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September 2 COVID-19 Update: As We Close Out the Summer, Here’s What Connecticut 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 Wednesday, September 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 September 2: As We Close Out the Summer, Here’s What Connecticut 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 Wednesday, September 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 Wednesday, September 2, 2020, here are the latest updates leaders in Connecticut’s business community need to know. To view our last update, click here

The Latest News

Real-time updates: Industry-by-Industry 

Our team at blumshapiro is working every day to provide you with the latest information pertaining to the individual industries in which you operate. You can find real-time updates within the following links:

Our firm’s complete suite of COVID-19 webinars, articles and federal and state guidelines can be found by clicking here.

Latest State of Connecticut COVID Guidance 


  • Travelers: Any person coming into Connecticut by any mode of transportation for any reason is strongly urged to self-quarantine for 14 days.

To Get answers, Get help or Get involved, please click here.

What’s Open in CT

Sector Status Notes
Amusement parks Open Must follow sector rules
Bars Closed
Beaches (state) Open Must follow safety guidelines
Beaches (town) Partially Open Check with individual town or review this list from DEEP
Bowling alleys Open Must follow sector rules
Construction Open Must follow safe workplace rules
DMV Partially Open – All deadlines for IDs and other credentials extended 180 days [info]
– In-person services require an appointment
– Select services can be completed online
Gyms and Fitness Studios Open Must follow sector rules
Hair Salons and Barbershops Open Must follow sector rules
Hotels Open Must follow sector rules
Libraries Open Must follow sector rules
Nail salons Open Must follow sector rules
Manufacturing Open Must follow safe workplace rules
Museums and zoos Open Must follow sector rules
Offices Open Must follow sector rules
Retail Open Must follow sector rules
Restaurants Open Must follow sector rules
School (PreK-12, summer) Open Must follow summer school rules
State Campgrounds Open All campers must make reservations in advance
State Parks Open Must follow safety guidelines
Summer camps Open Must follow sector rules
Spas Open Must follow sector rules
Tattoo Parlors Open Must follow sector rules
Theaters Open Must follow sector rules

 

Keep Connecticut Safe: Did you visit a business that might be violating a COVID-19 safety requirement? Let us know here.

Gatherings: All social and recreational gatherings are limited to 10 people indoors and 25 people outdoors. Religious, spiritual, and worship gatherings are limited to 25% of capacity or up to 100 people indoors, and a maximum of 150 people outdoors.

Face Coverings: When in public and a six-foot distance is unavoidable, face coverings are required to be worn. This does not apply to anyone for whom doing so would be contrary to their health because of a medical condition. Guidance on face coverings has been issued to the state’s businesses. To make a face covering at home, watch this video from the CDC.

ROADMAP for REOPENING CONNECTICUT

READ the Governor’s report HERE.

Businesses:

Connecticut businesses will be allowed to reopen in planned phases. But before you can open your doors, you must self-certify that you are following strict safety guidelines to keep your employees and customers safe.

Self-Certify Now

See if your business is eligible to open now.

See the full list of self-certified businesses.

Governor Lamont’s Phase 2 Reopening Plan on June 17, 2020, Following the State’s Phase 1 Reopening on May 20, 2020

June 17, 2020 marks Connecticut’s biggest test yet as the state continues to gradually reopen commerce and lift COVID-19 restrictions on indoor dining, gyms, hotels, bowling alleys, nail salons, zoos, movie theaters and other businesses.

Read “Reopen Connecticut Document”

Governor Lamont signs 53rd executive order to mitigate the spread of COVID-19 – June 17, 2020

Governor Lamont today signed another executive order – the 53rd since he enacted the emergency declarations – that builds upon his efforts to encourage mitigation strategies that slow down transmission of the virus. Executive Order No. 7ZZ enacts the following provisions:

