Courtesy of CT-N

HARTFORD, CT – Some small businesses have struggled to keep their doors open and the lights on, but good news might be on the way for around 10,000 of them.

The state Department of Economic and Community Development emailed notices this week to businesses who qualify for pandemic aid, but businesses only have until 5 p.m. Dec. 30 to respond.

The goal is to give out 10,000, $5,000 grants to small businesses who are struggling based on the revenue data they provide the state.

“With the limited resources we’ve had we’ve really tried to prioritize that access to capital for businesses so they can sustain their operations,” Gwendolyn Thames, deputy DECD commissioner, said Monday during the governor’s COVID-19 briefing.

To date 6,000 small businesses and nonprofits have been approved for a Connecticut Cares grant. That grant program was announced at the end of October and the application process is closed.

“We’re working with our technology company SoFi in getting those grants distributed in the next several days,” Thames said.

There’s another $35 million in funding announced last week that will help about 2,000 businesses. Thames said they are focused on retail and other hard hit industries.

The grant sizes will range from $10,000 to $30,000.

“We are in the process of finalizing the eligibility criteria,” Thames said.

The second Coronavirus relief package signed by Republican President Donald Trump included $325 billion in help for businesses, including another $284 million for the Paycheck Protection Program.

Business owners should contact their bank or credit union to find out how to apply for a forgivable PPP loan even if they missed out on the first round or already received PPP funds, Thames said.

The Small Business Administration website has a list of lenders and organizations like the Connecticut Small Business Development Center, the Women’s Business Development Center and the Black Business Alliance can help with applications, she said.