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July 2 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 Thursday, July 2, 2020, here are the latest updates leaders in Connecticut’s business community need to know.

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Insights  <  COVID-19 Update for July 2: 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 Thursday, July 2, 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 Thursday, July 2, 2020, here are the latest updates leaders in Connecticut’s business community need to know. To view last week’s updates, 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.

Phase 1 of Connecticut’s Reopen Plan began on May 20, 2020. Here are the sector rules that apply to businesses in this phase.

Latest Guidance – To find out what is open in Connecticut:

Read the latest guidance HERE.

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.

Travel Advisory: A travel advisory is currently in effect for anyone entering Connecticut from states with high community spread of COVID-19. Click here for detailed information on the travel advisory.

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.

Connecticut News Recap: Week of June 29, 2020

As coronavirus spikes in other states, Gov. Lamont says Connecticut may pause reopening of state

With the coronavirus spreading quickly and 19 other states pulling back or pausing on their reopening plans, Gov. Lamont said Wednesday that he will move cautiously in the weeks ahead as Connecticut balances the economic reopening with battling the virus. Hartford Courant – July 2, 2020

Read article

Governor Lamont Announces Assistance for Renters, Homeowners, and Residential Landlords Impacted by COVID-19 Emergency

Governor Lamont announced today a comprehensive plan to put more than $33 million in state and federal resources to work providing emergency assistance to renters, homeowners, and residential landlords impacted by the COVID-19 public health emergency.

Read plan

CT, RI are the only U.S. states reporting a decline in new coronavirus cases

Only two US states are reporting a decline in new coronavirus cases compared to last week — Connecticut and Rhode Island. A staggering rise was reported in 36 states, including Florida, which some experts have cautioned could be the next epicenter. Florida reported 9,585 new coronavirus cases Saturday, a single-day record high since the start of the pandemic. The number rivals that of New York’s peak in daily cases in early April. Hartford Business Journal – June 29, 2020

Read article

Report shows CT billionaires increasing wealth amid pandemic

A new report by a consortium of advocacy groups shows 8 of Connecticut’s 14 billionaires have seen their wealth increase amid the coronavirus pandemic, even as 400,000 people in the state lost jobs. The wealth analysis compares data from Forbes World’s Billionaires List and Forbes real time billionaires estimates between March 18 and June 17 of this year. CT Post – June 29, 2020

Read article

As more people order takeout, CT restaurants wrestle with making food delivery profitable

As COVID-19 has accelerated the already existing trend toward increasing availability of restaurant pickup and delivery options, restaurateurs are struggling to make this segment of the business profitable. Hartford Business Journal – June 29, 2020

Read article

Hartford area’s retail realty market faces major vacancy, rent-collection hurdles amid coronavirus fallout

Greater Hartford’s retail real estate market held steady in recent years despite a nationwide boom in online shopping, but experts say the local industry won’t be able to avoid suffering in the wake of the COVID-19 pandemic. Hartford Business Journal – June 29, 2020

Read article

Governor Lamont signs 57th executive order to mitigate the spread of COVID-19 – June 30, 2020

Governor Lamont today signed another executive order – the 57th since he enacted the emergency declarations – that builds upon his efforts to encourage mitigation strategies that slow down transmission of the virus.   enacts the following provisions:

  • Extended protections for residential renters affected by COVID-19: Extends the moratorium on residential evictions to August 22 and extends opportunities for residential renters to apply money from their security deposits to payment of rent.
  • Authority to extend statutory and regulatory administrative deadlines by an additional 90 days: Expands by an additional 90 days the ability for state agencies to extend any statutory or regulatory deadlines for filings, decisions, and notice in the many permitting and other applications and administrative hearings under their purview, and requires agencies to post any changes on their respective web sites. This is an extension of the order originally issued in Executive Order No. 7M.

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

State Department of Education releases comprehensive plan for returning to in-school, full-time instruction for the 2020-21 academic year

The Connecticut State Department of Education today released “Adapt, Advance, Achieve: Connecticut’s Plan to Learn and Grow Together,” a comprehensive plan that will serve as a roadmap for districts as they plan to reopen schools at the beginning of the 2020-21 academic year. The release of the document follows the announcement last week of a framework to allow all students – in all districts statewide – the opportunity to have access to in-school, full-time instruction in the fall as long as public health data continues to support this model.

