On May 10, exactly three years and two months after Gov. Ned Lamont declared a public health emergency in response to the COVID-19 pandemic, he declared it over. But that doesn’t mean life got a hard reset to the beginning of 2020.

COVID-19 caused a cascade of changes to what we used to call “normal” in Connecticut and beyond. Some of those changes came and went, but some have persisted. The “new normal” is now just normal.

From 2019 until the pandemic was declared, Connecticut had an average of 2,817 new business applications per month, according to U.S. Census data. And there wasn’t a lot of variation. The lowest monthly amount was just under 2,500 and the amount never went higher than 2,980. A month after the pandemic was declared, however, applications fell to just below 2,000, the lowest amount in almost two decades. But then, applications spiked — and rested at a level far above pre-pandemic numbers.

Chris DiPentima, president and chief executive officer of the Connecticut Business and Industry Association, said that a declining workforce with people retiring or people leaving their jobs is also driving the rise.

He notes that the state budget surplus along federal relief money was able to provide financial support to entrepreneurial organizations such as CT Innovations, innovation hubs and the Women’s Business Development Council.


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