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Some CT business owners are thankful for Phase 3 but say it’s not enough to heal their financial wounds

Coronavirus

CONNECTICUT (WTNH) — With some 20% of state eateries gone for good, the Phase 3 reopening rollout will fix some wounds for restaurants and businesses, but not others.

“As long as we keep our masks on, keep the distance, keep the rules that they set, then we should be fine,” said Jasmine Sheppard, a customer at the always bustling Zoi’s in New Haven.

“As long as people are practicing social distancing, I don’t think there’s going to be a problem,” agreed fellow customer, Greg Morehead.

The governor’s easing of indoor capacity limits for restaurants and salons from 50% to 75% is coming right on time.

“With the cold weather, with the outdoor seating, we’re going to lose that, so the fact that we’re going to have more indoor seating, it’s going to be a plus for us,” said Stacey Kattis with Zoi’s.

Salons are also looking forward to the easing of restrictions. At Mari J’s Salon in Plainville, outdoor was never an option, so being allowed to host more customers at once gives them flexibility.

Owner Marinella Mangiafico-Oblon said any changes will depend on customers’ comfort and feedback. In the meanwhile, she said the real impact is the lifting of another restriction.

“We’re actually looking forward to opening up our facials again. So that, for us, is a big thing because our aestheticians have been chomping at the bit to get back to work.”

Up the road, at J. Timothy’s, co-owner Tim Adams said Phase 3 will mostly help with the banquet or private party side of the business.

“It will help us with the private parties,” said Adams. “Maybe we’ll still be able to catch some of the Christmas parties and end at a slightly higher level.”

But restaurants need a lot more help to get through these tough economic times. The Connecticut Restaurant Association is working with Senator Richard Blumenthal to secure a new round of Paycheck Protection Program money — which for J. Timothy’s runs out in a few weeks.

“We have to continue to look at other ways to help small businesses survive,” said Connecticut Restaurant Association’s Executive Director, Scott Dolch.

“More aid to small businesses enables them to stay alive,” said Blumenthal.

Congress has yet to reach a deal on an additional round of PPP.

Phase 3 begins on Oct. 8

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