To read the full plan, click here.

For more information, read the press release issued today by the State Department of Education.

Lamont: Surging COVID-19 cases in other states could prevent mid-July reopening of CT’s bars

Gov. Ned Lamont warned Monday he’s reconsidering reopening bars in mid-July as new data shows the coronavirus spreading quickly in other parts of the nation, including in states that border the Northeast. Hartford Business Journal – June 30, 2020

Read article

Governor Lamont Expands State’s Youth Employment Program Amid COVID-19 Crisis – June 30, 2020

Governor Ned Lamont today announced that in response to the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic, he is authorizing the state to release $2 million from the Coronavirus Relief Funds to expand the Connecticut Youth Employment Program, an ongoing initiative that provides year-round employment opportunities with community-based agencies throughout the state. The expanded program will help community health agencies respond to the pandemic by providing critical support and education to marginalized populations that have been disproportionately impacted by the virus.

The investment comes from Connecticut’s portion of the federal CARES Act funding. It will be added to the $4.5 million the state previously allocated for the program, which is administered by the Connecticut Department of Labor (CTDOL), as well as $637,600 from the Youth Employment and Training Collaboration, a collaborative of the Department of Children and Families and CTDOL, giving the program a total of $7.1 million this year.

The Connecticut Youth Employment Program runs year-round and is implemented by the state’s five workforce development boards to increase youth leadership, improve job readiness, and improve economic stability. In 2019, it was funded at just over $5.6 million and served more than 1,700 young people.

Some opportunities anticipated to be incorporated in the expanded program include:

  • Virtual outreach through social media to promote safer health practices
  • Delivery of educational materials to community and other organizations
  • Outreach and assistance to homebound families
  • Fostering youth-to-youth connections and acting as social distancing ambassadors

Anyone interested in participating in the program should contact their nearest regional workforce development board for more information.

Connecticut adds eight additional states to regional travel advisory as coronavirus cases surge elsewhere

Gov. Ned Lamont on Tuesday doubled the number of states from which travelers to Connecticut are directed to self-quarantine for two weeks. Hartford Courant – June 30, 2020

Read article 

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 – WEEK OF JUNE 29, 2020

Toolkit: Updated PPP Loan Forgiveness Toolkit & Calculator

Article: Paycheck Protection Program Revised Interim Final Rule on Loan Forgiveness and Review Procedures

Article: Using Your Data to Meet the Business Challenges of COVID-19 – Authors Brian Berry and Diana Perkins

Article: Using Microsoft Teams to Support a New Normal – Author: Michael Pelletier

Article: Outsourcing During COVID-19: An Opportunity to Scale and Stabilize – Author: Robert Oliver

Article: Municipalities Planning for a Post-COVID Future: Implementing the Virtual Town Hall – Author: Jeffrey Ziplow

Article: Blockchain Technology Will Have a Significant Impact On the Manufacturing Industry – Author: William McCarthy

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

Pandemic could erode one-third of all state revenues, new analysis finds

Connecticut’s finances are considerably worse than even the ugly scenario Gov. Ned Lamont’s administration painted in early May, if the analysts behind a new private study are correct. The researchers said the coronavirus-induced recession could erode more than $6.5 billion in state revenues next fiscal year — two and a half times the gap administration officials predicted. Hartford Business Journal – June 19, 2020

Read article

CT has seen fewer bankruptcies during the pandemic — but it may not last

Amid the worst U.S. economic crisis since the Great Depression, several high-profile businesses have resorted to bankruptcy to resolve their financial woes. Yet the number of bankruptcies filed has slowed significantly during the pandemic, both nationally and in Connecticut. But experts warn that pattern could easily reverse in coming months. Stamford Advocate – June 19, 2020

Read article

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 visit our Facebook, LinkedIn, or Twitter pages.

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

Manchester’s Lydall wins $13.5M defense contract for mask production

The U.S. Department of Defense awarded a $13.5 million contract to Manchester-based filtration-thermal/acoustics-sealing products maker Lydall Inc. to help make billions of N95 and surgical masks.

Read more

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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