  • Modifications to adapt to Phase 2 reopening efforts: In preparation for Phase 2 of Connecticut’s reopening efforts, which begins June 17, 2020, the executive order makes modifications to several previously issued executive orders to adapt to this change. This includes sectors such as hotels/lodging; indoor dining; personal services; sport and fitness facilities; amusement parks; and museums, zoos, and aquariums.
  • Restrictions on large gatherings and events: Amends previously issued executive orders on large gatherings and events and permits the commissioner of the Department of Economic and Community Development to issue rules on these gatherings except for religious gatherings.
  • Further clarification of limits on alcohol sales by restaurants, bars and private clubs: Allows hotel liquor permit holders to sell liquor with pick-up and delivery services under the same rules previously issued to other liquor permit holders.
  • Restrictions of off-track betting extended: Extends the prohibition of operations at off-track betting facilities through July 20, 2020.
  • Extension of essential business rules: Extends the previously issued rules on essential businesses for the duration of the public health and civil preparedness emergency.
  • Clarification of Executive Order No. 7MM: Clarifies that any activity permitted by the expedited approval process provided in Executive Order No. 7MM is allowed to continue throughout the public health and civil preparedness emergency, unless closed because of enforcement of existing law, permit conditions or executive orders.
  • Extension of remote notarization: Extends Executive Order No. 7Q, Section 3 for the duration of the public health and civil preparedness emergency.

Read Executive Order No. 7ZZ

Updated guidance on indoor and outdoor gatherings released – June 17, 2020

Governor Lamont today announced updated guidance for indoor and outdoor gatherings over the next several weeks. The plan is as follows:

Effective June 17:

  • Indoor private gatherings – 25 people
  • Outdoor gatherings – 100 people
  • Outdoor event venues (e.g. amphitheaters, racetracks) – 25% of fire capacity and distancing (consistent with outdoor amusement parks)

Effective July 3:

  • Indoor private gatherings – 25 people
  • Outdoor private gatherings – 100 people, one-time exception for graduations at 150 people
  • Outdoor organized gatherings (e.g. fireworks, concerts in municipal parks) – 15 feet of space blanket to blanket, cap of 500 people; event organizer responsible for compliance with guidance
  • Outdoor event venues (e.g. amphitheaters, racetracks) – 25% of fire capacity and distancing

Effective mid-July (date to be determined):

  • Indoor private gatherings – 50 people
  • Outdoor private gatherings (including graduations) – 250 people
  • Outdoor organized gatherings (e.g. fireworks, concerts in municipal parks) – 15 feet of space blanket to blanket, no cap; event organizer responsible for compliance with guidance
  • Outdoor event venues (e.g. amphitheaters, racetracks) – 50% of fire capacity and distancing

Individuals who have general questions that are not answered on the website can also call 2-1-1 for assistance. The hotline is available 24 hours a day and has multilingual assistance. Relay services can be accessed by calling 7-1-1. Anyone who is out-of-state or using Relay can connect to Connecticut 2-1-1 toll free by dialing 1-800-203-1234. The hotline is intended to be used by individuals who are not experiencing symptoms but may have general questions related to COVID-19. Anyone who is experiencing symptoms are strongly urged to contact their medical provider.

Governor Lamont signs 59th executive order to mitigate the spread of COVID-19 – July 6, 2020

Governor Lamont today signed another executive order – the 59th since he enacted the emergency declarations – that builds upon his efforts to encourage mitigation strategies that slow down transmission of the virus. Executive Order No. 7FFF enacts the following provisions:

  • Modifying minimum service hours for private non-medical institutions for adults: Modifies the number of service hours required to be provided by certain group homes and the requirement that group homes perform semi-annual times studies of their services in order to receive monthly Medicaid payments.

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

Can I Travel in or Out of Connecticut?

To stay current on whether you can travel in or out of Connecticut, please click here. 

Connecticut News Recap: Weeks of August 24, 2020 and August 31, 2020

CT’s rainy day fund is helping state stay afloat — but will only go so far

Connecticut ranks ninth in the country when it comes to how long it could operate solely on its rainy day fund: 40.4 days, according to research by the Pew Charitable Trusts. That may not sound like much, but it’s better than Pennsylvania’s 0.3 days, or Illinois’ and Kansas’ zeroes. Fairfield County Business Journal – August 24, 2020

Read article

Danbury halts plans for in-person school after COVID spike

Danbury Mayor Mark Boughton is delaying in-person K-12 classes in the city until at least October due to a recent spike of COVID-19 cases. Danbury’s infection rate has jumped to 7%, prompting state public health officials to issue a COVID-19 alert for the city. Connecticut’s positivity rate remains around 1%. WNPR – August 25, 2020

