Massachusetts Gov. Charlie Baker issued an order today, March 23, ordering all non-essential businesses needed to combat COVID-19 to close their brick-and-mortar workspaces, effective Tuesday, March 24, at noon; and remain closed until noon on Tuesday, April 7.
Read the order here.
List of Essential Businesses
On Friday, March 20, the U.S. Treasury, IRS, and U.S. Department of Labor announced their plans for making the paid leave provisions in the Families First Coronavirus Response Act (FFCRA) less burdensome for small businesses. Key points include:
Including the information in the link above, this is all we currently know about the payroll tax credit under the FFCRA and how to access or administer it. We will update Comply as soon as new information or guidance is available. You can learn more about the details of the leaves (who is covered, what it’s for, duration, etc.) on our COVID-19 Resources page.
Executive Office of Housing & Economic Development: March 20 updates on the Commonwealth’s response to COVID-19
Updates on the Commonwealth’s response to COVID-19. Below, find several new updates of interest to the business community, followed by a summary of the topics covered on the call March 20.
Small Business Tax Relief – Late-file and Late-pay Penalties Waived
The Baker-Polito Administration recently announced administrative tax relief measures for small local businesses which have been impacted by the ongoing COVID-19 outbreak, especially in the restaurant and hospitality sectors. This tax relief includes postponing the collection of regular sales tax, meals tax, and room occupancy taxes that would be due in March, April and May so that they will instead be due on June 20.
The Department of Revenue announced today that it will waive any late-file or late-pay penalties for returns and payment due for meals and room occupancy taxes between March 20 and May 31, 2020.
Emergency Supply Hub
Life sciences industry leaders joined the Administration today to highlight the new Massachusetts Life Sciences Emergency Supply Hub. MassBio, in partnership with MassMEDIC, the Massachusetts Health and Hospital Association, and the Conference of Boston Teaching Hospitals, launched the Supply Hub to help coordinate efforts aimed at bringing additional supplies and resources to the Commonwealth’s health care institutions as they test and treat patients with COVID-19. The initiative calls on life sciences and health care organizations in the state to donate supplies needed to combat COVID-19. MassBio will share information with the Department of Public Health to triage and connect supplies with those healthcare providers that need them.
Additional Funding for Small Business Recovery Loan Fund
This week, the Administration announced a $10 Million Small Business Recovery Loan Fund to provide financial relief to small businesses and non-profits impacted by COVID-19. Today, the Administration announced that MassDevelopment’s Board of Directors will meet next week to vote on a partnership that will make an additional $10 million available to within the Small Business Recovery Loan Fund. These funds will be used to meet existing applicant demand; the Fund is no longer accepting applications. This state-level emergency loan fund is aimed at providing crucial resources for small businesses that will supplement important federal relief. Applicants are strongly encouraged to apply for the SBA Economic Injury Disaster Loan program, a $50 billion program of the U.S. Small Business Administration.
The Small Business Administration Economic Injury Disaster Loan program is open in MA
The Baker-Polito Administration announced on March 18, 2020, that the U.S. Small Business Administration (SBA) approved the Commonwealth’s disaster declaration, and will offer low-interest federal disaster loans for working capital to Massachusetts small businesses suffering substantial economic injury as a result of the Coronavirus (COVID-19).
Small businesses and private non-profit organizations of any size that have been financially impacted as a direct result of the Coronavirus (COVID-19) may qualify for Economic Injury Disaster Loans of up to $2 million to help meet financial obligations and operating expenses which could have been met had the disaster not occurred. SBA offers loans with long-term repayments in order to keep payments affordable, up to a maximum of 30 years.
Small businesses that were previously profitable, but whose revenues have suffered due to the COVID-19 outbreak (since January 31, 2020), should apply for the SBA EIDL program here. We encourage anyone who applied to the MGCC fund to apply to the SBA EIDL.
In Conversation with the Banking Community
As noted on the call, the Executive Office of Housing and Economic Development is engaged in ongoing and productive conversation with the banking community. The Division of Banks issued guidance for banks in meeting the financial needs of their customers, both households and businesses, available here.
