by Brent Addleman
The hospitality industry in Connecticut will be benefiting from new state funding.
Restaurants, hotels, transportation agencies, and other businesses will receive a share of $30 million in grant funding, Gov. Ned Lamont said, under the Connecticut Hospitality Industry Support Program.
The funds will be distributed to more than 1,700 businesses who were negatively impacted during the COVID-19 pandemic.
“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,” Lamont said in a release.
The Democratic governor said payments will be sent directly to employers in an effort to accelerate growth.
The state’s Department of Revenue Services, according to the release, will distribute checks ranging between $7,500 and $49,999, and will also focus on entertainment venues, breweries, wineries, and businesses in the travel sector.
The program will be administered by the state’s Department of Economic and Community Development and uses funding from the American Rescue Plan Act.
Scott Dolch, who serves as president and chief executive officer of the Connecticut Restaurant Association, said the funding will support family-owned businesses.
“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,” Dolch said in the release.
In order to receive grant funding, criteria developed by the state will be used to determine the amount of funding distributed. Existing businesses that have faced a 15% decline, or more, in gross receipts from 2019 to 2021, would be eligible for the program. The amount of funding will be determined by the amount of loss suffered, according to the release.
Under the program, grants of $7,500 will be awarded to new businesses that filed tax returns in 2019, 2020, and 2021, provided they meet the criteria. Businesses operating in distressed communities will receive $15,000.
The Department of Revenue Services, according to the release, will analyze data to determine which businesses qualify; there are no applications to complete.
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Brent Addleman is an Associate Editor with The Center Square. He is a veteran journalist with more than 25 years of experience. He has served as editor of newspapers in Pennsylvania and Texas, and has also worked at newspapers in Delaware, Maryland, New York, and Kentucky.
Photo “Bartender” by Andrea Piacquadio.