Read article

Lamont applies for Trump’s new unemployment plan, but help to CT jobless will be limited

Three weeks after the $600-a-week federal unemployment benefits expired, Gov. Ned Lamont said the state is applying for the program that replaced it. But those who qualify for the new money would only receive half of what they were getting under the expired program – and it will take weeks for them to begin to get any help. CT Mirror / Hartford Business Journal – August 25, 2020

Read article

State officials working on shortage of child-care options

With many school districts offering a combination of in-classroom and remote instruction to start the upcoming school year, state officials are working to alleviate an acute shortage of child-care options so parents can go to work. The state Office of Early Childhood estimates as many as 50% of parents looking for child-care will be unable to find a placement. Republic-American – August 25, 2020

Read article

Danbury officials urge smaller gatherings, social distancing as city deals with COVID influx

City leaders in Danbury, where coronavirus cases have ballooned in recent weeks, said on Tuesday that the increase is likely due to small family gatherings, in-person religious services, domestic and international travelers and interaction on athletics fields. Mayor Mark Boughton has asked residents to limit the size of family gatherings and to social distance during the visits. CT Mirror / Hartford Business Journal – August 26, 2020

Read article

Landlords struggle with extended eviction moratorium

Gov. Ned Lamont’s extension of a moratorium on evictions until Oct. 1 due to the financial strife caused by the COVID-19 pandemic has placed a burden on landlords left footing the bill for tenants who aren’t making rent, the head of the Connecticut Coalition of Property Owners said. He said many landlords have tenants who haven’t paid them since March and the moratorium has hit small landlords especially hard. NBC Connecticut – August 26, 2020

Read article

Lawmakers ask state colleges and universities system to reconsider reopening measures

The legislature’s Higher Education and Employment Advancement Committee has asked the Connecticut State Colleges and University system to reevaluate the safety measures in its campus reopening plans, according to an Aug. 20 letter to CSCU President Mark Ojakian. Faculty and staff have suggested measures like taking the temperatures of anyone entering campus buildings and increased testing for faculty, staff and all students. CT News Junkie – August 26, 2020

Read article

Lamont: CDC ‘dead wrong’ about new COVID testing guidelines

Gov. Ned Lamont on Wednesday said he will ignore new guidelines issued by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention that raise the bar on who should get tested for COVID-19. The new recommendations say some people without symptoms probably don’t need to get tested – even if they’ve been in close contact with an infected person. CT Mirror / Hartford Business Journal – August 27, 2020

Read article

UConn places entire residence hall in quarantine as positive COVID-19 cases spike

UConn announced Thursday that the nearly 300 students living in the Garrigus Suites residence hall have been placed under medical quarantine due to a spike in COVID-19 cases. UConn has reported 62 cumulative student COVID cases at its Storrs campus since it began testing. Of that total, 52 live on campus and 10 are commuters. CT Mirror / Hartford Business Journal – August 28, 2020

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Otis commissions study on COVID-19 transmission in elevators

Farmington elevator manufacturing and maintenance company Otis Worldwide Corp. has commissioned a study to learn more about the risks of COVID-19 transmission in elevators. Hartford Business Journal – August 28, 2020

Read article

Majority of Hartford families will keep their school-age children home this fall, a trend seen in urban areas as COVID-19 disproportionately impacts minority communities

Hartford public schools are set to reopen Sept. 8, but a majority of families plan to keep their children home for online learning.  Hartford Business Journal – August 29, 2020

Read article

Museums fighting for their lives amid pandemic

The Mark Twain House in Hartford averaged 300 visitors a day before the coronavirus hit, but now, under new social distancing guidelines, it sees about 65. At the Noah Webster House in West Hartford, business is so slow that the staff gets “really excited” when they see people coming. Museums across the country are facing the possibility that they may have to shut their doors within the next year without additional financial support. Connecticut News Junkie – August 31, 2020

Read article

Report: CT economy operating at 86% of pre-pandemic levels

Despite a statewide unemployment rate of 15%, Connecticut’s ongoing economic rebound during the COVID-19 pandemic is pacing better than most other U.S. states, a new index shows. Hartford Business Journal – August 31, 2020

Read article

Lamont to extend emergency COVID powers until Feb. 9

Gov. Ned Lamont said Monday he will extend Connecticut’s public-health emergency into February to keep intact dozens of COVID-19 restrictions that otherwise would expire on Sept. 9, the last day of the six-month emergency he declared in March. CT Mirror / Hartford Business Journal – September 1, 2020

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CT’s COVID-19 numbers rose last week. How worried should we be?

