ch_update

North Shore
Chamber of Commerce
5 Cherry Hill Drive
Suite 100
Danvers, MA 01923


Phone: (978) 774-8565
Fax: (978) 774-3418

CORONAVIRUS RES
OURCES


NS Chamber COVID-19 Update Page

NS Chamber Member Listing Page

Mass.Gov Business Resources

Executive Office of Housing and Economic Development

Executive Office of Labor and Workforce Development

Executive Office of Health and Human Services

Johns Hopkins Coronavirus Resource Map & Page

CDC Center for Disease Control & Prevention

World Health Organization (WHO)

Dept. of Homeland Security - Ready.Gov

National Institutes for Health (NIH)

USA.Gov - Disasters & Emergencies

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Our Mission

2020 NS Biz Expo Rescheduled to Wed., June 10th 8am-4pm

May 6th Tourism Breakfast - "Outlook 2020"

Relocation & Visitor Info

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North Shore Chamber of Commerce
COVID-19 Resource Blog

In order to keep the North Shore Business Community abreast of accurate information and guidance regarding the COVID-19 (coronavirus), please review the following updates. In accordance with Governor Baker's mandate, we have postponed all upcoming events through Monday, May 4th and will reevaluate this policy as the situation may change.


Governor Baker on Face The Nation: Sunday, April 19 - On CBS's "Face The Nation," Governor Charlie Baker spoke with moderator Margaret Brennan about Massachusetts' response to COVID-19, including the Administration's collaboration with Partners in Health to launch a comprehensive contact tracing program and the Commonwealth's partnership with neighboring states to make regional decisions on public health and economic issues. - Watch Video Here

From Senator Joan Lovely - The new Pandemic Unemployment Assistance (PUA) portal will be available for applications TODAY.
PUA is for:
1) Self-employed folks, including gig workers, freelancers & independent contractors 2) Those seeking part-time work. 3) Those that have an insufficient work history to qualify 4) Those that have been laid off from churches & religious institutions. - You can Apply at http://mass.gov/pua

"We've seen before Patriots Day & Marathon Monday showcase the resilience of the people of MA," Governor Charlie Baker.
There's no race today but this year is no different. Just like in 2013, first responders, health care workers and others are rising to the challenge. We will get through this together. - Watch Video Here

The NS Chamber is Pulling for You Karen Nascembeni! "For family of music theater GM, a mix of mourning, hope" - from The Salem News: Like all family members of loved ones who have contracted the coronavirus, Sandra McArthur has been unable to visit her sister, Karen Nascembeni, in the hospital. Nascembeni, the general manager at North Shore Music Theatre in Beverly, has been fighting for her life for more than a month at Lahey Hospital & Medical Center in Burlington. When the staff recently offered a rare chance to communicate, via FaceTime, McArthur wanted to make the most of it. - Read More Here

Mass. Is One Of The Country's Coronavirus Hotspots -
With over 38,000 confirmed cases, Massachusetts is now one of the nation's COVID-19 hotspots, with one of the higher rates of virus-related death per 100,000 residents in the country. Dr. Davidson Hamer is a professor of global health and medicine at Boston University and an infectious disease specialist at Boston Medical Center. - Listen Here

Hospitality, Retail Trade, Healthcare Among 'Most Vulnerable Industries' in Terms of Unemployment due to COVID-19 -
New Pioneer Institute analysis looks at Massachusetts industries hardest hit by March unemployment claims: Recent data provided by the Massachusetts Executive Office of Labor and Workforce Development show that hospitality, retail trade, healthcare and social assistance, and construction are the industries that have suffered the most unemployment as a result of the coronavirus outbreak, according to the new Pioneer Institute report - Read More Here


Trump releases Guidelines for Reopening - President Trump unveiled Thursday broad guidelines for states to follow as they begin reopening amid the persistent coronavirus pandemic while leaving the specific plans to the governors. The guidance, formally introduced by the president at the evening White House briefing, provides state leaders a phased list of criteria to lift social distancing restrictions. - Read More Here

Download "White House Guidelines for Opening Up America Again" official document Here

'Worst part' of coronavirus pandemic hits Massachusetts as hospitalizations rise" -
Hospitalizations are on the rise in Massachusetts, indicating the "worst part" of the coronavirus pandemic is taking hold, Gov. Charlie Baker said Thursday. "We've talked now for a couple of weeks about the fact that somewhere in the middle of April, we're going to head to the worst part. And that part of the pandemic is here," Baker said. - Read More Here

Coronavirus surge in Massachusetts will last a while due to flattened curve, MGH doc says - Social distancing measures implemented by Gov. Charlie Baker have taken the state off the same dangerous course as northern Italy, but that means the surge will last awhile, a Massachusetts General Hospital doctor said. "We expect the surge will be with us for awhile," said Dr. Paul Biddinger, director of the MGH Center for Disaster Medicine and chief of emergency preparedness. - Read More Here

SAVE SMALL BUSINESS​ FUND: An initiative of the U.S. Chamber of Commerce Foundation -
Small businesses are the foundation of our communities and our economy. Employing nearly half the American workforce, companies like yours keep our neighborhoods running and make them feel like home. We know you're facing multiple challenges right now, and every dollar counts. Funded by corporate and philanthropic partners, the Save Small Business Fund is a collective effort to provide $5,000 grants to as many small employers as we can. To Qualify You Must - Employ between 3 and 20 people, Be located in an economically vulnerable community and Have been harmed financially by the COVID-19 pandemic. We hope these supplemental funds will help you get through the next days and weeks. - Read More Here

Massachusetts Weekly Initial Unemployment Claimant Data: From April 5 to April 11, Massachusetts had 102,828 individuals file an initial claim for unemployment insurance. This represented a decrease of 26% over the previous week. Since March 15, 2020, there has been a total of 571,304 initial claims filed. - Read More Here

The PPP Is Out of Money. Here's Plan B -
For some businesses, the Federal Reserve's new Main Street Lending Program could be another chance to land needed cash now. At just before noon Eastern on Thursday--only 14 days after small businesses across America were first able to apply for loans through the $349 billion Paycheck Protection Program, or PPP--the U.S. Small Business Administration announced it had exhausted its allotted funds. The agency, which administers the PPP, shut down its application and ceased enrolling new lenders into the program. That leaves many business owners scrambling. Some are still applying. Some are waiting for loan approval. - Read More Here


