State Rep. Harry Arora: Five Programs offering Monetary Assistance to CT residents and businesses

Posted on March 29, 2021

In the last year, our government has announced over 5 TN. (trillion) of economic aid in three different stimulus acts to help mitigate the economic impact of COVID. I reiterate below five critical programs with information about eligibility and the application process. If you have any questions, please do not hesitate to email or call me on 203-571-9325.

1. Unemployment assistance programs and the PUA program – Unemployment assistance (UA) is available for those who lost their job in 2020 and cannot find a new position. UA benefits have been extended to Sep 6, 2021, and have been supplemented by $300 per week from the Federal Govt. You can apply HERE.  A special program, “Pandemic Unemployment Assistance (PUA),” has been created for self-employed and independent contractors and is available until Sep 6, 2021. PUA is also available to those diagnosed and unable to work because of COVID. HERE is the link to the DOL website, which provides details on PUA eligibility and how to apply.

2. Rental and Utility bill assistance: The UNITE-CT program is available to Connecticut households having trouble paying rent or utility bills. This program provides up to $10,000 in rental assistance and $1,500 in utility bill assistance to households making less than 80% of median area-HUD income. The median area-HUD income varies by town and household size. You can look it up HERE for your town. For Greenwich/Stamford/Norwalk, four-member households with income below $95,000 are eligible for assistance. Click HERE to apply for the program.

3. Targeted assistance for restaurants and venues: The Restaurant Revitalization Grant Program (RRG) is available to restaurants that have lost revenue because of COVID. Eligible restaurants can receive an amount up to the lost revenue in 2020. These amounts do not need to be repaid as long as they are spent on certain allowable expenses i.e. salaries. This program is different from the PPP program and is being administered by the Small Business Administration. Venue operators (museums, live theater, movie theater etc.) are also eligible to get a similar grant from the Shuttered Venue Operators Grant (SVOG) program. These grants can be as large as $ 10 MN. Publicly listed companies and firms with more than 20 locations are NOT eligible. The restaurant revitalization grant program will be rolled out next month.  HERE is the link to the SVOG program.

4. Paycheck protection program (PPP) for small businesses: Small businesses impacted by COVID can get assistance through the PPP program introduced last year.  The PPP program provides forgivable loans for an amount equal to three months of payroll. The loan amount is forgiven if used to pay salaries (including proprietor salary) and other permitted expenses. This program is also available to single-person businesses which have seen deterioration in their business income. The last date to apply for this program is May 31, 2021. HERE is the link to Small Business Administration website for the PPP program. The loan under the PPP program is made by a commercial bank but is guaranteed and forgiven by the SBA. In addition to conventional commercial banks, many online lenders also offer access to the PPP loan.

5. Direct stimulus checks (cash payments): The Federal government has made three direct cash payments in the last twelve months to individuals and households with income below a certain threshold. The third of these stimulus checks is $1400 for each individual of a household (each dependent counts irrespective of age) and is being sent NOW.  HERE is the link to the IRS website where you can check on your payment. Households with annual income above $160,000 are NOT eligible.

The state government, individual towns and municipalities, and all school districts in Connecticut are receiving substantial direct assistance under the third stimulus program passed recently. The sum of this aid for the state of Connecticut is over $ 10 BN. Please read HERE an analysis of aid received by our state by the CT Office of Fiscal Analysis.


Harry Arora

State Representative-151st Assembly District

  • ALL CT residents over 16 will be eligible to make vaccine appointments starting Apr 1
  • Accelerated access will be made available to those with certain medical conditions
  • If you are 45+, make your appointment NOW before Apr 1, to get ahead of the general opening

Here is link to my prior email “Three ways to make a vaccine appointment”