After two months showing Connecticut among states leading the way in stemming COVID-19 infections, the state’s rate of new cases nearly doubled last week, according to Department of Public Health data. Officials reported 976 new cases last week, up from 674 the week before. State officials attributed the increase in part to more testing as college students returned to campuses. Hartford Courant – September 1, 2020

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Americans are saving billions by not commuting

The pandemic lockdown has killed the work commute. And as the number of miles people travel every day has collapsed, commuters have saved themselves billions of dollars. Hartford Business Journal – September 1, 2020

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New CT budget is $2.1 B in the red, but all may not be gloom and doom

The coronavirus continues to hit Connecticut’s economy hard, and — at least on paper — state finances are feeling the pain as well. But things might not be as dire as they seem. Though Gov. Ned Lamont’s administration projects a whopping $2.1 billion deficit for the new fiscal year, that is based partly on pessimistic stock market projections from April that — at least so far — haven’t come to pass. CT Mirror / Hartford Business Journal – September 2, 2020

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Bradley Airport chief: Travel restrictions slowing recovery; major airline routes in jeopardy

Connecticut’s restrictions on travel to and from 33 U.S. states and territories has largely killed off signs of recovery at Bradley International Airport. Hartford Business Journal – September 2, 2020

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Federal Reserve gives CT economy mixed review as COVID concerns continue

The Federal Reserve’s latest report on the region’s economy, released Wednesday, gave Connecticut a mixed review, with some sectors doing well while others continue to feel the pandemic’s disruptive effects. CT Mirror / Hartford Business Journal – September 3, 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.

The US job market is gradually recovering from the pandemic lockdown shock

First-time claims for unemployment benefits fell below a million again last week, the Labor Department reported Thursday. This happened before — in early August — before claims reversed course and bounced higher. Hartford Business Journal – September 3, 2020

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This is the worst economic crisis of our lifetimes. Yet 30% of Americans think the economy is fine

The pandemic has caused the worst economic crisis in living memory. Yet Americans were more downbeat about the state of the economy during the Great Recession than they are now. Hartford Business Journal – September 3, 2020

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Leaders will vote, if only for the political show, on extending Lamont’s emergency powers

Connecticut’s management of the COVID-19 pandemic blossomed Thursday into a wedge issue in the campaigns for General Assembly as the Democratic majority accepted a Republican challenge to vote Friday on the extension of the governor’s emergency powers. CT Mirror / Hartford Business Journal – September 4, 2020

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As some teachers opt to stay home, educators find ways to keep schools open

Schools need teachers and staff to report for work if they are going to open their doors. So what happens when dozens of educators who don’t feel safe returning because of COVID-19 show up with a doctor’s note and a request not to return in person? And who will teach when educators can’t come to work because their child’s school or daycare abruptly closes? CT Mirror / Hartford Business Journal – September 4, 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

Article: Paycheck Protection Program Loan Updates – August 27, 2020

Webinar: A Webinar Series for School Business Officers

Article: $600 Billion Main Street Lending Program Now Open to Non-profits

Article: Higher Lifetime Gift and Estate Exemption

Article: New Ordering of Listed Individuals on Form 990

Article: AICPA Issuance of “Health Care Industry COVID-19 Issues and FAQs

Article: Renewal of the Public Health Emergency Declaration – What Does This Mean for Long-Term Healthcare Providers?

Article: Making the Most of Technology: How a Managed IT Provider Can Help Your Non-profit Use Technology to Accomplish Its Mission

Article: What Are “Managed Services – and How Can They Help Your Non-profit?

Webinar: How to Leverage Internal Audits to Enhance Municipal Government

Article: FEMA Aid Available to Non-Profits, Schools, Long-Term Healthcare Facilities and Government Entities

Webinar: The New Road Map to Success

Toolkit: PPP Toolkit (as of August 24, 2020)

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:

 

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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