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June 19 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, June 19, 2020, here are the latest updates leaders in Connecticut’s business community need to know.

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Insights  <  COVID-19 Update for June 19: 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, June 19, 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, June 19, 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.

Read the latest guidance HERE.

Gov. Lamont moves up ‘phase 2’ reopening in Connecticut, says indoor restaurants, gyms, movie theaters can open June 17.

Gov. Ned Lamont said Friday he was moving up the date to June 17 to allow the re-opening of restaurants, movie theaters and gyms because the coronavirus has become more contained in Connecticut.

READ the Latest

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.

Connecticut News Recap: Week of June 8, 2020

Governor Lamont Applauds U.S. Supreme Court Decision That Federal Civil Rights Laws Include LGBTQ Employees in the Workplace

Governor Ned Lamont today is applauding a decision by the U.S. Supreme Court in which the court ruled that Title VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964 forbids job discrimination on the basis of sexual orientation and gender identity. June 15, 2020

Read article 

Billions of dollars in PPP loans could expire soon, setting up a stress test for CT’s return to ‘normal’

There could be upwards of 18,000 Connecticut businesses depleting their PPP loans in July, and it’s unclear how well-positioned firms will be when the day comes. If Connecticut companies find that customer demand remains diminished, the state could see another wave of layoffs and business closings, dealing an additional blow to an already fragile economy. Hartford Business Journal – June 15, 2020

Read article

Residential electricity use, and bills, on the rise with more working from home

With many offices closed, the expense of heating, cooking and lighting is being shifted from employer to employee. Some companies are recognizing the burden those added costs are placing on workers and trying to do something about it, giving allowances to work-from-home employees to cover additional expenses. New Haven Register – June 15, 2020

Read article 

As many small businesses struggle amid the pandemic, grit, determination and innovation key to staying afloat

The global coronavirus pandemic has impacted all companies, but small businesses have been hit hardest. All are hoping for better days in the future. Here are their stories. Hartford Business Journal – June 15, 2020

Read article 

The coronavirus has sunk public transportation ridership. Will it come back?

When the city of Hartford released its 15-year master plan in January, a major goal was to increase access to and use of public transportation. Hartford Business Journal – June 15, 2020

Read article

Manufacturing industry group rebrands, looks ahead to second century

The New Haven Manufacturers Association this month celebrates its centennial, an occasion both to look back at the evolution of both the trade group and its industry since the Great War era — and also to look ahead. Hartford Business Journal – June 15, 2020

Read article

Main Street Lending Program for Midsize Companies & PPP Update

The U.S. Department of Commerce, the Small Business Administration, the U.S. Department of Treasury and the Federal Reserve have updates on the CARES Act, including information on lending and the Paycheck Protection Program.

Thanks to the District Export Council (DEC) for sharing the recording.

Listen Now

New CT plan will keep day care centers funded for summer, but shortage looms

State officials announced a temporary two-month assistance plan Monday that will subsidize child care providers through July and August, but the state is estimating that Connecticut could be short as many as 20,000 child care slots this fall. The plan laid out by the state’s Early Childhood Commissioner would pay struggling providers up to $1,800 per child. Hartford Courant – June 15, 2020

Read article

A guide for CT’s second phase reopening plan

Wednesday 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. Hartford Business Journal – June 16, 2020

Read article

CT restaurant leader: Indoor dining a promising development

As Connecticut restaurants prepare to begin limited indoor dining Wednesday, Connecticut Restaurant Association Executive Director Scott Dolch says the new allowances will help restaurants start regaining their footing. Hartford Business Journal – June 16, 2020

Read article

Major CT radiology group could be sold off

Jefferson Radiology, the largest private-practice radiology provider in Connecticut, could be sold, as its Florida-based parent company, hit financially by COVID-19, seeks an exit from the sector. Hartford Business Journal – June 16, 2020

Read article

SBA reopens small employer disaster loan program

The U.S. Small Business Administration today is reopening its Economic Injury Disaster Loan (EIDL) and EIDL Advance program to eligible small employers that have been negatively impacted by COVID-19. Hartford Business Journal – June 16, 2020

Read article

Hartford Foundation Announces Tenth Round of Grants from COVID-29 Response Fund

“The Hartford Foundation continues to provide support to our dedicated community nonprofit providers as they respond to residents’ needs during this public health and economic crisis,” said Hartford Foundation for Public Giving President Jay Williams.

