The Governor recently signed an Order updating limitations on gatherings across the Commonwealth.
Effective October 5th, a limited number of sectors will be eligible to reopen, with restrictions, in Step 2 of Phase III for lower risk communities only. Updated protocols for the below industries and businesses will be posted on the Reopening website this week. Industry specific guidance and protocols for a range of Phase I, II, and III businesses will also be updated.
On September 29, the Administration announced that effective Monday, October 5th, lower risk communities will be permitted to move into Step 2 of Phase III of the Commonwealth’s reopening plan. All other communities will remain in Phase III, Step 1.
Last month, the Administration began releasing data on the average daily COVID cases per 100,000 residents, average percent positivity, and total case counts, for all 351 Massachusetts cities and towns. Lower risk communities are defined as cities and towns that have not been a “red” community in any of the last three weekly Department of Public Health (DPH) weekly reports.
Massachusetts Gov. Charlie Baker announced on September 23rd that the state will relax coronavirus restrictions on restaurants starting Monday, increasing the number of people allowed per table from six to 10 and allowing establishments to use bar seating for food service.
Bars and nightclubs remain closed until Phase 4 of the state's reopening, which isn't expected to happen until a vaccine has been achieved. Learn more here.
On June 29, Mayor Shaunna O’Connell announced that ten businesses impacted by Covid-19 are receiving grants to help offset their losses and increased expenses for operating during the pandemic.
“Our unemployment rate has now reached over 21 percent. We need to put people back to work. To help businesses survive this shutdown, we established a sustainability fund and today we are starting to issue the grants to our local businesses. I am glad to announce that we are now handing out grants across Taunton. This money will help revive our local economy,” said O’Connell.
The Mayor’s office collaborated with Neighborhood Corp, a local non-profit, to privately raise funds to create the Taunton Small Business Sustainability Fund. The funds are to help struggling local businesses and organizations. Bristol County Savings Bank donated $50,000, the Taunton Development Corporation donated $25,000 and the Crescent Credit Union contributed $2,500. “We are grateful for the generosity of these donors. They are truly invested in seeing our community succeed,” said O’Connell.
Donations to the fund can be made through the City of Taunton website under the “Small Business Grants” box. Grants will be awarded on a rolling basis subject to availability of funds.
Businesses receiving the assistance from O’Connell include:
Open Door Yoga Studio, Acadia Seafood & Bar, Taunton Eagles Soccer Club, Platinum City Gaming, Tux Towne, Energy No Limit, Silver City Dance Center, Upside Down Escape Games, Girls Inc., and Our Daily Bread.
“Mayor O’Connell has been focused on helping the business community throughout the shutdown. She has taken action and shown true leadership in getting us through these challenging times,” said business owner Jose Bejarano of Tux Towne.
“I am so glad so many people came together to support our local businesses that create the majority of new jobs. They are the lifeblood of our local community,” said O’Connell. “Together, we can rebuild our robust economy.”
The Mayor is also urging people to shop locally.
“Now more than ever before, we should shop at our local stores. They were hit hard by the pandemic,” urged O’Connell, who has been a longtime supporter of small business.
On Friday, June 19, the Baker-Polito Administration announced that Step Two of Phase II of the Commonwealth’s four-phase reopening plan, Reopening Massachusetts, was to begin on Monday, June 22 to allow additional industries to resume operations under sector-specific guidelines.
Businesses and sectors set to begin operating in Step Two of Phase II are subject to compliance with all mandatory safety standards. Read the press release.
Taunton Mayor Shaunna O’Connell embraced the reopening of restaurants on June 8. Taunton City Hall is working to help these restaurants as smoothly and safely as possible by helping them expand and create outdoor dining opportunities.
“We have been working since the beginning of the pandemic to find ways to support our small business community and will continue to explore new ideas to help our fellow Tauntonians during these uncertain and unprecedented times. We want our local restaurants to be successful in their reopening so we are working with them to create outdoor dining,” said O’Connell.
O’Connell’s Open For Business Task Force has worked hard to expedite the process of providing more outdoor options for restaurants throughout Taunton. The law department, Licensing Commission, City Planner, and Councilor Coute worked in a coordinated effort to quickly create the guidelines and application as allowed by the Baker Administration.
Restaurant owners are encouraged to contact City Hall to receive assistance. City staff members are available and are ready to assist all applicants with reviewing and approving outdoor expansion plans.
“I am excited that we have reached a point in confronting this pandemic where restaurants can reopen. I look forward to dining out once again in Taunton with my family,” said O’Connell. “As I promised when running for Mayor, City Hall is to be a helping hand not a hindrance. We will work hand in hand with restaurants to get the outdoor space they need.”
Questions in advance of completing the application should be directed to the following individuals, depending on the nature of the question:
Liquor licensing: Design of outdoor spaces:
email@example.com and firstname.lastname@example.org
Use of public parking lots: License Commission email@example.com
Review of site plans on private lots, ADA questions for city sidewalks and streets: Kevin Scanlon, firstname.lastname@example.org
Questions regarding the use of tents: Robert Pirozzi, email@example.com
COVID 19 requirements: Please refer to the reopening Massachusetts guidance pertaining to outdoor dining at https://www.mass.gov/info-details/safety-standards-and-checklist-restaurants . If you still have questions or concerns, please contact firstname.lastname@example.org
Read the Retail Business Safety
Standards & Checklist here.
The Baker-Polito Administration announced on Saturday, June 6 that Phase II of the Commonwealth’s reopening plan will begin on Monday, June 8.
Businesses and sectors set to begin opening in Phase II are subject to compliance with all mandatory safety standards.
On May 18, the Administration released a four-phased plan to reopen the economy based on public health data, spending at least three weeks in each phase. Key public health data, such as new cases and hospitalizations, has been closely monitored and seen a significant decline allowing for Phase II to begin on June 8th.
Read the entire press release.
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