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The Department of Economic and Community Development (DECD) has created a $50 million grant program to help our small businesses in Connecticut recover from the ongoing challenges of COVID-19. Eligible businesses and nonprofits can receive a one-time $5,000 grant and all funds will be disbursed to approved applicants by December 30, 2020.




  • Business must have no more than 20 total full-time employees in 2019 across all of their Connecticut locations, or have total 2019 payroll of less than $1.5 million (annualized).
  • Businesses must be able to demonstrate a 20% or more loss in revenue year to date as of September 30th, 2020 compared with the same period in 2019.
  • Business must have been established by October 1, 2019 and still be active (as verified by DRS).
  • Home-based businesses are eligible.
  • Eligible entities: for-profit businesses that use any type of incorporation, as well as 501(c)(3), 501(c)(4), 501(c)(6), 501(c)(7), and 501(c)(19) nonprofit organizations.
  • The business must remain a viable business, be planning to reopen, and be planning to rehire any workers let go due to COVID as business conditions recover, and have a material financial need that cannot be overcome without the grant of emergency relief funds.
  • Companies must be in good tax standing with DRS or current on a payment plan.
  • Sole proprietorships are eligible.
  • Those who already received federal CARES Act, PPP or EIDL assistance are eligible, but the grant cannot be used for the same expenses incurred or expected to occur between March 1, 2020 through December 30, 2020.

Eligibility Exclusions

  • Businesses in which the majority of revenue is earned from the following activities:
    • Medical marijuana; liquor stores and alcohol distributors; adult businesses such as strip clubs; vape retailers; tobacco shops and smoking lounges; businesses having to do with gambling; gun stores and ranges; cash advance, check cashing, or pawn shops; bail bonds; collection agencies or services; and auction or bankruptcy or fire or “lost-our-lease” or “going-out-of-business” or similar sale.
    • Business establishments that are 50% or more owned by another establishment such that the FTE count for the umbrella establishment (when counting the FTEs of all subsidiaries in which the umbrella establishment has 50%+ stakes) is more than 500. For example, this would include non-franchised outlets of major national food and retail chains.

Eligible Activities & Uses


  • Payroll
  • Rent/Mortgage
  • Utilities
  • Inventory
  • Purchase of Machinery and/or Equipment
  • Cost associated to ensure compliance with CT Reopen Business Sector Rules


  • $25 million to businesses/nonprofits located in the state’s distressed municipalities
  • $25 million to businesses/nonprofits located outside of the state’s distressed municipalities
  • Applicants will only be allowed a single grant regardless of multiple locations
  • All funds will be disbursed to approved applicants by December 30, 2020

Webinars and Other Assistance

Click here to see DECD’s informational session held on October 30.

Click here for a list of organizations providing technical support for the program.

Frequently Asked Questions

Office Hours

DECD staff along with partners will be available each day of the week to assist applicants with the process. Staff will be available three times a day – morning, lunchtime and evening hours – with timeslots in Spanish.

Click on the times below to join the office hours and connect with a representative. To access the sessions in spanish, click on those labelled “SAMA” below.

Friday, Nov. 13:

8:00 – 9:00 a.m. (CTSBDC), Noon – 1:00 p.m. (SAMA), 7:00 – 8:00 p.m. (DECD)

Saturday, Nov. 14:

10:00 – 11:00 a.m. (CTSBDC)

Sunday, Nov. 15:

3:00 – 4:00 p.m. (DECD)

How to Apply

Click here to access the on-line application.


For additional assistance, please connect with a DECD representative by calling the hotline at (860) 500-2333 or emailing