URGENT- Congress Must Act To Provide Additional PPP Funding -Reports are out today that the Paycheck Protection Program has exhausted its funding. NFIB President Brad Close responded, stating that: "America's small businesses are on the brink, trying desperately to keep their doors open and support their employees. They have been let down by lawmakers and the bureaucracy with the smallest businesses most disadvantaged in attempting to participate in the Paycheck Protection Program. We've been hearing from our members, every day, worried the $349 billion lending program would run dry before help gets to them. Today, their worries became a reality." - Read More Here

The Massachusetts Department of Unemployment Assistance (DUA) issued a notice to employers about filings and payments for the first quarter of 2020 - In order to maintain the integrity of the Unemployment Insurance system and continue paying claimants, it's critical that employers file quarterly wages by the standard April 30, 2020 deadline. Not filing quarterly wages by April 30 may result in delays to benefit payments to claimants. Employers severely impacted by COVID-19 who are not able to file and pay by April 30, 2020 may submit a written request by email for a 60-day extension on company letterhead ... - Read More Here

Much needed PPE going to non-profits that help people with disabilities from Northeast Arc
- Much-needed personal protective equipment is being distributed to more than two dozen non-profits in Massachusetts. Boxes full of gloves, masks and face shields arrived from China just a couple of days ago. The story of how it took four weeks for the equipment to arrive in Peabody shows the lengths organizations must go through to get their hands on personal protective equipment - Read More Here

Beginning next week, The Salem News will stop Publishing Print Editions two days per Week: A message from the publisher Karen Andreas - Most companies have closed due to the coronavirus threat. Not The Salem News. For nearly 140 years, this newspaper has been the North Shore's source of trusted, local news. That won't change now. What must change, however, is the way we deliver the news. Beginning next week, The Salem News will stop publishing print editions two days per week - on Tuesdays and Saturdays. On those two days, our journalists will continue to produce news stories, photography, videos, podcasts and more, but on our websites only, which are free to subscribers. - Read More Here

Jim Stergios, Executive Director of the Pioneer Institute - "Will plans to re-open hurt civil liberties?" -This piece by Ezra Klein is a brief overview of the four plans thus far released to re-open the economy. All involve trade-offs, especially related to civil liberties. The big takeaway is that if we want to avoid significant curbs into our liberties, the country needs to go from 100,000-150,000 tests a day (the current rate) to somewhere closer to 20 million daily tests. - Read More Here

Sales tax hit could affect School Construction: Projects delayed, MSBA sizing up Fiscal Impacts -
Several public school projects around Massachusetts have delayed construction amid the coronavirus pandemic, and the emergency's full financial impact on the state agency that helps funds most of the work remains unclear. Massachusetts School Building Authority officials said Wednesday that the organization will face some budget strain because of the widespread economic downturn, but MSBA Chief Financial Officer Laura Guadagno believes the agency is well-poised to weather the storm. - Read More Here

Landlord Protections Sought - With lawmakers offering protections for homeowners and renters facing foreclosure and eviction during the COVID-19 outbreak, some are also looking to throw a lifeline to landlords whose tenants can't pay the rent. A bipartisan proposal, filed by Senate Minority Leader Bruce Tarr, would allow landlords to request temporary relief from their mortgage obligations if tenants fall behind on the rent. - Read More Here


New Study Calls for Re-thinking Massachusetts' COVID-19 Care Standards - The Massachusetts Department of Public Health's (DPH's) Crises Standards of Care (CSC) issued earlier this month bear the earmarks of a state bureaucratic effort. The guidelines need to be rethought under a process that includes a thorough vetting by Massachusetts citizens, according to a new study published by Pioneer Institute. - Read More Here

March Retail Sales plummet during Coronavirus Pandemic - Retail sales saw their biggest monthly drop on record during March as the coronavirus pandemic forced restaurants, bars and many stores to temporarily close across the nation and stay-at-home orders also impacted gasoline sales, the National Retail Federation said today. But sales soared at grocery stores and were up at other retailers deemed "essential" as well, offsetting some of the decline. - Read More Here

Fidelity plans to hire 2,000 people across US amid economic downturn - Boston company accelerates hiring to keep up with demands from retirement plan customers.
Fidelity Investments isn't letting the COVID-19 public health crisis get in the way of its hiring plans. In fact, the Boston financial services giant is ramping up hiring, with a goal of adding 2,000 new jobs across the United States, in part to accommodate the demand for guidance it faces from customers amid the pandemic and the related stock market gyrations and economic slowdown. - Read More Here

Facebook establishes $100 million Small Business Grants Program including MA based Businesses - Facebook knows that your business may be experiencing disruptions resulting from the global outbreak of COVID-19. We've heard that a little financial support can go a long way, so we are offering $100M in cash grants and ad credits to help during this challenging time. - Read More Here

Friday, April 17 at 11am Zoom Meeting - Responding to Food Insecurity During the COVID-19 Crisis -
How can municipal leaders and officials support families and individuals experiencing food insecurity --- and what are federal, state, and municipal leaders in Massachusetts already doing? We'll discuss federal and state-level actions to respond to food insecurity, support and resources for cities and towns, and what governments at all levels can do to respond. - Read More Here

Manufacturing Emergency Response Team: Request for Funding -
The Commonwealth of Massachusetts has an urgent need for Personal Protective Equipment (PPE) for healthcare workers. Hospital and health networks fighting on the front-lines of the Commonwealth's COVID-19 response face immediate shortages of the equipment necessary to keep them safe from contagion while caring for our community. The following items are considered PPE equipment and manufacturers... - Read More Here

FY 2021 Revised Tax Revenue Forecast from MTF - MTF revised its FY 2021 tax revenue forecast and presented its findings at the Virtual Economic Forum on April 14. We project a decline of $4.4 billion or 14.1% from the January 2020 benchmark. The forecast assumes new virus cases peak in April, abate in June, and economic re-engagement can begin in early July. - Read More Here

