Small business owners with questions about the state’s new $50 million COVID-19 relief grant program have several opportunities to speak with state officials during the week of Nov. 9.

The Department of Economic and Community Development scheduled virtual office hours each day during the week for small business owners to ask questions about the state program that will provide a one-time, $5,000 grant to the smallest of businesses.

DECD senior adviser Maribel La Luz said the virtual office hours will be held three times each day—in the morning, afternoon, and evening—and will also be available in Spanish.

Virtual office hours will also be held Saturday, Nov. 14 and Sunday, Nov. 15.

The state expects to give $5,000 grants to 10,000 small businesses by Dec. 30.

DECD opened applications Nov. 12 and will post information on its website, including information on how to participate in the virtual office hours.

Eligibility Requirements

To qualify, a company must have fewer than 20 employees or a 2019 payroll of $1.5 million or less.

La Luz and other DECD officials, including deputy commissioner Glendowlyn Thames, explained the program in an Oct. 30 webinar with over 300 small business leaders from across Connecticut.

“You can be a business with 30 or 40 employees and a payroll of less than $1.5 million and qualify,” Thames said.

She stressed that the grant program is not viewed as a “be-all, end-all” and that state officials are hopeful there will be another round of federal coronavirus relief funds.

DECD staff and partners will be available for the informational calls.

Click one the times below to join the office hours and connect with a representative. To access the sessions in Spanish, click those labelled SAMA below (Para español, haga clic en los enlaces etiquetados SAMA).