WATCH: CARES Act, PPP, PUA LISTENING Virtual Town Hall Meeting

May 12, 2020



May 13, 2020


Sen. Hwang holds CARES Act, PPP & PUA LISTENING Town Hall

“We will find solutions by working together”


Fairfield – State Senator Tony Hwang (R-28) hosted a unique “CARES ACT, PPP & PUA LISTENING Town Hall” via Zoom enabling nearly 60 business owners and self-employed individuals to share the challenges and frustrations they are facing due to drastic changes caused by public health declarations enacted during the health crisis.

“Since the beginning of the quarantine, I have been working every day with various business people to help them understand, access and navigate government aid programs.  The challenges they face are widespread and cannot be ignored.  Hearing these stories will better equip agencies and the Governor’s office to provide real support for these businesses.  We will only find solutions by working together,” said Sen. Hwang.

In anticipation of the 2nd allocation of funding through the federal Small business Administration’s (SBA) Paycheck Protection Program (PPP), Senator Hwang wanted to provide a forum for constituent business owners to share real stories of what is happening to businesses and how programs like the PPP or CARES Act are helping or lacking.  

“This program provided a voice and a face for our local small businesses who were denied approval or even access to federal stimulus funds.  They need to be heard and get the support and relief they need.  These businesses are the lifeblood of our communities and local economies and the assistance programs must work harder to get the financial aid all the way to Main Street,” said Sen Hwang.

The most moving testimony came from Fairfield’s own Nauti Dolphin pizzeria.  The owner was brought to tear as he explained that the establishment was forced to shut down completely for a period of time to determine how they would handle their overhead including staff salaries while also implementing new necessary measures to enforce a safe environment for customers, a guessing game of ordering perishable supplies and an expected deep drop in sales. The following businesses shared their sympathies for the establishment – noting time and time again that it is a cornerstone for the community.

The Senator is happy to report that the Nauti Dolphin was approved for aid in the second round of PPP funding, just 48 hours following the listening event.

Sen. Hwang shared, “This was an invaluable learning experience for me.  As a State Senator, I can only serve as a sounding board and conduit for these individuals.  These stories need to be heard by those making these policies and administering these programs.  Who can better tell these stories than the business owners themselves?”

This meeting was recorded and subject to state freedom of information (FOI) guidelines.  The recording can be accessed at and has been shared with the Office of CT Governor Ned Lamont, Connecticut’s Department of Banking, Department of Economic and Community Development, along with the federal U.S. Small Business Administration.