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June 26 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 26, 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 26: 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 26, 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 26, 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 22, 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

COVID-19 contact tracers brace for more cases as CT reopens

As thousands of Connecticut businesses opened their doors for the first time in months, local and state health officials devoted to contact tracing quietly made preparations last week for a surge of coronavirus cases. Despite limited resources, many local health districts have been hustling to keep up with a steady trickle of new cases, reaching out to people who test positive and their close contacts. Hartford Business Journal – June 22, 2020

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USPS: Nearly 10K New Yorkers change address to CT

Nearly 10,000 New York residents have requested an address change with the United States Post Office and moved to Connecticut since the COVID-19 pandemic hit the region in March, supporting a trend described by state real estate agents, according to data obtained by Hearst Connecticut Media. The number is up from roughly 1,200 requests over the same period in 2019. Connecticut Post – June 22, 2020

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CT Bank Czar Perez: Careful with Post-COVID Legislating

With thousands of Connecticut mortgages in forbearance and foreclosures temporarily halted due to COVID-19, state lawmakers are considering whether additional protections are needed for borrowers and consumers in the months ahead. Hartford Business Journal – June 22, 2020

Read article

DOL expanding new contact center for jobless residents

Connecticut’s labor department is adding reinforcements to a newly developed contact center aimed at improving communications for hundreds of thousands of workers left jobless during the COVID-19 pandemic. Hartford Business Journal – June 22, 2020

Read article

CT, NY and NJ considering quarantine on travelers from high-risk areas

Connecticut, New York and New Jersey officials are now considering imposing a self-testing or quarantining order on people coming in from other areas of the U.S. with high COVID-19 infection rates, Gov. Ned Lamont said Monday. While Connecticut continues to have a coronavirus infection rate of below 1 percent, some portions of other states like Florida, Texas and Arizona are seeing rates of 10-15 percent or higher. Hartford Business Journal – June 22, 2020

Read article

UPDATE – SELF-QUARANTINING IS NOW REQUIRED – Hartford Courant – June 24, 2020

Read article

Department of Motor Vehicles partially reopens for select in-person services – June 24, 2020

The Connecticut Department of Motor Vehicles reopened select offices today for in-person services; however, due to the pandemic, customers are required to make appointments in advance. At the moment, appointments can be made for new licenses and IDs, license and ID renewals, out-of-state license and registration transfers, and CDL upgrades. Appointments can be made online at the DMV’s website by visiting ct.gov/dmv.

Read article

Lamont, Democratic lawmakers, have different visions to rebalance CT’s finances amid crises

Ask Gov. Ned Lamont and the legislature’s Democratic majority how they’ll close a projected $4 billion gap over two years — likely with nothing left in the rainy-day fund — and they’ll usually deflect with the same answers. But dig a little deeper, and it becomes clear the business-sensitive governor and his more liberal base are headed in opposite directions. Hartford Business Journal – June 24, 2020

Read article 

Governor Lamont signs 55th executive order to mitigate the spread of COVID-19 – June 24, 2020

Governor Lamont today signed another executive order – the 55th since he enacted the emergency declarations – that builds upon his efforts to encourage mitigation strategies that slow down transmission of the virus.

Panademic hits CT’s unemployment trust fund – and state businesses will pay

Even before the coronavirus slammed the economy, Connecticut’s unemployment trust fund had only about half the amount it would need to weather a recession. Now, as the pandemic is creating an unprecedented need, the state will have to borrow huge sums from the federal government to pay the avalanche of unemployment claims. It is a debt Connecticut businesses will eventually have to shoulder. Hartford Business Journal – June 25, 2020

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CT ranks among best states in fighting COVID-19

Connecticut continues to rank among the states best positioned in the fight against COVID-19, with hospitalizations down about 94 percent from the virus’ peak in late April. An organization called Covid Act Now lists Connecticut as one of only four states “on track to contain COVID.” Hartford Courant – June 25, 2020

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CHEFA doles out $3M for coronavirus recovery under modified grant program

A quasi-public authority that finances healthcare, education and nonprofit projects in Connecticut has announced $3 million in grants to 14 organizations to help respond to the impacts of COVID-19. Hartford Business Journal – June 25, 2020

Read article 

Governor Lamont Announces Plans for the 2020-21 School Year Amid the Ongoing COVID-19 Pandemic

Governor Ned Lamont and Education Commissioner Miguel Cardona today announced details of the framework to allow all students – in all school districts statewide – the opportunity to have access to in-school, full-time instruction at the beginning of the 2020-21 academic year, as long as public health data continues to support this model. While Connecticut has determined reopening schools for in-person instruction can be achieved based upon the state’s successful COVID-19 containment efforts, this model will be supported with more intensive mitigation strategies and specific monitoring, containment, and class cancellation plans.

Read documents below:

Download: Executive summary of Connecticut’s 2020-21 school planning
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Download: Presentation on Connecticut’s 2020-21 school planning

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 22, 2020

Article: IRS Expands CARES Act Relief for Taxpayers Who Take Coronavirus-Related Distributions/Loans from Retirement Plans – Miryam Wisnicki – June 23, 2020

Article: Paycheck Protection Program (PPP) Revised Interim Final Rule on Loan Forgiveness and Review Procedures – David Fontes – June 24, 2020

Article: Accelerating COVID-19 Related Disaster Loses Under 165(i) – Stephanie Kasson – June 25, 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.

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!

Stanley Black & Decker, Hartford Foundation Donate $100K to Support UCONN Health Workers

Stanley Black & Decker and the Hartford Foundation for Public Giving say they teamed to donate $100,000 to UConn Health workers combating the deadly COVID-19 coronavirus. Hartford Business Journal – June 22, 2020

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Webster Bank Donates to Support Racial Equality

“Racism, discrimination and intolerance in any form are unacceptable. Supporting organizations that work to promote change is important for our bankers, our customers and our communities,” said Chairman, President and CEO of Webster Bank John R. Ciulla. MetroHartford Alliance – June 22, 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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