power outages

Small Businesses Take a Hit After Days-Long Power Outages

Gallery Salon in Farmington got power back Wednesday after being forced to stay closed for eight days.

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After losing power last Tuesday, the team at Noel's Market in Colchester was thankful when the lights came back on Friday morning. While excited to reopen, the good news did not erase the damage that was already done.

“We had to throw everything out," said Jamie Noel, owner of the market.

Noel was able to get the shelves stocked again for customers, who also ran out of food at their own homes. With a deli, the store sells a lot of perishable items. Noel estimates that they took about a $100,000 hit.

"Very difficult. Insurance does cover some of that," explained Noel. "It is kind of a double whammy and definitely not needed right now."

The owner of Gallery Salon in Farmington feels the same way. The salon just got electricity back Wednesday morning. The outage forced the owner to close the salon for eight days.

"It is terrible not being able to do your job," said Gino Moncada, owner of the salon.

Moncada said that he is very frustrated that it took so long to get his power restored. He said that having to close for more than a week, during an already difficult time with the pandemic, impacted their bottom line.

“We were closed already for three months and having to close for another week, was just not something we were looking forward to or expecting," said Moncada.

Travelers Insurance has seen an uptick in people reaching out with questions since the storm. Their team suggests that small business owners call their carriers to see what help is available.

“It is really going to be specific to what types of coverage they have. What they have purchased in terms of any endorsements they might have added to their base policy," explained Don Florek, the vice president of Travelers' claim response team. "And the specifics- if it was a power outage was it on-premises, off-premises, was there any damage to the property?”

Storm-related federal assistance is not yet available for small businesses, but it might become an option down the road. If Connecticut receives a major disaster declaration from the U.S. government, small businesses would be able to apply for disaster loans from the Small Business Administration.

The state is still assessing damage to determine if Connecticut meets the threshold to seek that declaration.

“Any kind of help that the state, the government, can help small businesses," said Moncada. "I think we have just seen the tip of the iceberg.”

In the meantime, both Moncada and Noel are happy to be back up and running, hoping 2020 does not throw any more curve-balls their way.

“We are really sick of it," said Noel, laughing.

“When it rains it pours," said Moncada.

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