March 27, 2020
To: Cape Ann Chamber of Commerce Members and Community

As we come to the end of another tumultuous week during this time of tremendous business and personal challenge, we offer you today’s latest COVID-19 updates and we wish you a restful and refreshing weekend ahead.  

Please know that we are here to support you with the latest information about disaster loans, unemployment assistance and business and community resources. Please contact us if you would like more information: call 978 283-1601 or email us as follows:

        

Business News & Resources:

  • U.S. Senate Passes Historic Relief Bill. By unanimous vote late Wednesday the Senate approved a $2 trillion stimulus bill that includes direct payments to individuals and families, enhanced unemployment benefits and a fund to assist distressed businesses. The bill will provide federally guaranteed loans to small businesses, including a provision to forgive loans for employers who continue to pay their workers for the duration of the crisis. The bill is now expected to be voted upon in the House this weekend. Yesterday the Chamber participated in a conference call with Senator Warren about this landmark legislation. Read highlighted transcript here.

  • State Tax-Filing Deadline Extended to July 15. Read today’s announcement from Governor Baker, Senate President Spilka and House Speaker DeLeo here.

  • The SBA Express Bridge Loan (EBL) Pilot Program has been modified and the term extended. The Program authorizes SBA Express Lenders to provide expedited SBA-guaranteed bridge loan financing on an emergency basis in amounts up to $25,000. Read full details here.


  • Families First Cornonavirus Act. Chamber member Johnson O’Connor has compiled a helpful fact sheet on payroll tax credits and other provisions of this recently enacted federal law. Read the details here.

  • Unemployment Benefits: For the latest information about unemployment benefits and how to apply, please click here. For a step-by-step guide click here.

  • Cape Ann Emergency Relief Fund: In partnership with the City of Gloucester and the Cape Ann Chamber of Commerce, and working with local municipalities, Action Inc. is launching the Cape Ann Emergency Relief Fund to allow us to help hourly workers impacted by the crisis. Your support will help food service, retail, hospitality, childcare and other hourly workers struggling with lost income.
Chamber Updates:
Thank you Michelle:

Today we say farewell to our good friend and colleague Michelle Budrow. For more than five years Michelle has served as the Chamber’s Marketing and Communications Director, leading the marketing and promotion of all of the Chamber’s events and programming. She has managed all Chamber websites and social media channels, and led the redesigns for www.capeannchamber.com and www.rockportusa.com . Immensely gifted and talented, Michelle has set a standard of excellence in all her work while brightening the Chamber office with her smile and grace. Along the way we have shared the joy of the births of Michelle’s and her husband George’s beautiful daughters, and delighted in seeing first Lucy and then Penny grow from infants to toddlers to preschoolers. Michelle is moving on to a new position which will allow her to work from home and spend more time with her family. Thank you Michelle for all you have done for the Chamber and the Cape Ann community. We wish you and your entire family the very best as you move on to the next phase of your career. And remember, in the spirit of Lucy’s “I Love Cape Ann” video: “We Love Michelle!”

Michelle has asked us to share this message with all Chamber members and friends:

"I have genuinely enjoyed working at the Chamber for the past five years. It’s a rare thing to work with a truly wonderful team and such dedicated volunteers. A group of people who can make you smile, laugh and keep your head up on a daily basis is hard to come by. I feel lucky to have been a part of something so special.

Although I’ve lived on Cape Ann my whole life, meeting local business owners, experiencing events and learning about different organizations through the Chamber has made me see this amazing place in a whole new light. I’ve gained a new appreciation of our community and what we’re made of and I will be forever grateful for that.

We may have spoken often or I may have just been the quiet one taking pictures in the back at your event… But I’ve heard you, I’ve learned from you, and I thank all of you who have been a part of my Chamber experience.
I hope to see you around Cape Ann!"

-Michelle
Member & Community Updates:

Gloucester Daily Times “As a public service  we have been providing    free access to our coronavirus coverage on our website    during this time of heightened concern. Subscribers and non-subscribers alike have been turning to us for reliable information in record numbers.”

The Boston Globe is offering a daily newsletter called “Coronavirus Now" which includes all of the latest credible news reporting on this crisis. People may sign up to receive this email here .

Sheriff Kevin Coppinger is seeking help from Essex County businesses in procuring personal protection equipment to keep staff and inmate population safe from COVID-19. See the full text of his letter here .

Cape Ann Business Operations: Please check our website for the most current information

Education & Training Resources:

  • 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.

  • Cape Ann Art Haven: Learn how to make a mini-elevator with your children using household materials here!

Community Services:

  • SeniorCare will not deliver meals today, Friday, March 27. Yesterday, March 26, all home delivered meals consumers received an extra meal to be used today. They will serve on Monday, March 30, as usual. This is a fluid situation and SeniorCare may need to make some schedule accommodations. However, they are planning to continue delivering meals to the elders who need them for as long as they need them.

  • Pathways for Children has established an Emergency Response Fund to help maintain steady support for our children, families and programs during these challenging times. Their goal is to raise $300,000 over the next three months to ensure that they are well-positioned to respond effectively to emerging needs of most at-risk children and families. Pathways is accepting donations to their Emergency Response Fund online at https://www.pw4c.org

  • 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 help@actioninc.org. 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

  • Element Care/PACE announces measures they are taking to care for the many frail elders in their program and protect staff. Read the full story on their website 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.
Helping and Supporting One Another:

  • The Rotary Club of Gloucester shared this note with us yesterday, and we in turn would like to share it with you: This day in history. On March 26, 1953, Dr. Jonas Salk announced that he had developed a vaccine for polio which later saved millions of lives. He never patented it-- said it belongs to humanity. First he tested it on himself.

  • 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 joan@massteximaging.com if you have supplies.


  • 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. Production will be increasing and more will be available by the middle of next week. Limited to two per person.

  • Hammond Castle: To stay up to date with new event dates and announcements, including ways to help support the museum, please visit https://hammondcastle.org.

  • 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.

  • Rockport Music: “We will present a new video of the Beantown Swing Orchestra performing at our hall back in January. You can watch it on Friday (March 27) at 7:30 when we post it on our video page, as well as on Facebook, Instagram, and Twitter. You can also always check out our video archive on YouTube.

  • Dreamtime Wellness goes virtual! Click here for info.

  • Cape Ann Museum: The museum is offering lectures on their Vimeo page, currently featuring lectures from their Judith Sargent Murray lecture series. Discovering Fitz Henry Lane Online—a freely-accessible online resource created by the Cape Ann Museum. 

  • Essex County Community Foundation (ECCF): The COVID-19 Response Fund for Non-Profits will help non-profits across Essex County. Find more information here.

  • Joanne MacInnis, RN, President of Aberdeen Home Care, will be live on North Shore 104.9FM at 8:45 each morning, with up to the minute information about COVID-19. Tune in!

  • The Manchester-by-the-Sea Police Department is offering pick-up and delivery services for residents identified as higher risk or for those who are self-quarantined. This includes the delivery of groceries, prescriptions and over-the-counter medicines and vital supplies. Manchester residents are asked to call 978-526-1212 to set up deliveries and for all non-emergency matters.

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.
Information Resources:

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: 


  • MEMA: Read MEMA’s March 26 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.