Applications Now Being Accepted for the Connecticut CARES Small Business Grant Program

November 13, 2020

State Senator-Elect Paul Cicarella and State Representatives Vincent Candelora, Dave Yaccarino, Craig Fishbein and Joe Zullo announced that the state Department of Economic and Community Development (DECD) has opened the application process for the new Connecticut CARES Small Business Grant Program.


The application opened at 8:00 pm on Thursday evening, November 12. The program is designed to help small businesses and nonprofits that have faced financial hardship caused by COVID-19. Eligible small businesses and nonprofits can receive a one-time $5,000 grant that will be disbursed no later than December 30, 2020.


To be eligible, a business must have either 20 or fewer full-time employees or an annual payroll of less than $1.5 million as of December 31, 2019. In addition, to be eligible a business must show that they were negatively impacted by the pandemic by demonstrating a 20% or more loss in revenue year to date as of September 30th, 2020 compared with the same period in 2019.


“We want to make sure every eligible small business and nonprofit in our districts is aware of this opportunity,” said Cicarella, Candelora, Yaccarino, Fishbein and Zullo. “We encourage businesses to apply as soon as possible as there are currently a limited number of grants. DECD has assured us that the application system was designed with simplicity and ease of use in mind so that they can quickly get as many grants out as possible. While this one program is no panacea, we know every little bit can help a struggling small business during these tough times. If you are eligible you can apply right away.”


The grant application will only be available for a limited time. It is anticipated that the application period will close by 5:00 p.m. on Thursday, November 19, however that is highly dependent on demand and could close sooner. All interested small businesses and nonprofits are encouraged to apply as soon as possible.


The following information has been made available by DECD:

Which small businesses/nonprofits ARE eligible?

  • Those with 20 or less full-time employees OR annual payroll of less than $1.5 million as of 12/31/19
  • Those with 20% or more loss in revenue year to date as of September 30, 2020 compared with the same period in 2019
  • Those who were established by October 1, 2019 and still are active
  • Those who have passed a DRS tax status review.  To avoid potential delays in processing your application check your DRS status at:
  • Home-based businesses and Sole Proprietors
  • Those who already received federal PPP, EIDL and/or CT Bridge loans are still eligible

Which small businesses/nonprofits are NOT eligible?

  • Medical marijuana; liquor stores and alcohol distributors; adult businesses such as strip clubs; vape retailers; tobacco shops and smoking lounges; businesses having to do with gambling; gun stores and ranges; cash advance, check cashing, or pawn shops; bail bonds; collection agencies or services; and auction or bankruptcy or fire or “lost-our-lease” or “going-out-of-business” or similar sale.
  • Arts/cultural organizations that have already applied for CARES grants

How do you Apply?

  • How to Apply: Click here to access the on-line application.
  • More Information here.
  • Frequently asked questions are available here.
  • You will receive an email from SoFi once you apply.
  • For additional questions, call the DECD hotline (860) 500-2333 or email [email protected]