To: Cape Ann Chamber of Commerce Members and Community
It’s been another big week as we better understand the business impacts of COVID-19 and new programs available from the Federal Stimulus Package - from our team to you and yours, we wish you a relaxing and enjoyable holiday weekend.
Members Supporting Members & the Community
We invite you to let us know how you are adapting and creating new and innovative ways to help one another through the current public health and economic emergency. We will share this news with our readers. Please email Olivia Perez-O’Dess, Member Services Director at
Do you have unemployment or virtual workforce questions, need help for your business, or have other questions? We are here to support you with information about disaster loans, unemployment assistance and business and community resources.
Business News & Resources:
- Massachusetts Unemployment Benefits Update. The Department of Unemployment Assistance (DUA) has recently received additional guidance from the federal government regarding expanded benefits under the CARES Act, including Pandemic Unemployment Assistance (PUA) for “individuals who are not working as a result of COVID-19 and are self-employed, independent contractors, gig economy workers, and others who otherwise would not qualify” for regular UI benefits. View the latest information and program details here.
- SBA’s New Coronavirus Funding and Debt Relief Options. The SBA has set up a consolidated webpage with information about the new help for small businesses included in the CARES Act, including the Paycheck Protection Program, EIDL Forgivable Loan Advances (up to $10k), Emergency Bridge Loans and Debt Relief. Link to this resource page here.
- Governor Extends Emergency Order Through May 4. Read the announcement here.
- State Online Portal for Personal Protective Equipment, Volunteers to Support COVID-19 Outbreak. See details here.
- State Tax-Filing Deadline Extended to July 15. Read today’s announcement from Governor Baker, Senate President Spilka and House Speaker DeLeo here.
- Resources for Cape Ann Businesses. The Chamber team is working diligently to assist our members and the community as we navigate these uncertain times together. Earlier this week our Board President Tony Sapienza emailed you a compendium of Business Resources and Recommended Action. We encourage you to review it here and we invite you to contact us if you have any questions or need assistance.
- North Shore PPE & Cleaning Supplies Vendor List. The state and federal governments have requested communities first try to build local supply channels for the cleaning and protective equipment needed by our workers. We have joined with other North Shore Chambers to ask that you complete this brief survey to identify any of the items your business can supply. You will be included in our vendor list distributed to the entire North Shore community.
- We have adjusted Chamber operations to adapt to the impacts of COVID-19. Our newsletters will now be issued every Monday, Wednesday and Friday. Even as we are compelled to make some partial, temporary staffing reductions, we remain determined and committed to delivering timely information and support to our members and the community. Team members are available by email and all calls and voice mail messages will be responded to by a member of the Chamber team.
- View the Chamber's special COVID-19 information and resource page on our website here. The page is updated regularly. Please send business updates to Olivia Perez-O’Dess (firstname.lastname@example.org).
Member & Community Updates:
- Updates for Cape Ann's Businesses: Please check our website for the most current information about business hours, operations and special services.
- Addison Gilbert and Beverly Hospitals are seeking our support as they work to contain the COVID-19 pandemic and keep our communities safe. They have established an Emergency Response Fund to provide immediate resources to be deployed for this and future emergencies.
- Boston Globe Media Small Business Community. In this network, you'll receive access to an exclusive Slack Network where you will be able to connect and knowledge-share with Boston Globe writers, community business experts, and other SMB owners; gain business exposure through Boston Globe Media social media highlights; and keep updated on business-related legislation and evolving best business practices. To get started and join the community, sign-up here. For more information on the Slack Platform, you can click here.
- Face Masks III. The Centers for Disease Control recently issued new guidance on the use of cloth face coverings to help slow the spread of COVID-19, including simple instructions for making face coverings at home using readily available household materials. Read the full guidance and instructions here.
Education & Training Resources:
- Update on the CARES Act and PPP. For a link to MassPay’s recent presentation click here.
- NonprofitWebAdvisor is offering a special COVID-19 series of webinars for non-profits. For further information and to register, click here.
- Cape Ann’s Public Libraries and the National Emergency Library are offering enhanced online educational and reading resources.
- National Emergency Library has made many books available to the public. See details here.
- North Shore Community College is hosting the following community information session online on Wednesday, April 8, from 3 - 4PM: NACE COVID-19 Town Hall
- Cape Ann Museum’s Timeship: Visit the museum’s Education page and learn about Timeship, distributed to appropriate grade levels throughout the community free of charge.