SBA Update: Guidance for Self-Employed, 1099ers & Independent Contractors - The SBA released guidance on 'Interim Final Rule - Additional Eligibility Criteria and Requirements for Certain Pledges of Loans Applicable Affiliation Rules' highlighting frequently asked questions for PPP loan applicants. Individuals with Self-Employment Income who File a Form 1040, Schedule C... - Read More Here

7.5 million small businesses are at risk of closing, report finds - Nearly 7.5 million small businesses are at risk of closing their doors permanently over the next several months if the coronavirus pandemic persists, according to a survey. Around two-thirds of entrepreneurs said they may have to shut forever if business disruption continues at its current rate for up to five months, according to a survey published Tuesday by Main Street America, a network of more than 1,600 commercial districts comprising 300,000 small businesses. - Read More Here


Massachusetts Joins Northeast Compact on "Post-Virus Economy" - Massachusetts is joining six other Eastern states to coordinate strategies for reopening their economies after the coronavirus pandemic eases, Gov. Charlie Baker's office said Monday. An aide to Baker confirmed that the Republican governor will participate in the compact along with Democratic governors from Connecticut, Delaware, New Jersey, New York, Pennsylvania and Rhode Island. - Read More Here

DUA Employee Unemployment FAQ: COVID-19 - Answers to frequently asked questions about filing for unemployment during the COVID-19 emergency -
In order to assist unemployed workers, and in order to address the many drastic impacts the current COVID-19 emergency is having on Massachusetts employers and workers, the Department of Unemployment Assistance (DUA) enacted emergency regulations ... - Read More Here


Facebook establishes $100 million Small Business Grants Program including MA based Businesses - Facebook knows that your business may be experiencing disruptions resulting from the global outbreak of COVID-19. We've heard that a little financial support can go a long way, so we are offering $100M in cash grants and ad credits to help during this challenging time. - Read More Here

Boost to Student Borrower Protections Sought: As many as 9 million student borrowers have federal loans not covered by protections in the latest stimulus, according to a letter to top lawmakers yesterday by the American Federation of Teachers, consumer advocates, and industry groups. The stimulus law provides automatic forbearance and waives interest on federally held student loans for six months. - Read More Here

P&G is making tens of thousands of face shields at Gillette plant in Southie: The state has committed $10.6 million to help other manufacturers pivot during pandemic -
For the first time since World War II, the blade-and-razor factory along Fort Point Channel is churning out items other than shaving products. In the 1940s, it was aircraft parts. In 2020, it is face shields, for the state's health care workers battling the COVID-19 pandemic. The first batch of these shields, some 10,000 of them, was delivered on Monday to the Massachusetts Emergency Management Agency. - Read More Here

Virus Revives Deregulation Debate:
A new panel intended to advise the White House on strategies for nursing the decimated U.S. economy back to health is poised to renew a debate over deregulation, with proponents touting potential large-scale benefits for businesses and critics calling rule rollbacks the wrong solution. Proposals to immediately cut rules that impose costs, or significantly trim health care, telecommunications, and financial regulations, were made by groups last week as reports of the new task force surfaced. Trump is expected to unveil the task force's membership today - Read More Here

Signature Relief Seems Distant Goal on Beacon Hill
- Even before one Republican senator put a hold on legislation that would slash in half the number of signatures federal and county candidates need to gather to qualify for the ballot this year, House officials on Monday were downplaying the need for the bill, making it increasingly likely that the Supreme Judicial Court will decide the ballot access and public health issue. - Read More Here


Trump wants to reopen the economy May 1. What’s the plan for Massachusetts? Business leaders and economists urge caution in face of uncertainties - As Massachusetts approaches its peak of the pandemic, it’s hard to see a scenario anytime soon in which stay-at-home orders are relaxed and commerce comes roaring back, according to business owners, economists, and public officials. - Read More Here

Looking ahead: Epidemiologists drawing up plans for partial re-opening of local economy
- It won’t happen until after the current surge – and it would only be a partial relaxation of current social-distancing restrictions. Local epidemiologists are drawing up plans for a glide path out of the (current) purgatory, which they say could start as early as sometime in May.” The keys to a partial re-opening: Testing, testing and more testing. - Read More Here


Tomorrow: Tues., April 14 at 10am - The Senate and House Committees on Ways & Means will host a "virtual economic roundtable" with the Executive Office for Administration & Finance, to assess the effects of #COVID19. Please Access our Elected Officials Livestream - Here

Mass. Unemployment Rate could hit 25% in June, new Report says -
The Massachusetts unemployment rate could spike to 25.4% in June, up from February's 2.5%, and would "deliver a body blow" to state and city budgets and gut the state's UI reserves, reports - Read More Here

COVID-19 in MA - Cities now ordering people to wear Masks Everywhere -
Gov. Charlie Baker, citing the spread of the coronavirus by people who currently don’t exhibit symptoms of the virus, is now advising people to wear protective masks when outside their homes – and the governor is now practicing what he preaches. - Read More Here

Business Owners with Questions about the Paycheck Protection Program, et al - Economic Injury Disaster Loan or Loan Advance, debt relief for existing or new SBA loans, or Express Bridge Loan programs - Small Biz Owners an work with an SBA resource partner to understand which program is a fit for their business. These resources partners include Small Business Development Centers (SBDC), SCORE mentors, Centers for Women and Enterprise, and others. Find a resource partner near you by using the SBA’s Find Local Assistance tool. - Read More Here

Mass.Gov streamlines State Cornonavirus website -
The COVID-19 website is recently redesigned to help you find the information you need as we navigate this outbreak together. Get quick access to important updates and key state services. - Read More Here

Manufacturing Emergency Response Team (M-ERT) Portal - Feel free to forward this to any manufacturers in your constituencies who would like to learn more about this important effort to boost production of critical personal protective equipment (PPE). Here is the link to the M-ERT portal for your convenience. - Read More Here

April 14 at 5PM Virtual Roundtable - "Managing Careers in the Work-from-Home Reality" - With an unpredictable future ahead, this is a time to come together in sharing perspectives and information resources to help businesses make the best decisions possible for their people and our community. The Roundtable is a Women in Leadership Initiative-driven interactive discussion on how leaders can manage careers in the current work-from-home reality - Read More Here


