 

In February 2021, Congress met to provide a blueprint on assistance to small businesses with provisions under the American Rescue Plan. Members of Congress met with constituents to discover at local levels the impact of the pandemic and the effect it is having on businesses that may have been left out in early rounds of relief.

 

“I’ve spoken to small businesses in every corner of Arizona. Far too many of them, especially tribal and minority-owned businesses and those in rural communities, have been unable to get the support they need,” said Sen. Mark Kelly of Arizona. It’s why I fought to include the Community Navigator Program in the American Rescue Plan because it will help meet Arizona small businesses right in their communities, including providing assistance for Spanish-speakers, and get them the relief they need to keep their doors open and workers on payroll.”

 

“As someone proudly representing one of the most diverse congressional districts in the country, I am glad the Community Navigator Pilot Program will soon be launching,” said Rep. Carolyn Bourdeaux of Georgia. “We have already seen the difficulties diverse communities face in accessing critically-needed relief resources, from securing PPP funds to rental relief. Through targeted outreach to small businesses in underserved communities, we can ensure that everyone is able to take advantage of the resources offered by the American Rescue Plan.”

 

The Community Navigator Notice of Funding Opportunity will be open to applications from nonprofit organizations, state, local, and tribal governments, SBA resource partners, and other organizations.  Selected partners will engage in targeted outreach for small businesses in underserved communities to help small businesses get the resources and support they need to get back on track as the economy continues to recover from the COVID-19 pandemic.

 

“Our small business owners—especially those owned by socially and economically disadvantaged individuals, people of color, women, veterans, and Native Americans—they need us the most, and they need us now,” said  SBA Associate Administrator for the Office for Entrepreneurial Development Mark Madrid. “This initiative underscores our Agency’s commitment to connecting distressed small business resources with SBA resources and grant funding.”

 

“The SBA understands the importance of partnering with organizations as well as smaller, local institutions that are already embedded in the fabric of the Main Street business communities they serve,” said Assistant Administrator for the Office of Women’s Business Ownership Natalie Madeira Cofield. “Community Navigators are the backbone of aiding underserved and underrepresented communities across the nation with recovery.”

 

Making a Difference in Underserved Small Business Communities.  Key in this initiative are partners and people in the community, serving as a two-way information stream, enabling enterprising business owners to receive the help needed from the SBA. Serving as the foundation of America’s economy, these underserved businesses have areas of concern that need to be addressed. Community Navigator Pilot will provide counseling, networking, and the assistance needed during this time of economic recovery.

 

Competitive grant awards will range from $1 million to $5 million for a two-year performance period. Applicants have until July 12, 2021, to submit their applications at grants.gov. Performance periods are projected to commence in September 2021. Those eligible to apply must meet and demonstrate abilities to support the requirements of this funding opportunity.

 

For more information on the Community Navigators Initiative, please visit www.sba.gov/navigators.

 

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About the U.S. Small Business Administration

The U.S. Small Business Administration helps power the American dream of business ownership. 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, grow or expand their businesses, or recover from a declared disaster. It delivers services through an extensive network of SBA field offices and partnerships with public and private organizations. To learn more, visit www.sba.gov.


June 3, 2021


SBA Administrator Issues Statement on the Closure of Paycheck Protection Program

SBA Administrator Issues Statement on the

Closure of Paycheck Protection Program

PPP has provided nearly $800 billion to small businesses and nonprofits across the nation, fueling the economy by supporting over 8.5 million small businesses and nonprofits

 

WASHINGTON – Today, U.S. Small Business Administrator Isabella Casillas Guzman issued the following statement on the closure of the Paycheck Protection Program (PPP) to new loan guaranty applications, which has provided over $798 billon in economic relief to small businesses and nonprofits across the nation, keeping employees employed and helping businesses come back stronger than ever.

 

“The Paycheck Protection Program provided over 8.5 million small businesses and nonprofits the lifeline they needed to survive during a once-in-generation economic crisis. I’ve heard story after story from small business owners across the country about how PPP funds helped them keep the lights on, pay their employees — and gave them hope,” said SBA Administrator Isabella Casillas Guzman. “At the same time, millions of underserved businesses – particularly our smallest businesses and those owned by women and people of color – were left out of early rounds of relief. I’m proud of the work we did to begin to rectify these inequities — in 2021, 96% of PPP loans went to small businesses with fewer than 20 employees.  Moving forward, we will continue to prioritize equity in all SBA’s programs and services.”

