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Hartford Stage
Courtesy Hartford Stage

Three months of COVID-related measures continue to take their toll on arts and culture organizations in the state. The prolonged closure of Connecticut’s performing arts venues and museums has cost those organizations nearly $29 million, according to the national arts advocacy organization Americans for the Arts. 

a closed sign
Ryan Caron King / Connecticut Public Radio

The economy has been thrown into turmoil by the coronavirus pandemic, but predicting the longer-term effects of the downturn can be a tricky business. U.S. consumer spending was up a record 18% in May, despite the fact that unemployment remains in double digits. So how do we chart the future now that the pandemic has changed everything?

Connecticut Treasurer Shawn Wooden
Chion Wolf / WNPR

Connecticut Treasurer Shawn Wooden recently penned a passionate editorial in the Hartford Courant, imploring corporations to use their influence to lead the way in making society more equitable for people of color. Last fall his office spearheaded an effort known as the Northeast Investors’ Diversity Initiative to try to force big companies to diversify their boards. He spoke with Connecticut Public Radio’s All Things Considered host, John Henry Smith.

Sgt. Ashley N. Sokolov / U.S. Air Force

This is part of a series of shows from Where We Live about the future of work after the COVID-19 pandemic.

The pandemic has caused major disruptions for workers' careers, but the latest numbers show women have been hit particularly hard.

Women, and especially women of color, are bearing some of the largest economic impacts of the pandemic, from facing higher rates of unemployment to holding the majority of frontline essential jobs.

This hour: how will COVID-19 worsen gender inequality in the workplace?

We talk about how societal expectations around child care duties affect parents’ careers especially when schools have been closed.

Connecticut Businesses Ready To Reopen But Worry Whether Customers Will Return

Jun 8, 2020
connecticut businesses reopen
Cloe Poisson / CT Mirror

For some Connecticut businesses scheduled to reopen on June 17, the worry is finding enough disinfectant. For others, the biggest question isn’t about opening their doors but whether anyone will be coming through them any time soon.

Most business operators contacted Monday said the new guidelines issued by Gov. Ned Lamont’s administration for the next phase of Connecticut’s economic re-start in the COVID-19 era were about what they’ve been expecting for weeks.

Ryan Caron King / Connecticut Public Radio

Where We Live hosts a series of conversations about the future of the work during and after the COVID-19 pandemic. From the daily commute to the role of essential workers, we talk about how the workplace has been fundamentally changed by the pandemic. Listen to recent episodes and check back for more:

Lamont Makes A Father’s Day Gesture To Restaurants

Jun 5, 2020
Diners on the patio of Mondo’s in Middletown on May 20, the first day restaurants were allowed to open for outdoor dining.
Cloe Poisson / CTMirror.org

Gov. Ned Lamont, whose administration has been facing intense lobbying by the restaurant industry over COVID-19 restrictions, made a modest concession Friday by allowing indoor dining on June 17, three days ahead of the previously scheduled second phase of reopening on June 20.

Dennis Carr / Flickr

The beginning of the month means the rent is due. But what if you lost your job during the COVID-19 pandemic?

This hour, we talk to a housing advocate about what protections exist for Connecticut residents who can’t afford housing costs right now. And we learn about the lasting consequences for residents who are at risk for eviction if the state and federal governments don’t provide additional protections.

Updated at 12:37 p.m. ET

The Senate Banking Committee took its first look at spending under the massive CARES Act, which Congress approved in March to provide assistance to individuals, businesses and local governments affected by the coronavirus pandemic.

Federal Reserve Chair Jerome Powell and Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin were pressed by senators about their stewardship of specific aspects of the approximately $2 trillion relief package at Tuesday's remote hearing.

locals only sticker
HOWARD WEISS-TISMAN / VPR

Across New England, tensions already existed between year-round residents and "part-timers."

Now, as coronavirus pushes more people from crowded cities to rural second homes, it's raised the question: "Whose town is this anyway?"

A federal judge has dismissed a lawsuit that alleged Ben & Jerry's Homemade Inc. misleads consumers with claims that its farms protect the environment and keep their cows contented.

Frankie Graziano / Connecticut Public Radio

What will Connecticut’s reopening look like?  The anticipated day is just a couple weeks away on May 20. In the lead up, the Governor’s administration has released a set of rules for businesses that will be allowed to reopen, including restaurants and hair salons.

This hour, Governor Ned Lamont calls in to talk about the rules businesses will have to follow. We ask: is May 20 a firm date? What other conditions will need to be met before Connecticut reopens?

And later, we talk with Dr. Charles Lee of Jackson Labs in Farmington, Connecticut. How have research institutions in our state pivoted to fight the pandemic?

May 20th. It’s the day that Governor Lamont’s closure orders run out. Will schools and nonessential businesses begin to open back up? That all depends on positive trends on COVID-19 hospitalizations, and access to testing.

Brewery Legitimus
Frankie Graziano / Connecticut Public Radio

The state recently tossed a lifeline out to more than 100 craft brewers as part of an effort to keep people in their homes. Gov. Ned Lamont signed an executive order on April 2 allowing liquor permittees to deliver alcohol to state residents during the COVID-19 pandemic.

Travis Wise / flickr creative commons

I haven't been grocery shopping in 21 days. The last time I went, March 26, was a harrowing experience.

It was before this particular grocery store, at least, had started limiting the number of customers in the building at a time, before it had made aisles one-way, before it started wiping down carts after each use and providing sanitizing wipes for customers to use.

