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August 7 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 7, 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 7: 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 7, 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 July 27, 2020 and August 3, 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.

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

Gov. Lamont makes workers’ comp more accessible for essential workers sickened by COVID-19

Gov. Ned Lamont signed an executive order Friday creating a presumption that workers who became infected with COVID-19 in the early days of the pandemic contracted it on the job and are eligible for workers’ compensation benefits. Connecticut Public Radio – July 27, 2020

Read article 

Additional cost to reopen CT schools during a pandemic: $420 million

Whether schools open for in-person instruction or remote learning during this pandemic, the additional costs are pegged at $420 million. CT Mirror/Hartford Business Journal – July 28, 2020

Read article

State colleges, universities address COVID-19 expenses, student testing

Connecticut State Colleges and Universities have incurred about $5.5 million in costs for pandemic-related expenses like laptops and masks, while expecting a $10 million budget shortfall. The Day – July 28, 2020

Read article 

In switch, Lamont says schools may now open with a mixed model of online and in-class instruction

Governor Ned Lamont and Education Commissioner Miguel Cardona said Monday districts will now have the option to reopen in a hybrid model, mixing online and in-school class. Hartford Courant – July 29, 2020

Read article

Connecticut’s coffers have swelled — not shrunk — during COVID

State government’s coffers have swelled by hundreds of millions of dollars since the coronavirus struck in mid-March, despite warnings of a nearly $1 billion deficit just three months ago. Connecticut Mirror/Hartford Business Journal – July 29, 2020

Read article

GOP stimulus bill has billions for CT defense contractors in what Dems call a ‘slush fund’

The Senate Republican stimulus plan, called the HEALS Act, would provide billions of dollars to defense contractors operating in Connecticut, including General Dynamics, Lockheed Martin and Raytheon Technologies — companies who have said they would lay off workers if they did not get the money. Hartford Business Journal – July 30, 2020

Read article

Broad testing of nursing home staff is considered crucial in stopping COVID. But who will pay for it?

The broad testing of nursing home workers and residents is considered a key strategy in fighting the continued spread of COVID-19, which has ravaged those facilities in Connecticut and elsewhere. Deaths among nursing home residents account for 65% of the state’s overall coronavirus fatalities. At least 3,400 staffers have been infected, and more than a dozen have died. Hartford Business Journal – July 30, 2020

Read article

Lamont doubled down on opening schools – but says the state won’t enforce it

Gov. Ned Lamont continued to walk back state authority over whether schools will reopen this fall, saying Thursday that he wants all schools to reopen for in-person learning, and superintendents that refuse will be subject to “a really forceful discussion.” CT Mirror / Hartford Business Journal – July 31, 2020

Read article

CT homeowners’ delinquency rates soar to one of nation’s highest during COVID pandemic

As the COVID pandemic increases economic pain, Connecticut homeowners are falling behind in paying their mortgages at a higher rate than those in most other states. More than 9% of Connecticut’s 571,513 mortgages were delinquent at the end of June, compared to 7.6% nationally. CT Mirror / Hartford Business Journal – August 3, 2020

Read article

Connecticut plans crackdown on intentional defiance of mask, social distancing orders, Lamont says

The governor’s commnets came one day after an anti-mask rally that attracted 150 people to the Connecticut Capitol. Hartford Courant – August 4, 2020

Read article 

In CT briefing, Fauci urges a return to classroom

Dr. Anthony S. Fauci, the nation’s top infectious disease expert, strongly urged a return to classroom instruction wherever COVID-19 infections are under control, but he declined to say Monday whether Gov. Ned Lamont was correct in leaving school openings to the discretion of local superintendents. CT Mirror / Hartford Business Journal – August 4, 2020

Read article

Lembo: CT’s economic gains could slip away soon without more federal aid

State Comptroller Kevin P. Lembo warned Monday that Connecticut’s economic gains since the depths of the pandemic could soon slip away without more federal aid. The comptroller also confirmed recent projections that the state’s coffers have swollen, not shrunk, since the pandemic began. CT Mirror / Hartford Business Journal – August 4, 2020

Read article

Lamont is guarding reserves for recession to come. Critics say he’s prioritizing austerity over COVID response

Five months into the pandemic, with another COVID wave looming and the national economy in free fall, Gov. Ned Lamont is socking away Connecticut’s dollars, reminding lawmakers these resources may need to last for many years.

Read article 

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:

An important piece of the $2 trillion package is the Paycheck Protection Program, a provision of the CARES Act that offers businesses immediate access to liquidity through a new loan program tied to prior-year payroll. Loans made under the Paycheck Protection Program are backed 100% by the federal government.

