COVID-19 Resources for Downtown Bridgeport Businesses

Updated July 31, 2020, at 12:00 p.m. Since May 20th, Governor Lamont has announced a series of reopening protocols and guidelines for the Connecticut economy. As a means of adding creative ideas to the required safety protocols the Governor has released, the Bridgeport DSSD has compiled its Downtown Bridgeport Back to Business Guide (see below).

Any business or nonprofit planning to reopen must certify with the state that they understand and will comply with the rules for reopening. The mandatory process only takes a few minutes and can be found online here. After completing the certification, companies can download Safety Signage and a Badge to display at their place of business and post on their website or social media channels.

Contact your local Small Business Development Center and the State’s the Business Reopening and Recovery Center. These are your one-stop resources to help your business prepare, rebuild, and grow during the COVID-19 pandemic response. The State also released its Small Business Reopening Resource Guide, filled with tools and recommendations for reopening safely, along with downloadable CDC guidelines for offices, restaurants and bars. Please don’t hesitate to contact the Bridgeport DSSD by email or by phone at (203) 908-3622 with any questions.

 

DOWNTOWN BRIDGEPORT BACK TO BUSINESS GUIDE

There have been a number of guides and toolkits created for the business community to reopen safely for their customers and their employees. Below is a summary of some of the available resources, organized by business type. We are also thrilled to announce a partnership with the Entrepreneurship Foundation and the Connecticut Consortium of Entrepreneurship Educators to provide FREE business coaching, digital communications interns, guide to starting or growing your business, financial planning tools, and networking/peer support through the Entrepreneurs Society. To access these FREE services, send us an email and we will follow up with details.

Restaurants and Food Businesses: Per Governor Lamont’s guidance, eateries would be limited to outdoor seating with no access to their bars.

  • Read the State of Connecticut’s Rules for Reopening Restaurants here.
  • You can access Bridgeport Zoning Department’s seasonal outdoor dining permit application here. The Zoning Office at 45 Lyon Terrace is open by timed-appointment only to provide in-person services on Thursdays from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. You can request an in-person appointment by email: Zoning@Bridgeportct.gov, or by calling 203-576-7217. For in-person appointments, all visitors to 45 Lyon Terrace must be wearing a face mask.
  • The National Restaurant Association partnered with Food and Drug Administration (FDA), public health officials, industry representatives, the Conference for Food Protection, and others to create protocols for restaurants to reopen safely. Additionally, the guidance incorporates recommendations from FDA’s just-released Best Practices for Retail Food Stores, Restaurants, and Food Pick-Up/Delivery Services During the COVID-19 Pandemic. Access the guide here.
  • Streetsense, a national restaurant and retail advisory firm, created a Relaunch Toolkit that includes recommendations on how to prepare a capital plan for relaunch, change operations to comply with new public health requirements (including sample floor plans), communicate with customers and staff on new operations, and ways to diversify your business model such as virtual kitchen, make at home kits, delivery options, and more. Access the Relaunch Toolkit here.
  • Check out resources and information from the Connecticut Restaurant Association website and their Facebook page.
  • The Entrepreneurship Foundation has released a guide to reopening, which summarizes insights from a wide range of sources. Access their guide here.

Retail: This includes smaller stores, such as clothing, toy, shoe, and jewelry stores.

Personal Services: These include nail and hair salons, barbershops, and tattoo parlors.

Arts and Culture Organizations: These establishments would be limited to outdoor areas only.

Hotels: Hotels are open to guests with reservations, and must ensure strict adherence to the protocols listed here. Read the State of Connecticut’s Rules for Reopening Hotels here. The Downtown’s Holiday Inn Hotel opened on June 20th, but the swimming pool will not be open. Contact hotel staff for more information by phone at (203) 334-1234, or by visiting their website here.

Professional offices: Governor Lamont’s task force recommends employees continue to work from home where possible.

BUSINESS ALERTS

Since March 17, the Bridgeport DSSD has sent out a series of business alerts with information about emergency operations, how to get support for your local business, and disaster recovery resources that are available. If you would like to be added to the business alert newsletter list, send us an email. Below is a listing of those alerts, which will be updated as new alerts are released. Also, please review our latest guide to navigating the economy’s reopening and let us know if we need to add or update your business information.