Business Recovery Resources

Business Recovery Resources

Local Information for Reopening your Business

PHASE III, STEP ONE TO INITIATE ON MONDAY, JULY 6TH

The Baker-Polito Administration today announced that on July 6th, Phase III of the Commonwealth’s reopening plan will begin and updates on gatherings will be in effect. For the City of Boston, Phase III and the gatherings order will take effect on Monday, July 13th. The Department of Public Health (DPH) also issued updated guidance to mitigate the spread of COVID-19.

The following businesses will be eligible to reopen in Step One of Phase III, subject to industry-specific rules concerning capacity and operations: 

  • Movie theaters and outdoor performance venues;
  • Museums, cultural and historical sites; 
  • Fitness centers and health clubs;
  • Certain indoor recreational activities with low potential for contact;
  • Professional sports teams, under the authority of league-wide rules, may hold games without spectators

Businesses and sectors set to begin opening in Phase III are subject to compliance with all mandatory safety standards. As always, we recommend that businesses consult sector-specific protocols and the When Can My Business Reopen? pages at www.mass.gov/reopening.

Please see the press release for additional information regarding Step One of Phase III, the revised gatherings order, and public health guidance.

COVID -19 SPECIFIC STANDARDS FOR SECTORS NOT OTHERWISE ADDRESSED

These COVID -19 Specific Standards for Sectors Not Otherwise Addressed establish minimum standards for any Phase I, Phase II, or Phase III enterprise that is permitted to re-open but is not specifically addressed by sector-specific COVID-19 safety standards. These Specific Standards for Sectors Not Otherwise Addressed are issued to provide owners and operators of enterprises and workers at those enterprises with instructions to help protect against the spread of COVID-19 as enterprises re-open.

For full checklist click this link: https://www.mass.gov/doc/phase-iii-step-1-for-sectors-not-otherwise-addressed-checklist/download

NEW TRAVEL GUIDANCE

This week, the Baker-Polito Administration announced new COVID-19 public health guidelines on travel and transportation.

Effective Wednesday, July 1, all travelers arriving to Massachusetts, including residents returning home, are instructed to self-quarantine for 14-days. This guidance does not apply to travelers from Rhode Island, Connecticut, Vermont, New Hampshire, Maine, New York or New Jersey. Additionally, workers designated by the federal government as essential critical infrastructure workers are also exempt from this directive.  Travelers who are displaying symptoms of COVID-19 are instructed to not travel to Massachusetts.

Businesses Opening in Phases

please click the hyperlink to access the corresponding Sector-Specific Protocols 


Restaurants


Retail Businesses

Golf Facilities



Potential Timeline for  Future Phases 

Public Health Metrics to Determine Advancing to Later Phases. Each phase will last a minimum of three weeks. Public health data will determine whether the next phase will advance, and/or the state may need to return to an earlier phase. The Sector-Specific Protocols for these businesses in upcoming phases will be published in advance of the future phases. Keep in mind, this list is not all-encompassing and may be updated at any time. 

Key public health metrics will determine if and when it is appropriate to proceed through reopening phases. They include:

  • COVID-19 positive test rate
  • Number of individuals who died from COVID-19
  • Number of patients with COVID-19 in hospitals
  • Health care system readiness
  • Testing capacity
  • Contact tracing capabilities

For more information visit the state’s Reopening Massachusetts website

Massachusetts Reopening Advisory Board Information

May 18th, 2020- Massachusetts Governor’s Office general business guidance

For establishments to reopen, the business must develop a written COVID-19 Control Plan outlining how its workplace will comply with these new regulations and will ensure the safety of employees and customers. Required Materials are located on mass.gov/reopening, and include:

  • COVID-19 control plan template – Template that satisfies the written control plan requirement for self-certification. This plan does not need to be submitted to an authority, but it must be retained on-premises in the event of an inspection. 
  • 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 Poster and Worker poster – 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

Reopening Massachusetts- general business guidance and access to all documents  Click Here

Full Reopening Advisory Board Report Click Here

When can my business reopen? Detailed industry reopening plan Click here

Gov. Baker’s Mandatory Workplace Safety Standards Click Here

Find Supply Vendors Click here
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Gov. Baker’s Four-Phased Reopening Plan  Click Here 

Gov. Baker’s reopening plan presentation Click Here

Keep your establishment safe with these basic techniques

Follow CDC Daily Habits Click Here

Follow CDC Reopening Guidance for Cleaning and Disinfecting Public Spaces, Workplaces, Businesses, Schools, and Homes Click Here

Follow CDC’s Guidance for Reopening Buildings After Prolonged Shutdown or Reduced Operation Click Here

Additional Tips:

  • Mark spaces on the floor to encourage customers to stay 6ft apart
  • Continue "Senior Hours" at establishments for the populations at risk.
  • Encourage touchless point of sales 
    • use golf pencils to sign materials
    • encourage customers to use Google and Apple Pay options

CDC Guidelines for Re-Opening

This guidance is intended for all Americans, whether you own a business, run a school, or want to ensure the cleanliness and safety of your home. Reopening America requires all of us to move forward together by practicing social distancing and other daily habits to reduce our risk of exposure to the virus that causes COVID-19. Reopening the country also strongly relies on public health strategies, including increased testing of people for the virus, social distancing, isolation, and keeping track of how someone infected might have infected other people. This plan is part of the larger United States Government plan external and focuses on cleaning and disinfecting public spaces, workplaces, businesses, schools, and can also be applied to your home.

