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Connecticut House Republicans Want A Restaurant Relief Package

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The Republican minority in the Connecticut House has urged Governor Ned Lamont to provide a $50 million state relief package for restaurants.

Their focus is on local-owned, non-chain restaurants that have suffered the most during the COVID-19 pandemic, according to House GOP leader Vincent Candelora.

About 600 independent bars and restaurants have closed in the state during the pandemic, said Scott Dolch, the executive director of the Connecticut Restaurant Association.

The House GOP caucus also wants a one-year suspension of state alcohol and food licensing fees and a 90-day moratorium on the payment of local property taxes for hard-hit businesses.

They said the state should come up with a new low-interest loan program for struggling businesses.

Democratic Representative Sean Scanlon is the incoming co-chair of the Finance, Revenue and Bonding Committee. He said Connecticut’s response to restaurants and other small businesses would depend on legislation that emerges from Congress, where a second round of pandemic relief has been stalled for months.

As WSHU Public Radio’s award-winning senior political reporter, Ebong Udoma draws on his extensive tenure to delve deep into state politics during a major election year.