Use technology to help avoid another wide scale shutdown due to COVID 19!

We in CT now have an application that can help with COVID contact tracing.  This means that we can quarantine just those people who have COVID – and those that have come into close contact with someone who has it. This would have a much smaller impact on business and the economy – as well as help get this pandemic under control! But we have to get the majority of us to use this application in order for us to be able to expect it to have an impact!

The exposure logging and notifications are completely anonymous. You will not be able to identify anyone that potentially exposed you to COVID-19, and others will not be able to identify you if you potentially exposed them. Your information is completely private and confidential. The app does not collect your name or personal information. My wife and I have it on our cell phones – and I encourage everyone to do the same.

From the State of CT web site: https://portal.ct.gov/Coronavirus/COVIDAlertCT/WhatYouShouldKnow

What you should know about COVID Alert CT

Overview 

COVID Alert CT is completely free – Android users can download the app from the Google Play Store, and iPhone users can enable Exposure Notifications within the Settings app. You must be at least 18 years old to use COVID Alert CT.

COVID Alert CT is the voluntary, anonymous, exposure-notification smartphone app.

The app keeps track of when people are close to another app-enabled smartphone using Bluetooth technology.

The app alerts you if you were in close contact with someone who tests positive for COVID-19.

The app also alerts other app-enabled smartphones if you test positive for COVID-19 and were in close contact with those individuals, based upon your consent to share close contact codes.

How it Works 

As you go about your day, the app uses Bluetooth to detect when another person with the same app comes within 6 feet. Your phone exchanges a secure random code with the other phone to record that they were near.

If the app senses that you’ve been with 6 feet of someone for a total of 15 minutes or more in a day, the app adds their phone’s random code to a list of close contacts. Devices that are just passing by or stay more than 6 feet away from you are not included on the list.

If you test positive: 

  • A contact tracer from your higher education institution, the Connecticut Department of Public Health, or your local health department will ask if you are willing to share the “close contact” codes your app has logged while you may have been contagious.
  • If you agree, a contract tracer will provide you a code.
  • Once you submit that code through the app, those individuals you were within 6 feet of for 15 minutes or more, who have also downloaded the app will receive a notification that they were in close contact with someone with COVID-19. Sharing your list is secure and private. The app never reveals who you are to anyone.

Privacy 

We know privacy is a serious concern, particularly in times like this, with these types of apps – but we want to be incredibly clear that exposure logging and notifications are completely anonymous. You will not be able to identify anyone that potentially exposed you to COVID-19, and others will not be able to identify you if you potentially exposed them. Your information is completely private and confidential. The app does not collect your name or personal information.

Remember: 

  • You have full control to receive exposure notifications and can turn it off at any time.
  • COVID Alert CT will never track your location – it uses Bluetooth to detect if two devices are near each other.
  • Your identity will never be revealed to anyone.
  • Your identity will remain anonymous; the app will never collect, transmit or store any of your personal information.

COVID Alert CT Setup Instructions

Apple devices:

  1. Go to Settings > Exposure Notifications > Turn on Exposure Notifications
  2. Tap Continue and select United States > Connecticut
  3. Complete COVID Alert CT Onboarding

To verify that exposure notifications are enabled on an iPhone, go to Settings > Exposure Notifications. If notifications are enabled, users should see that the Exposure Logging Status is set to Active and there will be a green checkmark next to it. Users do not need to enable Availability Alerts on their iPhone in order for COVID Alert CT exposure notifications to work. Enabling Availability Alerts will let users know if they are in a region that is using the exposure notification tool, but is not necessary for receiving notifications.

Android devices:

The COVID Alert CT app can be downloaded from Google Play. To verify that exposure notifications are enabled on an Android phone, open the COVID Alert CT app. Click on the Settings tab and ensure that Exposure Notifications are set to On. If not, click on Exposure Notifications and turn the toggle on.

11-4 JOIN THE CHAMBER and SBDC FOR A WEBINAR PPP Forgiveness & CT CARES

Wednesday, November 4
2:00 PM – 3:15 PM | Free
We’re covering:
How To Get Your PPP Loan Forgiven
There are now three different application forms for PPP Forgiveness. We’ll explain each and do a brief walkthrough of how to complete them. Now is the time to prepare your forgiveness application – don’t miss this valuable explanation by our financing experts including the latest on forgiveness for loans under $50K, with an opportunity to ask your questions.
CT CARES Small Business Grant Program
We will also provide an overview of the just-announced Connecticut CARES Small Business Grant Program which makes available one-time $5,000 grants. Eligible small businesses and non-profits can use these funds for rent, payroll, utilities, and other allowable expenses. DECD is expecting to release the application the week of November 9th.
Free to attend. Registration required.

