Article

May 22 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, May 22, 2020, here are the latest updates leaders in Connecticut’s business community need to know.

< Back to Insights
Insights  <  COVID-19 Update for May 22: 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, May 22, 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, May 22, 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 


  • Stay Safe, Stay Home: The Governor signed an executive order directing Connecticut residents to “Stay Safe, Stay Home.” It directs all nonessential businesses statewide to prohibit in-person functions. Guidance has been issued to the state’s businesses. This remains in effect until May 20, unless otherwise modified.
  • Safe Workplace Rules for Essential Employers: All workplaces considered essential must follow Safe Workplace Rules for Essential Employers to reduce the spread of COVID-19. This remains in effect until May 20, unless otherwise modified.
  • Gatherings: All social and recreational gatherings of more than five people are prohibited. This includes things such as sports, parades, concerts, festivals, live performances, and conventions. Religious, spiritual, and worship gatherings of more than 50 are prohibited. This remains in effect until May 20, unless otherwise modified.
  • Food establishments: Restaurants and bars that serve food are required to provide take-out and delivery services for off-premise consumption only. These establishments must limit entrance of customers to the minimum extent necessary to pick up and/or pay for orders, and use touchless payment if available. This remains in effect until May 20, unless otherwise modified.
  • Retail establishments: Stores that are permitted to stay open under the “Stay Safe, Stay Home” executive order must follow “Safe Store Rules” that several requirements, such as a cap on occupancy at 50% capacity, and floor markings measuring 6 feet must be at checkout lines, among other items. Guidance has been issued detailing all of the “Safe Store Rules.”This remains in effect until May 20, unless otherwise modified.
  • Gyms, movie theaters, hair and nail salons: All gyms, fitness centers and similar sports venues; theaters and cinemas; and hair salons, barbershops, nail salons, spas, and tattoo parlors are closed. This remains in effect until May 20, unless otherwise modified.
  • Schools: Classes at all public schools are canceled. This remains in effect until May 20, unless otherwise modified.
  • Travelers: Any person coming into Connecticut by any mode of transportation for any reason is strongly urged to self-quarantine for 14 days.

Connecticut News: Week of May 18, 2020

Connecticut businesses push for pandemic liability protections

Worried Connecticut business owners are seeking state or federal protections against potential liability lawsuits from customers and employees who may contract COVID-19. As Connecticut begins the process of reopening its full economy, there are fears that a lack of such protections may keep some from re-starting their operations.

READ: Hartford Business Journal – May 22, 2020

Governor Lamont Statement on House Passage of HEROES Act – May 17, 2020

Governor Ned Lamont released the following statement regarding tonight’s vote by the U.S. House of Representatives approving the COVID-19 aid package known as the Health and Economic Recovery Omnibus Emergency Solutions (HEROES) Act.

READ: Read on CT.gov

Governor Lamont Announces Reopen Connecticut Advisory Group to Hold Community Roundtable on May 18, 2020

Governor Ned Lamont today announced that the Reopen Connecticut Advisory Group’s community committee will hold a roundtable discussion on Tuesday, May 19, 2020, at 2:00 p.m. regarding how best to balance health and economic outcomes amid the COVID-19 pandemic, particularly for those who are among the state’s most vulnerable populations.

READ: Read on CT.gov

Lamont hopes the friendly approach will coax unions to the table

Gov. Ned Lamont is hoping a friendly approach will entice state employees to forego $350 million in raises they’re owed this summer, or otherwise help him solve a state budget crisis next spring.

READ: Hartford Business Journal – May 18, 2020

Progressives press Lamont to tax wealthy to close pandemic-related budget gaps

The next Connecticut income tax debate is heating up — but not at the Capitol. A key state legislative caucus is crafting a letter urging town and city councils, local political committees and other grassroots groups to press Gov. Ned Lamont to tax Connecticut’s wealthy to close pandemic-induced state budget deficits.

READ: Hartford Business Journal – May 19, 2020

Downtown Hartford businesses take cautious approach to May 20 reopening

Connecticut is now less than 24 hours away from the first phase of its economic reopening amid the coronavirus pandemic, but don’t expect a major surge in activity.

READ: Hartford Business Journal – May 19, 2020 

Lamont announces end to CT’s education partnership with Dalio Philanthropies

Gov. Ned Lamont announced the dissolution Tuesday of Connecticut’s education partnership with hedge fund giant Ray Dalio’s philanthropic group — a deal marred by transparency issues and oversight scandals — less than one year after its creation.

READ: Hartford Business Journal – May 19, 2020

CT manufacturer’s hiring outlook uncertain, but new online training tools could boost skilled workforce

READ: Hartford Business Journal – May 19, 2020

CT and MA become the final states to begin reopening

Connecticut and Massachusetts are set to partially reopen this week after prolonged coronavirus shutdowns, the final states to begin to do so.

READ: Hartford Business Journal

Governor Lamont Directs Flags to Return to Full-Staff on Tuesday Evening

(HARTFORD, CT) – Governor Ned Lamont today announced that he is directing U.S. and state flags in Connecticut to return to full-staff at sunset on the evening of Tuesday, May 19, 2020. Flags have been flying at half-staff in recognition and mourning of all those who have lost their lives and been affected by COVID-19. May 19, 2020.

CT restaurants, retailers take first tentative steps to reopening

It’s going to be a soft opening in Connecticut on Wednesday. Only one in four restaurants are expected to take advantage of the first easing of the COVID-19 restrictions: They can seat diners for the first time since March, but only outdoors — where the risk of infection is lowest. All retailers can open, but a regional mall expects business to be off by as much as 70%.

READ: Hartford Business Journal – May 20, 2020

CVS Health is returning $43 million in coronavirus relief funds

CVS Health is returning more than $43 million it received from the federal government as part of coronavirus relief.

READ: Hartford Business Journal – May 20, 2020

Governor Lamont Signs Executive Order Allowing All Eligible Connecticut Residents to Vote Absentee in August 11 Primary Elections

Governor Ned Lamont today announced that because of the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic, he has signed an executive order allowing all registered voters in Connecticut to vote absentee in the August 11, 2020, primary elections. May 20, 2020

DOL: CT shed at least 266K jobs in April; declines likely ‘severely underestimated’

Connecticut shed at least 266,300 net jobs in April amid the COVID-19 pandemic, according to the state Department of Labor, which cautioned Thursday that estimated job losses last month were “severely underestimated” due to a data entry reporting error.

READ: Hartford Business Journal – May 21, 2020 

CVS to open 13 more COVID-19 testing sites in CT

Aetna parent CVS Health announced it will open 13 more drive-thru COVID-19 testing sites in Connecticut tomorrow, adding to 12 sites the company opened in the state last week.

READ: Hartford Business Journal

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:

 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

How You Can Help

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!

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

 

 

 

Continue the Conversation with Our Team
Get in touch with us.

Contact Us