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August 21 COVID-19 Update: Here’s What Connecticut’s Businesses Need to Know

As the news surrounding the global COVID-19 pandemic continues to evolve, our team at blumshapiro is staying focused on answering the local business community’s most pressing questions. As of Friday, August 21, 2020, here are the latest updates leaders in Connecticut’s business community need to know.

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Insights  <  COVID-19 Update for August 21: Here’s What Connecticut’s Businesses Need to Know

As the news surrounding the global COVID-19 pandemic continues to evolve, our team at blumshapiro is staying focused on answering the local business community’s most pressing questions. As of Friday, August 21, 2020, here are the latest updates leaders in Connecticut’s business community need to know.

As the news surrounding the global COVID-19 pandemic continues to evolve, our team at blumshapiro is staying focused on answering the local business community’s most pressing questions. Below are the latest updates leaders in Connecticut’s business community need to know:

As of Friday, August 7, 2020, here are the latest updates leaders in Connecticut’s business community need to know. To view our last update, click here

The Latest News

Real-time updates: Industry-by-Industry 

Our team at blumshapiro is working every day to provide you with the latest information pertaining to the individual industries in which you operate. You can find real-time updates within the following links:

Our firm’s complete suite of COVID-19 webinars, articles and federal and state guidelines can be found by clicking here.

Latest State of Connecticut COVID Guidance 


  • Travelers: Any person coming into Connecticut by any mode of transportation for any reason is strongly urged to self-quarantine for 14 days.

To Get answers, Get help or Get involved, please click here.

What’s Open in CT

Sector Status Notes
Amusement parks Open Must follow sector rules
Bars Closed
Beaches (state) Open Must follow safety guidelines
Beaches (town) Partially Open Check with individual town or review this list from DEEP
Bowling alleys Open Must follow sector rules
Construction Open Must follow safe workplace rules
DMV Partially Open – All deadlines for IDs and other credentials extended 180 days [info]
– In-person services require an appointment
– Select services can be completed online
Gyms and Fitness Studios Open Must follow sector rules
Hair Salons and Barbershops Open Must follow sector rules
Hotels Open Must follow sector rules
Libraries Open Must follow sector rules
Nail salons Open Must follow sector rules
Manufacturing Open Must follow safe workplace rules
Museums and zoos Open Must follow sector rules
Offices Open Must follow sector rules
Retail Open Must follow sector rules
Restaurants Open Must follow sector rules
School (PreK-12, summer) Open Must follow summer school rules
State Campgrounds Open All campers must make reservations in advance
State Parks Open Must follow safety guidelines
Summer camps Open Must follow sector rules
Spas Open Must follow sector rules
Tattoo Parlors Open Must follow sector rules
Theaters Open Must follow sector rules

 

Keep Connecticut Safe: Did you visit a business that might be violating a COVID-19 safety requirement? Let us know here.

Gatherings: All social and recreational gatherings are limited to 10 people indoors and 25 people outdoors. Religious, spiritual, and worship gatherings are limited to 25% of capacity or up to 100 people indoors, and a maximum of 150 people outdoors.

Face Coverings: When in public and a six-foot distance is unavoidable, face coverings are required to be worn. This does not apply to anyone for whom doing so would be contrary to their health because of a medical condition. Guidance on face coverings has been issued to the state’s businesses. To make a face covering at home, watch this video from the CDC.

ROADMAP for REOPENING CONNECTICUT

READ the Governor’s report HERE.

Businesses:

Connecticut businesses will be allowed to reopen in planned phases. But before you can open your doors, you must self-certify that you are following strict safety guidelines to keep your employees and customers safe.

Self-Certify Now

See if your business is eligible to open now.

See the full list of self-certified businesses.

Governor Lamont’s Phase 2 Reopening Plan on June 17, 2020, Following the State’s Phase 1 Reopening on May 20, 2020

June 17, 2020 marks Connecticut’s biggest test yet as the state continues to gradually reopen commerce and lift COVID-19 restrictions on indoor dining, gyms, hotels, bowling alleys, nail salons, zoos, movie theaters and other businesses.