New Letter from National Retail Federation to Congress adresses "shortcomings" in Small Business Funding The retail sector of the American economy employs more workers than any other sector. According to recently completed PwC research on the employment footprint of the American retail sector, more than 52 million Americans work in jobs in retail or created because of retail activity. Many of these jobs are at risk in the current pandemic. Accordingly, the National Retail Federation urges Congress to build upon the historic CARES Act and provide additional relief. - Read More Here

Mnuchin Predicts America Will Be 'Open For Business' In May - Treasury Secretary Steve Mnuchin said this Morning that he believes businesses in the U.S. will be open again as early as next month amid the COVID-19 pandemic. "Do you think with this, there's a possibility - if the doctors let us - that we could be open for business in the month of May?" CNBC "Squawk Box" host Jim Cramer asked Mnuchin. "I do, Jim," the Trump administration official replied. - Read More Here

Governor Baker files legislation on civil liability for Health Care Workers and Facilities - Governor Baker filed legislation to protect health care professionals, including doctors, nurses, and emergency medical technicians, as well as certain health care facilities from liability and suit when the care that they provide is impacted by the COVID-19 emergency. - Read More Here

Mass. Unemployment Rate could hit 25% in June, new Report says -
The Massachusetts unemployment rate could spike to 25.4% in June, up from February's 2.5%, and would "deliver a body blow" to state and city budgets and gut the state's UI reserves, reports - Read More Here

Medtronic Publishes Design Specs for Ventilator to Combat Coronavirus -
Medtronic PLC said it would publicly share the design specifications for a ventilator product to allow other companies to explore producing it rapidly to help meet demand driven by the new coronavirus. - Read More Here


Culture council distributing $1M in emergency funds -
The Massachusetts Cultural Council will direct almost $1 million in emergency funding to nonprofits, cultural institutions and individual artists facing coronavirus-induced economic strain. Members of the council, a public board appointed by Gov. Charlie Baker, voted unanimously during a virtual meeting Tuesday to launch two programs intended as life vests for creative industries that have seen revenues evaporate with public life shut down. - Read More Here

Members Invited to join NFIB & RAM Call with Agency Leadership -
RAM is hosting a call with Robert "Bob" Nelson, District Director, U.S. Small Business Administration (SBA) and Mike Kennealy, Massachusetts Secretary of Housing and Economic Development Call will take place Friday, April 10 at 12:00 PM Noon. Dial-in: +1 629-255-0324 and Conference ID: 167 482 120#

Secretary Sudders provided the following update yesterday from the COVID Command Center - The Administration launched a new Nursing Home Family Resource Line, a dedicated telephone line that will connect family members of nursing home and rest home residents with the information and resources they need. Families and community members can call the line at (617) 660- 5399. To date, the Resource Line has received over 150 calls.


Coronavirus Task Force Update - Trump, task force say mitigation is working, although experts warn parts of the nation to prepare for peak deaths. The nation's top doctors cautioned against even going to grocery store or pharmacy unless absolutely necessary, President Donald Trump on Sunday clung to an optimistic tone, telling Americans there will be "light at the end of the tunnel" ... Read More Here

MassHealth Financial Resources - The Baker-Polito Administration yesterday has announced a new infusion of $800 million in stabilization funding through MassHealth to support health care providers impacted by and responding to COVID-19. Health care providers across the Commonwealth have stepped up in unprecedented ways in the past few weeks while experiencing a significant impact on their revenue and operations. This funding will support hospitals, nursing facilities, primary care providers, behavioral health providers... - Read More Here

Eastern Bank supports Governor's Relief Fund -
Launched by Governor Baker and his wife First Lady Lauren Baker, the MA COVID-19 Relief Fund supports frontline workers & vulnerable populations in MA. The Fund is administered by Eastern Bank, providing a safe & reliable way to make donations. - Read More Here

Thirty on Thursday: COVID-19 Q&A with AIM Experts April 9 at 11AM -
As the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic continues to unfold, Massachusetts employers are grappling with many workforce issues and concerns. Join experts as they share answers to some of the most frequently asked questions. This thirty-minute webinar will answer questions you may already have while also answering questions you may not even know you need to ask. - Read More Here

Members Invited to join NFIB & RAM Call with Agency Leadership -
RAM is hosting a call with Robert "Bob" Nelson, District Director, U.S. Small Business Administration (SBA) and Mike Kennealy, Massachusetts Secretary of Housing and Economic Development Call will take place Friday, April 10 at 12:00 PM Noon. Dial-in: +1 629-255-0324 and Conference ID: 167 482 120#

Managing Careers in the Work-from-Home Reality: Virtual Roundtable April 14 at 5PM - With an unpredictable future ahead, this is a time to come together in sharing perspectives and information resources to help businesses make the best decisions possible for their people and our community. The Roundtable is a Women in Leadership Initiative-driven interactive discussion on how leaders can manage careers in the current work-from-home reality - Read More Here

Governor Baker Issues Further Order on Grocery Store Customer Limits, Preempts Local Boards of Health -
Gov. Baker and the MA Department of Public Health (DPH), issued further guidance relative to grocery stores providing essential services. This guidance dictates that a grocery store shall limit occupancy to 40% of its maximum permitted occupancy level, including both customers and employees. Stores with a maximum occupancy of 25 or less are exempt from this requirement - Read More Here

Financial Programs and Resources for Exporters - The global COVID-19 pandemic has had an unprecedented impact on companies relying on international markets. Has your business had supply chain disruptions, including the shortage of components sourced from foreign manufacturers, cancelled overseas orders or contracts, significant decline of international sales, lost deposits because of trade show and other event cancellations? - Read More Here


India Again Allows Export of Antimalarial Drug Touted for Coronavirus - President Trump had urged the country, one of hydroxychloroquine's biggest producers, to release supplies of the medicine. India is ending a ban on the export of hydroxychloroquine, an antimalarial drug that may help treat victims of the new coronavirus. The drug could serve as an intermediate therapy before a vaccine becomes available. - Read More Here

Families First Coronavirus Response Act. When Is an Employee Eligible for a Benefit? An insightful article written by Darren Ambler - Principal, Managing Consultant at OneDigital. Read More Here

