State gives Newtown $500,000 in economic assistance

The administration of Gov. Dannel P. Malloy said Tuesday it has given a $500,000 grant through the Small Town Economic Assistance Program to Newtown to help local businesses affected by weeks of street closures and other disruptions after the shooting at Sandy Hook Elementary School.

The money will be administered by Newtown.

“Our thoughts and prayers continue to be with everyone that was affected by the horrible events at Sandy Hook Elementary School,” Malloy said. “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.”

E. Patricia Llodra, the town’s first selectman, said the disruption to local businesses came during the holiday shopping season.

“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. On behalf of the town, we are appreciative of this extraordinary kindness and appreciation for our difficulties,” she said.

The announcement by the governor’s office included comments by Senate Minority Leader John McKinney, R-Fairfield, whose district includes Newtown, and Rep. Chris Lyddy, D-Newtown, whose term ends tomorrow.

“In the midst of unimaginable shock and grief, the global response to the Newtown tragedy has been inspiring,” McKinney said. “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,” Lyddy said. “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.”