What drove the taxi driver to suicide?

The taxi driver who set himself on fire and killed himself last week has been overwhelmed by a series of setbacks, his brother said. Deeply in debt and unable to pay off his vehicle’s NDEs, 32-year-old Pratap Kumar K sprayed himself with kerosene and set himself on fire in his …

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SBA briefly offers PPP loans only for small businesses

MIDDLETOWN – Surprisingly, March begins this week in Middlesex County and across our great nation. A year ago this week, the term “COVID-19” and its potential impact began to really take hold in Middlesex County.

It’s been a good year, but I couldn’t be more proud of this community and the resilience it has shown. I continue to be very optimistic as we enter March, and the House continues to move.

Since the onset of this crisis, the chamber has done its best to be a resource for businesses as they scoured the many relief programs available to them. The Biden administration recently announced changes to the Paycheck Protection Program, which are designed to support small and micro businesses, entrepreneurs and sole proprietors.

We are currently in a two week window where the Small business administration only accepts PPP loan applications from companies with less than 20 employees. There is still a lot of money available through PPP, so if companies have not yet explored this option, or are reluctant to do so because of concerns about the application process, please check free payday loans online – bridge payday

In terms of the room calendar, this week features a variety of important meetings. The first big meeting in March takes place on Monday with a virtual meeting of our executive committee, which includes a variety of business and community leaders from several sectors of the industry. Monday’s meeting will be chaired by our chairman, Tom Byrne, and, along with important updates on chamber activities, will feature updates from the public health and banking sectors in Middlesex County.

This week also includes important meetings of our Portland and East Hampton Division, Environment and Infrastructure Committee, Central Business Office, Real Estate Board, Golf Committee, County Division de Down and a virtual meeting of our Strategic Planning Committee, which was very helpful as we guided the House through this difficult time.


Looking ahead, a busy March includes a number of important large-scale virtual room events. We look forward to welcoming US Congresswoman Rosa DeLauro on March 8 for a Virtual Membership Luncheon sponsored by DATTCO. Congresswoman DeLauro was recently elected chair of the powerful House Appropriations Committee. While this post has always been hugely important in Washington DC, it is now even more critical as the federal government leads the country’s response to the pandemic.

We look forward to hearing an update from Rosa on the many important issues being considered in Congress, and thank her very much for her time. I would also like to thank DATTCO President and outgoing Chamber President Don DeVivo for his support of this event and for his remarkable dedication to our chamber. We are looking forward to a great event.

We look forward to an exciting Virtual Membership Breakfast on March 15 with UConn’s Women’s Basketball Head Coach, Geno Auriemma. This important chamber event is sponsored by MiddleOak. Coach Auriemma and the Lady Huskies look to end the season strong as they prepare for another NCAA tournament.

The coach always does a great job with his remarks. Sure, he talks about his great team and their current season, but he also talks about leadership strategy and other lessons that are very relevant to the business community, especially now. I would like to thank Geno again for speaking to our members and MiddleOak for his sponsorship. We can’t wait. Go Huskies!

I fear I will have to end this week’s column again on a sad note after the recent deaths of two well-respected local gentlemen.

Carmelo “Carl” Marino recently passed away at the age of 77. Carl was president of SG Marino Crane, a local family business started by Carl’s parents in the 1950s. He was a good man with a special dedication to the community and, above all, to the family. He was a staunch supporter of Middletown Motorcycle Mania and Cruise Night on Main for many years.

Our thoughts and prayers are with his entire family, including his wife, Stacy, and his brother, Larry, who sits on the executive committee of the chamber. Carl Marino will be sadly missed.

Finally, our thoughts and prayers are also with the friends and family of John A. “Johnny” Moore, who recently passed away at the far too young age of 61. Johnny was a regular in Middletown and was known throughout that community as the owner of Fat City Cycles and the city manager owned Robert M. Keating Historical Enterprise Park on Johnson Street.

He was always ready to lend a hand and he was a loyal and reliable friend to many of us. Johnny was instrumental in launching Middletown Motorcycle Mania and has supported many other community events and initiatives.

I will always be grateful for his support of our chamber and his efforts to support businesses not only at the Keating facility, but throughout Middletown. Johnny will be sadly missed by many, but most of all by his beloved family. May they be comforted that he is now at peace and that his memory will last.

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