COVID-19 Business Assistance and Recovery Resources

What assistance is available for local businesses? The Town of Groton Economic Development staff created this list of resources for our local businesses.

 

 

Recovery Resources Update 

PPP Deadline has been extended to May 31, 2021
The U.S. Small Business Administration (SBA), in consultation with the Treasury Department, has extended the Paycheck Protection Program (PPP) to May 31, 2021. Lender Match can help businesses find a participating lender. CTSBDC is offering no-cost advising for businesses who are interested in applying. Borrowers may qualify for up to 100% forgiveness through an application process.
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Economic Injury Disaster Loan (EIDL)
The Economic Injury Disaster Loan (EIDL) program is now extended through December 31, 2021. The loan limit for the Economic Injury Disaster Loan (EIDL) is being increased to a maximum loan amount of $500,000 starting the week of April 6. CTSBDC is offering no-cost advising for businesses who are interested in applying.

In addition to a low-interest disaster loan, eligible businesses in low-income communities that did not get the full EIDL Advance (grants) or applied but did not get any EIDL Advance (grants) because funds had ran out, can now get $10,000 or the difference between what they received and $10,000. Details of where to apply for that grant can be found on the SBA website.
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Shuttered Venue Operators Grant Program
This grant managed by the Small Business Association provides emergency assistance for eligible venues affected by COVID-19 including live performance and movie theaters and some tourist attractions. CTSBDC is offering no-cost advising for businesses who have questions about the program.
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Restaurant Revitalization Fund
On March 11, the American Rescue Plan Act of 2021 created the $28.6 billion Restaurant Revitalization Fund to provide grants for restaurants sustaining financial losses due to the COVID-19 pandemic.
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Business Re-Opening Guidance

Some COVID-19 Restrictions Eased Effective March 19, 2021: CT State Guidance
Gov. Lamont has revised some requirements that were implemented in Connecticut in the onset of the COVID-19 pandemic, particularly relating to capacity levels and travel restrictions.

The protocols are revised as of Friday, March 19, 2021. Changes include the elimination of all capacity limits for the following businesses, while face coverings, social distancing, and other cleaning and disinfecting protocols will continue to be required:
◦Restaurants (8-person table capacity and 11PM required closing time for dining rooms continues)
◦Retail
◦Libraries
◦Personal services
◦Indoor recreation (excludes theaters, which will continue to have a 50% capacity)
◦Gyms/fitness centers
◦Museums, aquariums, and zoos
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Small Business Relief Loan from Chelsea Groton Bank
Chelsea Groton's new Small Business Relief Loan provides small business owners with a simple way to access up to $10,000 in funding. The fund will help businesses maintain operations while recovering from challenges of the Covid-19 pandemic. Eligible businesses with less than $2M in annual sales and up to 20 full-time employees are encouraged to apply as soon as possible by visiting a local branch or calling 860-448-4195.
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State Announces $50M Grant Program for Small Businesses and Nonprofits
As Governor Lamont announced today, the state has created the CT CARES Small Business Grant Program to help small businesses and nonprofits that continue to be negatively impacted by COVID-19. Small businesses and nonprofits in Connecticut with a 2019 payroll of less than $1.5 million OR 20 or fewer employees can apply for a one-time grant of $5,000. DECD will administer the program and online applications are estimated to begin the week of November 9. All funding will be disbursed by the end of the year.
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Phase 2.1: Sector Rules and Self-Certification Instructions
Effective Friday, November 6, 2020, the entire State of Connecticut will roll back to Phase 2.1; check here for the latest guidance. Major changes include the following:

  • Restaurants will reduce to 50 percent capacity with a maximum of 8 people limited to a table;
  • Restaurants and entertainment venues (i.e. bowling allies, movie theaters, arcades, etc.) will be required to close by 9:30 p.m., with the exception of food takeout and delivery services, which will be allowed to continue after 9:30 p.m.;
  • Personal services, such as hair salons and barber shops, will remain at 75 percent capacity;
  • Event venues will be limited to 25 people indoor, 50 people outdoor;
  • Performing arts venues and movie theaters will have a capacity of 100 people; and
  • Religious gatherings will be limited to 50 percent capacity or 100 people maximum.