The Massachusetts Office of Business Development (MOBD) is partnering with the Small Business Administration (SBA) with Webinar on Tuesday, April 7 at 11:30am
to assist your business during this difficult time. Lisa Gonzalez Welch of the SBA will present their (EIDL) Emergency Loan Program and the (PPP) Paycheck Protection Program. Small businesses, private non-profit organizations, worker cooperatives, sole proprietors, independent contractors, and tribal businesses, all with fewer than 500 employees.. - Read More Here

Security Awareness During COVID-19 Free Webinar on April 9 - GraVoc will be hosting a free webinar this Thursday, April 9th at 11am on Security Awareness During COVID-19. This webinar will explore actual COVID-19 cyberthreats, the importance of remaining cyber-aware and how COVID-19 is reshaping the future of both our cybersecurity and technology landscapes - Register Here

A Democratic Michigan state lawmaker
has credited President Trump's publicizing of the anti-malarial drug hydroxychloroquine with saving her life after her health "plummeted" when she contracted coronavirus - Read More Here

Rudolph & Friedmann Webinar: The CARES Act and Small Business Loans - Learn what you need to know about the CARES Act's small business loan program, known as the Paycheck Protection Program (PPP) from the specialists. Get the important info. you need so that you can file an application as soon as possible - Read More Here


Trump, Coronavirus Task Force Press Briefing For Sunday, April 5th- President Trump said Sunday that more than 1.6 million coronavirus tests had been conducted in the U.S. so far, as he warned the "toughest week" yet in the crisis is coming. Mr. Trump said the Federal Emergency Management Agency will be delivering 1,700 critical ventilators to five states battling COVID-19, the disease caused by coronavirus... - Learn More Here

Join Us at Mon., April 6 Webinar for Manufacturing, Construction + other Industries at 3PM w/ MassPay- The password to get into the Zoom meeting is "chamber" all lower case. Join Zoom Meeting - https://zoom.us/j/8272199465

The Massachusetts Office of Business Development (MOBD) is partnering with the Small Business Administration (SBA) with Webinar on Tuesday, April 7 at 11:30am
to assist your business during this difficult time. Lisa Gonzalez Welch of the SBA will present their (EIDL) Emergency Loan Program and the (PPP) Paycheck Protection Program. Small businesses, private non-profit organizations, worker cooperatives, sole proprietors, independent contractors, and tribal businesses, all with fewer than 500 employees.. - Read More Here

CDC's and Surgeon General's Recommendations to wear Masks in Public - Surgeon General Jerome Adams states, "Masks should be worn in areas where social distancing measures are difficult to maintain, like grocery stores and pharmacies, and especially in areas of significant community-based transmission". He further demonstrates how to make a mask in this Video - Read More Here

Federal Aid Program for Small Businesses gets off to a "Rocky Start" -
Friday was the first day small businesses could start applying for loans under a $349 billion program included in a $2 trillion stimulus package passed last month to shore up the economy. Small businesses had mixed results trying to apply for loans on the first day of an unprecedented and quickly arranged federal relief program, with some banks saying they weren't ready as lenders across the country grappled with a lack of detailed guidelines from the government - Read More Here

DOL's Implementing Regulations Shed Some Light On Defining "Health Care Provider" Under the Families First Coronavirus Response Act (FFCRA) -
As part of its ongoing effort to prevent, prepare for, and respond to the coronavirus pandemic, the U.S. Department of Labor (DOL) issued temporary regulations to implement emergency leave benefits established under the Families First Coronavirus Response Act (FFCRA). These implementing regulations (29 CFR & 826) are available from the DOL - Read More Here

Mental Health And COVID-19 Information: As the number of cases of COVID-19 increase, so does the associated anxiety. For the general public, the mental health effects of COVID-19 are as important to address as are the physical health effects. - Read More Here

Health Professionals: Volunteer Sign Up Portal
- Gov. Baker states, "We're grateful for the thousands of health professionals across the Commonwealth who have signed up to support the COVID-19 response effort. MA is lucky to have a deeply committed health care workforce as we confront this outbreak. To Apply visit - https://www.mass.gov/health-services-covid-19-volunteer-form


Trump, Coronavirus Task Force Press Briefing For Thursday, April 2nd- Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin joins President Trump and the Coronavirus Task hold a press conference at the White House. "We're racing to get relief to small business workers. I want to remind owners the paycheck protection loans are launching tomorrow. These loans are up to 100 percent forgivable if you keep paying workers."- Learn More Here

Massachusetts Department of Unemployment Assistance (DUA) Virtual Town Hall today at 2PM. Sign up for a town hall presentation on applying for unemployment assistance. LWD will be hosting virtual town hall meetings to take constituents affected by COVID-19 through a step-by-step process of achieving a successful unemployment claim. - Read More Here

Breaking - RENTAL RELIEF FUND -
Baker Administration is dedicating $3 million in City funds to help residents at risk of losing their rental housing due to the COVID-19 pandemic. - Read More Here

Long-time Chamber Member, Community Leader and Friend passes from COVID-19.
It is with the most profound sorrow that we share the passing at 61 of Don Kelley, a husband, father, friend, community leader, performer, master of ceremonies and philanthropist on the North Shore of Boston, following a hard-fought battle with the COVID-19 virus. He was a longtime member and former president of Rotary International's Beverly chapter, president of Wayside Trailers in Peabody - Read More Here

Learn about the Paycheck Protection Program (PPP) and how to apply -
Coronavirus (COVID-19): Small Business Guidance & Loan Resources: Health and government officials are working together to maintain the safety, security, and health of the American people. Small businesses are encouraged to do their part to keep their employees, customers, and themselves healthy - Read More Here


Trump, Coronavirus Task Force Press Briefing For Wednesday, April 1 - President Donald Trump and the White House coronavirus task force are held a briefing in Washington as the U.S. is on pace to pass 200,000 confirmed cases of COVID-19 Wednesday, five days after passing 100,000 cases. The U.S. passed 4,000 deaths - More Here

Breaking - This morning US unemployment claims hit 6.6 million -- another record high -- as layoffs accelerate in face of coronavirus - Here

McLane Middleton attorneys will answer your questions at their April 2nd Webinar: 3:00pm
as they relate to the Coronavirus Aid, Relief and Economic Security (CARES) Act. Attorneys Pat Closson, Kim Kramer and Charla Stevens will provide insight to this recently enacted legislation. Register Here

April 2nd- 11am EIDL Webinar -
Join AIM & Robert Nelson, District Director of SBA’s Massachusetts District Office, and Ili Spahiu, Lead Lender Relations Specialist at the SBA to learn how your business could qualify for an Economic Injury Disaster Loan on - Register Here

Kraft family used Patriots team plane to shuttle protective masks from China to Boston -
The Kraft family deployed the New England Patriots team plane to China, where it was loaded with N95 masks to be used in the fight against the coronavirus in Massachusetts, according to Governor Charlie Baker. Baker had purchased 1.4 million N95 masks and the Patriots plane would be carrying the first shipment of the equipment to the state.