Read “Reopen Connecticut Document”

Governor Lamont signs 53rd executive order to mitigate the spread of COVID-19 – June 17, 2020

Governor Lamont today signed another executive order – the 53rd since he enacted the emergency declarations – that builds upon his efforts to encourage mitigation strategies that slow down transmission of the virus. Executive Order No. 7ZZ enacts the following provisions:

  • Modifications to adapt to Phase 2 reopening efforts: In preparation for Phase 2 of Connecticut’s reopening efforts, which begins June 17, 2020, the executive order makes modifications to several previously issued executive orders to adapt to this change. This includes sectors such as hotels/lodging; indoor dining; personal services; sport and fitness facilities; amusement parks; and museums, zoos, and aquariums.
  • Restrictions on large gatherings and events: Amends previously issued executive orders on large gatherings and events and permits the commissioner of the Department of Economic and Community Development to issue rules on these gatherings except for religious gatherings.
  • Further clarification of limits on alcohol sales by restaurants, bars and private clubs: Allows hotel liquor permit holders to sell liquor with pick-up and delivery services under the same rules previously issued to other liquor permit holders.
  • Restrictions of off-track betting extended: Extends the prohibition of operations at off-track betting facilities through July 20, 2020.
  • Extension of essential business rules: Extends the previously issued rules on essential businesses for the duration of the public health and civil preparedness emergency.
  • Clarification of Executive Order No. 7MM: Clarifies that any activity permitted by the expedited approval process provided in Executive Order No. 7MM is allowed to continue throughout the public health and civil preparedness emergency, unless closed because of enforcement of existing law, permit conditions or executive orders.
  • Extension of remote notarization: Extends Executive Order No. 7Q, Section 3 for the duration of the public health and civil preparedness emergency.

Read Executive Order No. 7ZZ

Updated guidance on indoor and outdoor gatherings released – June 17, 2020

Governor Lamont today announced updated guidance for indoor and outdoor gatherings over the next several weeks. The plan is as follows:

Effective June 17:

  • Indoor private gatherings – 25 people
  • Outdoor gatherings – 100 people
  • Outdoor event venues (e.g. amphitheaters, racetracks) – 25% of fire capacity and distancing (consistent with outdoor amusement parks)

Effective July 3:

  • Indoor private gatherings – 25 people
  • Outdoor private gatherings – 100 people, one-time exception for graduations at 150 people
  • Outdoor organized gatherings (e.g. fireworks, concerts in municipal parks) – 15 feet of space blanket to blanket, cap of 500 people; event organizer responsible for compliance with guidance
  • Outdoor event venues (e.g. amphitheaters, racetracks) – 25% of fire capacity and distancing

Effective mid-July (date to be determined):

  • Indoor private gatherings – 50 people
  • Outdoor private gatherings (including graduations) – 250 people
  • Outdoor organized gatherings (e.g. fireworks, concerts in municipal parks) – 15 feet of space blanket to blanket, no cap; event organizer responsible for compliance with guidance
  • Outdoor event venues (e.g. amphitheaters, racetracks) – 50% of fire capacity and distancing

Individuals who have general questions that are not answered on the website can also call 2-1-1 for assistance. The hotline is available 24 hours a day and has multilingual assistance. Relay services can be accessed by calling 7-1-1. Anyone who is out-of-state or using Relay can connect to Connecticut 2-1-1 toll free by dialing 1-800-203-1234. The hotline is intended to be used by individuals who are not experiencing symptoms but may have general questions related to COVID-19. Anyone who is experiencing symptoms are strongly urged to contact their medical provider.

Governor Lamont signs 59th executive order to mitigate the spread of COVID-19 – July 6, 2020

Governor Lamont today signed another executive order – the 59th since he enacted the emergency declarations – that builds upon his efforts to encourage mitigation strategies that slow down transmission of the virus. Executive Order No. 7FFF enacts the following provisions:

  • Modifying minimum service hours for private non-medical institutions for adults: Modifies the number of service hours required to be provided by certain group homes and the requirement that group homes perform semi-annual times studies of their services in order to receive monthly Medicaid payments.