Community Services & Resources:
- Cape Ann Emergency Relief Fund Update: Action Inc. is now distributing Relief Fund Checks to qualifying workers impacted by COVID-19 layoffs and closures. Hourly workers who have been laid off, furloughed, or seen a significant reduction in hours may qualify for $500 in direct financial assistance. Applicants must residents of Gloucester, Ipswich, Rockport, Manchester and Essex, and provide employer verification that the layoffs were in response to COVID-19 related closures or restrictions. For more information, please visit www.actioninc.org/caerf.
- The Essex County Artist Fund has grown to more than $28,000 in less than two weeks thanks to the generous contributions of so many in our community. Already, the fund has delivered twenty $400 gifts to local artists, allowing them a little more support and space to continue their work through this crisis. They are asking for our help to reach their goal of $50,000. For more information and to donate, please click here.
- Element Care/PACE has asked us to share this update on all they are doing for frail at-risk elders age 55+ in the community:
- Our doctors & nurses call each of our over 1,000 participants almost every day, to see how they are doing, see what they need & to keep them engaged….and go out to visit & provide healthcare when needed.
- Performing skilled nursing visits right in people's homes.
- Delivering medications and ensuring all participants have the supplies they need right at their fingertips.
- Communicating & monitoring the health of our patients using our Avatar iPad home companions.
- Delivering meals, groceries, activity packages, nutritional supplements, incontinence supplies, durable medical equipment etc.
- All with NO COST to the consumer if they qualify both financially & medically.
- Action Inc. continues to provide services via phone appointments and email. Action’s Emergency Shelter remains open and operational. All Main Office and Energy Office services will be available Monday – Friday 9am-5pm. If you have general inquiries or questions, please call 978-282-1000 or email@example.com. You can also live chat with team members at actioninc.org
- Backyard Growers is making rapid repairs to all their community garden sites for the start to the growing season and will be moving all in-person trainings to a virtual format. They are working on a program to expand opportunities for container gardening with new affordable BYG Grow Bags and raised bed garden builds through Black Earth Compost for people outside their income eligibility requirements. More info on BYG website.
- Care Dimensions provides hospice and palliative care to many here on Cape Ann. They are experiencing increased demand for crucial medical supplies, emergency financial assistance to cover patient care and more requests from patients for help meeting critical, non-medical expenses such as groceries, utilities and rent. If you would like to support their clinical teams and their patients and families, please visit here.
- Children's Friend and Family is continuing to provide outpatient mental health therapy via telehealth, and is accepting referrals for persons with all forms of MassHealth. People in need of services are invited to call 978-283-7198, and follow the prompts for intake. Referral forms are also available here. They currently have no wait for In-Home Therapy, a service to support families with youth under 21. Children’s Friend and Family is actively exploring the needs of the community in these trying times and will be offering virtual groups in addition to their already established services in the near future.
- Essex County Community Foundation (ECCF) announced that its Essex County COVID-19 Response Fund has awarded a first round of grants, totaling $317,000, to 35 nonprofits on the front lines of the COVID-19 health crisis and serving the most vulnerable populations in our region. To learn more or to make a donation please visit www.eccf.org.
- Pathways for Children’s teachers and social workers have reached out to all enrolled families to assess needs and provide resources. Pathways staff continues to return calls to 978-515-5330 within 24 hours. In addition Pathways is hosting positive youth groups, early intervention social skills groups, and parenting support groups via Zoom and has added robust social service and educational family resources to their frequently updated website. Pathways has established an Emergency Response Fund (ERF) to help maintain steady support for their children, families and programs. Donations to the ERF will help ensure that Pathways is well-positioned to respond effectively to the emerging needs of the most at-risk children and families. Pathways is accepting donations to the ERS online at www.pw4c.org.
- Rose Baker Senior Center staff continue their efforts to remain in contact with seniors at home with wellness reassurance telephone calls from the senior center and staff from their homes. Calls to seniors provide support and information for available services. A wellness visit is provided as needed to a senior we are unable to reach by telephone. Delivery of Meals on Wheels continues each day from the senior center to seniors at home. Reservations for a "Grab a Meal" received at the rear of the senior center are available every day by calling 978 281-9765. Seniors needing delivery to your door of books, puzzles, and cards, please call 978 281-9765.