State Tax-Filing Deadline Extended to July 15 -
Read the announcement from Governor Baker, Senate President Spilka and House Speaker DeLeo here.



McLane Middleton attorneys will answer your questions at their April 2nd Webinar: 3:00pm as they relate to the Coronavirus Aid, Relief and Economic Security (CARES) Act. Attorneys Pat Closson, Kim Kramer and Charla Stevens will provide insight to this recently enacted legislation. Register Here - northshorechamber.news/cares-q-a

SMALL BUSINESS OWNER'S GUIDE TO THE CARES ACT - The U.S. Senate Committee on Small Business and Entrepreneurship has published an excellent "Small Business Owner's Guide to the CARES ACT." The Guide provides the following general information. - northshorechamber.news/sba-cares

Retailer's Association of MA (RAM) -
- Shuttered businesses need rent relief - Sharing the burden between tenants, landlords, banks, and local governments will maximize the chance that storefronts across the state can reopen for business - northshorechamber.news/small-biz-needs-relief

Enhance Your Next Virtual Event | Live Webinar April 2nd -
Since the COVID-19 outbreak, your inbox probably has hundreds of invitations for upcoming virtual events and you've probably even considered hosting one of your own. Join GraVoc on Thursday April 2nd at 11am for a live webinar as our Creative Technology team shows you 10 simple ways to enhance your next virtual event - northshorechamber.news/gravoc-enhance-virtual-event

The State's U.S. House delegation
hosted a media call to discuss provisions in the CARES Act that directly support families and businesses in Massachusetts, with Reps. Katherine Clark, Jim McGovern, Lori Trahan, Joseph Kennedy, Seth Moulton, Ayanna Pressley, Stephen Lynch and Bill Keating.

Massachusetts motorists today begin facing fines of $100 to $500 for violating the state's new distracted driving law, which bans all use of phones behind the wheel except for a single tap or swipe to active hands-free mode.

March 31 @ 2PM - COVID-19 Employer Advisory Session: OneDigital - How Employers Can Make the Most of a 2 Trillion-Dollar Economic Lifeline - This particular session will offer high impact and actionable information you need to capitalize on the $2 trillion of relief and economic stimulus that was signed into law this past Friday. The format of the session will include a brief overview of the key details of the CARES Act with a special focus on the "Paycheck Protection" SBA loan program and the opportunity to essentially convert some or all of those loan proceeds into an outright grant through the "Loan Forgiveness" provisions of the law. Register Here - northshorechamber.news/covid-advisory-2pm


Virtual Small Business Forum with Congressman Moulton & SBA Director Bob Nelson, March 31 at 5pm - Moulton and Nelson be sharing the resources created by Congress to help your small business survive during this challenging time. Read More Here - northshorechamber.news/moulton-nelson-SBA

SMALL BUSINESS OWNER'S GUIDE TO THE CARES ACT - The U.S. Senate Committee on Small Business and Entrepreneurship has published an excellent "Small Business Owner's Guide to the CARES ACT." The Guide provides the following general information. - northshorechamber.news/sba-cares

Retailer's Association of MA (RAM) -
Low-interest loans are nice, but many small businesses need grants to survive this pandemic. Boston faces pressure to make grants to struggling small businesses - northshorechamber.news/small-biz-grants #SmallBizRelief #SaveMainStreet

Enhance Your Next Virtual Event | Live Webinar April 2nd -
Since the COVID-19 outbreak, your inbox probably has hundreds of invitations for upcoming virtual events and you've probably even considered hosting one of your own. Join GraVoc on Thursday April 2nd at 11am for a live webinar as our Creative Technology team shows you 10 simple ways to enhance your next virtual event - northshorechamber.news/gravoc-enhance-virtual-event

State asks for donations of medical supplies, volunteers -
Frustrated by a critical shortage of manpower and equipment to fight the COVID-19 outbreak, the state is soliciting donations of masks, gloves and other protective equipment and putting out a call for volunteers to work on the front lines of the public health crisis. State officials say hospitals and health care facilities are struggling to respond to the virus, which had infected nearly 5,752 people and killed 56 in the state as of Monday. Many facilities at risk of running out of crucial supplies cont. - northshorechamber.news/med-supplies-donations

Beverly & Addison Gilbert Hospitals need Your Help -
Over the weekend, the North Shore Chamber sent out an electronic letter from Beth Israel Lahey Health. Both hospitals are in desperate need of supplies from the North Shore Business Community. Gifts may be made by choosing "Emergency Response Fund" from the dropdown menu on their online giving pages at Giving.BeverlyHospital.org and Giving.AddisonGilbert.org. We are also seeking donations of lab, testing, and diagnostic supplies, and new, unused personal protection equipment (PPE) needed to combat COVID-19. Read NS Chamber Release Here - northshorechamber.news/hospital-needs

March 31 - COVID-19 Impact on the MA Economy Webinar - With an unpredictable future ahead, this is a time to come together in sharing perspectives and information resources to help businesses make the best decisions possible for their people and our community. Mike Kennealy, Secretary, Mass. Executive Office of Housing and Economic Development- northshorechamber.news/covid-mass-impact

