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Valley businesses get boost from CARES Act to counter COVID impact

Updated: Feb 4, 2022

Ever since the COVID-19 pandemic and resulting state shutdown struck the Farmington Valley in March, small businesses have been among the hardest hit enterprises. With many companies struggling to stay afloat, Connecticut is distributing another round of economic stimulus.

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Gov. Ned Lamont has announced an additional $35 million for Connecticut through federal CARES Act funding. This holiday season, about 2,000 state businesses will reap the rewards of these new grants. Each recipient will be awarded from $10,000 to $30,000.

Unlike some other grant programs, there is no application process. The state is determining grant recipients from among the hardest hit small to midsize businesses — restaurants, bars, retail, lodging, entertainment and recreation. Checks are expected to be distributed directly to businesses by the end of December.

"The assistance will act as a bridge to new paycheck protection program support," says Sarah Nielsen, executive director of the Simsbury Main Street Partnership.

Lamont's early holiday gifts will provide a timely boost for businesses in the Valley and across the state.

"Few sectors of Connecticut’s economy have been hit harder or more directly by the pandemic than our local restaurant industry," says Scott Dolch, executive director of the Connecticut Restaurant Association. "We’re very thankful to ... the governor and his team [who] have kept an open door throughout, fully recognizing the damage done to our industry."

Dolch also extends appreciation to the state legislators whose efforts "helped keep the conversation moving toward action" and the "positive outcome" of the grant funding.

"Connecticut and its restaurants are not out of the woods yet," Dolch says. "In the months ahead, we will continue to go above and beyond to keep our customers and our employees safe, and we urge the dining public to continue supporting their local restaurants and all small businesses across Connecticut."

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