The state is offering short-term, no-interest bridge loans up to $75,000 to small businesses with less than 100 employees impacted by the coronavirus pandemic.
Connecticut Recovery Bridge Loan Program funding is available immediately through the Department of Economic and Community Development and underwritten by Connecticut Innovations.
Funds from the $25 million short-term emergency loan program will be allocated on a first-come, first-served basis.
DECD commissioner David Lehman said the loans are designed to cover three months of expenses for applicants.
"The real focus here is on immediate liquidity and flexibility for our smallest businesses, because we realize how hard hit they are," Lehman said.
“We want to make sure that businesses have enough cash to meet their payroll, to meet their rent, to meet their insurance and other costs for this three-month period as we battle the virus."
CBIA president and CEO Joe Brennan welcomed the emergency loan program, calling it an crucial to helping small businesses survive the pandemic-driven economic crisis.
"Small businesses and their employees are bearing the brunt of this severe economic downturn," he said.
"Putting cash in their hands to pay their employees and their bills for several months will hopefully allow them to stay in business until the crisis is over."
To be considered for this program, a business or nonprofit must:
- Have no more than 100 employees
- Be in good standing with the Department of Revenue Services and DECD
- Profitable prior to March 10, 2020—with no adverse personal credit reports 60 days past due the past six months
- Not involved in real estate, multi-level marketing, adult entertainment, cannabis, or firearms
- Not a state elected public official or state employee
Terms and Conditions
- Loan maximum of (a) $75,000 or (b) three months operating expenses, whichever is less
- 0% interest rate
- 12-month term, with six-month extension available per request
- Freely pre-payable
- Working capital loan
- Personal guarantee and credit score required
The bridge loan is the latest move from Gov. Ned Lamont’s administration designed to lessen the pandemic’s impact on small business.
DECD has already suspended loan and interest payments on state small business loans and is working with private lenders to help small businesses manage fixed costs.
A $2 trillion federal relief package that passed the U.S. Senate March 25 is also expected to help small businesses.
It awaits action by the U.S. House of Representatives.
The state has a hotline (860.500.2333) and email address to field small business questions about the program.