Cleaning and disinfecting public spaces including your workplace, school, home, and business will require you to:

  • Develop your plan
  • Implement your plan
  • Maintain and revise your plan

CLICK HERE for more information

Business Owner Resources

The Small Business Owner’s Guide to the CARES Act

CLICK HERE for a full comprehensive look at the programs and initiatives in the Coronavirus Aid, Relief, and Economic Security (CARES) Act that was just passed by Congress are intended to assist business owners with whatever needs they have right now. When implemented, there will be many new resources available for small businesses, as well as certain nonprofits and other employers. This guide provides information about the major programs and initiatives that will soon be available from the Small Business Administration (SBA) to address these needs, as well as some additional tax provisions that are outside the scope of SBA.

Quick Guide for the Business Community: COVID-19

LOAN INFORMATION 

SBA Direct Link: https://www.sba.gov/funding-programs/loans/coronavirus-relief-options/paycheck-protection-program-ppp 

Economic Injury Disaster Loan (EIDL): Small business owners in all U.S. states, Washington D.C., and territories are eligible to apply for an Economic Injury Disaster Loan advance of up to $10,000. The SBA’s Economic Injury Disaster Loan program provides small businesses with working capital loans of up to $2 million that can provide vital economic support to small businesses to help overcome the temporary loss of revenue they are experiencing.

The loan advance will provide economic relief to businesses that are currently experiencing a temporary loss of revenue. Funds will be made available within three days of a successful application, and this loan advance will not have to be repaid.

To apply for a COVID-19 Economic Injury Disaster Loan, click here.

Paycheck Protection Program (PPP) Loans: The program would provide cash-flow assistance through 100 percent federally guaranteed loans to employers who maintain their payroll during this emergency. If employers maintain their payroll, the loans would be forgiven, which would help workers remain employed, as well as help affected small businesses and our economy snap-back quicker after the crisis. PPP has a host of attractive features, such as forgiveness of up to 8 weeks of payroll based on employee retention and salary levels, no SBA fees, and at least six months of deferral with maximum deferrals of up to a year. Small businesses and other eligible entities will be able to apply if they were harmed by COVID-19 between February 15, 2020 and June 30, 2020. This program would be retroactive to February 15, 2020, in order to help bring workers who may have already been laid off back onto payrolls. Loans are available through June 30, 2020.

For information on the PPP Loan, click here.

CLICK HERE for a PPP Loan Amount Calculator to help you calculate PPP loan amounts and a checklist for documentation required. (Courtesy of Laurie Ruttenberg, owner of Lucky Dog Resort in Middletown RI)

CLICK HERE for a Paycheck protection program loan potential debt forgiveness template to help you track forgiveness expenses for the PPP loan. (Courtesy of Laurie Ruttenberg, owner of Lucky Dog Resort in Middletown RI)

Small Business Debt Relief Program: This program will provide immediate relief to small businesses with non-disaster SBA loans, in particular 7(a), 504, and microloans. Under it, SBA will cover all loan payments on these SBA loans, including principal, interest, and fees, for six months. This relief will also be available to new borrowers who take out loans within six months of the President signing the bill into law.

To find out what loan is right for you, click here.

Employee Retention Tax Credit:  The Coronavirus Aid, Relief, and Economic Security (CARES) Act created a new employee retention tax credit for employers who are closed, partially closed, or experiencing significant revenue losses as a result of COVID-19. Private employers, including non-profits, carrying on a trade or business in 2020 are eligible if:  Operations have been partially or fully suspended as a result of orders from a governmental authority due to COVID-19, or Experience a decline in gross receipts by more than 50% in a quarter compared to the same quarter in 2019 (eligibility ends when gross receipts in a quarter exceed 80% compared to the same 2019 quarter).  Employers who receive a Paycheck Protection Program (PPP) loan are not eligible for a tax credit.

For more information, click here.

Employer/ Employee Relations

Families First Coronavirus Response Act: Employer Paid Leave Requirements
The Families First Coronavirus Response Act (FFCRA or Act) requires certain employers to provide their employees with paid sick leave or expanded family and medical leave for specified reasons related to COVID-19.[1] The Department of Labor’s (Department) Wage and Hour Division (WHD) administers and enforces the new law’s paid leave requirements. These provisions will apply from the effective date through December 31, 2020.

Rapid Response Program: The Rapid Response program, which works closely with companies to avert layoffs and keep a skilled workforce engaged in the existing regional economy or industry; read more about how the Rapid Response Team can help businesses at https://www.mass.gov/service-details/rapid-response-layoff-aversion

Workshare: The WorkShare program, a tool to help employers avoid layoffs during a downturn – read more about WorkShare at https://www.mass.gov/service-details/workshare-information-for-employers

Unemployment
If you’re unemployed in Massachusetts, you may be eligible for resources to help you get back on your feet. Employers can also find information about the contributions they must make by law for their employees. https://www.mass.gov/topics/unemployment

Massachusetts Department of Unemployment Assistance (DUA) Virtual Town Halls 
Sign up for a town hall presentation on applying for unemployment assistance. https://www.mass.gov/forms/massachusetts-department-of-unemployment-assistance-dua-virtual-town-halls

Guidance and Directives for Businesses & Employers
Updated information regarding unemployment resources can be found here:
https://www.mass.gov/info-details/covid-19-guidance-and-directives#businesses-&-employers-

News:

Massachusetts Gov. Baker Extends Non-Essential Business Closure to May 18th CLICK HERE for full article

Moratorium on evictions and foreclosures during the COVID-19 Emergency CLICK HERE for Chapter 65 Law

State to give small businesses respite on sales and other taxes CLICK HERE for complete article

Will traditional business insurance policies apply to claims related to the Coronavirus? CLICK HERE for information

A resource guide for Mass. businesses during coronavirus outbreak. CLICK HERE for more information

Will traditional business insurance policies apply to claims related to the Coronavirus? CLICK HERE for information

A resource guide for Mass. businesses during coronavirus outbreak. CLICK HERE for more information