April 28th Information &
Resource Update
Reopening Update: Revised Outdoor Gathering, Capacity, Face Mask Requirements; Full Reopening Eyed for August 1st

The Baker-Polito Administration announced yesterday that Massachusetts will reopen some outdoor Phase 4, Step 2 industries effective May 10th and put plans in place for further reopening on May 29th and August 1st. The Administration will also relax the Face Coverings Order for some outdoor settings, effective April 30th. 

Effective Monday, May 10th:

  • Large venues such as indoor and outdoor stadiums, arenas, and ballparks currently open as part of Phase 4, Step 1 at 12% will be permitted to increase capacity to 25%.

  • The Commonwealth will reopen some outdoor Phase 4, Step 2 industries including amusement parks, theme parks, and outdoor water parks that will be permitted to operate at a 50% capacity after submitting safety plans to the Department of Public Health.

  • Road races and other large, outdoor organized amateur or professional group athletic events will be permitted to take place with staggered starts after submitting safety plans to a local board of health or the DPH.

  • Youth and adult amateur sports tournaments will be allowed for moderate and high risk sports.

  • Singing will also be permitted indoors with strict distancing requirements at performance venues, restaurants, event venues, and other businesses.

Effective Saturday, May 29th:

  • Subject to public health and vaccination data, gathering limits will increase to 200 people indoors and 250 people outdoors for event venues, public settings, and private settings.

  • Subject to public health and vaccination data, additional Phase 4, Step 2 industries will be permitted to open including:
  • Street festivals, parades, and agricultural festivals, at 50% of their previous capacity and after submitting safety plans to the local board of health.
  • Bars, beer gardens, breweries, wineries, and distilleries, will be subject to restaurant rules with seated service only, a 90 minute limit, and no dance floors.

  • Subject to public health and vaccination data, the restaurant guidance will be updated to eliminate the requirement that food be served with alcohol and to increase the maximum table size to 10.

Effective Sunday, August 1st:

  • Subject to public health and vaccination data, remaining industries will be permitted to open including:
  • Dance clubs, and nightclubs
  • Saunas, hot-tubs, steam rooms at fitness centers, health clubs, and other facilities
  • Indoor water parks
  • Ball pits

  • All industry restrictions will be lifted at that time, and capacity will increase to 100% for all industries, with businesses encouraged to continue following best practices. The gathering limit will be rescinded.

  • Depending on vaccine distribution and public health data, the Administration may consider re-evaluating the August 1st date.

  • The Department of Public Health will also continue to issue guidance as needed, including guidance to still require masks indoors.

Face Coverings Order: 

  • Effective April 30th, the Face Coverings Order will be relaxed for some outdoor settings. Face coverings will only be required outside in public when it is not possible to socially distance, and at other times required by sector-specific guidance.

  • Face coverings will still be required at all times in indoor public places. Face coverings will also continue to be required at all times at events, whether held indoors or outdoors and whether held in a public space or private home, except for when eating or drinking.

  • At smaller gatherings in private homes, face coverings are recommended but not required. The $300 fine as an enforcement mechanism will be eliminated.

Restaurant Revitalization Fund Update: Applications Open Monday,
Training Sessions Offered Today

As described in our April 22nd Information and Resource Update, the American Rescue Plan Act established the Restaurant Revitalization Fund (RRF) to provide funding to help restaurants and other eligible businesses remain open. This program will provide restaurants with funding equal to their pandemic-related revenue loss up to $10 million per business, and no more than $5 million per physical location. Recipients are not required to repay the funding as long as funds are used for eligible uses no later than March 11th, 2023.

Registration & Applications

The Small Business Administration (SBA), which administers the program, has announced that registration for the program will begin Friday, April 30th at 9:00 AM and SBA will begin accepting applications via the application portal on Monday, May 3rd at 12 Noon. The application portal will remain open to any eligible establishment until all funds are exhausted.

Training Sessions

SBA will host two webinar trainings, which will be recorded and later posted on SBA's YouTube channel. SBA will also share the recording links via email and on SBA's social media channels.

