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  • COVID-19 Resources and Information
     

    President Trump signed the “Coronavirus Aid, Relief, and Economic Security Act” or the “CARES Act”. There are several provisions that impact employers. These measures are largely aimed at stimulating the economy and focus on assistance for small businesses and individual taxpayers.

    The US Chamber Foundation is launching $5K grants to Small Businesses
    Go to: www.savesmallbusiness.com
    Who’s eligible?
    Businesses with 3-20 employees
    Located in an economic vulnerable community (can plug in zip code to see if your community is eligible)
    Application should take about 10 minutes will need your W-9 form – grants will be awarded weekly (you only need to apply once)

     

    Small Business Administration

    SBA's disaster programs spelled out in just a few clicks.

    Start with the Paycheck Protection Program and to see forms, etc; then next to Economic Injury Disaster Loans and advance; then next to Express Bridge Loans and then next to Debt Relief for existing and future SBA 7a, 504 and microloan. 

    The following questions might help point you in the right direction.

    Do you need:

    Capital to cover the cost of retaining employees?
    Then the Paycheck Protection Program might be right for you.

    A quick infusion of a smaller amount of cash to cover you right now?

    To ease your fears about keeping up with payments on your current or potential SBA loan? The Small Business Debt Relief Program could help. 

    Just some quality, free counseling to help you navigate this uncertain economic time? The resource partners are available for virtual counseling sessions. 

    Frequently Asked Questions

    If I am applying or already received an Economic Injury Disaster Loan, is my small business eligible to participate in the Paycheck Protection Program?  

    • Borrowers can apply for BOTH an Economic Injury Disaster Loan and the Paycheck Protection Program loan.   
    • However, the Paycheck Protection Program loan funds and the Economic Injury Disaster Loan funds cannot be used for the same purpose.   
    • The Paycheck Protection Program loan must be used for payroll (minimum of 75% of the funds received) for it to be eligible for a forgivable loan and the remaining 25% is used for different purposes (mortgage interest, rent, utilities, other services).   
    • Borrowers who accept both loan funds should document the uses of the funds appropriately.  
    • If your Economic Injury Disaster Loan was used for payroll costs, your Paycheck Protection Program loan must be used to refinance your Economic Injury Disaster Loan.   
    • Any advance up to $10,000 on the Economic Injury Disaster Loan will be deducted from the loan forgiveness amount of the Paycheck Protection Program loan.  
    • For example, a borrower may obtain a loan from the Paycheck Protection Program and use those funds to pay for 8 weeks of payroll or employee retention. They may wish to then dedicate their entire EIDL funds towards working capital, notes payable and accounts payable that do not duplicate the funds provided through the Paycheck Protection Program. If the EIDL loan was used for payroll expenses, the borrower must refinance the EIDL loan with the PPP loan which carries a lower interest rate as well as a shorter maturity period.  
    • If you are applying for both, you can accept PPP first – then decide whether or not to close on your EIDL approved loan.  
    • The application period for PPP loans runs through June 30, 2020, but the EIDL application period runs through December 2020.  
    • EIDL Loan advances will start to be distributed this week.  $1000 per employee up to $10,000 max
    • EIDL Loans - IF YOU DID NOT APPLY THROUGH THE STREAMLINED PROCESS WHICH STARTED LAST WEEK, SBA request that you visit https://covid19relief.sba.gov/#/ and reapply with the secure streamlined process. You will not lose your place in queue with your original EIDL loan application.
    • EIDL loans will not require a personal guarantee for loans under $200,000
    • EIDL loans will not require real estate collateral for loans under $500,000. SBA will be looking be best available lien priority on all business assets or other business assets.

    More on Paycheck Protection Program

    PPP Bank Locator

    Please direct all inquiries and questions to our District Office email at:

    MassachusettsDO@sba.gov

    Small Business Administration Programs - Scams and Fraud Alerts

     

    Reopening Massachusetts

    Guidance for Industries on Reopening

    The Baker Administration announced that Phase III of Massachusetts's reopening plan will begin Monday, July 6th.

    Phase III will operate under a two-phase schedule, like Phase II. There is no date for when the 2nd part of Phase III will begin.

    Beginning Monday, gyms, fitness centers, museums, cultural and historical facilities will be allowed to reopen, and small guided tours may resume.  However, there are specific restrictions and guidelines they must follow.