First round of grants awarded from the Essex County COVID-19 Response Fund - The fund, established just one week ago, is rapidly raising and deploying financial resources in phases according to the evolving nature of this health crisis. ECCF continues to assess the changing needs in the nonprofit sector and will adapt its strategy for future phases of funding as necessary. Read More Here - northshorechamber.news/response-fund

Kevin Tabb, MD, President & CEO of Beth Israel Lahey Health spoke about preparing for the COVID-19 surge: These days, almost all the beds in New England Baptist Hospital are empty. The hospital is normally a hub of orthopedic medicine, but most of that type of care has been halted to free up time and space for a possible surge of people sick with COVID-19. "What that means is we have an excellent hospital, well-staffed, [with] many beds available," says Kevin Tabb, CEO of Beth Israel Lahey Health, which operates New England Baptist Hospital. More here - northshorechamber.news/kevin-tabb-beth-israel


Next update from Governor Baker, state officials: Today, Monday March 20th at 1pm - Watch Here

Virtual Small Business Forum with Congressman Moulton & SBA Director Bob Nelson, March 21 at 5pm - Moulton and Nelson be sharing the resources created by Congress to help your small business survive during this challenging time. Read More Here - northshorechamber.news/moulton-nelson-SBA

Governor Unveils Web Site to Collect Personal Protective Equipment - The Baker Administration announced an online portal yesterday where individuals and companies can donate or sell personal protective equipment (PPE) and volunteer to support efforts to combat the COVID-19 outbreak in Massachusetts. This effort will ensure that front- line responders get the protective equipment they need to stay and push for more trained volunteers to join the response. Click Here to visit Site.

Beverly & Addision Gilbert Hospitals need Your Help - Over the weekend, the North Shore Chamber sent out an electronic letter from Beth Israel Lahey Health. Both hospitals are in desperate need of supplies from the North Shore Business Community. Gifts may be made by choosing "Emergency Response Fund" from the dropdown menu on their online giving pages at Giving.BeverlyHospital.org and Giving.AddisonGilbert.org. We are also seeking donations of lab, testing, and diagnostic supplies, and new, unused personal protection equipment (PPE) needed to combat COVID-19. Read NS Chamber Release Here - northshorechamber.news/hospital-needs

FDA issues emergency authorization of anti-malaria drug for coronavirus care -The Food and Drug Administration (FDA) on Sunday issued an emergency-use authorization for a pair of anti-malaria drugs as health officials work to combat the rapid spread of the novel coronavirus. The Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) said in a statement that the authorization would allow 30 million doses of hydroxychloroquine sulfate and 1 million doses of chloroquine phosphate to be donated to the Strategic National Stockpile. Read More here - northshorechamber.news/PDA-malaria-drugs

Small businesses reeling from the impact of coronavirus may have good news coming in the form of loan forgiveness - The SBA's paycheck protection loan program is "really more of a loan that converts to a grant," Bradley said. Small businesses with fewer than 500 employees qualify, as will some larger companies. The program is aimed at helping businesses maintain their payroll during the significant business disruption caused by the coronavirus crisis. Read More Here - northshorechamber.news/SBA-loan-forgiveness

First round of grants awarded from the Essex County COVID-19 Response Fund - The fund, established just one week ago, is rapidly raising and deploying financial resources in phases according to the evolving nature of this health crisis. ECCF continues to assess the changing needs in the nonprofit sector and will adapt its strategy for future phases of funding as necessary. Read More Here - northshorechamber.news/response-fund

A reminder to our readers as the coronavirus crisis unfolds: The paywalled State House News Service, which produces MASSterList, is making its full Coronavirus Tracker available to the community for free on a daily basis each morning via ML. SHNS Coronavirus Tracker.


March 27th, 11 AM EST - A Virtual Conversation About Coronavirus with Congressman Seth Moulton - https://northshorechamber.news/moulton-mtg

Office of Labor & Workforce Development - Please join the MA Rapid responsed Team at 1pm today March 26th to Learn about the layoff aversion program from the Commonwealth. Visit - https://northshorechamber.news/rapid-LWD Or dial direct at 1-800-501-8979 ACCESS CODE 6265703#

In response to the COVID-19 National Emergency, the SBA Express Bridge Loan (EBL) Pilot Program has been modified and the term extended. For more information on the EBL Program and eligibility requirements, please review the Express Bridge Loan Pilot Program Guide - visit: https://northshorechamber.news/express-bridge

March 26, 2020 - 1:00pm Webinar - Coronavirus and Employment and Wage issues - https://northshorechamber.news/employment-QandA

March 27th, 2020 - 12pm - CEIA COVID-19 Conversations: Navigating through Uncertainty. Join Us at - https://zoom.us/j/https://zoom.us/j/190886883

What’s in the $2 Trillion Senate Coronavirus Bill? How households, businesses, taxes and more are affected by the package - https://northshorechamber.news/coronavirus-bill

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ALERT:
Governor shuts down all Non-Essential Businesses in MA
To the North Shore Business Community,

Governor Baker has issued an order today requiring all non-essential businesses to close at noon Tuesday, March 24 through noon on Tuesday, April 7. These businesses are encouraged to continue operations remotely.

For the Full Release Please Click Here


CORONAVIRUS ADVISORY HUB from OneDigital

Officially declared a pandemic by the World Health Organization, the coronavirus is leaving employers reasonably concerned about their businesses and workforce. The OneDigital Coronavirus Advisory Hub is designed to present practical solutions that are actionable, timely and helpful in shaping workforce decision-making. Please click here for The Hub


COVID-19 What the Next 18 Months Can Look Like, if Leaders Buy Us Time

Strong coronavirus measures today should only last a few weeks, there shouldn't be a big peak of infections afterwards, and it can all be done for a reasonable cost to society, saving millions of lives along the way. If we don't take these measures, tens of millions will be infected, many will die, along with anybody else that requires intensive care, because the healthcare system will have collapsed. Please click here for More



New England Interactive Map of the number of states' Coronavirus cases reported so far, broken down by county

Please click here or use the Map Graphic above for link.

There are now 256 confirmed coronavirus cases in Massachusetts, up from 218 cases on Tuesday, health officials announced Wednesday.

The cases involve 137 men and 119 women. 27 of the patients have been hospitalized, 151 not hospitalized and 78 are under investigation.

