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Fairfield County recorded another 10 deaths since yesterday, bringing its total to 96. The county has 3,050 confirmed coronavirus cases, and has recorded 189 deaths.
Occupancy has been capped at 50% of store capacity, with staff required to maintain a count of the number of customers entering and exiting stores.
Gov. Ned Lamont said the state's lack of ventilators remains a matter of growing concern, as Dr. Deborah Birx, the White House coronavirus response coordinator, said yesterday that Connecticut could be one of the nation’s next hot spots. “Southern Connecticut is (already) one of those hot spots, and has been for some time,” the governor said.
Gov. Ned Lamont announced an agreement with some 65 credit unions and banks in Connecticut to offer mortgage relief to the state’s residents and businesses who continue to face hardship caused by the global COVID-19 pandemic.
“We’re constantly discussing options for our customers in the face of hardship,” says Patriot Bank President Richard Muskus Jr. “We will do what we can as an organization to help them – the bank is not going to abandon them.”
While President Donald Trump's signing late this afternoon of the $2 trillion COVID-19 aid package should address the PPE shortage, Lamont said it would probably be three-plus weeks before that money arrives to the state.
The Department of Economic and Community Development announced that, having received over 4,000 applications, it will stop accepting them as of 6 p.m. today -- but that it will return with double the funding, at $50 million. But that action will be temporary, according to DECD Commissioner David Lehman.
“We believe this program provides the quick, short-term financial assistance (small businesses and nonprofits) need to maintain operations and weather this storm," said Department of Economic and Community Development Commissioner David Lehman.
Targeted at companies with up to 100 employees, as well as nonprofits and sole practitioners, the loans will come with 18-month terms at 0% interest, and capped at $75,000.
As for personal protective equipment (PPE), the governor said that while the wait continues for federal supplies to arrive, "We're not gonna sit around and wait for the cavalry to come in." Lamont said the state is "vetting lots of different options, offers" for PPE, "some of which seem a little shady, frankly."
Jobs CT is a performance-based incentive program for businesses to expand or relocate jobs to Connecticut, while Small Business Express 2.0 is a new version of the state’s program that helps small businesses.
The state Department of Economic and Community Development and the Connecticut Economic Resource Center are working on a statewide economic development plan "that people can believe in," said CERC President and CEO Peter Denious. "Our aspirations and goals are extremely ambitious.”
According to CBIA/CONNSTEP’s first Connecticut Manufacturing Report, issued at the 2019 Manufacturing Summit, workforce tops manufacturers' concerns, with 60% of poll respondents saying it was their most significant need – and 56% saying it was “difficult” to both find and retain young workers.
Lehman’s tenure at Goldman Sachs, which coincided with the 2008 subprime mortgage crisis, had been the subject of much debate.