Resources from the Executive Office of Labor and Workforce Development
MBTA Service Reduction
Keep track of changes to the MBTA’s services at https://www.mbta.com/.
We’ll circle back with a dial-in for Friday’s call; in the meantime, please book 1-2 pm on Friday, March 27, 2020 on your calendar for our next touchpoint.
As always, reach out to firstname.lastname@example.org with questions.
Round Room LLC, the nation’s largest Verizon Authorized Retailer, announces today the opening of its newly relocated TCC store in Taunton at 704 County Street.
The Taunton Area Chamber of Commerce celebrated with TCC, holding a ribbon cutting ceremony on March 6 at the new location to welcome back previous customers and connect with new members of the community. TCC offers guests the ultimate experience in interactivity while shopping for wireless devices, accessories and home solutions and is designed as a destination for guests to get hands-on experience with the latest wireless devices.
“We love the Taunton community and the ways TCC has impacted it,” said Scott Moorehead, CEO of Round Room, parent company of TCC. “I am extremely grateful for the support we’ve already received here and look forward to our future in this great city.”
TCC is a Culture of Good, Inc. company and makes ongoing investments in the local communities where it operates. The company recently donated 140,000 backpacks nationwide during its annual School Rocks Backpack Giveaway event. Earlier this year, the company provided supply packs to nearly 6,000 teachers across the U.S. and partnered with local animal rescue organizations nationwide to inspire pet adoptions and collect supplies.
Through TCC Gives’ “Community Grants” initiative, customers and employees can visit nationwide TCC stores to nominate nonprofit organizations to be selected on a quarterly-basis to receive grants up to $10,000. The charity’s “More Than A Phone” program provides smartphones and data plans to at-risk members of the communities the company serves who may otherwise have limited means to stay connected. For more information on these programs, visit www.TCCGives.com.
Have you ever wondered how to do business with the state of Massachusetts? Or what kind of goods and services does the state look for? Where can you find RFPs and RFRs? We sat down with Maria Gonzalez of M & A Supplier Diversity Consultants, to detail the process of companies looking to win contracts with Massachusetts. Did you know that a goat herder has a contract to eat poison ivy from school yards? Maria will walk you through the bidding wars, give guidance in filling out the application, and find the appropriate state proposals for your business.
The Young Professionals Group of the Taunton Area Chamber of Commerce recently donated winter items (hats, mittens, scarves, blankets) to Citizens for Citizens. The items were collected at the YPG Social Jan. 23 at Berkley Beer Company in Taunton. Pictured from left: Nelson Tavares, president/CEO of Taunton Federal Credit Union; Deborah Araujo, director, community resources, Citizens for Citizens; and Rashaud Garner, owner, Platinum City Gaming.
For 20 years, The Arbors Assisted Living at Taunton, a locally family owned business, has been enhancing the quality of life of its residents with engaging and stimulating programs, and more. The Arbors also offers its Reflections program to help those who can no longer meet the needs of their loved ones struggling with memory impairment. The Arbors celebrated its 20th Anniversary with a ribbon cutting by the Taunton Area Chamber of Commerce Dec. 14, 2019.
Congratulations to Life Care Center of Raynham on 25 years in business! The Taunton Area Chamber of Commerce held a ribbon cutting at their Annual Holiday Party & Anniversary Celebration Dec. 12, 2019. Life Care Center of Raynham is a skilled nursing facility that focuses on keeping patients and residents at their maximum levels of independence with inpatient rehabilitation from an in-house rehabilitation team. They also feature state-of-the-art therapies, such as VitalStim® therapy, Closed Pulse Irrigation wound care and lymphedema therapy.
We sat down with Jon Geggatt, the SCORE Taunton branch manager, to learn more about the program and how businesses & members can benefit from their free business counseling services. A program of the Small Business Administration, SCORE mentors can provide the practical action plan, education and tools you need to open your doors and establish a customer base. Already own a business? Their volunteer mentors can help identify ways to increase profit, improve employee and customer satisfaction, and achieve work/ life balance. With SCORE, you can have the honest, confidential and sometimes tough conversations about raising money, motivating your team, marketing your business, and other topics.