CT CARES Small Business Grant Program - State of CT Press Release

Posted on
October 20, 2020
Town Hall

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.

We estimate the online application will be available the week of November 9, 2020. Please check back on this page for more details including links to informational webinars and updates.

Although minimal, there are specific eligibility requirements to receive the grant. Please see below to make sure your business or nonprofit meets the below requirements before you apply.


·         Business must have no more than 20 total FTEs in 2019 across all of their Connecticut locations, or have total 2019 payroll of less than $1.5 million (annualized). FTE and payroll include affiliated companies.

·         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 or consent to use a portion and/or all of their grant to remedy the delinquency.

·         Sole proprietorships are eligible.

Eligibility Exclusions

·         Businesses in which the majority of revenue is earned from the following activities:

o    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.

o    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.

·         Businesses and not-for-profit entities may not participate in this program if they received another assistance grant from State of Connecticut CRF funds.

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

DECD is hosting a series of webinars to help businesses and nonprofits with the application process. Check back for updates.

How to Apply

Details on the online application process coming soon. Check back for updates.


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