Business Updates

August 12, 2021
It has been a busy month for business-related resources and upcoming events I believe you will find useful. As we progress through yet another time of uncertainty regarding the pandemic, please remember that your business has a number of helpful resources and information you can access below. If you missed last month's update, you can click here to utilize any of the "evergreen" information included in that update.

Remember to also check my Facebook page regularly for similar updates, sign-up for my email list on my webpage, and you may reach me by email at Stephanie.Thomas@cga.ct.gov with any specific questions or issues.

 
ANNOUNCEMENTS FROM THE GOVERNOR
 
Cybersecurity Bill Signed to Law

On Friday, July 16, Governor Ned Lamont held a bill signing ceremony at the UConn Tech Park in Storrs to commemorate the adoption of legislation that incentivizes businesses to adopt and adhere to cybersecurity standards.

Supported by the state’s business community, the legislation protects businesses from punitive damages if personal or restricted information is improperly accessed, maintained, communicated, or processed, so long as such businesses have adopted and adhered to appropriate cybersecurity measures. It does not diminish other important legal rights and actions that individuals and businesses can take after a cyber breach.

The legislation is

Public Act 21-119, An Act Incentivizing the Adoption of Cybersecurity Standards for Businesses. It goes into effect on October 1, 2021. I was a proud proponent of the bill when it initially moved through the Commerce Committee.

During last month's ceremony, Governor Lamont also announced an $11 million investment to support the State of Connecticut’s enhanced cybersecurity efforts, with an initial $8.2 million on the agenda for the State Bond Commission at its upcoming meeting.

Earlier this year, Governor Lamont

announced the launch of a year-long process of building a new information technology organization within state government that will centralize the coordination of the state’s IT resources by the Department of Administrative Services, which includes the creation of Connecticut’s first Chief Information Security Officer, a position that has been filled by Jeff Brown. That process will establish an organization capable of delivering modern IT solutions to support state agencies and the public.
 
 
Modernizing State Business Operations

On Tuesday, July 20, Governor Ned Lamont held a bill signing ceremony at Grace Farms in New Canaan to commemorate the adoption of a new law modernizing and updating a variety of state government operations affecting procurement, digital government initiatives, and the Small and Minority Business (or set-aside) Program. The legislation also adds new members with an education background to the Commission on Educational Technology.

The legislation, which was proposed by Governor Lamont, aims to ensure that Connecticut continues to be a better place to do business. State agencies now have more flexibility to use modern digital tools, small and minority owned businesses have better access to work with state government, Connecticut has access to cutting-edge technology, and it helps to ensure that outdated bureaucratic processes are not a hindrance to accessing critical goods and services in times of need.

These advancements will also support the state in preparing for the wave of retirements anticipated in 2022.

The legislation is

Public Act 21-76, An Act Concerning the Modernization of State Services and the Membership of the Commission for Educational Technology.
 
CHAMBER OF COMMERCE EVENTS
Norwalk Chamber of Commerce Events

The Norwalk Chamber of Commerce is hosting two upcoming events. The first is slated to assist local businesses and serve a need for local residents in finding employment. The later will focus on helping black and minority-owned businesses secure credit and access capital, as well as create meaningful connections and relationships with bankers/lenders to help with business growth.

Get Employed by a Local Business

  • When: Wednesday, August 18, 2021 - 10:00am to 3:00pm
  • Where: The SoNo Collection, 100 North Water Street, Norwalk
  • Details: The event itself is free and open to all
  • Info & Registration: Please contact Andy.Alcosser@Connoisseurct.com

Minority-Owned Business Assistance

  • When: Wednesday, August 25, 2021 - 8:30am to 10:00am
  • Where: Zoom
  • Details: The event itself is free and open to all
  • Info & Registration: Please click here
 
SBDC EVENT
CT Small Business Development Center Event

Entrepreneurs invest an incredible amount of time and resources to develop innovations, products, designs, and services. As you move from idea to product, make sure your ideas remain in your hands.

U.S. Patent and Trade Office (USPTO) specialists will join the SBDC for a series of webinars focused on protecting your innovations and will explain the resources available to you.

Trademark Basics:

  • When: Today, August 12 @ noon
  • This workshop will be a deeper dive into trademarks. They will explore the different types of trademarks, including names, designs, logos, and trade dress. We will discuss strategies to perform a trademark search, strengthen descriptive marks, and outline the steps to file a trademark application and all fees associated with trademarks.

If you missed the first two events, they are available on demand:

Register for Today's Live Webinar
View Other On-Demand Webinars
 
COMMUNITY HIGHLIGHTS & UPDATES
In the Community

Over the past month, I have also had the pleasure of visiting a few local businesses for their ribbon cutting celebratory events. Pictured above you can see me at Steam Coffee and Tea as well as Cold Fusion Gelato. I also joined the rooftop party at SoNo 50, which shared a video of their event here.

If you have an event coming up for your local business, I would love to join and see what our community has to offer, just reach out to me.

This week, Norwalk Mayor Harry Rilling announced that effective at 12:01 am on Friday, August 13, the city of Norwalk will require indoor face coverings for all people, regardless of their vaccination status. The Mayor’s executive order affects all establishments in Norwalk, such as bars, gyms, restaurants, movie theaters, hardware stores, and supermarkets where physical distancing cannot be maintained. This order will be enforced by the Norwalk Police Department and Norwalk Health Department. To read more from the Mayor's office, click here.