 

The Paycheck Protection Program, among the first COVID-19 economic disaster relief programs to provide emergency funds to small businesses affected by the pandemic, has played a historic role in America’s recovery. The Biden-Harris Administration has pushed an effective and equitable implementation of this program, with a focus on ensuring small businesses receive the backing they need to stay afloat and continue to employ millions of Americans. The program has supported the smallest of small businesses with 32 percent of the loans going to Low-and-Moderate Income (LMI) communities.  Additionally, Community Financial Institutions (CFIs) played a pivotal role in 2021 PPP lending to underserved communities during this period, providing 1.5 million loans totaling $30 billion. PPP loans in 2021 averaged $42,000, another indicator of targeted relief to the smallest small businesses.

 

The PPP is only one of eight disaster relief programs established by Congress to assist small businesses during the COVID-19 pandemic.  Other programs include Economic Injury Disaster Loan (EIDL), EIDL Advance, Targeted EIDL Advance, Supplemental EIDL Advance, Restaurant Revitalization Fund, Shuttered Venue Operators Grant, and SBA Debt Relief program. To learn more about these programs, please visit www.sba.gov/relief.

 

 

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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, grow or expand their businesses, or recover from a declared disaster. It delivers services through an extensive network of SBA field offices and partnerships with public and private organizations. To learn more, visit www.sba.gov


June 3, 2021


Restaurant Revitalization Fund Applications Close May 24

Last Call: Administrator Guzman Announces Final Push for Restaurant Revitalization Fund Applications

Qualifying eating establishments should submit applications by the May 24th deadline

WASHINGTON – Administrator Isabella Casillas Guzman announced that eligible eating establishments have until Monday, May 24, 8 p.m. ET, to submit applications to the Restaurant Revitalization Fund.

“If our nation’s food and beverage industry is going to fully recover, we must ensure as many of the hardest-hit businesses get the economic aid they need,” said Administrator Guzman. “We are committed to creating easy to navigate programs and removing barriers that have kept many of our nation’s smallest businesses from accessing these crucial economic lifelines. The SBA will continue to be as entrepreneurial as the small businesses we serve, and we will continue to work as fast as possible to deliver the relief our businesses need so urgently.”

“The numbers speak to the commitment SBA made to educating owners and operators through their work with the Association, our state partners, and other industry support organizations,” said Tom Bené, President & CEO of the National Restaurant Association. “The funds that have already been distributed will help accelerate the recovery of thousands of restaurants and bring much-needed capital to communities across the country.”

The $28.6 billion Restaurant Revitalization Fund signed into law by President Joe Biden established an initial $5 billion set-aside established by Congress for applicants with gross receipts not more than $500,000. To further ensure an equitable distribution of funds, Administrator Guzman created two additional funding allocations to ensure the smallest of the small restaurants and other eating establishments have equitable access: 1) $500 million for applicants with 2019 gross receipts not more than $50,000, and 2) $4 billion for applicants with 2019 gross receipts between $500,000 and $1,500,000. In the first two weeks of the RRF program, and after 600 targeted community outreach events in multiple languages, SBA has received from priority groups:

  • 12,898 applications from businesses with not more than $50,000 in pre-pandemic revenue requesting $290 million in funds
  • 73,671 applications from businesses with not more than $500,000 in annual pre-pandemic revenue requesting $6.1 billion in funds
  • 34,010 applications from businesses with $500,000 – $1,500,000 in annual pre-pandemic revenue requesting $8.4 billion in funds

Designed to ensure the smallest of small eating establishments get the relief needed, set-asides continue a commitment to an equitable distribution of funds to hard-hit communities. Because SBA still has potential set-aside funding available for eligible establishments with 2019 annual revenue of not more than $50,000, it will keep the application portal open until Monday, May 24, 8 p.m. ET. While all qualified restaurants may submit applications, more than $220 million of a $500 million set-aside remains in the Restaurant Revitalization Fund (RRF). Eligible establishments that meet this revenue standard are encouraged to apply through SBA-recognized point-of-sale vendors or directly via the SBA online application portal.

To date, the RRF program has received more than 303,000 applications representing over $69 billion in requested funds, and nearly 38,000 applicants have been approved for more than $6 billion. Of the overall submitted applications, 57 percent came from women, veterans, and socially and economically disadvantaged business owners. During the first two weeks of the program, SBA has received applications from:

  • More than 122,000 women business owners
  • More than 14,000 veteran business owners
  • More than 71,000 economically and socially disadvantaged individuals

For those interested in applying to the Restaurant Revitalization Fund, visit sba.gov/restaurants.

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About the U.S. Small Business Administration

The U.S. Small Business Administration helps power the American dream of business ownership. 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, grow or expand their businesses, or recover from a declared disaster. It delivers services through an extensive network of SBA field offices and partnerships with public and private organizations. To learn more, visit www.sba.gov.


