April 20th COVID-19 Information & Resources Update
Pandemic Unemployment Assistance Now Available

As of this morning, claimants are now able to file for Pandemic Unemployment Assistance (PUA). PUA is available to the following individuals:
  • Self-employed individuals, including gig workers, freelancers, and independent contractors
  • Those seeking part-time employment
  • Claimants that have an insufficient work history to qualify for benefits
  • And claimants that have been laid off from churches and religious institutions who are not eligible for benefits under state law

PUA is a separate program from regular unemployment insurance. Inquiries about the program may be directed to Jennifer Lavin at PUAconstituentservices@detma.org.
Summary of Legislation Placing a Moratorium on Evictions and Foreclosures

The Legislature has passed H. 4647, "An Act Providing for a Moratorium on Evictions and Foreclosures During the COVID-19 Emergency," which now proceeds to the Governor for his signature. The bill carries an emergency preamble, meaning if signed by the Governor, it will take effect immediately.

Provisions of the bill include:


  • Prohibits landlords of residential dwelling units, for non-essential eviction actions, from terminating tenancies or sending notices to quit
  • Prohibits landlords from imposing a late fee for non-payment of rent or furnishing data to a consumer reporting agency if, within 30 days, the tenant provides notice and documentation to the landlord that the non-payment was due to a financial impact form COVID-19
  • Section 4: Allows landlords to utilize last month’s rent to pay for expenses if the landlord notifies the tenant in writing. However, landlords still must provide tenant’s with the same interest that would have accrued if the landlord had not utilized last month’s rent and prohibits landlords from deducting money from the last month’s rent for any non-payment of rent

  • Prohibits courts from: (1) accepting for filing a writ, summons or complaint; (2) entering a judgment or default judgment for a plaintiff for possession; (3) issuing an execution for possession; (4) denying a stay of execution or a continuance of a summary process case; or (5) scheduling a court event for non-essential eviction actions for residential dwelling or small business premises units
  • Tolls the deadline or time for action by parties to a non-essential eviction action

  • Prohibits sheriffs and others from enforcing or levying an execution for possession for nonessential eviction actions for residential dwelling or small business premises units

  • Prohibited for 120 days or 45 days after the emergency declaration has been lifted, whichever is sooner
  • Governor may postpone the expiration for a period of time, which cannot go past 45 days after the emergency declaration is lifted


  • Allows mortgagors to participate in counseling via synchronous, real-time video conference or phone calls in lieu of in person counseling, during the COVID-19 emergency, when obtaining a reverse mortgage loan


  • Prohibits creditors or mortgagees from (1) causing notice of foreclosure sale to be published; (2) exercising a power of sale; (3) exercising a right of entry; (4) initiating a judicial or nonjudicial foreclosure; or (5) filing a complaint to determine military status of a mortgagor
  • Prohibited for 120 days or 45 days after the emergency declaration has been lifted, whichever is sooner
  • Governor may postpone the expiration for a period of time, which cannot go past 45 days after the emergency declaration is lifted

  • Requires creditors or mortgagees to grant a forbearance, if requested, of a mortgage loan for a residential property for a period of not more than 180 days. Prohibits fees, penalties, or interest from accruing during that period

Business Resource Hubs for COVID-19 Response

AIM Employer Resources: Associated Industries of Massachusetts (AIM) has established this employer resources page the covers the following topics:
  • Unemployment Insurance
  • Disaster Financing
  • Federal Reserve Main Street Lending Program
  • Paid Family and Medical Leave
  • Taxes
  • Fact Sheets regarding Federal Programs and Legal Changes
AIM also maintains an Employer Hotline at 1-800-470-6277.

CMRPC COVID-19 Economic Resources: This webpage was set up to be a one-stop-shop to access the latest material produced by Central Massachusetts Regional Planning Commission (CMRPC). Topics include:
  • Finding out what type of support is right for your business
  • Summary of CARES Act, SBA, and FMLA Programs
  • Regional SBA Lenders and Resources
  • Regional Economic Data
  • Social Media Resources
  • and More
Personal Protective Equipment (PPE)

Health care providers of all kinds, throughout our region, are in desperate need of testing and medical equipment including N-95 masks, gloves, gowns, ventilators, and other needed personal protective equipment that can be used by front line medical staff and care providers. The Commonwealth has announced an online portal where individuals and companies can easily donate or sell personal protective equipment (PPE) to support efforts to address the COVID-19 outbreak in Massachusetts.

By visiting the COVID-19 PPE Procurement and Donation website, businesses and organizations can offer for purchase or donation critically needed personal protective equipment, including: N95/N99 masks (respirators), surgical/procedure masks, facemasks with integrated shields, Powered Air-Purifying Respirators (PAPR), goggles, gloves, protective suits/gowns, booties/shoe covers, headcovers, hand sanitizer, and sanitizing wipes. The portal can be accessed online at this link.

The program also provides an entry point for local manufacturers to get more information on adapting their businesses to produce more equipment here in Massachusetts.
Spotlight On Our Investors: Sanofi

495/MetroWest Partnership Investor Sanofi announced last week that they have signed a letter of intent, along with GSK, to develop an adjuvanted vaccine for COVID-19, using innovative technology from both companies, to help address the ongoing pandemic. Sanofi will contribute its S-protein COVID-19 antigen, which is based on recombinant DNA technology. This technology has produced an exact genetic match to proteins found on the surface of the virus, and the DNA sequence encoding this antigen has been combined into the DNA of the baculovirus expression platform, the basis of Sanofi’s licensed recombinant influenza product in the US. 

We wish the team at Sanofi the best of luck in this important work!
As always, please do not hesitate to reach out if the Partnership can be of any assistance to you. Partnership operations are continuing throughout the duration of the current public health crisis, with our staff working remotely. You may reach me directly via email at jason@495partnership.org .

Jason Palitsch
Executive Director
The 495/MetroWest Partnership