Gov. Malloy announced Tuesday the state will provide $500,000 in funding to Newtown, aimed at helping small businesses recover from the days following the tragedy at Sandy Hook when press, the public, and public figures flocked to the small town, adversely affecting economic activity.

Heavy traffic and road closures disrupted business as usual as visitors to the town rapidly increased in the wake of the shooting. But rather than stimulating the local economy, the masses did quite the opposite.  “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,” said Newtown First Selectman E. Patricia Llodra, who thanked the state for their quick action in providing aid to the town.

Elected officials say the grant, which is part of the Small Town Economic Assistance Program (STEAP), will soften the economic blow Newtown suffered as a result of the shootings. “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,” said Newtown State Rep. Christopher Lyddy.