New Haven mayor announces economic resiliency program to help small businesses during coronavirus crisis

New Haven

NEW HAVEN, Conn. (WTNH) — The city of New Haven is trying to keep small businesses open. Of course, so many of them are feeling the pressure due to the coronavirus outbreak.

It’s been about a week since Governor Ned Lamont signed an executive order that forced many restaurants and bars to close their doors in response to the Covid-19 pandemic.

Some restaurants have continued offering take out and delivery, others have had to close their doors with no definitive end in sight. The pressure is piling on small businesses, so that’s why the city of New Haven announced it’s new campaign rallying support.

“It is clear that we will get out of this at some point,” said Mayor Justin Elicker.

When that will be is still unknown. And with bare sidewalks and closed signs all over downtown, Mayor Justin Elicker is calling on the city of New Haven to help support their local businesses now

“Making sure we can bridge this gap and support many of the businesses that have almost in an instant have lost their income stream,” said Elicker.

The mayor is making sure the city is equipped with the tools it needs to do their part to help. They say a big help is the payroll protection plan, part of the federal two trillion dollar stimulus plan, $350 billion has been set aside in small business loans.

If the small business maintains payroll and rehires their full staff, after two months of maintaining payroll, the loan is forgiven and turns into grant money.

Locally, the new Together New Haven campaign provides others help and not just for small businesses, but also artists, freelancers, creative businesses, and non profit organizations throughout the city.

“This campaign is intended to encourage people to buy local and invest their money in New Haven businesses as they convert to virtual offerings,” said Adriane Jefferson, Director of Arts and Cultural Affairs.

Things like electronic gift cards, buying them now and using them later when the businesses are back on their feet.

“The forecasting for something like this it is difficult, a lot different than even what we went through with 9/11 and the great recession,” said Michael Piscitelli, Deputy Economic Development Administrator.

They’re also rolling out a New Haven Creative Sector Relief Fund for low income artists who make less than $42,000 a year, and non profit organizations who bring in less than a half million.

People must apply online and if your application meets the criteria you could receive a $1,000 grant within two days.

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