COVID-19 Resource Guide (current as of January 22, 2021)

Dear Metro South Community Members,
We want to express our deep gratitude to all our members for their partnership and understanding as we navigate this unprecedented situation. In particular, all of us are grateful for the public and private health care institutions, businesses, and employees who are on the front lines. The Metro South Chamber’s goal in this pandemic is to assist all businesses during this time of economic difficulty. Research, education, consultation, networking and advocacy are where we are focusing our energy and resources. The Chamber’s leaders, through the years, have taken great care to set aside the financial reserves necessary to continue the work of the Chamber. We look forward to our part in honoring a tradition of leadership begun more than a century ago. Currently, Chamber staff are working and accessible remotely. The office is open by appointment per Governor Baker’s orders. In recent weeks, we have pivoted to ZOOM and on-line technology to provide an array of business resources and networking opportunities. While advances and precautions are prudent and necessary, it’s also a time to show the compassion and leadership that the people of Metro South and Massachusetts are known for. It’s a time for us all to support our neighbors and colleagues, and remember that we’re all in this together. Let’s also remember to not let fear overcome our instincts for empathy and humanity. We continue to share updates and resources accessible to our businesses via ZOOM calls on Friday at 2:00 p.m. We are joined by the Mayor of Brockton, the Massachusetts Office of Business Development, the United States Small Business Administration and special guests providing information and valuable contacts helpful to our business community. The Metro South Chamber has developed a web resource page with current offerings for our business community affected by the COVID-19 outbreak. Resources include business assistance loans, labor & employment updates, legislative action, working-from-home guidance, best practices, and services to help maintain communication and keep business moving forward! We urge you to visit the one-stop COVID-19 business resource guide for more information. www.metrosouthchamber.com/resources/covid-19-resource-guide.

 

Baker-Polito Administration, MA

 Download the Reopening MA Report.

Public health data, key metrics established to track real-time progress, determine advancement to future phases while mandatory workplace safety standards, sector-specific guidance issued to all Phase 1 industries, businesses, customers and activities. Click here to view Mandatory Safety Standards for Workplaces.

 

Baker-Polito Administration Announces Support For 1,158 Small Businesses Impacted by COVID-19 Recession

Funding allocations prioritized to support traditionally underrepresented groups including women-, minority-, and veteran-owned businesses.

The Baker-Polito Administration announced that nearly $49 million in grants to small businesses will be awarded through the COVID-19 Small Business Grant Program administered by the Massachusetts Growth Capital Corporation. In October, the $50.8 million grant program was announced as a key component ofPartnerships for Recovery, the Administration’s comprehensive plan to get people back to work, support small businesses, foster innovation, revitalize downtowns, and ensure housing stability.

Of the businesses being notified of their successful applications, each meets the preferred criteria of being owned by women, minorities, veterans, individuals with disabilities, or that identify as LGBTQ. Additionally, every completed application received from a qualified minority-owned business that has not been able to receive prior aid from federal, state or local programs established to support businesses during the pandemic will be receiving relief.

“As the pandemic continues to create challenges across the Commonwealth, our administration is pleased to partner with Mass Growth Capital Corporation to award almost $50 million to small business owners disproportionately impacted by COVID-19,” said Governor Charlie Baker. “We are thankful to our state, local and federal partners for their collaboration to equitably distribute these funds, and remain committed to working together to deliver additional relief to the families and businesses of Massachusetts.”

“Our administration is proud to announce almost $50 million in grants to support historically underrepresented small business owners as they navigate the pandemic,” said Lt. Governor Karyn Polito. ?”We thank Mass Growth Capital Corporation for their partnership to distribute these funds quickly, and look forward to continuing to work with business and community leaders to ensure a strong, equitable recovery from COVID-19.”?

To increase applications from underrepresented groups, MGCC worked with a statewide network of local non-profits, small business technical assistance providers, and other organizations that support minority enterprises, including BECMA, Amplify LatinX , the Business Equity Initiative, Massachusetts Association of CDCs (MACDC), LISC and the statewide Coalition for an Equitable Economy, to reach businesses and entrepreneurs that would match the program’s priorities.

The Small Business Grant Program received over 10,000 applications seeking funds totaling over $500 million. Effective today, successful applicants will be notified that they have been awarded grants with further instructions on how to complete the process to receive funds. Nearly $49 million will be granted to small businesses, with the remaining funding having been used to encourage applications from targeted communities and to prevent fraudulent applications.

