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Connecticut DECD Announces New Grant Program to Support Small Businesses Impacted By COVID-19: Now Open

As small businesses continue to face challenges caused by the COVID-19 crisis, the DECD has created a program designed to help them recover from disruptions caused by the pandemic.

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As small businesses continue to face challenges caused by the COVID-19 crisis, the DECD has created a program designed to help them recover from disruptions caused by the pandemic.

As small businesses continue to face challenges caused by the COVID-19 crisis, the Connecticut Department of Economic and Community Development (DECD) has created a program designed to help them recover from disruptions caused by the pandemic. This $50 million grant program will provide a one-time $5,000 grant to individual small businesses, and all funds will be disbursed to approved applicants by December 30, 2020.

According to DECD, the grants may be used to assist with payroll, rent/mortgage, utilities costs, inventory, purchase of machinery/equipment or costs associated to ensure compliance with CT Reopen Business Sector Rules. Of the $50 million, DECD is setting aside $25 million for businesses/nonprofits located in the state’s distressed municipalities, while $25 million will be for businesses/nonprofits located outside of those areas. Applicants will only be allowed a single grant regardless of multiple locations.

The online application is expected be available the week of November 9. Eligibility requirements are minimal, although certain specific items are required.

  • Business must have no more than 20 total FTEs in 2019 across all of their Connecticut locations, or have total 2019 payroll of less than $1.5 million (annualized). FTE and payroll include affiliated companies.
  • Business must be able to demonstrate a 20% or more loss in revenue year to date as of September 30, 2020 compared with the same period in 2019.
  • Business must have been established by October 1, 2019 and still be active (as verified by DRS).
  • Home-based businesses are eligible.
  • Eligible entities include for-profit businesses that use any type of incorporation, as well as 501(c)(3), 501(c)(4), 501(c)(6), 501(c)(7), and 501(c)(19) nonprofit organizations. Sole proprietorships are also eligible.
  • The business must remain a viable business, be planning to reopen, and be planning to rehire any workers let go due to COVID as business conditions recover, and have a material financial need that cannot be overcome without the grant of emergency relief funds.
  • Companies must be in good tax standing with DRS or current on a payment plan or consent to use a portion and/or all of their grant to remedy the delinquency.

Eligibility exclusions for this program include:

  • 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.
  • Business establishments that are 50% or more owned by another establishment such that the FTE count for the umbrella establishment (when counting the FTEs of all subsidiaries in which the umbrella establishment has 50%+ stakes) is more than 500. For example, this would include non-franchised outlets of major national food and retail chains.
  • Businesses and not-for-profit entities that have received another assistance grant from State of Connecticut CRF funds.

Businesses are strongly encouraged to submit a completed application as soon as they are accepted, as the funds are expected to be claimed by small businesses quickly. Small business owners are encouraged to keep an eye on DECD’s CT CARES Business Grant Program Webpage, as the application will be posted to this site.

For additional assistance, a DECD representative can be contacted by calling the hotline at 860.500.2333 or emailing decdctrecovery@ct.gov.

 

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