March 30, 2020
To: Cape Ann Chamber of Commerce Members and Community

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. Please call 978 283-1601 or email us as follows:

        

Business News & Resources:

  • President Signs $2.2 trillion CARES Act. The landmark emergency relief package includes direct payments to individuals and families, health care support, enhanced unemployment benefits and a fund to assist distressed businesses. The law provides federally guaranteed loans to eligible small businesses and non-profits and includes the Paycheck Protection Program to forgive loans for employers who continue to pay their workers for the duration of the crisis. See all the details here.

  • Senator Ed Markey will host a conference call on the CARES Act today, Monday, March 30 at 5PM to discuss the small business relief provisions included in the bill. Senator Markey would like to hear directly from small business owners about their needs at this time. All Cape Ann Chamber members are invited to join. Call-in: 646-558-8656;  Meeting ID: 242 963 688

  • State Launches Online Portal for Personal Protective Equipment, Volunteers to Support COVID-19 Outbreak. See details here.

  • White House approves Major Disaster Declaration for Massachusetts. This will make federal disaster assistance available beyond what was included in the Emergency Declaration declared by President Trump on March 13, 2020. 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.

  • SBA Economic Injury Disaster Loan (EIDL) Program: Find more information and application here. View a slide presentation on the application process here. The SBA’s Disaster Loan Assistance portal has been revamped and the process has been more simplified. For details click 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.

  • Unemployment Benefits: For the latest information about unemployment benefits and how to apply, please click here. For a step-by-step guide click here.
Chamber Updates:
  • In accordance with the President's extension of social distancing guidelines the Chamber office will remain closed until at least the end of April, with Chamber staff continuing to work remotely from home. All team members are available by email, calls to the Chamber will be forwarded and voice mail messages will be responded to by a member of the Chamber team.

  • The Chamber has built a 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 (olivia@capeannchamber.com).

Member & Community Updates:

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

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:

  • Cape Ann’s Public Libraries and the National Emergency Library are offering enhanced online educational and reading resources.




  • National Emergency Library has made many book 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:

  • 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. launched the Cape Ann Emergency Relief Fund to allow us to help hourly workers impacted by the crisis. Nearly $150,000 has been raised toward the $200,000 goal but your support is still needed to help food service, retail, hospitality, childcare and other hourly workers struggling with lost income.

  • 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.

  • 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.

  • 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 www.pw4c.org

  • SeniorCare 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.

  • 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:

  • 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.

  • 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: 




  • Department of Public Health: Stay at Home Advisory. For details click here.

  • MEMA: Read MEMA’s March 29 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.