State offers business assistance, extends tax deadline in Irene’s wake

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HARTFORD — The state is offering a helping hand to companies negatively impacted by Hurricane Irene.

“This storm had a tremendous impact on residents and businesses alike. As we move forward in our recovery efforts, I want to ensure that businesses that were affected get the financial and technical help they need in a timely fashion,” said Gov. Dannel Malloy, in a prepared release. “Providing this type of assistance will ensure Connecticut companies get back to business, which in turn will help the state’s economy stay on track in the wake of this devastating storm.”

Businesses sustaining damage will be eligible for assistance, including bridge financing and loans covering uninsured losses, through the Department of Economic and Community Development. As part of the assistance program loans of up to $200,000 are available to companies for storm-related damage, including property, machinery and equipment, and working capital; loan guarantees of up to $200,000 will be provided to banks and other lenders to spur local lending to businesses impacted by the storm; and grants will be available to businesses for assistance in disaster recovery, such as temporary help and training.

Agricultural businesses are also eligible for funding.

“I commend Gov. Malloy and DECD officials for putting together what the governor described as a ‘comprehensive business assistance program’ so quickly and so effectively,” state Sen. Joseph J. Crisco, Jr. (D-17) said, in a news release. “Connecticut will rebound and recover from the harmful effects of this storm as its school, businesses, and communities rebound and recover, and this business loan program addresses a key component of that formula.”

Along with the assistance program, the state extended certain tax filing deadlines for businesses affected by the storm; those unable to meet the Sept. 1 filing deadline for the monthly sales and use tax, business use tax, and room occupancy tax because of the widespread power outages will have until Wednesday, Sept. 7 to file.

“I’m grateful to (state Department of Revenue Services) Commissioner (Kevin) Sullivan for his foresight in this regard–many business owners and tax accountants simply won’t have the ability to file these forms in a timely fashion because their offices are without electricity,” Crisco said, in a prepared release. “This one-week postponement is both reasonable and practical and recognizes the extraordinary circumstances under which many Connecticut businesses find themselves at this time.”

Qualifying businesses will be granted this extension if they are located in counties subject to federal or state declarations of emergency or disaster.

A team of DECD workers has been assembled to work with companies at business resource centers around the state. They will assist in indentifying financial and technical resources, as well as serve as business advocates with utility assistance, insurance companies, and federal agencies.

For more information, visit www.DECD.org or call (860) 270-8215.