Governor Lamont issues new executive order
CRMA’s message to you
Q&A with Commissioner Lehman

  • Last night, Governor Lamont issued a new executive order that would allow for the state to impose fines of 10k to any retailer that does not comply with the state’s safe store guidelines.
  • It is our understanding that the Governor’s team is focusing on retailer’s ability to keep within 50% capacity limits. In addition to capacity, the emphasis will also be on ensuring proper social distancing within stores.
  • You can view the Executive Order yourself by going here.
  • As this announcement came just last night, it is still developing, and we will keep you posted on any new developments.


CRMA’s message to retailers.

  • As we approach Black Friday and the unofficial kick-off of the holiday season, along with the announcement of stricter enforcement by state and local officials, CRMA is urging all retailers today to double down on your efforts to abide by the state’s safe store guidelines. 
  • It is clear to us that State officials are very concerned that this shopping season has the potential to increase the spread of the Covid-19 virus IF retailers and consumers are not vigilant and do not take the necessary care to comply with those guidelines.
  • Simply put: the eyes of the state will be on us and we need to rise to the challenge. And we know it will be a challenge to balance both customer sales and safety.
  • We are confident that you are up to this challenge, and we will do everything we can to help you thru this time.
  • We have been in constant contact with the Governor’s office and have expressed our concern that local public officials, who will be doing the enforcement, might become overly zealous in their work.
  • The Governor’s team has assured us that they are looking only for those retailers that are blatantly violating these guidelines and that they are not looking for “gotcha” moments.
  • However, we still cannot emphasis enough how important it is for ALL retailers to do your best to comply with the capacity and social distancing requirements.


Q&A with DECD Commissioner David Lehman:

  • Prior to last night’s announcement, we had done a brief Q&A with DECD Commissioner David Lehman to talk about COVID-19, testing and other things. Here is that exchange.

CRMA:  With the number of COVID-positive cases on the rise, at what point would the Administration consider tightening restrictions on all business?

Lehman: With the recent rise in cases across the country, we are constantly monitoring the data.  Hospitalizations, in particular, have increased significantly over the past two months and will continue to be a key metric.  We want to make sure we have adequate capacity to treat COVID patients as well as other medical procedures that are important to keeping our residents in good health.  If we feel healthcare capacity is at risk, we will need to restrict social and economic activities.

CRMA: Given the importance of the 4th Quarter to retail business and the state’s economy, how do you balance the steps the administration will take?

Lehman: From day one, our approach has always been to keep as much of Connecticut’s economy open as possible while also keeping residents safe.  That same approach continues today and we are very mindful of the importance of the revenue from the coming month to our state’s retailers.

CRMA: When we talked during the summer, you mentioned that you anticipated cases increasing, but has pace of the recent surge surprised you?

Lehman: Not really. We always knew that as the weather turned colder it was a distinct possibility. 

CRMA: What impact do schools and child care have on decisions regarding businesses?

Lehman: The Lamont administration continues to be focused on keeping schools and child care centers open.  It is important on many levels – for our kids, for our economy, and we feel with the safeguards in place the risk of virus spread is low.  Even European countries, many of which have recently entered another form of lockdown, have kept their schools open this time around.

CRMA: With Black Friday right around the corner, what are the key steps that business can take now to help slow the increase?

Lehman: Businesses need to make sure they are staying at 50% capacity, following space guidelines and continuing to have workers and customers wear masks.  We realize how important the following months are for our retailers but we need to make sure safety protocols are being followed.  If you are expecting a large crowd, please make sure you have extra staff and security guards to ensure compliance with the distancing and capacity.


CRMA wishes you and yours a Happy Thanksgiving!