Governor Lamont Announces Distribution of $30 Million in Grants To Support Hospitality Businesses Negatively Impacted by the COVID-19 Pandemic
Funds Will Be Sent to Connecticut Restaurants, Hotels, Transportation Companies, and Others in This Sector Beginning This Week
(HARTFORD, CT) – Governor Ned Lamont today announced that beginning this week, the State of Connecticut will deliver $30 million in grants to more than 1,700 of the state’s hospitality sector businesses that suffered financial losses stemming from the COVID-19 pandemic.
Businesses in this sector can anticipate receiving checks from the Connecticut Department of Revenue Services (DRS) that range in amounts from $7,500 to $49,999. The hospitality sector encompasses restaurants, hotels, entertainment venues, breweries, wineries, travel services, transportation services, and other businesses.
Funding for the grants, which is known as the Connecticut Hospitality Industry Support Program and is being overseen by the Connecticut Department of Economic and Community Development (DECD), was approved as part of the state budget bill that Governor Lamont recently signed into law and is supported by money the state received from the federal American Rescue Plan Act.
“So many locally-owned small businesses in the hospitality sector are continuing to recover from the pandemic, and any bit of relief that can be provided will help support them and their workers,” Governor Lamont said. “These funds are being sent directly to employers to accelerate their continued growth and can be used as they best determine to help mitigate any financial losses stemming from the pandemic. I thank the Biden administration and Connecticut’s Congressional delegation for delivering these funds to our state through the American Rescue Plan Act.”
To receive a grant, existing businesses must have met several criteria developed by DECD, most notably a decline of 15% or more in gross receipts when comparing calendar years 2019 to 2021. Grant amounts depend on the amount of loss and the overall level of gross receipts generated by the business.
New businesses (defined as those that filed tax returns beginning in calendar years 2019, 2020, or 2021) are receiving grants of $7,500 (or $15,000 if located in a distressed municipality), provided they meet certain eligibility criteria.
Businesses do not need to apply for the grants. DECD analyzed data from DRS to identify those that experienced losses during the pandemic. (For detailed information regarding program eligibility, click here.)
Senator Richard Blumenthal said, “These grants, funded by the American Rescue Plan, are a lifeline for Connecticut businesses struggling to recover from the devastating effects the COVID-19 pandemic. Connecticut has some of the best restaurants, breweries, and hotels in the country, but our hospitality industry is still rebuilding from two years of debilitating losses. I’ve visited many of these businesses and heard firsthand of their struggles to keep their doors open. I am proud to have fought for the American Rescue Plan Act in Congress so that our state’s vibrant communities can rebuild to become even stronger.”
Congressman John B. Larson said, “Alongside the entire Congressional delegation, I fought for small business relief at the height of this pandemic through programs like the Restaurant Revitalization Fund and Shuttered Venue Operators Grant. As Connecticut’s hospitality industry continues to face the challenges of COVID-19, I am thrilled to join Governor Lamont in announcing another round of grants to keep small businesses afloat in our state.”
DECD Deputy Commissioner Alexandra Daum said, “Connecticut’s hospitality sector suffered devastating economic losses as a result of the pandemic – losses from which many are still recovering today. The Connecticut Hospitality Industry Support Program is intended to serve as a stabilizing force as our hospitality businesses get back to full operations and customers return to pre-pandemic behaviors.”
Scott Dolch, president and CEO of the Connecticut Restaurant Association, said, “These grants will provide meaningful help to Connecticut restaurants negatively impacted by the pandemic, most of which are family-owned businesses whose owners and employees live in and around the communities in which they work. Even as restaurants have worked to recover from the pandemic, they’ve faced new headwinds in the form of inflation, worker shortages, and supply chain disruptions. We’re thankful that the state is taking this step to help local businesses that continue to face these uphill battles, and we encourage lawmakers to continue finding ways to help local businesses keep their doors open.”
Duane Schroder, president of the Connecticut Lodging Association, said, “The Connecticut Lodging Association appreciates Governor Lamont, the Connecticut legislature, and the Department of Economic and Community Development for their ongoing support of the lodging sector during the most significant economic downturn the lodging industry has ever faced through the pandemic. Partnerships between the public and private sectors will build a more robust economy for the state’s hospitality businesses and its residents of Connecticut as we work together to rebuild the hospitality sector post-pandemic.”