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February 20, 2021 / 2021 Power 50

2021 Power 50: 11. Tyler Anderson & Scott Dolch

HBJ Photo | Bill Morgan Chef Tyler Anderson at Millwrights in Simsbury.

Connecticut’s restaurant industry has been battered by the pandemic but it’s had several leaders advocating to save eateries from going out of business.

Connecticut Restaurant Association Executive Director Scott Dolch and celebrity chef Tyler Anderson have been lobbying state and federal policymakers to ease restrictions on restaurants and create financial aid packages to help them survive.

Scott Dolch

Dolch’s profile over the last year has risen significantly, and he’s really had no choice. At the outset of the pandemic last March restaurants were forced to close indoor dining and provide takeout-only services. He had to help his members adapt. He’s spent the last year lobbying the Lamont administration to ease certain capacity and curfew restrictions and to make available loans and grants to help restaurants get through the worst of the pandemic.

Indeed tens of millions of dollars in grants and loans were made available on the state level. He also lobbied Connecticut’s congressional delegation to push for Paycheck Protection Program funding, which has provided a financial lifeline to many restaurants.

Meantime, when journalists had questions about how restaurants were adapting during the pandemic they often turned to Anderson, owner of Millwright's in Simsbury and several other Connecticut restaurants.

Anderson has been an innovator throughout the pandemic, purchasing a food truck to buoy his outdoor dining service over the summer and setting up greenhouses outdoors to accommodate foodies during colder winter months.

Tyler Anderson

When state officials initially rejected the greenhouses as unsafe, Anderson, who has appeared on several Food Network shows, made a public plea for them to reverse their decision. They did about a day later. That’s power and influence.

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