Special Edition Friday Facts – Coronavirus update

IMPORTANT: We need your input… CRMA is in contact with state officials, and there is interest in the impact of the COVID19 pandemic on retail businesses.

  • We know there will be an impact on your business. We also know that there is already discussion taking place on how to help business like yours that have been and will be impacted.
  • We want to be able to represent to policy makers the best ways they can help our members. So please let us know what the General Assembly and state leaders can do to help you.
  • Please send your suggestions now, or as soon as possible, directly to CRMA President Tim Phelan at tim@ctretailnetwork.com

Here are some of the latest developments:

  • More Updates: We want to keep you as up-to-date as possible with the fast-moving developments related to the novel coronavirus. We will be sending you special editions of FF as events warrant, and our usual update each Friday.
  • Closings Ordered Tonight: Connecticut’s Governor and the Governors of New York and New Jersey announced today that they are requiring restaurants and bars that serve food to move to take-out and delivery services only. Bars that do not serve food will be required to temporarily close. The three governors said they will also temporarily close movie theaters, gyms and fitness centers.  These measures will take effect at 8PM tonight.
  • Official State website for information is https://portal.ct.gov/Coronavirus. The state has also set up a dedicated 2-1-1 hotline and an email address, COVID19.jic@ct.gov, to answer questions and provide information on available testing. People can also text “COVID19” to 898211 for information. Department of Labor information, for employers and employees, is available here.
  • No Gatherings of More Than 50 People: The Governors of CT, NY and NJ also agreed to ban gatherings of more than 50 people in their states.  CDC, in accordance with its guidance for large events and mass gatherings, recommends that for the next 8 weeks, organizers (whether groups or individuals) cancel or postpone in-person events that consist of 50 people or more throughout the United States. Examples of large events and mass gatherings include conferences, festivals, parades, concerts, sporting events, weddings, and other types of assemblies.  The CDC guidance can be seen here.
  • SBA Disaster Loans Available in Connecticut: President Trump has approved a Major Disaster Declaration for Connecticut on the request made by Gov. Lamont and the U.S. Small Business Administration.  SBA this afternoon has announced an economic injury disaster loan program which would allow small businesses without credit available elsewhere to apply for low-interest loans at 3.75% to help overcome the temporary loss of revenue they are experiencing.
  • Number of COVID19 Cases Increasing in CT:  Westport announced 20 individuals have tested positive for COVID19, as the number of cases reported in Connecticut increases.  The CT Post has more here.
  • No utility cut-offs for residential customers: State regulators have announced that utilities will no longer be able to shut off the water, electricity or natural gas of residential customers if they don’t pay their bills. Attorney General William Tong had petitioned the Public Utilities Regulatory Authority (PURA) to order utilities to temporarily stop service cutoffs in light of the public health emergency. The CT Mirror has more.
  • State of Emergency/No School: On Sunday, the governor closed all public schools for at least two weeks. Lamont’s decision came as the Mayors of Hartford, New Haven, and West Hartford joined a growing list of CT municipalities who have declared a State of Emergency in their community, just days after the state’s declaration.  The Hartford Courant has more here.
  • We look forward to hearing from you. CRMA is your voice at the State Capitol!