Banking and Business Ties Key to Federal Aid Process For Minority-Owned Businesses

Despite the federal government’s efforts to give minority and women-owned businesses priority in the latest round of PPP funding, small businesses without established ties to banks are still being left out of the aid program.  The U.S. Small Business Association, the government agency responsible for distributing PPP loans, opened a third round of PPP funding in January that brought between $3 and $3.5 million to Connecticut. After receiving backlash for not reaching many businesses that arguably needed funding the most, the agency decided to adjust the loan application system to assist women-owned, minority-owned and veteran-owned businesses, as well as those

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With FEMA Aid Lagging Lamont to Divide $45.5 Million Between Town Governments

HARTFORD – The Office of Policy and Management plans to distribute $45.5 million in CARES funding to Connecticut municipalities within the week. In a press conference on Thursday, Gov. Ned Lamont explained that the state decided to allocate these funds directly to municipalities because the Federal Emergency Management Agency has yet to reimburse claims for aid.  “FEMA’s a little slow about making their payments, to be blunt about it,” said Lamont. “They haven’t made a payment, I’m told, in this fiscal year.”  The $45.5 million will reimburse COVID-related expenses incurred between July 1 and Dec. 30 of 2020, according to

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With Federal Funding Uncertain, Aid to Small Business Falls Short in Connecticut

Since the start of the pandemic, Connecticut has used $50 million in federal relief funds to give $5,000 grants to 10,000 small businesses – no one thinks that’s enough. “I applaud the DECD for that $5,000 small business grant program, but $5,000 is not going to help you survive,” State Rep. Holly Cheeseman, R-East Lyme said. “$5,000 may just pick up one month’s rent.”  Gov. Ned Lamont announced Wednesday that another $25 million in small business grants would be made available from those federal funds. Republicans called for $50 million just for restaurants. Appropriations co-chair Sen.Cathy Osten, D-Sprague, said she

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An Upbeat Industry Summit in a Downbeat Climate

The Connecticut Business and Industry Association hosted a virtual summit on Friday offering an optimistic picture of the state’s industry’s ability to weather the COVID pandemic.  “Some industries are down 30, 40, even 50 percent when it comes to revenues … the fact that our workforce is only down 6 percent, that to me says manufacturers are doing everything they can to keep their skilled labor going,” Chris Di Pentima, president of the Connecticut Business and Industry Association, told the Connecticut Examiner.  “We could be in a lot worse situation,” he added.  But a recent report from the association reported

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Job Gains, But Mixed Economic Picture as Connecticut Heads into Cooler Months

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Employment data released yesterday by the Department of Labor show that while Connecticut continues to regain jobs lost during the pandemic, the overall economic picture remains mixed according to a variety of industry officials. The 17,000 non-farming jobs gained in September is less than in previous months. The state saw the resurgence of a total of 21,900 non-farming jobs in August and 32,300 jobs in July.  Additionally, while the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics places Connecticut’s employment rate at 7.8 percent, down from 8.1 percent in August, the Office of Research at the Connecticut Department of Labor said this is

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