COVID-19 Resources for Downtown Bridgeport Businesses

Updated May 9, 2020, at 12:30 p.m. On Friday, May 8th, Governor Lamont announced how Connecticut businesses could begin to reopen as early as Wednesday, May 20th, based upon recommendations from the Reopen Connecticut Advisory Group, public health experts, and members of the business community. Below is the press release detailing specific guidance on reopening protocols and safety practice expectations. 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).

We would like to hear from you about your plans to reopen, and what support the DSSD might be able to provide in helping you to reopen successfully. Please complete this brief survey (5 minutes to answer at most): https://www.surveymonkey.com/r/Q72LPVX.

To access information and guidance on available business recovery loan and grant programs, contact your local Small Business Development Center and the State’s COVID-19 Business Emergency Response Unit by phone (860) 500-2333 or by email. 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. All types of businesses can benefit from reviewing the practices recommended in the CDC’s Interim COVID-19 Response Guidance to Businesses.

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 would include 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.

 

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 Guide to Supporting Downtown Bridgeport businesses and let us know if we need to add or update your business information.

NOTICE: It's time to Stay Safe and Stay Home! Check out ways to love your local Downtown Bridgeport businesses from home! For the latest information, resources, and guidance, click here.