Q&A re CT CARES Small Business Grant – this Friday, October 30 at 9:00 a.m.

The Connecticut Department of Economic and Community Development (CT DECD) is having a Q+A session this Friday, October 30 at 9:00 a.m., regarding the CT CARES Small Business Grant Program. You can join on Zoom via the following:

Topic: Q&A re CT CARES Small Business Grant

Time: Oct 30, 2020 09:00 AM Eastern Time (US and Canada)

Link: https://us02web.zoom.us/j/81711891918?pwd=ckNWZTY5a1YvTC91SStWMTlLNHFvUT09

Note:  

In some cases small businesses are awarded “extra credit” for being in a distressed municipality.  We are still on that list.

Mayor Ronald K. McDaniel
Town of Montville

Residential Landlord Survey

The Connecticut Office of the Governor, Department of Housing, and Connecticut Housing Finance Authority have created a residential landlord survey to better understand the impact that COVID-19 has had on landlords and tenants.

The survey is due on November 6th, less than two weeks from today.

If you are a landlord, please complete the survey.  If you know someone who is a landlord, or if you have a landlord, please encourage them to complete the survey.

If you have any questions, please reach out to Mohit Agrawal (mohit.agrawal@ct.gov) and John Scianimanico (john.scianimanico@ct.gov) in the Office of the Governor.

State Announces $50M Grant Program for Small Businesses and Nonprofits

Governor Lamont announced today that the state has created the Connecticut CARES Small Business Grant Program to help small businesses and nonprofits that continue to be negatively impacted by COVID-19.

Small businesses and nonprofits in Connecticut with a 2019 payroll of less than $1.5 million OR 20 or fewer employees can apply for a one-time grant of $5,000. DECD will administer the program and online applications are estimated to begin the week of November 9. All funding will be disbursed by the end of the year.

Per Governor Lamont’s direction, half of the funds will be allocated to small businesses and nonprofits located in towns and cities that have been designated as distressed municipalities. The program is funded from Connecticut’s portion of the federal CARES Act.

Additional information, along with eligibility requirements, can be found here. DECD will also host webinars and online discussions in the coming weeks to assist businesses and nonprofits with the application process.

We continue to do everything possible to help organizations that have been hardest hit by the pandemic. We will be in touch over the next few weeks with more information leading up to the launch of the grant application.

Thanks to:

David Lehman, Commissioner
david.lehman@ct.gov

seCTer – Save the Date: Friday November 20, 2020 beginning at 9AM

“Resilience” created by the talented Joann at Mystic Knotwork, a CT PTAC client. Knotwork owner, Matthew Beaudoin, was recently named CT’s 2020 Small Business Person of the Year — congrats Matt!

Join seCTer for an engaging and meaningful gathering as they share stories of resilience featuring four regional entrepreneurs who navigated turbulent waters in the wake of a pandemic.
Be inspired and be informed as we prepare for what lies ahead. Registration details to follow.

Small Business Administration Recognizing Small Businesses Next Week

Next week as the U.S. Small Business Administration recognizes the powerful economic engine of businesses under 500 employees, they will honor two of our own in eastern CT:  Matthew Beaudoin of Mystic Knotwork,CT’s 2020 Small Business Person of the Year; and Laura Stetler, Southeast CT WBDC, Women’s Business Development Center of the Year. Congratulations!
The Chamber will celebrate the tremendous value small businesses provide our community by sharing member stories on social media and our blog. Share your story with us!
U.S. Small Business Administration will host a National Small Business Week virtual conference, September 22-24. Details for the 3-day conference are not available yet, but you can register for free now.

