Helpful Resources

For Bristol Businesses & Nonprofits

Important Information

to help you navigate the Coronavirus (COVID-19)

Here in Bristol we appreciate the essential contributions small businesses make to Bristol’s economy. This page has been established to provide Bristol businesses and nonprofit organizations with resources and information regarding the Coronavirus (COVID-19). We will continue to add relevant information as it becomes available.

Reopen CT: Phase 2 – June 17

Phase 2 of Connecticut’s reopening begins on Wednesday, June 17. The State of Connecticut has provided clear rules for businesses to guide them through this next phase. Updated industry-specific requirements are now available for Phase 2 and allows a wide range of additional businesses to reopen and expands the services for some of the sectors that successfully opened in Phase 1. Specific rules are now available for the following sectors:
• Amusement Parks
• Hotels
• Indoor dining
• Indoor museums, zoos, and aquariums
• Indoor recreation (e.g., bowling, movie theatres, etc.)
• Libraries
• Outdoor events
• Personal services (e.g., nail salons, tattoo parlors, etc.)
• Sports and fitness facilities (e.g., gyms, fitness centers, pools, etc.)

The sector-specific rules include detailed information and requirements about physical distancing, facility capacity, hygiene, sanitizing, signage, personal protective equipment (PPE), scheduling, training and more.

Beginning Monday, June 8 businesses and non-profits planning to reopen on June 17 as part of Phase 2 need to visit Connecticut’s self-certification website to certify that they that they are compliant with the reopening rules for their sector. Click the button below to view and download the industry specific guidelines.

Guidelines by Sector

Reopen CT: Phase 1

Outdoor Dining Process for Bristol Restaurants

The City of Bristol is partnering with local restaurants to assist them with the outdoor dining permit process. City officials have created a simple application form that can be turned around quickly. Restaurants have the option of calling the Building Department at 860-584-6215 to set up an on-site visit to discuss their individual circumstances. All restaurants will be required to complete a free online Temporary Outdoor Permit. To complete, click on the image of the Building Permit, then select the Temporary Outdoor Dining Permit, then click the Apply Online button. If you do not already have an account, you can register as a new user. Once the form is completed, a final inspection of the outdoor dining location will occur with City departments and the Bristol-Burlington Health District to ensure a safe and efficient outdoor dining environment for both restaurant owners and the public to enjoy.

A Guide for Small Businesses

The state Department of Economic and Community Development has released industry specific guidelines for businesses permitted to open May 20. The new guidelines cover restaurants (outdoor only), offices (work from home still recommended), retail shops and malls, hair salons and barber shops, and museums and zoos (outdoor only). All businesses subject to these guidelines are required to self-certify prior to May 20. The state’s online certification system is expected to launch next week.

All businesses are required to complete the State of Connecticut’s mandatory self-certification process which only takes a few minutes to complete online, certification must be completed before a business can reopen.

Click the button below to view and download the industry specific guidelines.

Guidelines by Sector


Unemployment Assistance

For Employers and the Self-Employed

Employers who are furloughing workers can use the Department of Labor’s shared work program, which allows businesses to reduce working hours and have those wages supplemented with unemployment insurance. DOL has more information about these and other changes, click here to view the frequently asked questions.

As part of the CARES Act, most workers who were previously ineligible for unemployment insurance will now be eligible for benefits. Through the Pandemic Unemployment Assistance (PUA) program, newly eligible individuals include self-employed workers, independent contractors, and gig economy workers who are unemployed as a result of the coronavirus pandemic are eligible.

  • CT Department of Labor (CTDOL) applications for PUA are available with benefits retroactive to a worker’s loss of income.
  • You must file for regular benefits at and be denied from eligibility before filing for and receiving PUA.
  • If you qualify for PUA, you will also be eligible for a federally funded emergency increase of $600 a week in unemployment benefits under the Federal Pandemic Unemployment Compensation program.

For Employees

The American Job Center is providing job training scholarships and job placement support through their Call Center Hotline at 860-406-3374. Assistance is also available for those who are looking for a job, changing careers, or want to move ahead.

Call Center Hours are Monday thru Friday, 9:00AM-4:00PM EST. During these hours, callers will have the ability to choose from one of four options:
Press 1 for Employers Seeking Assistance
Press 2 for Job Seekers
Press 3 for General Information on Unemployment Compensation
Press 4 for Assistance in Spanish

FREE Online Learning Program
The SkillUp CT Program allows Jobseekers to upgrade skills from their home and is for any resident who is unemployed during the COVID-19 pandemic. This at-home learning program offers free online job training and access to 5,000 courses in information technology (IT), business analysis, customer service and project management, just to name a few. To find out more or enroll in the program click here.

Loan Assistance

Small Business Administration

Businesses and nonprofit organizations experiencing hardship as a result of COVID-19 can now apply for Small Business Administration (SBA) low-interest loans for working capital of up to $2 million. Visit the SBA website to apply and for additional disaster assistance information. For help with applying call the SBA Customer Service Center at (800) 659-2955, you may email or call the CT DECD Business Hotline at 860-500-2333. Individuals who are deaf or hard-of-hearing may call (800) 877-8339. Completed applications mailed to U.S. Small Business Administration, Processing and Disbursement Center, 14925 Kingsport Road, Fort Worth, TX 76155.

U.S. Small Business Administration Loans for Farmers

Agricultural businesses are now eligible for SBA’s Economic Injury Disaster Loan (EIDL) and EIDL Advance programs. Funding has been authorized by Congress through the Paycheck Protection Program and Healthcare Enhancement Act. The legislation provides additional funding for farmers and ranchers and certain other agricultural businesses affected by the Coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic.