**Download: Governor Lamont’s Executive Order No. 7FFF

Can I Travel in or Out of Connecticut?

Posted 7/21/2020

Regional Travel Advisory: Effective 11:59 p.m. on Wednesday, June 24, 2020, anyone traveling into Connecticut, New York, or New Jersey from a state that has a new daily positive test rate higher than 10 per 100,000 residents or a state with a 10% or higher positivity rate over a 7-day rolling average are directed to self-quarantine for a 14-day period from the time of last contact within the identified state.

As of July 21, there are 31 states that meet the criteria and are included in Connecticut’s travel advisory. To stay current on whether you can travel in or out of Connecticut, please click here. 

Connecticut News Recap: Weeks of August 10, 2020 and August 17, 2020

As a reminder, please visit our Covid-19 Resource Center for our full library of content, which includes the latest federal legislation, state & local updates, industry-specific information and other business resources. We will be constantly updating our content with the most recent and helpful information.

CT will need emergency loan soon to bolster unemployment fund

Connecticut will soon need an emergency federal loan to maintain benefits for hundreds of thousands of unemployed here after paying out billions in benefits since the coronavirus pandemic struck in mid-March. The move could translate into higher taxes on local businesses. CT Mirror/Hartford Business Journal – August 10, 2020

Read article

Some major CT employers to keep majority of workers at home through 2020

Three major Connecticut employers with a combined 21,000 office workers in the state say they will keep the majority of those employees working at home through at least the end of the year, as the coronavirus pandemic continues to create uncertainty around a return to the workplace. Hartford Courant – August 10, 2020

Read article

Winter could represent ‘mass extinction event’ for CT restaurant industry

The coronavirus pandemic has forced all restaurants to change the way they do business, requiring them to do whatever it takes to survive. Hartford Business Journal – August 11, 2020

Read article

Connecticut removes Rhode Island from travel advisory; 32 states and 2 territories now on list

Hartford Courant – August 11, 2020

Read article

CT issues first fines for violating COVID travel advisory

Connecticut issued its first fines Monday for violations of the state’s requirements for travelers from COVID-19 hotspot states, making an example of two residents returning from Florida and Louisiana. CT Mirror / Hartford Courant – August 11, 2020

Read article

Pandemic forces more CT employers to adopt remote recruitment

Before the COVID-19 pandemic put a hold on most in-person gatherings, CVS Health had already been ramping up its use of online platforms to recruit and hire prospective employees remotely. Hartford Business Journal – August 12, 2020

Read article

Lamont: Next phase of reopening, including expanded indoor dining, could come in September

Gov. Ned Lamont said Wednesday that Connecticut’s next phase of reopening could come sometime next month, responding to pressure from the Connecticut Restaurant Association and others for the state to expand indoor dining as the cold weather arrives. In mid-July, Lamont paused the state’s third phase of reopening, which would have allowed bars to open and permitted larger indoor and outdoor gatherings. Hartford Courant – August 13, 2020

Read article 

Lamont tells CT agencies to prep deep cost cuts for next budget

Gov. Ned Lamont’s administration has directed agencies to find ways to cut spending by 10% or more in the next two fiscal years as it anticipates a lengthy, coronavirus-induced, economic downturn. CT Mirror / Hartford Business Journal – August 17, 2020

Read article

Colleges reopen with consent forms, masks and hybrid classes

Thousands of students across Connecticut’s colleges and universities returned to on-campus housing this weekend — masked and socially distanced. At UConn, students were tested for COVID-19 on arrival and are expected to self-quarantine for 14 days before the start of the semester. At Trinity in Hartford, the reopening plan is more stringent. CT News Junkie – August 17, 2020

Read article

CT’s private boarding schools push ahead with in-person learning

Most of Connecticut’s private boarding schools are planning to reopen dormitories and resume in-person classes this fall over the objections of faculty. With endowments that rival some colleges, many have spent considerable resources adapting classrooms and dorms for reduced population density, stockpiling personal protective equipment and obtaining their own testing capacity. Hartford Courant – August 18, 2020

Read article

CT’s largest teachers’ union calls for school reopening delay until mid-Sept.

