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.

Business Guidelines and Sector Rules

Effective Saturday, May 1, 2021

  • The curfew for restaurants, entertainment venues, recreation venues, and theaters will be moved back one hour to 12:00 am midnight.
  • Bars that do not serve food can open for service – OUTDOOR ONLY. Food is still required when serving alcohol indoors.
  • The 8-person per table limit will be lifted – OUTDOOR ONLY. The limit remains in effect for indoor dining.

Effective Wednesday, May 19, 2021

  • All remaining business restrictions will end.
  • The Connecticut Department of Public Health (DPH) will issue recommendations for indoor and large outdoor events (e.g., concerts).
  • Indoor masks will continue.

Click on the link below for the latest information from the State of Connecticut regarding guidelines and sector rules for businesses.

CT Business Guidance and Sector Rules

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 and Small Business Grants

Paycheck Protection Program (PPP)

The Paycheck Protection Program (PPP) ended on May 31, 2021. Existing borrowers may be eligible for PPP Loan Forgiveness, click here to learn more.

Shuttered Venue Operators Grant

This grant, offered through the SBA, provides emergency assistance for eligible venues affected by COVID-19. The Shuttered Venue Operators Grant (SVOG) program was established by the Economic Aid to Hard-Hit Small Businesses, Nonprofits, and Venues Act, and amended by the American Rescue Plan Act. The program includes over $16 billion in grants to shuttered venues, to be administered by SBA’s Office of Disaster Assistance.

Eligible applicants may qualify for grants equal to 45% of their gross earned revenue, with the maximum amount available for a single grant award of $10 million. $2 billion is reserved for eligible applications with up to 50 full-time employees.

For more details and to apply, visit the Small Business Administration’s website.

Restaurant Revitalization Grants Program

The Small Business Administration (SBA) has started to accept applications for the Restaurant Revitalization grants program as of Monday, May 3. For the first 21 days that the program is open, the SBA will prioritize reviewing applications from small businesses owned by women, veterans, socially and economic disadvantages individuals, after the 21-day period all eligible business are encouraged to submit applications.

On March 11, the American Rescue Plan Act of 2021 created the $28.6 billion Restaurant Revitalization Fund to provide grants for restaurants sustaining financial losses due to the COVID-19 pandemic. The U.S. Small Business Administration (SBA) is administering the program and will be issuing the necessary federal rules, regulations, and applications before grant funds are distributed.

Restaurant revitalization grants must be used to pay qualifying expenses during the covered period. Any grants not fully utilized in this manner must be returned to the SBA.

Specific expenses that are eligible include:
· Payroll costs
· Mortgage principal & interest payments
· Rent payments (except for prepayments)
· Utilities
· Maintenance costs
· Supplies (including personal protective equipment & cleaning supplies)
· Food & beverage costs
· Covered supplier costs (utilizing the PPP definition)
· Operational expenses
· Paid sick leave

This FAQ from the National Restaurant Association gives a great overview of the program.
Click here to read the FAQs in Spanish.

For additional information and how to apply, visit the Small Business Administration’s Website.

CT CARES Small Business Grant Program

The State of CT is no longer accepting applications for this program. If you’ve already applied and have questions about your application, you may contact the Department of Economic and Community Development directly at 860-500-2333 or email them at

$3.5 Million EDA Fund for COVID-19 Relief

The Economic Development Administration (EDA) at the U.S. Department of Commerce, is allowing Community Investment Corporation (CIC) to offer loans for small businesses in need of assistance due to factors related to the economic impact of COVID19. For more details about this program, eligibility requirements, and to apply for funds, visit the CIC website.

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.

Small Business Administration Economic Injury Disaster Loan (EIDL)

The U.S. Small Business Administration has extended the deadline to apply for the Economic Injury Disaster Loan program for the COVID-19 Pandemic disaster declaration through December 31, 2021. For more information and how to apply, visit the SBA website.

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.

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

Torrington Savings Bank
Offering COVID-19 relief for their customers, Torrington Savings Bank has supported the communities they serve through many crisis. 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