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Connecticut Restaurants Spokesman Praises State Program To Help Hard Hit Businesses

Restaurant Worker Personal Protective Equipment
Charles Krupa

Restaurants in Connecticut are among the hardest hit by the pandemic economy. Now, restaurant groups say a state plan to release $35 million in emergency grants to small businesses can help avoid closures while they wait for more federal help.

Scott Dolch is executive director of the Connecticut Restaurants Association. He said the federal coronavirus relief package passed this week won’t deliver in time to help through the current slump.

“I don’t think those dollars will be in hand until probably late January in the best case scenarios, so these grants coming from the state are going to be that bridge. So, we’re still not out of the woods yet,” Dolch said.

Dolch said businesses will not have to fill out any applications for the state grants, which he hopes will speed up disbursement.

Instead, he said state officials will look at sales tax filings and other finances to see which 2,000 businesses have the most need. More than 600 Connecticut restaurants have gone out of business since March.

Cassandra Basler, a former senior editor at WSHU, came to the station by way of Columbia Journalism School in New York City. When she's not reporting on wealth and poverty, she's writing about food and family.