PPP AND EIDL ADDITIONAL FUNDING APPROVED

“The Small Business Administration will resume accepting PPP loan applications on Monday, April 27 at 10:30AM EDT from approved lenders on behalf of any eligible borrower. This will ensure that SBA has properly coded the system to account for changes made by the legislation.”

“We encourage all approved lenders to process loan applications previously submitted by eligible borrowers and disburse funds expeditiously. All eligible borrowers who need these funds should work with an approved lender to apply. Borrowers should carefully review PPP regulations and guidance and the certifications required to obtain a loan.”

These programs have been re-funded so they will open again Monday, April 27, for new applications. If you applied to the SBA for the EIDL and got a number, you should not have to refile again. If you applied for a PPP and did not get the loan yet, you should call your lender and confirm that your application is still pending.

Business Interruption Insurance 

A business interruption insurance policy should list or describe the types of events it covers. Events that are not described in the policy are typically not covered. It is important to review the policy exclusions, coverage limits and applicable deductibles with your agent, broker or insurer. The Connecticut Insurance Department has an FAQ that provides more information.

CT DOL Resource Page

The Connecticut DOL stands ready to assist with questions about unemployment insurance, paid sick and safe leave or other programs and resources available through State programs. Learn more about what benefits your business may be eligible for:

LEARN MORE: Complete information from CT DOL (CT Department of Labor)

Health Insurance – Access to Health CT

Important Update About the New Special Enrollment Period.

Website: Access Health CT

How You Can Help

Community Partnerships

Listen to Pulse this weekend to hear about community partnerships happening now, what is in the works for the future, and how your organization can get involved!

Tune In:

ESPN 97.9 Saturday at 8:00 a.m.

WPOP 1410 AM & 100.9 Saturday at 10:00 a.m.

WELI 960 AM New Haven Sunday at 10:30 a.m.

Donations of Personal Protective Equipment 

At the direction of Governor Lamont and the Connecticut Department of Public Health, the State of Connecticut has activated a framework for donations of Personal Protective Equipment (PPE) – protective clothing, helmets, goggles, or other garments or equipment designed to protect the wearer’s body from injury or infection that are utilized by people providing health care services.

Members of the public, businesses, and philanthropic organizations that are able to donate these vital materials are urged to contact the State of Connecticut by filling out the online form located at www.211ct.org/DonationsCOVID19.

The state is partnering with the nonprofit organization United Way 2-1-1 of Connecticut to collect this information, and they will work to ensure that these generous donations can get to the appropriate hospitals and long-term care facilities.

The specific items being requested at this time by the state at this time include:

  • N95 Respirators
  • Face Masks/Surgical Masks
  • Face Shields
  • Surgical Gowns
  • Gloves (nitrile, or non-latex)
  • Thermometers
  • Thermometer Covers (if applicable to type of thermometer)
  • Hand Sanitizer
  • Other Medical Items

Governor Lamont encourages residents to sign up for the state’s CTAlert notification system

Governor Lamont is encouraging Connecticut residents to sign up for CTAlert, the state’s emergency alert system, which provides text message notifications to users. To subscribe, text the keyword COVIDCT to 888-777.

Governor Lamont: State and Nonprofit Partners Expand Volunteer Recruitment Efforts for COVID-19 Response

Governor Ned Lamont today said that the State of Connecticut and its nonprofit partners are continuing to seek volunteers willing to help communities respond to the COVID-19 crisis. The state’s volunteer recruitment effort is being expanded to bolster the ranks of volunteers needed at nonprofits that offer support to children and adults in programs for intellectual disabilities and behavioral health settings, as well as organizations that support senior citizens.

  • Anyone interested in volunteering to help their communities in this effort can sign up by visiting gov/coronavirus and clicking the “Volunteers” link. Those interested will be matched with a community provider in need based on their personal interests and abilities.

Shout Out To Helping Hands

We have created a social media campaign to share within our local communities to let them know what your business/organization is doing for others within your communities. To connect with us to let us know what you are doing, please select the following link:   info@blumshapiro.com.

Thank you for caring and responding to COVID-19 and for truly making a difference in the lives of others!

Foodshare Food Distribution Continues

“We are grateful for our volunteers who continue to donate their time and to all of our donors who are helping us fund this very expensive distribution,” said Foodshare President and CEO Jason Jakubowski. Metro Hartford Alliance – July 30, 2020

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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