Staff and customers alike didn't seem to understand just how far six feet is, and the aisles were too narrow to afford that sort of distancing anyway. Fresh meats were in short supply, cleaning products were nowhere to be found, and canned and frozen foods were few and far between.

And so I haven't been back.

Ryan Caron King / Connecticut Public

From small business to big employers — from family farms to fishermen — New England’s economy is taking a hit from the coronavirus. 

Join us for an America Amplified special from the New England News Collaborative. We'll bring together voices from across the region, and we want to hear yours.

Lamont Defines 'Essential' Businesses That Can Remain In Operation After Monday

Mar 22, 2020
Mark Pazniokas / CT Mirror

Gov. Ned Lamont clarified his work ban on non-essential services late Sunday, carving out dozens of exemptions centered on key areas like child and health care, food, law enforcement, utilities and transportation, finances and insurance.

Stock Catalog / Flickr

As the number of COVID-19 cases continues to rise in Connecticut and across the US, many Americans are staying home to prevent the spread of this deadly disease. But not everyone can work remotely and many people have lost their jobs. This hour, we take a look at the pandemic’s economic impact .

We hear from Connecticut workers in the gig economy—people who drive for Lyft or deliver for Uber Eats. And we talk with an economist about what policies can ease the economic burden on Americans.

We want to hear from you. How is the coronavirus affecting your family—and your pocketbook?

Ryan Lindsay / Connecticut Public Radio

On Thursday, the state Department of Transportation announced immediate changes to public bus operations.

Passengers will now board from the rear, some buses will have new impermeable barriers to protect drivers, and the DOT is advising riders to use public transit only for essential travel. 

Richard Drew / Associated Press

The dizzying plunge in stock market values in recent days, as the coronavirus crisis has intensified, has the business world on edge. William Goetzmann, professor of finance at the Yale School of Management and stock market historian, spoke with Connecticut Public Radio’s All Things Considered to put the recent volatility into perspective.

U.S. Army

The Lamont administration says working families across the state with low to moderate incomes are beginning to see the impact of a $14 million federal investment in their child care needs. Care 4 Kids, a state and federally funded subsidy program, is using the federal money to increase how much families receive as reimbursement for infant and toddler care.

Russ / CreativeCommons.org

Standardized tests, application forms, campus visits. The path to college can be a daunting one, especially when you add tuition to the mix. Then, of course, there is the cost of room and board, meal plans, textbooks...feeling stressed yet?

This hour, we tackle the realities of affording a college education, and we also hear from you. Are you the parent of a college-age student? Are you, yourself, working toward a college degree? How has this impacted you financially...emotionally? 

An Effort In Connecticut To End The Economic Border Wars

Jan 29, 2020
Courtesy: Cigna

Can the states agree to mutually disarm when it comes to the billions of dollars in economic incentives that are spent annually coaxing companies to move, expand or sometimes merely stay put?

State lawmakers said Tuesday it is worth trying to find out. They are filing legislation directing Connecticut to join a nascent effort to develop an interstate compact banning company-specific incentives that are essential to corporate border wars.

The State of Connecticut

The 2017 Tax Cuts and Jobs Act introduced a new initiative, the Opportunity Zones Program, to spur investment in the nation’s most distressed communities. The state of Connecticut is home to 72 Opportunity Zones. What efforts are being made to attract investors to these regions? This hour, we find out, and we also hear from you. Do you live in or near an Opportunity Zone? 

Sujata Srinivasan

Predicting the direction of the economy is a notoriously tricky business, and it may be even more difficult than usual as we look further into 2020. That’s because the year ahead is full of political and financial uncertainty -- both for Connecticut and for the nation. Connecticut Public gathered thoughts and predictions from some of the state’s foremost economic thinkers.

Phil Warren / Creative Commons

On the need for new affordable housing, some Connecticut municipalities say "not in my backyard." But why this NIMBY approach?

This hour, we take an in-depth look with the author of a ProPublica-Connecticut Mirror investigation into local housing policies. We also check in with a town in southwest Connecticut, and with the policy director for the nonprofit Partnership for Strong Communities. 

The State of Connecticut

The 2017 Tax Cuts and Jobs Act introduced a new initiative, the Opportunity Zones Program, to spur investment in the nation’s most distressed communities. The state of Connecticut is home to 72 Opportunity Zones. What efforts are being made to attract investors to these regions? This hour, we find out, and we also hear from you. Do you live in or near an Opportunity Zone? 

Updated at 10 a.m. ET

U.S. employers added 136,000 jobs in September — a sign of continued resilience in the labor market amid growing signals that the economy is losing steam.

The unemployment rate fell to 3.5% — the lowest since December 1969 — but the pace of hiring has slowed from last year. The jobless rate was 3.7% in August.

Job gains for the two previous months were revised up by a total of 45,000.

Bob Orozco barks out instructions like a drill sergeant. The 40 or so older adults in this class follow his lead, stretching and bending and marching in place.

It goes like this for nearly an hour, with 89-year-old Orozco doing every move he asks of his class. He does that in each of the 11 classes he teaches every week at this YMCA in Laguna Niguel, Calif.

"I probably will work until something stops me," Orozco says.

The State Of Main Street Retail

Sep 27, 2019
David Lofink / Creative Commons

Venture into any of Connecticut's municipal centers and you will likely notice an empty storefront … or two or three or, well, you get the point.

This hour, we ask: What impact do these vacancies have on the vitality of local communities? And what resources are available to help these communities attract and retain more retail businesses?

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