The Connecticut Education Association, the largest union representing state teachers, is recommending that public schools’ reopening be delayed until mid-September because of new concerns about the spread of COVID-19. The union cited new medical reports and scientific findings it said confirm how school-aged children carry and spread the virus. Republican American – August 18, 2020

Read article 

Gov. Lamont is pushing local leaders to open school buildings. CT’s largest district decided against it.

The administration of Gov. Ned Lamont may be pushing schools to open for in-person instruction, but it won’t overrule the decision of the state’s largest district not to comply. New Haven officials on Tuesday came before a state panel to explain their reasoning for an all-remote plan. CT Mirror / Hartford Business Journal – August 19, 2020

Read article 

Delaware, Alaska back on CT travel advisory list, Washington removed

After being removed last week when cases fell, Delaware and Alaska are back on the state’s travel advisory list, requiring travelers from those states to quarantine for 14 days upon arriving in Connecticut, Gov. Ned Lamont announced Wednesday. Lamont removed Washington state from the list, which now includes 33 states along with Puerto Rico and the U.S. Virgin Islands. Hartford Courant – August 19, 2020

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Yale’s COVID-19 saliva test to bring fast results

Labs around the nation will have access to a new saliva test for COVID-19 in the coming weeks thanks to the work of Yale scientists. Hartford Business Journal – August 19, 2020

Read article

Lamont’s tourism dilemma: screening for COVID could prevent spread and also hurt business

Despite weeks of tough talk and meting out several expensive fines, Gov. Ned Lamont’s coronavirus quarantine policy has a big loophole: it effectively overlooks the thousands of tourists pouring into the state this summer on Connecticut’s roads. Enforcing the quarantine policy across all sectors of the population would weaken the most heavily damaged segment of Connecticut’s economy since the pandemic began: the hospitality sector. Hartford Business Journal – August 20, 2020

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COVID rental assistance program vastly oversubscribed

When state officials set aside $10 million to help people struggling to pay rent during the pandemic, that money was supposed to help roughly 2,500 people by giving them up to $4,000 in assistance. But nearly 3,900 people have qualified for aid so far, state officials told housing attorneys and landlords Wednesday. Meanwhile, it’s unclear whether Gov. Ned Lamont intends to extend his order forbidding landlords from evicting tenants, which expires Friday. Hartford Business Journal – August 20, 2020

Read article

Lamont extends eviction moratorium for tenants behind on rent

Gov. Ned Lamont said Thursday he will use his emergency powers to extend until October the ban on evictions, a step that will require him to either declare a new public health emergency or seek legislative support for the dozens of orders that otherwise expire on Sept. 9, the last day of the six-month emergency declared in March. Hartford Business Journal – August 21, 2020

Read article

blumshapiro Content and Resources Recap:

During these challenging times, we understand that businesses are facing a significant number of new operational and financial stressors during the COVID-19 disruption. Many are dealing with disruptions to customer demand and supply chains, workforce and labor issues, and new risks to business processes and information systems.

That is why we created blumshapiro’s Coronavirus Resource Page on our website so we can help our clients identify what they need to do now, what they need to do in the future and new actions that they may want to take to address business disruption. We will be constantly updating our content with the most recent and helpful information.

We hope you find information and news surrounding COVID-19 useful and informative. Please select the direct links below to view state and local information as well as federal updates, industry-related topics and business resources.

New Content

Webinar: 5 Questions Every CFO Should be Asking in Uncertain  Times

Webinar: Updates Around the Paycheck Protection Program

Article: There’s No Guilt in Taking Advantage of the GILTI High-Tax Exception

Article: Automotive E-Commerce – How COVID-19 Has Transformed the Landscape for Automotive Retailers

Article: The Road Ahead for Dealerships

Article: Back Office Outsourcing Can Work Well for Manufacturing Businesses

Article: CMMC Manufacturers Working with the Defense Department Will Soon Have New Cybersecurity Requirements

Article: Back Office Outsourcing in Government Services an Effective Solution

Article: Human Resources “Health” Assessments for Educational Institutions

Press Release: https://www.blumshapiro.com/insights/blumshapiro-announces-merger-with-the-brighton-company/

Toolkit: Enterprise Data Assessment: https://info2.blumshapiro.com/eda-questionnaire-download

Additional Resources for Connecticut Businesses

We will be providing regular updates over the next several weeks as new developments are made available. If you have any questions whatsoever, please do not hesitate to reach out. We are here to help you with your tax and business advisory needs.

