$46.6 Million for CT Small Businesses

October 26, 2022

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Dear Neighbor,

Hard to believe we are at the end of October considering the relatively warm weather. If you have kids, my guess is you are busy preparing for Halloween on Monday night and I've included some safety tips for you and them below. And since, Thanksgiving will feel like it's right around the corner very soon, see the information on Thanksgiving meals for seniors in Canton.

Friendly reminder that the flu is already here and your best protection from getting a severe case is to get the flu vaccine. If you haven't yet had a chance to do so and are eligible, consider scheduling your appointment this week. I know strain A is already in the Avon schools and my guess is if it isn't already in Canton, it will be soon.

Speaking of health, Access Health CT will begin its open enrollment period next week in case you or someone you know is looking for health insurance.

To round out this week we have a fundraiser happening for Avon's Dollars for Scholars, small business information and updates as well as the good news about all of the Department of Motor Vehicle (DMV) services that are now available online.
As an FYI, my wonderful press aide, Danielle Faipler, will be leaving us on 11/3. She has dutifully helped me get these updates to you over the last few months and I am very grateful. I wish her well in her new job at UConn and I hope you'll be patient with me as we navigate updates moving forward with inevitable personnel changes.
Have a great week,


Thanksgiving Meals for Canton Seniors
The Canton Senior Center will be offering two options for its Thanksgiving meals this holiday.

The first option is a free meal box with traditional ingredients to prepare your Thanksgiving dinner at home. The second option is a $6 prepared meal, including roasted turkey breast, maple glazed ham, stuffing, brussels sprouts, gravy, cranberry sauce, salad, and biscuit. 

Please order by November 16. Homebound seniors can have their meals delivered. To order or learn more, please call 860-693-5811 or email SASS@TownofCantonCT.org.

Avon Dollars for Scholars Fundraiser
Tomorrow, October 27, you'll be able to enjoy authentic Mexican cuisine from Puerto Vallarta Avon, 15 West Avon Rd, while benefiting Avon Dollars for Scholars. From 11 a.m. to 10 p.m., 20% of proceeds from dine-in and take-out orders will go to the program. Make sure to mention Avon Dollars for Scholars when you order. If you can't attend, but want to donate to this great scholarship program, text ADFS to 44-321. To learn more, please click here.
New Services Available on DMV Website

 As part of the state's efforts to reduce in-person visits and wait times at DMV offices, the DMV website will provide more streamlined services and more online service options for residents. The newly updated website will also offer expanded language options including Arabic, Chinese, French, German, Polish, Portuguese, Russian, and Spanish. 

In the coming weeks, Connecticut residents will be able to request refunds when canceling vehicle and vessel registrations and replacing lost titles. Until now, these services could only be completed using paper forms. Through these efforts, DMV wait times have dramatically decreased. Today, wait times are less than 15 minutes, on average.

You can read more about this here. Have something you need to take care of at the DMV? Click here to see if you can get it done through the new website.

$46.6 Million to Support CT Small Businesses
Connecticut will be making a 5-year, $46.6 million investment to expand small business assistance programs across our state to help drive small business growth in underserved areas.

As our state weathers turbulent economic times, this grant program will strengthen the backbone of Connecticut's economy - our small businesses. At least 50% of the funds will go to minority, women, disabled, and veteran-owned companies and startups, as well as those that are located in economically distressed municipalities. Grants will be awarded to local nonprofit economic development organizations that provide a variety of support and programs to small businesses.

This investment is part of a larger strategy to support small businesses and complements the Connecticut Small Business Boost Fund that was launched this summer.

You can read more about this program and find a list of recipients here.

CSCU to Offer Seminars for Small Businesses & Startups
Connecticut State Community College is launching free statewide small business and startup seminars to help Connecticut's small businesses and entrepreneurs grow and thrive in the post-COVID-19 economy. Seminars will be offered in-person and virtually from October through mid-December and will cover the challenges businesses currently face and tactics to navigate them. Funding for this initiative was included in the state budget that I proudly supported.

You can register for a seminar here. For more information, please contact the Northwestern Connecticut Community College Entrepreneurial Center Director John Fiorello at jfiorello@nwcc.edu.

Access Health CT Open Enrollment Begins Nov. 1
Access Health CT's (AHCT) Open Enrollment Period will open on Tuesday, November 1. During this period, individuals can renew their coverage or explore the various policy options for the first time or see if they can save money.

There are several ways Connecticut residents can get free help with enrollment, including:

  • In-person: There are in-person enrollment locations and events taking place across Connecticut. Find more information here.
  • Online: Visit accesshealthct.com. You can learn more about the different plans and find free help online using the "live chat" feature.
  • By phone: Call 1-855-805-4325. Help is available Monday - Friday, 8:00 am- 5:00 pm. Customers who are deaf or hearing impaired may use TTY at 1- 855-789-2428 or call with a relay operator.
  • Work with a Broker: To find a Certified Broker or Enrollment Specialist, visit accesshealthct.com/get-help/

If you or your family need quality, affordable healthcare please don't miss this opportunity. Click here to learn more.

Halloween Safety
This Monday children of all ages will dress up in fun and scary costumes to celebrate one of the biggest holidays of the season.

And, while everyone enjoys trick or treating or any other outdoor evening activities, please follow safety tips as children are more than twice as likely to be hit by a car on Halloween than on any other day of the year.

Here are some safety tips to keep in mind:

  • Wear reflective clothes and carry a flashlight to see and alert others of your presence
  • Young children should never go trick or treating alone
  • Walk on side of the street and avoid running from house to house
  • Only visit well-lit homes
  • Inspect all candy and treats before eating or giving to others
  • Discourage use of sharp accessories that can be harmful
  • And always look both ways before crossing the street
Additional Safety Tips
I wish you and your family a safe, enjoyable Halloween!

Eleni Kavros DeGraw
State Representative

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