- SCORE Is Looking For Volunteers. If you can give back, SCORE Northeast Massachusetts needs your help. “Our work depends on our amazing volunteers. We are proud to help small businesses in the area, and would love to have you as part of our team.” To learn more about SCORE and how to become a SCORE volunteer, click here.
- SeniorCare is continuing to provide services to their entire service area of Beverly, Essex, Gloucester, Hamilton, Ipswich, Manchester-by-the-Sea, Rockport, Topsfield, and Wenham. For information and updates click here.
- The Open Door: The Open Door is making every effort to keep our programs operating during this COVID-19 (Coronavirus) event, with some adjustments. Please check their Facebook page for updates. The Gloucester Food Pantry remains open Monday–Friday, 10 AM–5 PM, for curbside pick-up only.
- Wellspring continues to provide Homelessness Prevention & Employment Support services via phone appointments, email, & video conferencing. The Family Shelter remains open and operational. The Shelter is full at this time. If you have questions please call 978-281-3558 Monday - Friday, 8:30 AM - 4:30 PM. Staff contact information is available here.
- The YMCA of the North Shore is providing free emergency child care for the children of parents required to work. See details here.
Members Helping Members & the Community:
- 1623 Studios has produced a wonderful piece that we would like to share with our readers. To view it click here.
- Woodman’s of Essex has extended their Free Shrimp Cocktail promotion through the end of the year. For all the details click here. They are also offering drop-off catering. Lobster Roll Meal includes clam chowder, lobster roll, coleslaw, potato chips, whoopie pie, and a bottled water for $35. Price per person, 10 person minimum and tax & gratuity not included. Will deliver, delivery charges are based on location and is for 10 or more people. Curbside pick-up is FREE. Show your appreciation for your essential employees!
- Aberdeen Home Care President Joanne MacInnis, RN, will be live on North Shore 104.9FM at 8:45 each morning, with up to the minute information about COVID-19. Tune in! Their radio show “Caring Voice” airs on North Shore 104.9 on Sunday mornings at 7:30 am. Aberdeen is continuing to provide meaningful and useful information to elders and those who care for them.
- Ayurveda Wellness Healing in Magnolia is offering 10% savings on the following: Gift Certificates, Ayurvedic Wellness Consultations (by phone, SKYPE, Zoom, Whats App, FaceTime), all wellness supplements, Ghee (Our very own made with much love), Teas and Oils. Ayurveda emphasizes re-establishing balance in the body through diet, lifestyle, exercise, body cleansing, and the health of the mind, body, and spirit. For further information call 978.395.1234, or email Info@ayurvedawellnesshealing.com
- Barn Dog Day Camp provides doggie day care and boarding services and they are on the list of essential services. They are offering a 25% discount to Doctors, Nurses, Police, Fire, EMS and other healthcare personnel on the frontlines of the fight against COVID-19. Owner Peter Hoare puts it this way: “These fine people are risking their lives to save ours and the last thing they need to worry about is their dog. We can help with that and our number is 978-522-0418.”
- Beauport Hearing Care in Magnolia remains open by appointment for curbside hearing aid cleanings and repairs. They come to your car to pick up your hearing aids and return them to you curbside after servicing your instruments. They are currently not seeing patients for services inside the clinic. Routine office visits and new patient testing are being delayed until after the COVID-19 crisis passes. Call 978-525-2300 for more information or to make an appointment.
- The Brass Monkey is donating lunch to all three Addison Gilbert Hospital shifts this Thursday as a thank you for their service. Owner Tom Lance is asking if other businesses would want to do the same as a basis to start a program called “Thank You Thursdays” on subsequent Thursdays and Tom offers to handle the food logistics or leave it up to the other contributors. Please contact Tom at firstname.lastname@example.org if you are interested in learning more about how you can help.
- Cape Ann Animal Aid wants everyone to know that their shelter animals are safe. They had a wonderful outpouring of support from the community and as a result were able to safely place over 70 animals into long term foster homes. Read full update here.
- Cape Ann Community Cinema is offering Virtual Cinema. To watch their films click here.