Visit the SBA’s website to learn more about how eligible agricultural businesses can apply for an Economic Disaster Loan advance of up to $10,000.

Paycheck Protection Flexibility Act

U.S. Congress passed a bipartisan bill that makes several important changes to the Paycheck Protection Program (PPP). The Paycheck Protection Flexibility Act eases some of the program’s restrictions, giving small businesses more time to use their loans and letting borrowers spend more of their loans on non-payroll expenses.

Key changes to the PPP include:

  • Extends the period to use PPP funds from 8 weeks to 24 weeks
  • Reduces the minimum payroll spend to 60% from 75%
  • Borrowers can now use the 24-week period to fully restore their workforce
  • Businesses now have 5 years to repay the loan, instead of 2

The new legislation also includes a number of updates and exceptions related to loan forgiveness, the rehiring of employees, and the payment of payroll taxes. The State of CT encourages businesses to read the new legislation and work with a financial professional to ensure they fully understand the updated requirements.

While demand for PPP loans has slowed, there is still funding available. More information can be found on the SBA website, including a list of lenders that are still issuing PPP loans.

Paycheck Protection Program (PPP)

An additional $310 billon has been approved for the Paycheck Protection Program toward job retention and certain other expenses for small businesses, eligible nonprofit organizations, Veterans organizations, and Tribal businesses described in the Small Business Act, as well as individuals who are self-employed or are independent contractors, are eligible if they also meet program size standards.

Under this program:

  • Eligible recipients may qualify for a loan up to $10 million determined by 8 weeks of prior average payroll plus an additional 25% of that amount.
  • Loan payments will be deferred for six months.
  • If you maintain your workforce, SBA will forgive the portion of the loan proceeds that are used to cover the first 8 weeks of payroll and certain other expenses following loan origination.

Download the Guide and Checklist

You can apply through any existing SBA 7(a) lender or through any federally insured depository institution, federally insured credit union, and Farm Credit System institution that is participating. Other regulated lenders will be available to make these loans once they are approved and enrolled in the program. You should consult with your local lender as to whether it is participating in the program.

Click here for more details about the Paycheck Protection Program.

United States Congress Coronavirus Aid, Relief, and Economic Security (CARES) Act

Small Business Owner’s Guide to the CARES ACT
The United States Congress approved the Coronavirus Aid, Relief, and Economic Security (CARES) Act to provide the country with relief from the impact of COVID-19. For a guide about how the act will impact small businesses, click here.

State of Connecticut Department of Economic and Community Development (DECD)

Connecticut businesses are encouraged to apply for SBA Disaster Assistance loans, found here also visit the U.S. Senate Committee on Small Business & Entrepreneur website to stay up to date on the latest information for additional Federal Stimulus packages.

DECD’s COVID-19 Business Emergency Response Unit 
The Connecticut Department of Economic and Community Development has created a COVID-19 Business Emergency Response Unit dedicated to assisting businesses navigate resources and develop new resources. A dedicated phone line is has been set up at 860-500-2333 to provide assistance to Connecticut’s small businesses and nonprofit organizations for this purpose. Or you may email:

CT Tax Filing Extensions

The Department of Revenue Services has extended deadlines for filing and payments associated with certain state business tax returns. Details are on Department of Revenue Service’s website.

COVID-19 Response Fund

Main Street Community Foundation logo

Main Street Community Foundation (MSCF) has established the COVID-19 Response Fund to help mobilize the necessary resources to support the current emerging needs. With this Fund, MSCF hopes to rapidly deploy flexible resources to help in areas affected by the coronavirus outbreak. This fund is designed to give added support to those community organizations meeting the basic needs of local residents in Bristol, Burlington, Plainville, Plymouth, Southington, and Wolcott.

Help Those Right Here in Your Community – DONATE NOW!
MSCF encourages individual donors, companies, and other funders to contribute to the COVID-19 Response Fund. MSCF will work in partnership with town governments and other funders to ensure the Fund has maximum reach and effectiveness. To help your community during this crisis, please consider donating to the COVID-19 Response Fund here.

Visit the For Our Community Page to see additional community response funds that have been established.

Centers for Disease Control (CDC) Resources

Click here for information about the Coronavirus from the City of Bristol. 

Economic & Community Development Office Contact Information
Call: 860.584.6185

Business Updates from the Chamber of Commerce

Click here for the latest updates from the Central Connecticut Chambers of Commerce

Local Banking Support

Bank of America
Solutions, support, and advice you need to manage your personal finances and to navigate the volatility of the market. LEARN MORE

Liberty Bank
Offering fianancial hardship relief for both its personal and business customers. LEARN MORE

People’s United Bank
Banking support for customers and the community. LEARN MORE

Santander Bank
Assistance for Retail and Business Banking customers is available. LEARN MORE

TD  Bank
Support for those that have been affected by COVID-19. LEARN MORE

Thomaston Savings Bank
If you are currently experiencing, or expect to experience, financial hardship as a result of COVID-19, Thomaston Savings is stand ready to support the people and businesses in our community throughout the duration of this event. LEARN MORE

Webster Bank
Support for consumers and businesses facing financial hardship due to the economic impact of COVID-19, as well as additional funding for local community organizations. LEARN MORE

If you are a small business and would like to inform the community of your plans about your business (i.e. closure, reduced hours, or special accommodations you may be making to continue doing business) fill out the form below and we will add it to the Community page and will make sure we keep it up date as things change.

Tell Us About Your Business