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SBA Releases New Guidance for PPP Forgiveness
For those small businesses which received funds under the Paycheck Protection Program, depending on when your loan was disbursed and your lender, you may be looking to start the forgiveness application process. On August 24, the SBA released some new guidance clarifying some questions many businesses may have in regards to PPP Forgiveness.
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Business Recovery Strategies: Free Webinar Replay
The brand managers from Miranda Creative, led by Maria Miranda, have outlined the best methods to prepare and elevate as we bounce back as a business community. This information-packed webinar is essential viewing for any small business struggling to adapt to the accelerating pace of change that we are facing today.
View Webinar

Application for Temporary Outdoor Dining
On May 12, 2020 an Executive Order Number 7MM was signed by Governor Lamont that allows for expedited approvals of temporary outdoor dining for restaurants that are looking to open during the COVID-19 Emergency Declaration. In order to provide for a quick and comprehensive approach, Planning & Development Services has created these documents to assist applicants.
Groton Guide to Temporary Certificate for Outdoor Dining
Temporary Certificate for Outdoor Dining
Typical Conditions of Approval for Temporary Patios in Shopping Centers
Typical Conditions of Approval for Temporary Patios Onsite, Within Parking Areas
Typical Conditions of Approval for Temporary Patios Onsite, Not Within Parking Areas
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Ledge Light Health District: Information for Regulated Establishments
Ledge Light Health District has developed two guidance documents, one for restaurants and one for cosmetology establishments, which summarize the information contained in the “Reopen Connecticut” publication.
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Outdoor Dining & Other Activities in the State Right-of-Way
Businesses seeking to operate outdoors in the right-of-way along a state road need to apply for a permit from the CTDOT [link].  Before completing the CTDOT permit application, the business should contact Deb Jones, Assistant Director of Planning & Development Services, at djones@groton-ct.gov to determine local requirements for location, hours, etc.
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Retail Re-Opening Resources
Best practices guidance includes topics such as planning and communication, common area adjustments and traffic flow for retailers, developers and service providers. General recommendations should be used in conjunction with guidelines and mandates in place.
Reopen Connecticut Guidelines: Retail & Malls
Industry Standard Best Practices
Operation Open Doors: Guidance for retailers on reopening stores

Restaurant Re-Opening Resources
Guidance offering direction and providing a framework for best practices for reopening your restaurant.
Reopen Connecticut Guidelines: Restaurants
LLHD Checklist to Reopen a Foodservice Establishment
Industry Standard Best Practices
Connecticut Restaurant Promise Safety Protocols

Salon, Spa, Wellness Businesses Re-Opening Resources
Guidance outlining everything you need to consider as you open your doors again, from supporting your front desk to communicating your new cleaning protocols.
Reopen Connecticut Guidelines: Hair Salons & Barbershops
LLHD Checklist to Reopen a Barbershop or Salon
Industry Standard Best Practices

Other Businesses Re-Opening Resources
Reopen Connecticut Guidelines: Offices
Reopen Connecticut Guidelines: Museums & Zoos
Connecticut’s Arts & Culture Industry Guidelines for Operating

Outdoor Service of Alcoholic Beverages Guidance
If you wish to offer outdoor service of alcoholic beverages at your restaurant, bar, or other dining establishment, you will need local and state approvals. The Patio, Extension of Use, And/or Additional Consumer Bar Application is available to facilitate this process.
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Free Surgical Masks or Thermometers for Essential Small Businesses
CONNSTEP and CBIA have partnered with the state of Connecticut to assist in the distribution of recently donated surgical masks to essential businesses (as defined by the state) with 50 employees or fewer. Eligible businesses can request no more than two masks per employee by filling out the form found here. If a request for masks is approved, the masks will be delivered to the Town of Groton Police Department and held for pick up by the business. Police personnel will notify the business when the masks are available to be picked up.