- Cape Ann Community Chiropractic is open by appointment for limited hours for treatment of pain or an injury, and through the month June they are offering completely complimentary care to hospital staff and emergency responders. Operating within CDC guidelines for safety and hygiene, they are scheduling patients so there is never more than one in the office at a time and extra time to sanitize every surface and purify the air in between office visits. Until May 5, when new patients pre-pay for their initial chiropractic exam, their first two follow up adjustments will be included in the $125.00 exam fee, and can be redeemed at any future date after we've returned to safer times. For further information visit http://omaleydc.com, email email@example.com or call (978) 381-3050.
- Cape Ann Fresh Catch is still providing the finest fish available and doing free home delivery in Gloucester, Rockport, Essex and Manchester. This supports our fishing boats and shore side services while restaurants are not fully functioning. They are delivering every day to their regular locations and home deliveries are booming. www.capeannfreshcatch.org
- Cape Ann Museum: The museum is offering lectures on their Vimeo page, currently featuring lectures from theirJudith Sargent Murray lecture series. Discovering Fitz Henry Lane Online—a freely-accessible online resource created by the Cape Ann Museum.
- Dogtown Books is offering curb-side pick up or FREE shipping to anywhere in the US on made-to-order Stay At Home Book Boxes. Visit their website for more information.
- Don Gorvett Gallery thanks friends and supporters for showing commitment to the work of artist Don Gorvett. When possible in the coming months, they look forward to welcoming the public safely in to experience and to celebrate their new Gloucester studio and gallery. In the meantime they are offering 15% off and free shipping through their Woodcut Catalog 2020 with pre-publish pricing. Please click here to find their catalog.
- Dreamtime Wellness goes virtual! Click here for info.
- East Coast Tire is open and taking the coronavirus very seriously. They value your safety as well as their employees – if you have a cough or runny nose, they ask that you not come inside their building. One person at a time is allowed in the office, and Ryan & Wood hand sanitizer is on the counter for your use. Their office and service bays are being sanitized throughout the day as well as what they touch inside your vehicle. They also offer pick-up and drop-off for your vehicle or can meet you outside to pick up your keys. Please call 978.283.1131 to make arrangements.
- Essex County Community Foundation has launched the Essex County Artist Fund to provide immediate relief to Essex County's artists (all disciplines). In addition to $400 needs-based grants, ECCF will elevate the visibility of all applicants across its social media platforms.
- The Family PORCH-RAIT Project. Professional photographers Bill Sumner, Shawn Henry and Jason Grow have teamed up to offer Socially-Distanced family portraits on your front porch or stoop, in your yard, or through your front window, all to benefit The Open Door. Email GloucesterPortraits@gmail.com to schedule your session.
- Floating Lotus is still shipping orders from their website and also doing curbside pick-up, all through www.floatinglotus.net. Please let them know if there’s a particular product you’re looking for. If it’s not on their site they can send photos of their products.
- Foster’s Grill Store and Shell Gas Station is offering Free Delivery - always -to those on the front lines or those who have lost their job during this challenging time. For those who can afford the $5 fee for tank and/or charcoal/accessory delivery Foster’s will match your fee and donate to help those in our community in need. They are offering delivery and curbside pickup options and are taking phone orders at 978-283-1275 from 9 am to noon Monday through Saturday.
- Gloucester Uechi Karate Academy is offering an $89 Karate Online Special which includes two introductory lessons, one month of online private lessons and one month of group online classes. Special is for ages 5 years old and up. During these challenging times, karate builds strength, improves fitness level and gives a sense of control, personal safety and accomplishment. Please call (978) 282-0629 or email firstname.lastname@example.org for more information.
- Infintech’s Mobile Processing Relief Program. If your business has pivoted to curbside, takeout or delivery because of COVID-19, Infintech’s Vital card reader pivots with you. It links to your mobile device via Bluetooth and accepts mag-stripe and chip cards. With their relief program, you can utilize the Infintech Mobile Processing Solution, and they will waive the initial set-up fee and the monthly fee until June 30, 2020. Contact Matt Valego at email@example.com or (413) 246-5509.
- Maestranzi Brothers is offering online purchasing of select machines and delivery within 24 hours. All machines are sanitized with a bleach solution. With this program, there’s no need to come into the store. Just buy online, and they take care of the rest. For all the details click here.
- Manchester-by-the-Sea Police Chief Todd Fitzgerald reported yesterday that two Manchester-by-the-Sea Police members recently tested negative for COVID-19 following a possible exposure to the virus. The officers have since been cleared to return to work after their test results came back negative and continue to remain symptom-free. The Police Department continues to provide delivery services for residents who are self-quarantined or deemed at-risk. Manchester-by-the-Sea residents can call 978-526-1212 to set up deliveries and for all non-emergency matters.
