Restaurant workers plan protest in Hartford to demand extra help from state

As COVID-19 cases rise, restaurants are seeing a steep drop in business - and now, they're planning a protest at Gov. Ned Lamont's front door.

News 12 Staff

Dec 10, 2020, 2:39 PM

Updated 1,280 days ago

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As COVID-19 cases rise, restaurants are seeing a steep drop in business - and now, they're planning a protest at Gov. Ned Lamont's front door.
Dustin Amore is the head bartender at Conspiracy, a cocktail lounge in Middletown. He's organizing a protest next Monday in front of the governor's residence in Hartford.
"Restaurants are suffering the hardest currently, and 600 restaurants in the state of Connecticut have already closed," Amore says.
Restaurants are demanding extra financial help. Federal money from the Paycheck Protection Program ran out months ago.
The state has only offered restaurants $5,000 - barely enough to cover rent.
And now, nearly four dozen doctors are asking to shut down all indoor dining.
"I feel that indoor dining is very risky. I don't think it is necessary to continue at this point," says Dr. Manisha Juthani, of the Yale School of Medicine.
For now, Lamont is taking a wait-and-see approach.
"Our restaurants are open and no plans to change that at this point," he says.
As for help, Lamont was hoping it would come from Washington.
"It's time for the feds to do, but I'm going to do what I can at the state level as well. Not as much as anybody wants, but enough to be a help," he says.
"Either rent relief, maybe another round of a payroll protection loan," says Amore, when asked what the state can do to help restaurants.
Restaurants still have barricades out for outdoor dining, but with the weather getting cold, they say they simply can't last all winter.


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