May 19, 2021


Eversource Alerts Customers COVID-19 Payment Plan Enrollment is Extended to May 20 as Part of Connecticut’s State of Emergency

Eversource Alerts Customers COVID-19 Payment Plan Enrollment is Extended to May 20 as Part of Connecticut’s State of Emergency

Customers urged to sign up for available assistance and protection programs    

 

BERLIN, Conn. (May 3, 2021) – With Connecticut’s state of emergency in response to the COVID-19 pandemic extended to May 20, Eversource is alerting customers that enrollment in the COVID-19 Payment Program is automatically extended as well.  The energy company is encouraging customers to enroll in one of its payment plans or assistance programs if they need help with their energy bill. Both residential and non-residential customers are eligible for payment arrangements at this time and are encouraged to call the energy company at 800-286-2828 to learn more. Any residential customers experiencing difficulty paying their utility bill should contact Eversource for guidance on special financial assistance programs and protections that may be available to them. Any customers ineligible for financial assistance programs, including both residential and non-residential customers, are eligible for the COVID-19 Payment Program.

“Since the state of emergency has been extended another month, there is additional time for customers to take advantage of the special COVID-19 payment plan that can help, especially if customers are having a tough time paying their energy bill” said Eversource Vice President of Customer Operations Jess Cain. “We want to help customers during these challenging times and participating in a payment plan not only arranges affordable monthly payments for them, it also protects them from service disconnection once they resume.”

If a customer that has a past due balance of $240 enrolls in the COVID-19 Payment Program plan, they would pay their current bill, plus $10 each month for 24 months until their balance is eliminated. Eversource continues to encourage customers to reach out now, and not wait until the deadline, so a company representative can help them determine which of the flexible payment plans or special programs would be the most helpful to them.

Customers who’ve never needed assistance previously may not realize they qualify for protection from service disconnection and may also be eligible for other programs to reduce past due balances.  For example, a household of five with an annual income of ~$84 thousand dollars meets the income-eligibility requirements. Eversource encourages all customers to contact the energy company at the number above or to check their eligibility on the state income-eligibility matrix – and find out if one of the energy company’s programs below could be beneficial to them.


Important Dates:

  • Enrollment for the COVID-19 Payment Program for non-residential and residential customers is open until May 20,

COVID-19 Payment Plan:

  • Available to any customer, residential and business, requesting financial assistance, without demonstrating financial need;
  • Requires no initial down payment;
  • Can be up to 24 months;
  • Any late payment fees or interest is waived in the calculation of the monthly payment amount;
  • Any customer enrolled in a COVID-19 Payment Program who is current with their payment terms cannot be disconnected even once service disconnections resume.  

New Start Program:

  • Customers can reduce or eliminate their outstanding balance in as little as 12 months when they make on-time monthly payments and Eversource will make up the difference.


Matching Payment Program:

  • Customers who heat their home with electricity or natural gas can get help paying their energy bill. Customers apply for the Connecticut Energy Assistance Program (CEAP) and set up an affordable monthly payment arrangement with Eversource. Customers receiving certain government benefits are eligible for payments as low as $50 per month. For every dollar a customer pays toward their bill by the agreed-upon time each month, a dollar will be credited to their past-due amount, down to a zero balance.


UniteCT:

  • Payment assistance to qualified households that are financially impacted by the COVID-19 pandemic and is specifically designed to help tenants who have fallen behind with rent and utility bills to stay in their homes.
  • Provides eligible renters up to $1,500 to help with past due electric expenses and up to $10,000 for past or future rent expenses.

 

Eversource reminds customers to take advantage of its #1-ranked energy efficiency solutions to help reduce their energy costs. There are many energy efficiency options available to customers, including the Home Energy Solutions home energy improvement service as well as generous energy efficiency rebates and incentives. The energy company is also making it possible for customers to monitor their energy use with the Kill A Watt electricity usage meter which shows how much power is being used by most home devices. The Kill A Watt kits are available for borrowing from nearly 200 libraries around the state. A list of participating libraries can be found at Eversource.com, here.

 

Customers can learn more about payment programs and enroll online at Eversource.com/BillHelp. Information on energy efficiency programs is available at www.energizect.com.

 

Eversource (NYSE: ES), celebrated as a national leader for its corporate citizenship, is the #1 energy company in Newsweek’s list of America’s Most Responsible Companies for 2021 and recognized as one of America’s Most JUST Companies. Eversource transmits and delivers electricity to 1.27 million customers in 149 cities and towns, provides natural gas to 246,000 customers in 74 communities, and supplies water to approximately 216,000 customers in 52 communities across Connecticut. Eversource harnesses the commitment of approximately 9,300 employees across three states to build a single, united company around the mission of safely delivering reliable energy and water with superior customer service. The #1 energy efficiency provider in the nation, the company is empowering a clean energy future in the Northeast, with nationally-recognized energy efficiency solutions and successful programs to integrate new clean energy resources like solar, offshore wind, electric vehicles and battery storage, into the electric system. For more information, please visit eversource.com, and follow us on Twitter, Facebook, Instagram, and LinkedIn. For more information on our water services, visit aquarionwater.com.