In the meantime, you can refer to the following state agencies and associations for the latest information:

Providing information to Connecticut residents 

For the most up-to-date information from the State of Connecticut on COVID-19, including an FAQ and other guidance and resources, residents are encouraged to visit https://portal.ct.gov/Coronavirus.

Individuals who have general questions that are not answered on the website can also call 2-1-1 for assistance. The hotline is available 24 hours a day and has multilingual assistance and TDD/TTY access. It is intended to be used by individuals who are not experiencing symptoms but may have general questions related to COVID-19. Anyone experiencing symptoms is strongly urged to contact their medical provider.

State of Connecticut Frequently Asked Questions 

Get answers to Connecticut’s commonly asked questions by clicking here.

U.S. Centers for Disease Control

DECD NEW BRIDGE LOAN-APPLICATION IS AVAILABLE ONLINE:

To provide emergency cash flow relief to small businesses and non-profits negatively impacted by the coronavirus, Connecticut is now offering qualifying organizations with 100 or fewer employees access to no-interest loans.

Under the Connecticut Recovery Bridge Loan program, a qualifying business or non-profit organization can apply for a loan of up to $75,000 or three months of operating expenses (whichever is lesser).

This $25 million short-term emergency loan program will be allocated on a first-come, first-served basis. The program will be administered by the Department of Economic and Community Development (DECD) and expedited with the administrative and underwriting support of Connecticut Innovations.

DECD’s COVID-19 BUSINESS EMERGENCY RESPONSE UNIT

The Connecticut Department of Economic and Community Development (DECD) has created a COVID-19 Business Emergency Response Unit dedicated to assisting businesses navigate resources and develop new resources. A dedicated phone line is available at 860-500-2333 to provide assistance to Connecticut’s small businesses for this purpose.

CONNECTICUT DRS

“The Connecticut Department of Revenue Services (DRS) has responded quickly to the COVID-19 outbreak in order to protect our employees and the taxpayers we serve. We have followed directives from Governor Lamont as well as guidance from the CDC. Although there is no good time for a crisis, these events are unfolding during income tax filing season, making it much more challenging. Public service is at the heart of the DRS mission, and our team of tax professionals remains ready to serve during these difficult times.”

STATE OF CONNECTICUT INSURANCE DEPARTMENT

For the most up to date information from the State of Connecticut Insurance Department please click here.

SBA DISASTER ASSISTANCE

The U.S. Small Business Administration is offering low-interest federal disaster loans for working capital.

Small businesses and non-profit organizations in Connecticut that have been negatively impacted by the global COVID-19 outbreak are now eligible for disaster relief loans of up to $2 million from the U.S. Small Business Administration.

For more information on how your company can apply, please click here to go directly to the launch page.

Below are some additional resources provided by the SBA to explain this process:

Webster Bank Donates $25,000 to American Red Cross

We know our American Red Cross partners will put this funding to immediate use in the communities where we live and work,said Kathryn Luria, Senior Vice President, Philanthropy and Community Affairs at Webster Bank.

Read article

 

COVID-19 Business Resources

Disclaimer: The contents of this resource are for general informational purposes only. While every effort has been made to ensure its accuracy, the information is provided “as is” and no representations are made that the content is error-free. We have no obligation to update any content, comments or other information for retroactive or prospective interpretations or guidance provided by regulators, financial institutions or others. The information is not intended to constitute legal advice or replace the advice of a qualified professional. There are areas of the CARES Act where additional clarification from the Treasury Department and the SBA is needed. Your judgment and interpretation of the act may be needed. Users should consult with their legal counsel and representatives of the lending institution regarding the proper completion of their application and supporting documentation

 

 

 

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