Temporary Certificate for Outdoor Dining
ReOpen Connecticut Guidance, Information & Resources
In order to reopen, business must self-certify at DECD’s website. Once you complete this step, you will receive a ReOpen CT Badge to display onsite and on social media. The DECD self-certify link is now live at: https://portal.ct.gov/DECD/Content/Coronavirus-Business-Recovery/Sector-Rules-for-May-20-Reopen
- State of CT ReOpen Connecticut Guidelines & Rules - https://portal.ct.gov/coronavirus
- CDC Guidance for Where You Live, Work, Learn, Pray, and Play - https://www.cdc.gov/coronavirus/2019-ncov/community/index.html
- FDA Best Practices for Retail Food Stores, Restaurants, and Food Pick-Up/Delivery Services During the COVID-19 Pandemic - https://www.fda.gov/food/food-safety-during-emergencies/best-practices-retail-food-stores-restaurants-and-food-pick-updelivery-services-during-covid-19
- Signage (free for download from CDC Print Resources) - https://www.cdc.gov/coronavirus/2019-ncov/communication/print-resources.html?Sort=Date%3A%3Adesc
Resources for PPE and Infrared Thermometers:
- CT Restaurant Association has resources & info for members
- CT Business & Industry Association (CBIA)
- Northeast Medical Products. Contact owner Marty Drobiarz at firstname.lastname@example.org
- Inquire at your local or regional Health District office
Governor Lamont has announced the availability of infrared thermometers to small businesses (between 2-100 employees), places of worship, and nonprofits. More information and a request link can be found at the link below. Distribution will continue until supplies last.
CARES Act – updated information
- Connecticut Humanities is honored to provide rapid-response funding to nonprofit humanities and cultural organizations that are facing financial hardship resulting from COVID-19. These grants are funded by the CARES Act via the National Endowment for the Humanities.
- Connecticut Humanities will be re-granting a total of $450,000 in CARES Act funding. Grant awards will range from $2,500 to $15,000 and no match is required (maximum amount of funding that can be requested is based upon an organization’s budget size). For complete information click here.
- The CARES Act includes a $1.5 billion supplemental appropriation to the US Economic Development Administration "to help communities prevent, prepare for, and respond to coronavirus". AdvanceCT (formerly CERC) is taking the lead on behalf of the state regarding CARES ACT EDA funding initiatives. Visit www.advancect.org. EDA funds can be used for (among other things):
- Planning and technical assistance (which could be very helpful in creating new business development plans and strategic plans for downtown organizations);
- Capitalization and recapitalization of revolving loan funds that provide access to capital for businesses (also very helpful for downtown business development activity);
- Construction of infrastructure and other economic development projects (I can think of half a dozen downtowns that have benefitted from this EDA funding category); and
- Innovation grants.
- Connecticut Open House Day, in its 16th year, will be held virtually this year on June 13th. For complete information, and to register, click here!
- Downtown Redevelopment Services, a CT Main Street Professional Affiliate member, is offering an opportunity to CMSC members. DRS is holding a “contest” which includes the award of three Revitalization Roadmaps, streamlined and action-oriented downtown plans, to three different cities at a 50% reduction in cost, or a reduced total cost of $9,500. Click here to register for the contest.
If you are a business owner and do not pay taxes on your salary OR are self-employed or an independent contractor, are you eligible for unemployment benefits?
Generally, no, it is very rare. However, you may file for unemployment benefits and a determination will be made on your eligibility. Please be advised that this is a very lengthy process. Also, you will need to continue to be able and available for full-time work. However, you may be eligible for benefits under the Pandemic Unemployment Assistance (PUA) program. In general, PUA provides up to 39 weeks of unemployment benefits to individuals not eligible for regular unemployment compensation or extended benefits, including those who have exhausted all rights to such benefits. If you feel you are eligible under this program please feel free to apply. Please refer to the link to the application below.
The website to file for unemployment benefits, including starting the PUA process is http://www.filectui.com.
FAQ’s for PUA can be found at: http://www.ctdol.state.ct.us/pua.pdf
Positioning Your Business for Success for when CT Re-opens.. FREE WEB SERIES
- Information for Re-Open CT - Governor Lamont’s 15-member advisory board is working to prepare to re-open Connecticut. The advisory board is comprised of a mix of public health, business, education, and community officials. CBIA hosted a webinar focused on introducing the advisory board members and shared some practical information for Main Street retail & restaurants:
- EBP Supply Solutions – a commercial cleaning business with excellent information on their website about cleaning commercial spaces
- International Sanitary Supply Association (ISSA): Information about Cleaning & Disinfecting for the Coronavirus
- Essential Small Business Face Mask Supply - If you operate an essential small business and need surgical face masks for your employees, the State of Connecticut can make 2 per employee available to you while supplies last. Learn more
- AdvanceCT Issues Reopening Surveys – AdvanceCT is asking for input from business owners and employees via two new surveys. The first is a Small Business Reopening Survey for business owners. The second is a Worker Sentiment Survey which they’re asking business owners to forward to their employees using this link: https://www.research.net/r/CTWorkerSentiment. They are looking to identify the business owners’ pain points and the employees’ concerns about going back to work. Similar surveys are also being conducted by CMSC members (see below)
- Pullman & Comley offer post-COVID Recovery Information – CMSC Professional Affiliate Pullman & Comley is addressing how small businesses are going to get back to work through various webinars and blogs:
- Blog: Yes, We’re Open: Important Consideration for Employers Preparing to Reopen in a Post-COVID-19 World
- Free webinar: Returning Employees to the COVID-19 Workplace: Maintaining a Safe and Effective Work Environment – As businesses begin to think about reopening post-pandemic, there are many questions surrounding operations, policies and procedures to ensure a safe and effective workplace for employers and employees. What safety measures should you be considering in preparation of returning to the workplace? How will you transition employees from remote work back to standard operations? What steps will you need to take to prevent the spread of COVID-19? Wednesday, May 6, 2020 from 10:00-11:00 am. Event is free, but registration is required.