May 4, 2021


SBA Announces Official Restaurant Revitalization Fund Application and Guidelines

SBA Announces Official Restaurant Revitalization Fund Application and Guidelines

Economic relief prioritized for underserved communities

 

WASHINGTON – SBA Administrator Isabella Casillas Guzman today announced key details on application requirements, eligibility, and a program guide for the Restaurant Revitalization Fund (RFF). The restaurant industry has been among the hardest-hit sectors during the economic downturn caused by the COVID-19 pandemic. To help bring jobs back and revive the industry, the American Rescue Plan, signed into law by President Joe Biden, established the $28.6 billion Restaurant Revitalization Fund at the U.S. Small Business Administration (SBA). The SBA will administer the funds to the hardest-hit small restaurants.

 

“Today, we are starting the process to help restaurants and bars across the country devastated by the pandemic, and this is our message: Help is here. With the launch of the Restaurant Revitalization Fund, we’re prioritizing funding to the hardest-hit small businesses – irreplaceable gathering places in our neighborhoods and communities that need a lifeline now to get back on their feet,” said SBA Administrator Isabella Casillas Guzman. “And, thanks to clear directives from Congress, we’re rolling out this program to make sure that these businesses can meet payroll, purchase supplies, and get what they need in place to transition to today’s COVID-restricted marketplace.”

 

Administrator Guzman emphasized, “We’re also focused on ensuring that the RRF program’s application process is streamlined and free of burdensome, bureaucratic hurdles – while still maintaining robust oversight. Under my leadership, the SBA aims to be as entrepreneurial as the entrepreneurs we serve – and that means meeting every small business where they are, and giving them the support they need to recover, rebuild and thrive.”

 

Under this announcement, details on application requirements, eligibility, and a program guide are now available in English at www.sba.gov/restaurants or in Spanish at www.sba.gov/restaurantes.

 

Ahead of the application launch and over the next two weeks, the SBA will establish a seven-day pilot period for the RRF application portal and conduct extensive outreach and training. The pilot period will be used to address technical issues ahead of the public launch. Participants in this pilot will be randomly selected from existing PPP borrowers in priority groups for RRF and will not receive funds until the application portal is open to the public.

 

Following the pilot, the application portal will be opened to the public. The official application launch date will be announced at a later date. For the first 21 days that the program is open, the SBA will prioritize reviewing applications from small businesses owned by women, veterans, and socially and economically disadvantaged individuals. Following the 21-day period, all eligible applicants are encouraged to submit applications.

 

The groundwork for this announcement is the result of a comprehensive effort to reach out to diverse stakeholders in order to understand the needs and barriers restaurants face in accessing emergency relief aid.

 

“Local restaurants and bars are being served very good news today,” said Erika Polmar, Executive Director of the Independent Restaurant Coalition. “These guidelines were crafted by the SBA after conversations with independent restaurant and bar operators across the country. We are grateful to the SBA for their hard work to make this process as accessible as possible in a short period of time.  It is clear the SBA and the Biden Administration care deeply about ensuring businesses struggling the most can quickly and effectively use this relief program, and we look forward to continued conversations and collaboration to ensure this fund works as intended for the independent restaurant and bar community.”

 

Community business leaders from underserved communities also welcomed RRF assistance as much-needed economic relief and are working with their broad membership bases to navigate the grant application process.

 

“In addition to historically having less operating liquidity and revenue than almost any other small business demographic, Black-owned restaurants received significantly less stimulus funding during the COVID-19 pandemic, heightening challenges and leading to disproportionate closures,” said Ron Busby, Sr., president and CEO, U.S. Black Chambers, Inc. “The USBC believes this initiative and collaboration with the SBA will bring needed resources and relief to these often underserved businesses to aid in stabilization, recovery and ultimately, strengthen our economy.”

In addition to restaurant groups and leading advocacy groups for underserved business communities,  the SBA has engaged national and state trade associations, and other small business stakeholders in recent weeks to understand their concerns about relief programs.

 

“Small and independent craft breweries are vibrant community gathering places that can be found in nearly every congressional district in the U.S. and contribute to manufacturing, hospitality, retail, tourism, and agricultural industries,” said Bob Pease, president and CEO, Brewers Association. “We are pleased to work with the SBA to promote the Restaurant Revitalization Fund landing page and its available resources, and assist the breweries hit hardest by COVID-19 secure much needed additional relief to help them survive the pandemic and prepare for the restart of the economy.”

 

At all levels, the SBA will continue engaging with stakeholder communities to inform and design delivery of financial assistance programs. As the SBA builds and prepares to roll out the program, this dedicated SBA website is the best source for up-to-date information for eligible restaurants interested in the RRF.

 

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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.

 

 

 

 


April 21, 2021


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