DECD Commissioner David Lehman Updates Chamber Members on Coming Federal Programs
On April 1, CT Department of Economic and Community Development Commissioner David Lehman joined the Chamber for a teleconference and provided an overview of the federal programs coming online to help small businesses during the COVID-19 crisis. He was able to address some specific questions from members and indicated the resources available on the CT DECD website and through the DECD’s COVID-19 Business Emergency Response Unit, 860-500-2333 or COVID19.firstname.lastname@example.org.
Connecting Businesses to Economic Assistance
“We are certainly in the very precarious, tumultuous time as it relates to fighting the virus,” said Lehman. “At the same time, we are trying to make sure we are preserving our vitality and utilizing federal and state programs, and we are making sure small businesses, as well as medium to large businesses, are aware of these programs.”
Commissioner Lehman outlined the three levels of response. The first in recent weeks was triage approach with quick responses to defer payments and liabilities and expand unemployment insurance programs. Now entering the second phase, the federal relief package offers lending programs and tax credits. Applications for lending programs through local bankers begins on April 3 The state is continuing to look measures that include temporary tax and regulatory relief. The third phase work to bring the economy back to the strength it was showing at the beginning of the year.
The programs discussed in the teleconference:
- CARES Act provisions
- Small Business Owner’s Guide to the CARES Act
- Expanded unemployment with federal funding. The state is working to analyze the federal program and working on catching up with influx of applications.
- Paycheck Protection Program offers loans that convert to grants for 2.5 months of payroll, implemented through local lenders.
- Economic Injury Disaster Loans now include a $10,000 initial disbursement within three days of applying.
- Employee Retention Tax Credit offers tax credits up to $5,000 per quarter per employee.
- Connecticut Banks and Credit Unions
- Payment relief on mortgages for those impacted by COVID-19 for 90 days.
- Relief from fees and charges for 90 days.
- No new foreclosures for 60 days.
- No credit score changes for accessing relief.
- CT Tax Filing Extensions
- Income tax deadline extended to July 15.
- Sales and room occupancy taxes up to $150,000 deferred 60 days.
- Extended filing deadlines on some business taxes.
- CT Recovery Bridge Loan Program
- The state’s no-interest loan program received 5,000 applications in the first 48 hours.
- Requests for loans exceeded the expanded $50 million designated for the program.
- Program paused while DECD processes current applications.
- DECD may reopen program after evaluating status.