The grant program’s priorities, set forth in legislation, resulted in 1,158 small businesses being designated for an award.  Among the successful applicants:

  • 100 percent of all grantees are minority-, veteran-, LGBTQ-, or individuals with disabilities-owned businesses;
  • 100 percent of qualified applications submitted by minority-women, minority-male, veteran-, LGBTQ-, and individuals with disabilities-owned businesses that have not received prior aid will be receiving funding;
  • 95 percent of award recipients are minority-owned businesses; and
  • 76 percent of award recipients are women-owned businesses.

“With the thoughtful combination of the program’s priorities and help from partner organizations who assisted with targeted outreach, we are able to provide direct financial support to the applicants that have the greatest need and also serve communities that are the most vulnerable to the virus,” said Housing and Economic Development Secretary Mike Kennealy. “As additional resources become available, we will continue to prioritize the businesses and communities that have suffered the most.”

“Through these grant programs, MGCC and our partners have worked together to fulfill our mission of providing and supporting small businesses and are now distributing capital to the most vulnerable businesses across the Commonwealth,” said Larry Andrews, President of MGCC. “We look forward to working with the Baker-Polito Administration on utilizing additional resources to meet the many needs of small businesses, especially those that have been traditionally underserved.” 

Governor Baker recently signed the FY21 budget, including an additional $17.5 million for the Small Business Grant Program. This funding will be distributed using the same criteria, and MGCC will review applications already submitted. Small businesses that did not receive awards in the first round do not need to reapply, and no new applications will be accepted. The FY21 budget also includes $17.5 million for community development financial institutions (CDFI) grants and loans, $5 million for small business technical assistance, and $3.9 million for technical assistance and grants, including for small business online and digital tools. Additionally, the Baker-Polito Administration recently filed a $107.4 million supplemental budget bill for Fiscal Year 2021. This bill proposes $49.4 million to fully fund the economic recovery and small business relief plan included in the Administration’s revised FY21 budget proposal and support the unique needs of small and minority- and women-owned businesses across the Commonwealth. Finally, a comprehensive economic development bill currently pending before the Legislature includes additional substantial investments in small businesses.

Beyond support for small businesses, Partnerships for Recovery includes substantial funding across both existing and new initiatives. In November, the 2020 Round of theMassWorks Infrastructure Grant Program was announced, investing nearly $68 million in 36 projects to support housing, economic development and road safety projects across the Commonwealth. Community foundations received $10 million for COVID-19 Relief, funds that can be used for vital services such as food security, housing and utilities support, emergency childcare and transportation. Last week, the first grants from the Shared Winter Streets and Spaces Grant Program were awarded, directing $1.7 million to cities and towns to conceive, design, and implement tactical changes to curbs, streets, and parking areas in support of public health, safe mobility, and renewed commerce. In the coming weeks, the Administration will be announcing grants to support cultural facilities such as museums, new funding to support internet connectivity, and local rapid recovery planning support for communities. 

Baker-Polito Administration Awards Another $37 Million in Grants to 638 Businesses, Extends Capacity Limits and Lifts Early Closing Requirements for Businesses

25% Capacity Limits for Most Sectors Extended for Two Weeks, Early Closing Order & Stay At Home Advisory Rescinded

The Baker-Polito Administration announced $37.4 million in awards to 638 additional small businesses in a fourth round of grants through the COVID-19 Small Business Grant Program administered by the Massachusetts Growth Capital Corporation. Restaurants, bars and retail stores, which have been especially impacted during the pandemic, are among the key industries to lead this round.

The Administration announced an extension of the existing, across the board 25% capacity limits for most businesses and current limitations on gatherings through 5:00 AM on Monday, February 8. The Administration also announced that effective Monday, January 25 at 5:00 AM, it would rescind an existing Early Closing order requiring many businesses to close at 9:30 PM each evening, and that at the same time it would also withdraw its related Stay At Home advisory urging residents to remain at home between the hours of 10:00 PM to 5:00 AM. 

All other orders and safety guidance remain in place throughout the Commonwealth as the state continues to fight COVID-19 and vaccines ramp up in all regions.

COVID-19 SMALL BUSINESS GRANT PROGRAM 

To date, the Baker-Polito Administration has awarded more than $232 million in direct financial support to 4,757 small businesses. This funding has been made available through a $668 million business?relief fund?set up in December, as well as $50.8 million for small and diverse businesses included in the?economic recovery package?announced in October. 

Additional grants will be announced in the coming weeks for thousands of additional businesses. 

This past Monday, the Sector-Specific Small Business Relief Grant Program, a new program also administered by MGCC that targets industries experiencing the most significant economic hardship and a loss of revenue, closed for new applications. MGCC will continue to review applications to both programs in the coming weeks, and applicants will be able to review the status of their application through the Submittable portal. Award notifications for the sector-specific program will be made in February. 

