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Connecticut Restaurant Association Executive Director Scott Dolch said the move will help "hundreds and hundreds" of restaurants to remain open through the winter months.
More than 600 Connecticut restaurants, caterers and event venues have closed since the pandemic began.
Among other measures, restaurants and entertainment venues (i.e. bowling allies, movie theaters, arcades, etc.) will be required to close by 9:30 p.m., with the exception of food takeout and delivery services.
The program will provide businesses and nonprofits in Connecticut that have fewer than 20 employees, or a 2019 payroll of less than $1.5 million, with a one-time grant of $5,000.
The convention business “will take a while before coming back,” said Robert Murdock, president of the Connecticut Convention & Sports Bureau. “It’s really all about safety right now, and getting the virus under control.”
The timing of the Nov. 3 election “isn’t helping things,” says Connecticut Restaurant Association Executive Director Scott Dolch. “Neither side wants to give the other side a win, unfortunately.”
“We’ll see how it plays out,” says Connecticut Restaurant Association Executive Director Scott Dolch.
“It’s going to be a balancing act,” says Connecticut Retail Merchants Association President Tim Phelan. “We’re ready to reopen, and we’re hoping the general public is ready for us to reopen.”
Impatience among restaurant owners and questions about how an outside consulting group is working on Connecticut's soft reopening on May 20 rose to the fore today, as Gov. Ned Lamont acknowledged.
Gov. Ned Lamont also said that talks are ongoing with “a major Connecticut company” that is expressing optimism about developing a vaccine for the virus.
“Restaurants were the first businesses to be immediately and severely impacted by this crisis, and without your immediate assistance they will also be Connecticut’s first industry‐wide casualty,” Connecticut Restaurant Association Executive Director Scott Dolch warned the governor.
“Restaurants are not buying a lot of kegs these days,” one craft brewer noted wryly.
"We've never had a James Beard Award winner out of Connecticut," said Scott Dolch. "As a competitive person, that bothers me."