Infrared Thermometers for Small Businesses and Nonprofits
Connecticut small businesses and nonprofits with 100 employees or less may request infrared thermometers by completing the form here.

Small Business Support

Business Resources
The State of Connecticut provides updated information at ct.gov/coronavirus. A dedicated phone line, 860-500-2333, can be used for direct assistance and guidance, or you can send an e-mail to covid19.jic@ct.gov.
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Mentoring & Counseling
Remote business assistance is available from the following organizations:
Women's Business Development Council of Southeastern CT
Southeastern CT SCORE Chapter
CT Small Business Development Center (CTSBDC) Business Assistance
Southeastern Connecticut Enterprise Region (seCTer)

Help Center for Small Businesses (Spanish)
The Town of Groton is happy to announce a partnership with the City of New London that will allow our Spanish speaking business owners a 'Help Line' to navigate available relief programs. Please call 860-437-6309 or email sbinfo@newlondonct.org to make an appointment. Now is the time where partnerships are vital in getting information to all of our small business/ non-profit owners. We are all in this together. 

La Pueblo de Groton se complace en anunciar una colaboración con la ciudad de New London que les permitirá a nuestros propietarios de pequeñas empresas de habla española a utilizar el Centro de Ayuda paraevaluar los programas de asistencia disponibles. Por favor llamar al 860-437-6309 o enviar un correo electrónico a sbinfo@newlondonct.org para hacer una cita. Este es el momento vital para proveerles información a todos los propietarios de pequeñas empresas y organizaciones sin fines de lucro. Estamos juntos en esto.

Financial Support

Community Advantage Recovery Loan
Financial and technical assistance to help small businesses adapt to changing business conditions in the COVID-19 environment and strengthen their ability to manage through potential future disruptions. Loans of $50,000 to $250,000 are available.
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Important Changes to the Paycheck Protection Program
A new bipartisan bill makes several important changes to the Paycheck Protection Program (PPP), easing some of the program’s restrictions, giving small businesses more time to use their loans and letting borrowers spend more of their loans on non-payroll expenses.
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CARES Act Financial Assistance
The U. S. Chamber of Commerce created a guide for small businesses describing what they need to know about the Coronavirus Aid, Relief, and Economic Security Act (CARES Act). The US Senate Committee on Small Business also created a one-page summary.

U.S. SBA Disaster Loans
Loans of up to $2 million, loan advances of up to $10,000 and Express Bridge Loans up to $25,000 are available from the US Small Business Administration.
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SBA Economic Injury Disaster Loan (EIDL)
To apply for the EIDL, consult with a business mentor (WBDC/SCORE) or you can complete the online application. For an overview, you can download a summary here. Applying for SBA's Economic Injury Disaster Loan (EIDL) does not disqualify you from applying for the Paycheck Protection Program (PPP).

Paycheck Protection Program (PPP)
The U.S. Chamber of Commerce created a Small Business Guide and Checklist for this program. To apply for the PPP, contact your business lender or one of Connecticut's participating lenders, or click here to begin an application. For your reference, here is an updated list of Frequently Asked Questions.

Employee Assistance
The CT Department of Labor offers guidance for your employees if you need to temporarily close your business, including how to file for unemployment benefitsFMLA, as well as a reduction-in-work alternative to layoffs, called SharedWork.

Temporary Rental Housing Assistance Program
In order to prevent eviction actions, Connecticut has launched a rental assistance program for residents impacted by COVID-19. Potential Applicants will be directed to a call center to determine eligibility.
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Groton Businesses Survey
To help us understand how we can provide the most valuable support to the business community, we conducted a brief survey for Groton business owners and managers.
Survey Results