Help is on the way for some Newtown businesses that may have been financially hurt in the aftermath of the Dec. 14 shooting at Sandy Hook Elementary School, according to a release from Gov. Dannel P. Malloy's office.
On Tuesday, Malloy announced a $500,000 Small town Economic Assistance (STEAP) grant for Newtown to reimburse local businesses who lost out on profits in the weeks after the shooting — specifically, those in the village of Sandy Hook affected by weeks of road closures and whose entrances were blocked by heavy pedestrian and vehicular traffic as thousands came to pay their respects to the 20 children and six educators killed in the tragedy.
"Even as we work toward broader reforms to better protect our communities, these STEAP funds will have an immediate impact on the regional economy and protect area jobs," said Malloy.
According the release, Newtown officials will administer the funds.
"The Town of Newtown is very grateful to our state government, the Governor, and the Office of Policy and Management for taking quick action to assist us in support of our Sandy Hook businesses," said First Selectman Pat Llodra in the release. "In the aftermath of the shootings, our businesses were essentially shut down by the volume of traffic and media preventing customers from getting to stores, services and restaurants during the busiest shopping days of the year."
Other officials weighed in on the grant, too.
"In the midst of unimaginable shock and grief, the global response to the Newtown tragedy has been inspiring. This grant will help Newtown's local businesses and the people they employ weather the economic toll this tragedy has taken on their community."
“The tragedy in Newtown has permeated all aspects of our community. In addition to the obvious course we must take to begin our healing, we must not forget about the local businesses that have been adversely affected by this situation. This $500,000 grant reinforces that we value our local businesses and appreciate the contributions they make to our town. I am grateful to Governor Malloy and his administration for their quick action in supporting our efforts.”