STAY AT HOME ADVISORY:

The DPH Stay at Home Advisory for the hours of 10:00 PM – 5:00 AM will be rescinded effective Monday, January 25 at 5:00 AM.

MANDATORY EARLY CLOSING ORDER:

The Mandatory Early Closing Order, which since early November has required certain businesses to close by 9:30 PM each night, will be rescinded effective Monday, January 25 at 5:00 AM.

Effective with the January 25 rescinding of the Order, the following businesses listed below may operate past 9:30 PM:

  • Restaurants
  • Arcades & Other Indoor & Outdoor Recreation (Phase 3, Step 1 only)
  • Indoor and Outdoor Events
  • Movie Theaters
  • Outdoor Theaters
  • Drive-In Movie Theaters
  • Youth and Adult Amateur Sports Activities
  • Golf Facilities
  • Recreational Boating and Boating Businesses (e.g. charter boats)
  • Outdoor Recreational Experiences (includes haunted houses)
  • Casinos and Horse Tracks/Simulcast Facilities
  • Driving and Flight Schools
  • Zoos, Botanical Gardens, Wildlife Reserves, Nature Centers
  • Close Contact Personal Services (e.g. hair and nail salons)
  • Museums/Cultural & Historical Facilities/Guided Tours
  • Gyms/Fitness Centers and Health Clubs
  • Indoor and Outdoor Pools

Effective with the rescinding of the Early Closing Order, liquor stores and other retail establishments that sell alcohol will be permitted to sell alcohol past 9:30 PM; and adult use cannabis retailers will also be permitted to sell cannabis after 9:30 PM.

Gatherings and events will also be permitted to continue past 9:30 PM. All gatherings and events will remain subject to current capacity limits of 10 people indoors and 25 people outdoors.

Phase 3, Step 2 businesses must remain fully closed.  

SECTOR-SPECIFIC CAPACITY RESTRICTIONS & GATHERING LIMITS

Capacity Limits: Under the current restrictions that are being extended today, most customer-facing businesses operating in Massachusetts remain subject to a 25% capacity limit.

For a list of sectors subject to the extended capacity restrictions, click here. 

Gatherings Limit: The current gathering limits in place since December 26 are also being extended to Monday, February 8. Indoor gatherings and events will remain limited to 10 people. Outdoor gatherings and events will remain limited to 25 people outside. The gatherings limit applies to private homes, event venues and public spaces.

 

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General Business Guidance: Information to help businesses meet the self-certification requirement to reopen. All businesses must meet these requirements before reopening. Businesses operating to provide Essential Services, as defined in the Governor’s March 23, 2020 Executive Order, updated on March 31, April 28 and May 15, may remain open and have until May 25, 2020 to comply with these mandatory safety standards.

  • COVID-19 Control Plan Template – Template that satisfies the written control plan requirement for self-certification
  • Compliance Attestation Poster – Poster that customer facing businesses are required to print, sign, and post in an area within the business premises that is visible to workers and visitors
  • Employer and Worker Posters – Posters that businesses can print and display within the business premises to describe the rules for maintaining social distancing, hygiene protocols, and cleaning and disinfecting

More helpful links:

 

Brockton Neighborhood Health Center & Signature Healthcare

“TESTING IS THE KEY TO REOPENING THE REGION’S ECONOMY”

“As the state begins the gradual process of re-opening, employers and their staffs are reminded they can be tested for COVID-19 in less than 10 minutes at the state’s regional drive-thru site at Brockton High School. The governor is basing his re-opening of the state’s economy on these test results, so the more tested, the better. The tests are done by Brockton Neighborhood Health Center and Signature Healthcare Brockton Hospital and take less than 10 minutes. Same-day appointments are available, and results come back usually within two days. The test is free on all insurance plans — if someone does not have insurance, we’ll help them arrange it. 

The site is open Monday and Thursday from 4-7pm. Please call our testing hotline at 1-844-4test19 to register for your test, or for more information.”

 

Small Business Assistance & Resource Center: COVID-19 Video Series

     

 

U.S. Small Business Administration (SBA)

To receive up to $10,000 as a forgivable SBA loan advance to help your business and our regional economy recover from COVID-19, follow this link: https://covid19relief.sba.gov/#/

 

Supply Donation Requests

Brockton Neighborhood Health Center (BNHC)
Brockton Visiting Nurse Association (BVNA) 

Funding Options & Other Resources

Service Alerts

Center for Disease Control (CDC)

U.S. Chamber of Commerce

In Spanish, Carranza Urges Business Owners To Seek Loans.

