NEW BRITAIN, CT — Five Churches Brewing, a family-run business, has officially reopened and though it really never closed, they are faced with new restrictions that would limit their sales and customer base.
There are fewer places for people to sit and no stools at the bar. There are also fewer employees and Christina Caccioppoli, one of the partners, said they’re looking to revamp their business model and can more beer than they have in the past. It’s unclear if the calculation will work and for how long.
Lt. Gov. Susan Bysiewicz said even though jobs may have been lost in the restaurant and hospitality industry, other jobs were added at companies like Instacart and Amazon.
“You want to get people back. You want them to feel safe,” Gov. Ned Lamont said. “… If you just pack it in day one I think you’ll scare away some people.”
The Connecticut Department of Labor reported Thursday that in May, the state recovered 25,800 jobs. It also reported that Connecticut lost 269,200 jobs in April.
Labor officials separately reported that 530,000 of the approximately 565,000 unemployment claim applications it received have been processed.
“Connecticut saw the beginnings of recovery of the historic job losses in April caused by the COVID-19 pandemic,” Andy Condon, director of the Office of Research at the Connecticut Department of Labor, said. “Leisure & hospitality, retail trade, and education & health services remain the hardest hit industries. The process of recovery may quicken as Connecticut implements its phased response to the slowing spread of the virus.”
Connecticut Business and Industry Association President and CEO Joe Brennan said just 10% of the jobs were recovered from April when the shutdown orders and restrictions were put in place.
“That speaks to the breadth of the damage the pandemic is doing to our economy and the impact it is having on hundreds of thousands of Connecticut residents and families,” Brennan said.
However, he pointed out that the report likely doesn’t reflect the full impact of the state’s first phase of reopening.
“It was encouraging to see gains, however modest, in the leisure and hospitality, trade, services, and manufacturing sectors,” he said.
Lamont said they’ve reopened 95% of the economy, but acknowledged “that doesn’t mean everybody’s ready to go back.”
Lamont said it’s probably going to take a few months.
In the meantime, Lamont is hoping the federal government sunsets the additional $600 per week unemployment benefit.
“I think sometimes it discourages work,” Lamont told the Westport-Weston Chamber of Commerce Wednesday.
On Thursday, Lamont said that “bridge” the federal government has provided figuratively hits a wall on July 31.