small business

State Helps Small Businesses With Coronavirus Cash Flow Issues

Legislators admit the program is not perfect, but it’s a start

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Federal help is on the way for small businesses hit hard by the coronavirus crisis.

Meanwhile, the state has set up a program to help, right now.

Connecticut has a $25 million bridge loan program for small businesses impacted by the coronavirus.

  • Recipients can receive up to $75,000
  • It’s first come first serve
  • It’s a 12 month, 0% interest loan with a balloon payment at the end

The commissioner of the Department of Economic and Community Development said 2,800 businesses have applied for the small business bridge loan already.

Family-owned F.F. Hitchcock oil and propane company in Cheshire is one of them. Co-owner John Bowman told NBC Connecticut “Our main goal is to keep everybody employed.”

Bowman said Hitchcock has about 30 employees.

“We have to get paid to pay our bills.  And if other companies are not sure about their financial security they may not pay us so this loan would help us get a loan from the state of Connecticut to hopefully float our costs other businesses and our customers can pay their bills.”

At the same time, Democratic state Rep. Liz Linehan cautioned small businesses not to apply for this bridge loan if they’re not going to use it because even if they don’t they will be responsible for closing costs either way. 

“It is something in the toolbox that people can now use if need be…It’s not the be all end all and it's not perfect," she said.

Other provisions of the program require that small businesses have to show that going into March they were turning a profit and generating revenue, that they have a solid credit score, plus a personal guarantee from the company's ownership.

Republican Len Fasano, the state Senate minority leader, said “I do wish that the program was larger and had additional funds to ensure that Connecticut can reach all the small businesses that are suffering the most. The state also needs to make sure to cap the costs to complete the application and not add additional financial burdens onto already struggling businesses.”

Both Fasano and Linehan agreed though Connecticut’s bridge loan program is a start, to help businesses stay afloat during these difficult times.

Small businesses can apply to both the federal and state programs at the same time to receive as much help as possible.

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