restaurants

Some Restaurants Counting On Next Week's Sales Tax To Recoup Lost Revenue

December 12 through the 18 is a Connecticut Sales Tax Relief Stimulus Week.

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The owner of Caloroso, in Shelton, has decided to take sales tax relief money raised next week and give it to 10 employees who worked for the restaurant through the entire pandemic.

If you’re planning to dine in a restaurant anytime next week, your tax dollars could be helping that restaurant recover from pandemic-related debt. December 12 through the 18 is a Connecticut Sales Tax Relief Stimulus Week.

It’s one of three weeks where restaurants can have tax monies returned to them. The program also included a week this past August and an upcoming week in May 2022. Restaurants can choose only one of these weeks.

“We wanted to try to say to these restaurants, pick the week that hopefully has better avenues for you to gain even more tax dollars that you won’t have to remit,” said Connecticut Restaurant Association President Scott Dolch.

The state will offer restaurants a week to allow them to keep sales tax on customers' bills rather than have to remit it to the state.

The restaurant tax is 7.35%. It’s added to every restaurant bill in the state. Next week though, that tax money spent will go directly to restaurants that have chosen the week as its tax stimulus period. Dolch compares it to the sales tax-free week that precedes the school year.

“We tried to use that same concept for the business owners,” said Dolch.

One Business Using Stimulus To Reward Loyal Employees

In Italian, Caloroso means, “warm-hearted,” and that’s exactly what the owner of Caloroso restaurant in Shelton is showing. Matt Calandro is giving the relief money back to 10 employees.

“Some of them actually had some issues at home that put their families at risk potentially, but they decided to work. They deserve it,” said restaurant owner Matt Calandro.

Calandro will gift that 7.35%, plus add another 10% and spilt it up among the 10 employees who remained dedicated to the restaurant during tough times. Employees expressed gratitude for the gift.

“It’s not about me personally. It’s about Caloroso. it’s about the restaurant,” said General Manager Lou Como, explaining why he stayed on the job throughout the pandemic.

Restaurant operations manager Stephanie Champagne expressed gratitude.

“(It means) That good will always win,” she said.

During the throws of the pandemic, Caloroso was closed for five weeks, pivoted to takeout then returned amidst less than ideal conditions.

“It became a lot more than just serving food for them and they’ve gutted it out,” Calandro said.

Now, their sacrifice and loyalty will be soon be rewarded.

“They’ve dealt with a tremendous amount of pressure, here and at home,” said Calandro. “My heart is full because of them.”

Asked what she’ll do with the bonus, Champagne didn’t hesitate, saying, “I’m going Christmas shopping!”