- Unemployment Assistance for the Self Employed – The CT Dept. of Labor has begun accepting claim applications for the self-employed, many of whom are eligible to collect unemployment insurance benefits under the federal Pandemic Unemployment Assistance (PUA) program.
- Federal guidelines require that self-employed individuals, including independent contractors and "gig" workers, first apply through the Connecticut unemployment system located on www.filectui.com. Applicants must receive a determination notice in the mail from the Connecticut Department of Labor before they can apply on the newly-designed Pandemic Unemployment Assistance online system that will also be located at www.filectui.com. Click for more information on the two-step application process.
- From You, Our Members – Our members report that their towns and businesses are beginning to prepare for re-opening by surveying businesses about what they’ll need (for instance, PPE or new zoning regulations that allow outdoor dining) and by surveying customers about what will make them feel comfortable frequenting businesses. For examples of these types of surveys, please see the Advance CT surveys for business owners and employees.
- Windsor’s First Town Downtown had a Facebook Live promotion this past weekend that they’re planning to continue to do each Saturday. They showcased a local business and found it to be very successful – one of the videos had 2.9k view, 132 comments and 29 shares.
Mask Needs and Local Businesses
As part of the COVID-19 response effort, CBIA is providing masks for essential small businesses based on a request.
Frequently Asked Questions:
What are eligible, essential small businesses? Eligible, essential small businesses must have 50 employees or less with a need for surgical masks.
The list of essential businesses is available here: https://portal.ct.gov/DECD/Content/Coronavirus-Business-Recovery/Business-Exemptions-for-Coronavirus
Should all eligible, essential small businesses request masks? Eligible, essential small businesses and employees that have limited contact with the public are strongly urged to create their own facemasks following CDC guidelines. We must ensure the limited supply of surgical masks is available to eligible, essential businesses that need them the most.
How many times can surgical masks be used? The CDC recommends the preservation of necessary PPE by instituting extended use policies. Additionally, FEMA, recommends preservation methods to reduce, reuse and repurpose PPE. Both FEMA and CDC guidelines can be found here.
Is there a limit to the number of Surgical Masks that can be requested? Eligible, essential small businesses must limit their total request to 2 surgical masks per employee. The maximum request should not exceed 100 masks.
How do eligible, essential small businesses make a request? Eligible, essential small businesses can make a request on the CBIA-CONNSTEP Portal at the following link: https://www.ctcovidresponse.org/ct-smb-surgical-mask-requests. At this time, only surgical masks are available to eligible, essential small businesses.
Are healthcare workers and first responders receiving PPE? Yes, healthcare workers and first responders continue to receive priority distributions of varying types of PPE as they are made available. First responders should continue to make resource requests through the local Emergency Management Director.
How often will this distribution to small businesses be occurring? At this time, this is a one-time distribution of masks to eligible, essential small businesses in Connecticut.
Will every requestor receive masks? Supplies are limited at this time; therefore, it is possible that not all requestors will receive the masks they request.
Recent updates to grant funding in light of COVID
New Grant Funding Roundup Coming Your Way!
For inquiries and guidelines regarding essential business and nonessential business operations, please visit www.ct.gov/coronavirus.
DECD’s COVID-19 Business Emergency Response Unit can be reached via phone (860) 500-2322 or email DECD.COVID19@ct.gov.
Federal Assistance for Connecticut Businesses and Nonprofits
COVID-19 Business Assistance
Help for Businesses and Residents - LINK to Federal Paycheck Protection Program Included
Coronavirus Emergency Loans Small Business Guide and Checklist
Sales and Use Tax
Has DRS extended the filing and payment deadlines for sales tax returns? (added 3/30/2020)
Yes, within the parameters outlined below.
What small business taxpayers qualify for this relief? (added 3/30/2020)
Taxpayers that have $150,000 or less in annual Sales Tax liability qualify for an automatic extension of time to file and pay. Similarly, taxpayers that have $150,000 or less in annual Room Occupancy Tax also qualify for this relief. A taxpayer that collects both Sales Tax and Room Occupancy Tax must evaluate each tax separately to determine eligibility for relief.
How does a taxpayer determine if it is a qualified small business? (added 3/30/2020)
Taxpayers are required to utilize a calendar year look back period of January 1, 2019, through December 31, 2019. Any taxpayer that reported $150,000 or less in tax during that period qualifies for the relief.
What returns are covered by this extension? (added 3/30/2020)
Special Coronavirus Edition #4: Former SBA Chief Gives Great Advice
The Development Services Department consists of the Building Inspection, Community Development, Economic Development, and Planning and Zoning Divisions. These divisions are responsible for:
- Advocating for business growth
- Building inspections and permits
- Environmental conservation and regulation
- Housing rehabilitation and neighborhood commercial revitalization
- Job creation and desirable private investment
- Plan review
- Zoning enforcement
The Development Services Department also organizes the Enfield’s Regional Farmers Market that runs on Wednesdays from 4:30 to 6:30 p.m. starting August 14, 2019 to October 2, 2019 and the Thompsonville Community Garden where planting began on June 8, 2019.