    Also, indoor gatherings are limited to eight people per 1,000 square feet but should not include more than 25 people. Gatherings in enclosed outdoor spaces are limited to 25 percent or 100 people.

    For more information: https://www.mass.gov/info-details/reopening-massachusetts

    Step 2 of Phase II, protocols for business opening can be found at www.mass.gov/reopening.

    The Baker Administration has announced that the Start of Phase II – will begin Monday, June 8th.  It will be a staggered approach with retail, restaurant, and lodging gradually opening.  It will be a two-step process.  Outdoor dining, retail, lodging and childcare can begin in Step 1.  A date for Step 2 has not been determined, but that will include indoor dining in restaurants and the opening of nail salons and spas. Phase II also allows the return of preventative healthcare services. As with all the Phases new safety protocols must be adhered to.  For more information click here: https://www.mass.gov/info-details/reopening-when-can-my-business-reopen

    Governor Baker issued an Executive Order which includes a detailed list of businesses and activities that can resume in phases II, III and IV of reopening. To learn more click here: https://bit.ly/3dtok80

    He also announced that day camps and childcare facilities can open during phase II of reopening. They will have to meet minimum health and safety requirements.  For more information click here:  https://sforce.co/30a8snh

    The Baker Administration announced a set of protocols and guidelines for Restaurants and Lodging to reopen in Phase 2.  A start date of Phase 2 depends on the spread of the virus and will be announced on June 6th.  This advance guidance is to allow the industries to prepare for reopening. 

    Outdoor dining for restaurants will begin at the start of Phase 2. The tables must be six feet apart and the maximum party size is six people.  To read the restaurant guidelines click here: https://www.mass.gov/info-details/safety-standards-and-checklist-restaurants

    The lodging industry received similar guidance along with specific instructions on sanitation protocols. To read the lodging industry guidelines please click here: https://www.mass.gov/info-details/safety-standards-and-checklist-operators-of-lodgings

     

    Governor Baker signed the legislation, Chapter 53 of the Acts of 2020, enabling restaurants during the ongoing state of emergency to include beer and wine sales with food takeout/delivery orders. The state tax-filing deadline has been extended to July 15th and municipalities have been given more flexibility around property tax deadlines.

    For a copy of the bill: https://malegislature.gov/Search?SearchTerms=H4586

    For the latest State updates click: https://www.mass.gov/info-details/covid-19-resources-and-guidance-for-businesses?mc_cid=d2511fc162&mc_eid=9c813955e5

     

    Massachusetts Small Business Recovery Loan Program

    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.

    To Learn more about this Program please click here: https://www.empoweringsmallbusiness.org/what-we-offer/emergency-loan-funds/covid-19-loan-fund

    The Baker Administration made some changes to the Covid-19 retail restrictions. Effective immediately, businesses considered non-essential will be allowed to bring a few employees into their stores and warehouses to fulfill online and phone orders.

    The new guidelines say that Massachusetts businesses can bring in employees if they follow a new set of rules that include wearing facemasks, mandatory employee-temperature checks and limits on the number of on-site workers.

    For more information on the new guidelines click here: https://www.mass.gov/info-details/covid-19-essential-services-faqs

    Small Business Grants Provided by the City of Cambridge’s Mayor’s Disaster Relief Fund & Small Business Zero Interest Loans Provided by the Cambridge Redevelopment Authority

    Grant applications are available for a new Small Business COVID-19 Relief Grant Program. The program is designed to provide short-term working capital assistance to enable the viability of the business and retention of jobs during the severe interruption caused by the COVID-19 pandemic. For more information click here: https://www.cambridgema.gov/CDD/News/2020/3/smallbusinesscovid19reliefgrant

    Preparedness Resources for Businesses provided by the City of Cambridge

    Cambridge Redevelopment Authority Small Business COVID-19 Relief Grant 

     

    COVID-19: Ad Credits for Google Ads Small and Medium-sized Businesses 

    Resources to help your Small Business manage through uncertainty by Google

    Metro North Workforce Board COVID-19 Updates 

     
  • About the Cambridge Chamber of Commerce
    The Cambridge Chamber of Commerce, is dedicated to the promotion and connection of businesses to create a thriving economic community in Cambridge. We represent a diverse membership of over 750 businesses from all sectors that drive the Cambridge economy – large and small businesses, tech and life sciences, to hospitality, higher education, nonprofits, and healthcare. Through Chamber events, programs and more, we strive to educate, engage, and empower our members to ensure their success.
  • Member Events