Officials highlight final phase of COVID-19 small business grant program in Norwalk

Lt. Gov. Susan Bysiewicz was in Norwalk today to discuss how small businesses can apply for the final phase of the city's COVID-19 grant program.
Bysiewicz was joined by Mayor Harry Rilling at an art gallery that recently was awarded funds through the program. The owner was awarded COVID recovery funds, during the second phase of the program. She talked to News 12 about how the funding has helped her business.
As for the final phase of the grant program, for-profit businesses located in Norwalk can apply. The businesses must have two to 20 employees, and they must be able to show they've been negatively impacted by the pandemic.
Officials say 50 grants are available, and $375,000 will be awarded among the businesses that are chosen. Officials say the money can be used for COVID recovery, including rent payments, utility payments, payroll, PPE, and more.
Here is a breakdown of how the funds will be divided:
-Businesses with two to five employees will receive $5,000
-Businesses with six to 15 employees will be awarded $10,000
-Businesses with 16 to 20 employees will be granted $15,000
Businesses that were previously awarded funds can apply again, but only if the amount they're eligible for this time around is greater than the amount they received in Phases 1 or 2.
The Connecticut Department of Economic and Community Development will review all applications. Eligible businesses will then be chosen at random through a lottery system.
Officials say since the start of the pandemic, the city has granted $520,000 to nearly 70 local businesses. More than 75% of those businesses have been women or minority-owned.
Norwalk small businesses can apply for the grant money through Feb. 17.
For more information on the application process, click here.