- Missy Anzivino Yoga has created a YouTube channel to help people can stay healthy and active. Join “Yoga and Barre with Missy” on YouTube here. Vinyasa Flow and Barre videos are posted a few times a week.
- Personal Protective Equipment Urgently Needed. The supplies of personal protective equipment are very low and on backorder at most medical supply companies without a delivery date. Cape Ann Rotarians are helping in the search for supplies that can be donated or purchased at cost with a credit card by organizations in need. Please notify Joan Arsenault at firstname.lastname@example.org if you have supplies.
- Queenvest, LLC is offering to help business owners do budgeting, projections, and planning and help prepare the financials for EIDC loans at a deeply discounted hourly rate under an extended payment plan. Learn details here.
- Ryan & Wood Distillery, operating under an emergency federal waiver, is now producing and selling one liter (33.8 oz.) packages of hand sanitizer for $30 plus tax. Please call (978) 281-2282 for availability. Limited to two per person. Ryan & Wood just sold their last bottle of hand sanitizer, but they will have more by the end of the week.
- Savour Wine & Cheese has updated and enhanced its precautions policy focused on customer hygiene upon entering and leaving the store, along w/ reminders about in-store requirements. In addition, updates for prioritized Free Delivery to all Cape Ann Communities and curbside pickup that is very popular for ease and safety. Read all the details here.
- Treetop Yoga Studio in Gloucester remains open as a virtual studio offering barre and yoga classes. Anyone interested in taking a fitness or yoga class can go to www.treetopyoga.com.There are a range of classes for all levels, and kids’ yoga will be added this week for free.
- SPECIAL: Chamber members who are new to Treetop may enter a class for FREE.
- CORPORATE YOGA: Treetop offers a 'yoga break' for your employees working from home, to have either a class specific for them with a company Zoom link or a corporate discount for employees to join a class already on their schedule. Email Erin at email@example.com.
- Rockport Music “with heavy heart and great regret” announced yesterday the cancellation of their Shalin Liu Performance Center events for all of May and most of June. “Currently, we hope to hold our first non-classical concert with Pokey LaFarge on June 23 and to launch the Rockport Chamber Music Festival on June 27 with the Miró Quartet and Anthony McGill”, said Rockport Music President and CEO Tony Beadle. Their Mid-Day Music Series continues. Sign up for email updates here.
- True North Ales has created Virtual Trivia Night. This evening at 7 pm and each Wednesday evening going forward, they will use Instagram LIVE to hold Trivia Night. View their Facebook event here.
- W.B. Mason is working on getting stock on Masks, Gloves, Toilet Paper and more. They have sourced hand sanitizer from Response 2020 Hand Sanitizer. It comes in a 16 oz. pump bottle @ $11.99 each and contains 70% ethyl alcohol. Please visit here for more products and information
- Woodman’s of Essex is currently offering drop-off catering. Lobster Roll Meal includes clam chowder, lobster roll, coleslaw, potato chips, whoopie pie, and a bottled water for $35. Price per person, 10 person minimum and tax & gratuity not included. Will deliver, delivery charges are based on location and is for 10 or more people. Curbside pick-up is FREE. Show your appreciation for your essential employees!
As we learn of more creative ways that our members and our communities are adapting and responding, we will share them through all our Chamber communications channels.
For the most current information about the federal, state and local response to COVID-19 – including information of particular relevance to employers and employees, we recommend visiting the following websites:
- Associated Industries of Massachusetts (AIM) provides helpful information and resources for Massachusetts businesses. Read their latest blog post here.
- Commonwealth of Massachusetts. For the latest COVID-19 news and information for Massachusetts, including public health advisories, business resources and government services, please visit here.
- Department of Public Health: Stay at Home Advisory. For details click here.
- MEMA: Read MEMA’s April 9 update here.
For information and updates specific to one’s local community, we recommend visiting the following city and town websites for Cape Ann:
Our goal as always is to serve as a trusted resource
in providing our business community and residents with helpful information and guidance during the Coronavirus pandemic.
The members of your team here at the Cape Ann Chamber of Commerce are here for you, as we all pull together to meet and overcome the challenges of COVID-19.