More money coming to small businesses in CT, but trade group says it’s not enough


(WTNH) — More money is coming for small businesses in our state. But the trade group representing Connecticut restaurants says it’s not enough.

The Connecticut Restaurants Association is pushing for more assistance for small businesses, in particular restaurants who have been struggling to keep their doors open throughout the pandemic.

Governor Lamont announced this grant Tuesday for businesses with fewer than 20 workers or 1.5 million dollars in annual expenses. The grant is expected to go to 10,000 businesses by the end of the year, but compared to other neighboring states like Rhode Island and Massachusetts, the Connecticut Restaurants Association says more needs to be done for this sector of the state’s economy.

“The $50 million program that the governor launched today is a great first step but at the same time, my concern is $5,000 grants for small businesses, especially restaurants. I look at it by comparing it to what other states are doing around us to try and help them survive. My biggest concern is I wanna make sure all of our restaurants who have lost 70,80,90 percent revenue have an opportunity,” Scott Dolch, Connecticut Restaurants Association.

Applications are due next month, but the Connecticut Restaurant Association says the money is pennies compared to what other states are doing and says the eligibility limits will leave thousands of small businesses out of the running.

“Help to keep these small businesses, minority-owned, women-owned, most at risk in terms of the shortfall that has hit our economy,” Gov. Lamont said.

Half of the total $50 million dollars in the grant program will go to disadvantaged urban and rural communities.

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