Organizations receiving grants include Hartford Communities That Care, Hartford Public Schools, and Tunxis Community College. MetroHartford Alliance – June 17, 2020

Read article 

Lamont expands size of gatherings on eve of Phase 2 reopening

As the state enters Phase 2 of reopening and looks ahead to the July 4 holiday, Gov. Ned Lamont is allowing groups of 25 to gather indoors and groups of 100 for outdoor gatherings. The Governor said gatherings could expand to as many as 250 people by mid-July, with social distancing protocols still in place. Connecticut Post – June 16, 2020

Read article

Despite plummeting profits, CT banks aren’t sending distress signals

After enjoying record earnings last year, Connecticut banks started 2020 on a gloomier note, seeing their combined profits cut in half during the first quarter. Hartford Business Journal – June 17, 2020

Read article 

With PPP loan deadline looming, CT firms score $6.6B in funding

Small businesses in Connecticut now have less than two weeks to apply for a potentially forgivable loan under the U.S. Small Business Administration’s Paycheck Protection Program. Hartford Business Journal – June 17, 2020

Read article

Bradley airport adopts numerous new safety measures as traffic picks up

Bradley International Airport this week launched a new safety and public information program dubbed “BDL Cares,” as the airport sees some improvement in cratering passenger traffic. Hartford Business Journal – June 17, 2020

Read article 

CT airing $1.2M tourism marketing campaign as economy reopens

Connecticut’s economic development and tourism offices are launching a new $1.2 million marketing campaign next week to promote thousands of businesses impacted by the COVID-19 pandemic. Hartford Business Journal – June 18, 2020

Read article 

Lamont: Extending $600-a-week federal jobless benefit may ‘discourage work’

Gov. Ned Lamont says he doesn’t see a need for an extension of the federal government’s $600-a-week unemployment benefit, a program that has helped keep hundreds of thousands of Connecticut’s jobless people afloat during the pandemic. “I think sometimes it discourages work,” he told the Westport-Weston Chamber of Commerce. Hartford Business Journal – June 18, 2020

Read article 

Report: CT to lose $287M in hotel tax revenue this year

A major decline in travel demand amid the COVID-19 pandemic is expected to cost state and local governments in Connecticut more than $287 million in tax revenue generated by the hotel industry in 2020, a new report shows. Hartford Business Journal – June 18, 2020

Read article 

CT economy begins to emerge from historic COVID slump; adds 25,800 jobs in May

Connecticut is beginning to recover from the historic job losses caused by the COVID-19 pandemic as labor officials on Thursday reported the state recovered 25,800 net jobs in May. Hartford Business Journal – June 18, 2020

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The economy seems to be turning a corner, but jobless claims are still in the millions

Although the U.S. economy has shown signs of improvement in recent weeks as lockdown restrictions have eased, millions of Americans are still seeking unemployment aid to make ends meet. Hartford Business Journal – June 18, 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 – WEEK OF JUNE 8, 2020

Article: AICPA issues guidance on accounting for forgivable PPP – June 16, 2020

Read article

Article: Preparing for Emergence: What Businesses Can Do Now to Better Position Themselves as States Start Reopening – Author: Diana PerkinsJune 17, 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.

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!

The Salvation Army COVID-29 Response

The Salvation Army’s Emergency Disaster Services Department continues to provide emergency food to those in need as a result of COVID-19.

The organization has fed thousands of people in Ashford, Hartford, New Haven, Waterbury, and Bridgeport by partnering with Foodshare, CT Food Bank, and many public and private donations.

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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