Two are from Barnstable County, 17 are from Berkshire County, five are from Bristol County, 14 from Essex County, one from Franklin County, two from Hampden County, 100 from Middlesex County, 45 from Norfolk County, five from Plymouth County, 51 from Suffolk County, 10 from Worcester County and 4 is unknown, according to the DPH.






SBA Approves Massachusetts Disaster Declaration
Assistance Will be Provided to Massachusetts Businesses & Non-Profits Impacted by COVID-19

The The Baker-Polito Administration announced that the U.S. Small Business Administration (SBA) 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). The disaster declaration makes SBA assistance available following a request received from Governor Charlie Baker on March 17, 2020.

The disaster declaration makes SBA assistance available in the entire state of Massachusetts; and the contiguous counties in neighboring states.

More Here - https://www.northshorechamber.org/MA-EIDL.pdf


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Baker: Mass. to See 'Enormous Increase' in Coronavirus Testing Within Days

Massachusetts has reported 256 cases of the novel coronavirus so far

Massachusetts will soon see an significant increase in its testing capabilities for the novel coronavirus as the state ramps up efforts to slow the spread of COVID-19, Gov. Baker said Thursday.

"We believe that over the course of the next several days and weeks, there will be an enormous increase in the amount of resting that takes place on a daily basis," Baker said after touring a Quest Diagnostics laboratory in Marlboro where tests are being processed.

Baker said companies including Quest Diagnostic, hospitals and the state laboratory have pivoted to focus on coronavirus testing after the Centers for Disease Control broadened guidelines on who can receive testing.




Massachusetts Restaurant Owners Need Relief Now, and They’re Asking for It

Margins are slim for restaurants in the best of times - and these are hardly the best of times


In Massachusetts, all bars and restaurants have been shuttered for dine-in business until at least April 6. In an industry that operates on razor-thin margins in the best of times - that is, when asses are in seats night after night, and when reservations are difficult to come by - shutting down for even a couple of days can be catastrophic. Local owners are wondering how to weather the storm and are pushing for some form of relief at a legislative level, such as cancellation of the meals tax, and also appealing to landlords and lenders to help out.

More Here




Suggested Guidance on Preparing Workplaces for COVID-19 from OSHA

Please see the following link to New Guidance on Preparing Workplaces for COVID-19 from OSHA. https://www.osha.gov/Publications/OSHA3990.pdf

The Occupational Safety and Health Act requires employers to comply with safety and health standards and regulations promulgated by OSHA or by a state with an OSHA-approved state plan. In addition, the Act’s General Duty Clause, Section 5(a)(1), requires employers to provide their employees with a workplace free from recognized hazards likely to cause death or serious physical harm.


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Update from Congressman Moulton

Chamber of Commerce Leaders join Wednesday Conference Call with Cong. Moulton

Dear Constituents, Stay informed and prepared!

- Visit the CDC Website, or other reputable sources. There are daily updates.
- Wash your hands with hot, soapy water for at least 20 seconds.
- Cover your mouth, ideally with a tissue or elbow, when you cough or sneeze.
- Avoid close contact with people who are sick.
- Minimize touching your eyes, nose, and face.
- Clean and disinfect surfaces frequently touched by others.
- If you are not feeling well, stay home from work and get better.

More Here




Baker-Polito Administration Announces $10 Million
Small Business Recovery Loan Fund

Small businesses impacted by COVID-19 will have access to capital assistance

The Baker-Polito Administration announced economic support for small businesses with a $10 million loan fund to provide financial relief to those that have been affected by COVID-19.

The $10 million Small Business Recovery Loan Fund will provide emergency capital up to $75,000 to Massachusetts-based businesses impacted by COVID-19 with under 50 full- and part-time employees, including nonprofits. Loans are immediately available to eligible businesses with no payments due for the first 6 months. Massachusetts Growth Capital Corporation (MGCC) has capitalized the fund and will administer it.

"As our administration continues to take steps to protect the health and safety of residents, we recognize the hardships facing the small businesses that create the foundation of the state's economy," said Governor Charlie Baker. "This recovery loan fund is a new resource to help small businesses address emergency needs due to the disruption caused by the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic."

How to Apply:

Please complete the application found on MGCC’s website, EmpoweringSmallBusiness.org

Completed applications can be sent via email to mgcc@massgcc.com with the subject line “2020 Small Business Recovery Loan Fund”.

MGCC can be reached by email - mgcc@massgcc.com

Loan Fund Details:

-
Who Qualifies: Open to Massachusetts-based businesses impacted by COVID-19 with under 50 full- and part-time employees, including nonprofits (negative impact must be verifiable).

- Terms and Conditions: This fund is being offered with no payments due for the first 6 months, then 30-months of principal and interest payments and no prepayment penalties.

- Businesses can apply for loans up to $75,000.

More Information Here


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The North Shore Business Expo has been rescheduled to Wednesday June 10th, 7:30 am - 4:00 pm.

Chamber members and partners are hosting webinars for employers this week.
- Tuesday, March 17th - 1:00 - 2:00 pm - hosted by Schwartz Hannum P.C. Visit www.shpclaw.com for more info.
- Thursday, March 19th - 12:00 - 1:30 pm - hosted by Associated Industries of Massachusetts (A.I.M.). Visit https://rb.gy/9rcvbq for more info.

Economic Assistance - The MA Emergency Management Agency (MEMA) and Baker-Polito Administration are working closely with the U.S. SBA to activate the Economic Injury Disaster Loan (EIDL) program which would provide assistance to eligible businesses and non-profits impacted by COVID-19. Visit https://www.sba.gov/funding-programs/disaster-assistance for more info.


Friday, March 13th

COVID-19 Accurate Information Resources
  • The best source for accurate information is the Centers for Disease Control (CDC). The CDC has a section dedicated to COVID-19 that includes regularly updated information on: 
    • the disease: how it spreads, symptoms, treatment, etc. 
    • the situation: in the U.S. and abroad, how the U.S. is responding, and what may happen next.
    • Guidance for businesses and employers. This page includes strategies for employers to use now, and information about planning for a potential U.S. outbreak.

Sample Guidance 

State & Local Government




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"Where Business and Opportunity Meet"