A Spanish-language article and video on the website of KTDO-TV El Paso, TX (4/10, Serrano) reported on the government response to the pandemic. SBA Administrator Jovita Carranza briefly appeared on the clip, urging small businesses owners to apply for loans.

 

The Executive Office of Labor and Workforce Development

Massachusetts Emergency Management Agency (MEMA)

  • MEMA’s Emergency Operations Center’s Private Sector Hotline will be staffed Monday-Friday, from 8AM-4PM, call (508)-820-2094.

SCORE

Labor & Employment, Municipal, Education, and HR Alerts

MassHire Department of Career Services Rapid Response Employer Information

Mass Cultural Council announces COVID-19 Grant Fund for the Creative

MASSCreative COVID-19 Virtual Policy & Action Update

 

 

How to Work from Home, Effectively

Business doesn’t stop, and neither do we! Now is the perfect time to work on perfecting new ways to connect and work together. New developments call for a new strategy. To that end, we’re refocusing some of our resources to support digital members and community engagement. Be on the lookout for webinars, conference calls, video chats, and more! Below are several resources that are now being widely used, in an effort to keep business moving forward.

ZOOM: Zoom is the top video and web conferencing app. They offer a series of one-minute video introductions to help get you started seamlessly; webinars are also available, and you can request a demo at any time. Their basic (free) package offers 40 minute calls with up to 100 participants. Other packages include unlimited screen time, participants, and more. Forbes: Zoom CEO Eric Yuan is Giving K-12 Schools His Videoconferencing Tools For Free

Free Conference Call: Once you sign up, you will be provided with a Dial-in Number and Access Code for immediate conferencing, and on Online Meeting ID for hosting meetings with Screen Sharing and Video Conferencing. There’s also an app available, making it even more accessible. Simple & easy conference calling right on your mobile device!

Google Remote Work hub: This link includes resources and free tools to help your own teams work smoothly, and to help you stay connected to the communities we serve. Here you’ll find information on how to:

  • Work from anywhere: Best practices for effective communication and collaboration while working remotely and meeting via video conferencing.
  • Teach from anywhere: Support virtual learning and how workshops from anywhere using collaborative tools.
  • Learn from anywhere: Share training content through digital resources to that the people in your community can access online courses and curriculum.

Google has always created a new helpful site for small businesses with additional tips and recommendations to navigate this time of uncertainty for employees and customers.

Other resources:

 

Learning from Home

 

Restaurant Updates

Abington Ale House: Take-Out available 11:30am-7:00pm daily
1235 Bedford Street
Abington, MA 02351
(781) 871-6811

Barrett’s Alehouse: Temporarily Closed
674 West Center Street
West Bridgewater, MA 02379
(508) 510-4204

Brack’s Grille & Tap: Open for Take-Out & Delivery, check availability.
1280 Belmont Street
Brockton, MA 02301
(508) 271-7777

Buffalo Wild Wings: Open for Take-out & Delivery
486 Westgate Drive
Brockton, MA 02301
(508) 559-1409

Cape Cod Cafe, Inc.: Open for Take-Out
979 Main Street
Brockton, MA 02301
(508) 583-9420

George’s: Open for Take-Out, Monday-Sunday 11am-10:30pm
228 Belmont Street
Brockton, MA 02301
(508) 588-4231

Good Days Restaurant, Inc.: Open for Take-Out Monday-Friday 11am-7pm, Saturday 9am-7pm, Sunday 8am-7pm
99 South Main Street
West Bridgewater, MA 02379
(508) 584-0077

Italian Kitchen: Open for Take-Out
1071 Main Street
Brockton, MA 02301
(508) 586-2100

JJ’s Caffe: Temporarily Closed
610 N. Main Street
Brockton, MA 02301
(508) 510-4227

Joe Angelo’s Cafe & Deli: Open for Take-Out & Delivery, 11am-10pm
11 Crescent Street
Brockton, MA 02301
(508) 588-8331

LongHorn Steakhouse: Open for Take-Out
800 US Road, Route 44
Raynham, MA 02767
(508) 821-9246

McDonald’s: Open for Drive-Thru & Take-Out
664 Crescent Street
Brockton, MA 02302
(508) 586-4594

McGuiggan’s Pub:Open for Take-Out, 4-8pm
546 Washington Street
Whitman, MA 02382
(781) 447-7333

Stonebridge Cafe: Open for Take-Out
1285 Belmont Street
Brockton, MA 02301
(508) 584-5200

Texas Roadhouse: Open for Take-Out
124 Westgate Drive
Brockton, MA 02301
(508) 427-6244

Yamato Japanese Steak House: Temporarily Closed
510 Westgate Drive
Brockton, MA 02301
(508) 588-8881