Additional Background Information

Eligible entities who have experienced pandemic-related revenue loss include:
  • Restaurants
  • Food stands, food trucks, food carts
  • Caterers
  • Bars, saloons, lounges, taverns
  • Snack and nonalcoholic beverage bars
  • Bakeries (onsite sales to the public comprise at least 33% of gross receipts)
  • Brewpubs, tasting rooms, taprooms (onsite sales to the public comprise at least 33% of gross receipts)
  • Breweries and/or microbreweries (onsite sales to the public comprise at least 33% of gross receipts)
  • Wineries and distilleries (onsite sales to the public comprise at least 33% of gross receipts)
  • Inns (onsite sales of food and beverage to the public comprise at least 33% of gross receipts)
  • Licensed facilities or premises of a beverage alcohol producer where the public may taste, sample, or purchase products

Restaurants and other eligible businesses that would like to prepare their applications should review this sample application form. Additional required documentation will include verification of tax information and gross receipts documentation, with additional supporting documentation needed for inns, brewpubs, tasting rooms, taprooms, breweries, wineries, distilleries, or bakeries.

New Round of Shared Streets and Spaces Grant Program to Be Offered; Applications Due May 21st

MassDOT has announced a new round of the Shared Streets and Spaces Grant Program, which is now open for applications. All municipalities and transit authorities in the Commonwealth are eligible to apply.

The new phase of the program is designed to help communities gear up for Summer amid the ongoing public health crisis. In light of recent increases in speeding-related crashes and fatalities, this new phase of the program will have an additional emphasis on safety, and is looking to fund projects that improve safety for all road users through interventions that achieve safer conditions and safer speeds.

The new phase will operate similarly to previous iterations of the Shared Streets and Spaces Program by supporting municipalities and transit authorities to improve plazas, sidewalks, curbs, streets, bus stops, parking areas, and other public spaces in support of public health, safe mobility, and renewed commerce. Bonus points will be awarded to projects seeking to address an identified safety concern through measures such as street reconfigurations and traffic calming. 

Applications will be accepted until Friday, May 21st. Award notifications will be made by June 25th. Click here to visit the Shared Streets and Spaces Grant Program website for more information on eligible project types and how to apply.
MetroFest 2021: Call for Exhibitors

MetroFest, the annual arts, music, and food truck festival organized by the MetroWest Visitors Bureau, will take place virtually this year on Saturday, June 12th, from 11:00 AM to 2:00 PM as MetroFest 2021: At Home Again!

The Visitors Bureau has put out a call for exhibitors; the event will provide opportunity for exposure through its initial broadcast in June, and then again in August. A recording will also be promoted throughout the Summer on the Bureau's e-newsletter which has over 12,000 subscribers, as well as their social media channels and the State Office of Travel and Tourism social media channels.

Some highlights from the 2020 event, which was also virtual:
  • More than 40 exhibitor booths
  • Live workshops
  • A full lineup of main stage performances
  • An estimated 1,000 attendees
  • Global exposure allowed by the online format, with event visitors from throughout the U.S., U.K., Ireland, Germany, Canada and Australia

Click here to download exhibitor and sponsorship opportunities for the event. Questions can be directed to Erin Lynch, Executive Director of the MetroWest Visitors Bureau, via email at erin@metrowestvisitors.org.
Investor Spotlight: Boston Scientific

Throughout the Spring, the 495/MetroWest Partnership will be acknowledging our Investors in our Information and Resource Updates. Click here to learn about becoming an Investor!
Boston Scientific is dedicated to transforming lives through innovative medical solutions that improve the health of patients around the world. We are guided by our core values of Caring, Diversity, Global Collaboration, High Performance, Meaningful Innovation and Winning Spirit. We have 38,000 employees across six continents and more than 2,000 in Massachusetts. We became the first medical device manufacturer to commit to achieving carbon neutrality in all manufacturing and key distribution sites by 2030 and have already reduced our carbon footprint by 50 percent. We have also been recognized as one of FORTUNE’s Worlds Most Admired Companies, one of Forbes Best Employers for Diversity, Forbes Best Employers for Women, Forbes America’s Best Large Employers, Dow Jones Sustainability Index, Forbes America’s Most Just Companies, and more. Visit www.bostonscientific.com to learn more.

The 495/MetroWest Partnership thanks Boston Scientific for their SUPPORTER level investment! Check out our full list of Investors at 495Partnership.org.
As always, please do not hesitate to reach out if the Partnership can be of any assistance to you:
Jason Palitsch, Executive Director
(774) 760-0495 x105

Thank you for your continued commitment to strengthening our region.