Free business advising from SeCTer

SeCTer now offers free business advising! Through the addition of Business Advisor Judith Lamson-Rockwell, supported by a subcontract from the Small Business Development Center (SBDC), seCTer is proud to offer this expanded service to businesses throughout the region.
Judith brings to seCTer a diverse background in business and management. As an executive in the apparel industry, she acquired hands-on experience with manufacturing, specializing in product development, supply chain, quality assurance and apparel design. Judith has also founded several businesses, including her most recent venture — the Three Bridges Coffeehouse in Shelton. Her knowledge of what it takes to start and grow a successful small business, including acquisition of capital, in this environment is of special value. She holds an MBA from Northeastern University.
Know someone who could benefit?
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Governor Lamont Announces Launch of Business.CT.gov

Governor Lamont Announces Launch of Business.CT.gov

Posted on July 29, 2020

(HARTFORD, CT) – Governor Ned Lamont today announced the launch of business.ct.gov – an online, one-stop-shop where entrepreneurs can easily find information and quickly create a checklist with everything required to start up or manage their business in Connecticut. The online service will make it easier to do business in the state, support small business owners as a partner in their success, and improve citizens’ interactions with state government.

The governor explained that the portal aims to prevent businesses from needing to navigate the sometimes complex nature of state government by merging many of their common needs into one simplified location online. When completing transactions through the portal, users will be interacting with several state agencies all in one seamless interaction, allowing them to get their work done quicker.

“It’s been our priority from day one to get more services online and create a true digital government where our business owners can spend time online – not in line,” Governor Lamont said. “Our economy depends on us continuing to lead the way with new technology to attract the best talent and minds in the country. Our citizens expect us to work across agencies so residents can interact with one seamless government – not siloed agencies. I look forward to seeing this program and our business community in Connecticut grow to become even stronger.”

Business.ct.gov is the State of Connecticut’s front door and welcome center for businesses that are starting in or relocating to our great state, and this launch will let them know that we are open for business,” Secretary of the State Denise Merrill said. “This site will make it easier for businesses to get started and to expand by giving them a one-stop, online portal to state government so that we can grow together.”

“Instead of us making decisions about what this online service should look like within government, we asked businesses about their challenges and built the service based on their feedback,” Department of Administrative Services Commissioner and Chief Operating Officer Josh Geballe said. “Our businesses expect us to serve them where they are – not the other way around. Business owners and citizens alike think of our government as one entity – not siloed agencies – and they expect us to be working together.”

“This new portal is a game-changer as it redefines how we communicate and interface with small businesses, entrepreneurs and startups,” Department of Economic and Community Development Deputy Commissioner Glendowlyn Thames said. “By providing users with a simple, seamless experience in accessing all the resources needed to start a business or navigate their COVID recovery, we are making Connecticut more attractive to companies and investors alike. I look forward to further innovations as this portal continues to evolve and improve for businesses across our state.”

“The Department of Consumer Protection works with hundreds of industries and processes hundreds of thousands of credentials every year,” Department of Consumer Protection Commissioner Michelle Seagull said. “We do everything we can to make sure that process goes smoothly – and business.ct.gov takes that a step further. I want to thank Governor Lamont for his leadership in this endeavor, and our sister agencies for their collaboration.”

“The Department of Revenue Services has welcomed the opportunity to contribute to business.ct.gov, which will serve as an important vehicle to enhance online services and provide a more seamless experience for taxpayers,” Department of Revenue Services Acting Commissioner John Biello said. “As a customer service tool, business.ct.gov holds great promise for those seeking to navigate regulatory requirements and access guidance on how to plan, register, and operate a business in Connecticut. I applaud Governor Lamont and Chief Operating Officer Geballe for their vision, and for their support in fostering collaboration across agencies.”

Department of Labor Commissioner Kurt Westby said, “This is a great tool to help young businesses navigate the regulatory landscape and connect with the very state agencies that can help them thrive. I commend Governor Lamont and the administration for their ongoing work to develop our economy and invest in the people who make it run.”

Business.ct.gov is a huge step forward for companies looking to launch or manage a business in the state,” Peter Denious, president and CEO of AdvanceCT, said, “I commend Governor Lamont and his team for tackling this herculean project and delivering an efficient, business-friendly solution for companies looking to interact with the state of Connecticut.”

The development of business.ct.gov was led by the Department of Administrative Services Digital Services team with the support for Deloitte Digital, along with the Department of Economic and Community Development, Department of Consumer Protection, Department of Revenue Services, Department of Labor, and Advance CT.

 

Read on CT.gov

Thanks to Melinda Wilson, Assistant Director of Economic Development, SE CT Enterprise Region