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:



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

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)

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 for the latest updates about COVID-19, or find Sharon Hospital on social media @SharonHospital.


Marina Ballantine, Associate, Public and Community Affairs

(845) 554-1734 |

June 23, 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

Governor Lamont Announced an Update on Phase 2 of Re-opening

Governor Lamont announced today, June 5, that he has moved up his Phase 2 reopening plans by three days, giving restaurants, gyms, movie theaters, hotels and other businesses a midweek start on Wednesday, June 17.

Additional safety guidance for businesses that fall under Phase 2 will be released in the next couple of days.

Phase 2 openings include:

  • Accommodation (no bar areas)
  • Gyms, fitness & sports clubs
  • All personal services (nail salons, tattoo parlors)
  • Outdoor arts, entertainment, and events (up to 50 people)
  • Outdoor amusement parks
  • Movie theaters
  • Bowling alleys
  • Social clubs, pools
  • All museums, zoos, aquariums
  • Restaurants (indoor dining at 50% capacity, no bar)

For more information, click here

PPP Updates

The Paycheck Protection Flexibility Act (PPPFA) has been voted into effect by the Senate.

This act is designed to ease Paycheck Protection Program loan terms and to provide business owners with more time to use PPP funds.

Changes to the program include:

  • Reduction in the amount of the loan needed to be spent on payroll from 75% to 60%, thus increasing the amount of funds available for other expenses from 25% to 40%
  • Extended time period to use funds from 8 to 24 weeks
  • A deadline extension from June 30 to December 31 for rehiring of workers
  • An ease in rehiring requirements
  • Extension of repayment term from 2 years to 5 years
  • Option to defer 50% of your portion of payroll taxes until 2021 with the remaining 50% until 2022

For more information on the Paycheck Protection Program, click here

June 5, 2020

Department of Economic and Community Development – Paycheck Protection Flexibility Act

The U.S. Congress just passed a bipartisan bill called the Paycheck Protection Flexibility Act that makes several important changes to the Paycheck Protection Program (PPP).

The new law eases some of the program’s restrictions, giving small businesses more time to use their loans and letting borrowers spend more of their loans on non-payroll expenses.

Key changes to the PPP include:

·        Extends the period to use PPP funds from 8 weeks to 24 weeks

·        Reduces the minimum payroll spend to 60% (from 75%)

·        Borrowers can now use the 24-week period to fully restore their workforce levels and wages (December 31 instead of June 30)

·        Businesses now have five years to repay the loan, instead of two

The new legislation also includes a number of updates and exceptions related to loan forgiveness, the rehiring of employees, and the payment of payroll taxes. We encourage businesses to read the new legislation and work with a financial professional to ensure they fully understand the updated requirements.

While demand for PPP loans has slowed, funding remains available. More information can be found on the SBA website, including a tool to find lenders that are still issuing PPP loans.

David Lehman, Commissioner, (860) 500-2310

June 5, 2020

Important Information on Re-opening!

Self-Certify your Business to Re-open
Businesses must self-certify and commit to comply with the Sector Rules established to keep their employees and customers safe. Once complete, you will be provided with signage and a badge that you can voluntarily post at your place of business or website.

Click Here for More Information

Sector Rules and Certification for May 20th Re-open

Use the link below to view and download rules and regulations on the following sectors:

  • Hair Salons & Barbershops
  • Museums and Zoos (Outdoor Only)
  • Offices
  • Restaurants (Outdoor Only)
  • Retail & Malls

Click Here

CT Business Reopening and Recovery Center

This guide is your one-stop resource to help your business prepare, rebuild, and grow during the State’s emergency Coronavirus response. Information available includes Top Business Resources, Recent Developments, and Popular Links.

Click Here

May 15, 2020

Attention Employers – Struggling to get your workforce to return to the job? 

If you have called back an employee who failed to return, follow the steps below.

On your company letterhead include:

  1. Employee name
  2. Employee Social Security number
  3. Scheduled return date
  4. Date they refused the job
  5. Company’s name address telephone number and their UI tax ID number

This can be faxed to the Department of Labor merit rating unit at 860-263-6723

This will result in the immediate stop the payment of unemployment benefits. Then both the employer and the employee will receive a packet of information from the Department of Labor regarding their rights to a hearing and to give a statement ( written) and a hearing will be set once the document is received.

May 7, 2020

DEMHS Region V Regional Coordination Center

Surgical Masks for Essential Small Businesses

Over the weekend, the State of Connecticut and the Connecticut Business & Industry Association (CBIA) announced a program where businesses listed by the state as essential and with less than 50 employees are eligible to receive surgical masks to help ensure the safety and continuity of their operations.  You do not need to be a member of CBIA to place an order.  If your business is eligible and in need please follow the link and fill out the form.  Any masks that are ordered will be distributed to your local municipality/EMD office this Thursday afternoon.  Delivery or pickup will then be determined by the municipality.  We suggest you place your order immediately to ensure you are included in the program.

The link to the form is:

For more details to determine eligibility visit:

May 7, 2020