Many local businesses and nonprofit organizations have been hit hard by the COVID-19 pandemic. Below you will find some of the loans and grants available to ease the burden during this difficult time.
For a list of Chamber member banks and credit unions who can support your business needs, click here.
Please consult the listed lender or grantor for application details, eligibility, etc. Click here to advise edits, additions, or omissions.
CARES Act Funding
In addition to traditional SBA funding programs, the CARES Act established several new temporary programs to address the COVID-19 outbreak.
SBA Express Bridge Loans: Enables small businesses who currently have a business relationship with an SBA Express Lender to access up to $25,000 quickly.
SBA Debt Relief: providing a financial reprieve to small businesses during the COVID-19 pandemic.
Paycheck Protection Program: provides loan forgiveness for retaining employees by temporarily expanding the traditional SBA 7(a) loan program.
Economic Injury Disaster Loans and Advance Program: economic support to small businesses to help overcome the temporary loss of revenue
Small Business Funding
IRS Employee Retention Credit: Refundable tax credit against certain employment taxes equal to 50 percent of the qualified wages an eligible employer pays to employees after March 12, 2020, and before January 1, 2021.
Connecticut Manufacturing Innovation Fund Voucher Program (MVP): Matching grants of up to $75,000 to assist in the production of critical equipment and supplies needed to respond to the COVID-19 emergency, not currently including eye protection/face shields
Facebook Small Business Grants Program: Facebook is offering $100M in grants and ad credits to businesses under 50 employees, operating for more than 1 year. Applications for “other eligible US cities” open on April 22.
COVID19 Business For All Emergency Grant: Hello Alice is offering $10,000 grants being distributed immediately to small business owners impacted by coronavirus. Website also offers pairing of business owners to 50+ available funding resources; sign-up required.
Connecticut Hospitality Employee Relief Fund: CT Restaurant Association and philanthropic partners provide immediate emergency funds to hospitality workers
Restaurant Strong Fund (for EMPLOYEES): Grants for full-time (30+ hrs) employees, employed for 3 months or longer at the same location(s) of a restaurant, bar, cafe or nightclub
Bartender Emergency Assistance Program (for EMPLOYEES) : Financial aid for bartenders, full- or part-time, or their immediate family, working for more than one year previous who have experienced unexpected hardship
National Restaurant Association Employee Relief Fund: Not currently accepting applications due to overwhelming response
Minority-owned, Women-owned Business Funding
COVID 19 Business Response Program Line of Credit: HEDCO, Inc. and the State of CT have partnered to offer zero-interest lines of credit up to $20,000 to qualifying minority-owned or woman-owned businesses with 20 or fewer employees.
Verizon Small Business Recovery Fund: LISC provides grants up to $10,000 to businesses facing immediate financial pressure, especially entrepreneurs of color, women-owned businesses and historically underserved communities. Round 1 currently closed, visit site to sign up for next round notifications.
Red Backpack Fund: Up to 1,000 grants of $5,000 each to women entrepreneurs in the US, overseen by GlobalGiving. Next round of applications opens on May 6.
Arts, Culture, and Community Funding
Our partner, the Southeastern CT Cultural Coalition has gathered resources for arts and culture organizations facing difficulties caused by COVID19.
CARES Act Humanities Relief: Connecticut Humanities to provide rapid-response funding to nonprofit humanities and cultural organizations, funded by the CARES Act via the National Endowment for the Humanities.
CT Office of the Arts Emergency Relief Grant: One-time grants from $1,500 to $3,000 selected randomly from applicant pool, with attention to geographic disbursement. NOTE: Eligible applicants may apply to only one source, this or the CT Humanities Relief.
Connecticut Artists Relief Grant Program provides $500 grants to individual artists and teaching artists living in CT, and the Connecticut Artists Respond Grant Program provides funding to artists and teaching artists to support the creation and presentation of free and accessible on-line arts-based experiences, learning opportunities and services to audiences across Connecticut.
National Endowment for the Arts Grants: One-time grants for arts entities, must have been an NEA award recipient within the past four years. Must apply by April 22.
Neighbors for Neighbors Fund: A collaborative fund established at the Community Foundation of Eastern CT to offer flexible resources to community-based organizations at the front lines of the coronavirus outbreak.
New England Grassroots Fund: Seed grant program up to $1,000 available to grassroots groups responding to local needs in response to the COVID19 pandemic
Artist Relief: an emergency initiative organized by the Academy of American Poets, Artadia, Creative Capital, and others to distribute $5,000 grants to artists facing dire financial emergencies. Cycle 1 applications close April 23.
Covid-19 Freelance Artist Resources: A collection of guides and resources for independent freelance artists.