Governor Lamont Highlights Business Pandemic Recovery in Made by Connecticut Episode
Special Episode of Digital Series Focuses on Craft Brewery in East Windsor Amid Industry’s Toughest Year in Decades
HARTFORD, CT (STL.News) Governor Ned Lamont released a special COVID-19 business recovery episode of Made by Connecticut, an Instagram series highlighting notable businesses across industry sectors vital to the state. Problem Solved, a craft brewery in East Windsor owned by Alan Bukowniski and Heath Gelinas, hosted the governor in December.
During the visit where they showcased Problem Solved’s unique brewing methods and products, Bukowniski and Gelinas shared some of the challenges their operation faced during the pandemic, like direct-to-consumer sales and distribution growth. According to the Brewers Association – the trade association representing small and independent brewers – 2020 saw a 9% decline in production from the year before and an estimated 346 breweries closed. This was the first decline in craft beer production in recent years.
Bukowniski and Gelinas also explained how their business weathered the storm, including some of the steps taken by the Lamont administration and the General Assembly to help small businesses and craft breweries. They were joined by State Senator Saud Anwar, who represents East Windsor, South Windsor, East Hartford, and Ellington.
“As a former business owner, I understand that the pandemic has created the most challenging environment to own and operate a business since the Great Depression,” Governor Lamont said. “Our business owners deserve the full support of the state’s vast resources to recover from that once in a lifetime challenge, even growing stronger than before in the process. I intend to provide that, along with a friendlier business atmosphere, so they have the confidence to invest in themselves, take chances, and grow in our state’s great towns and cities. I’m grateful that Alan and Heath told me their story, a similar one to many small business owners chasing their dreams. Entrepreneurs should know that Connecticut is a place where dreams come true, pandemic or not.”
“I am continually impressed by the resiliency and resourcefulness of Connecticut companies — no matter the industry,” Connecticut Department of Economic and Community Development Commissioner David Lehman said. “Problem Solved’s journey through this pandemic reminds us how important it is that we support our small businesses and create an environment where they can innovate, thrive and grow.”
“The COVID-19 pandemic has been one of the most grueling times for everyone including many small businesses,” Bukowniski and Gelinas said. “We have had to constantly adapt our business in a variety of ways to ensure we keep our customers and staff safe while continuing to provide quality service and products during these hard times. We continue to take things day-by-day and persevere with the love we have for our industry. We have such an amazing community of customers that have supported us every step of the way and for that we are forever grateful. Support your local businesses and we will all come out on the other side stronger than ever.”
Businesses can review funded and non-funded COVID-19 recovery resources from the State of Connecticut at ct.gov/ctrecovers.