May 13, 2020
Dear Friends ,
As our work week continues under a warming May sun we are pleased to offer you today’s mid-week edition of our special COVID-19 newsletter.

Please save the date and plan to join us for our weekly business check-in and information sharing session tomorrow Thursday, May 14 at 10 a.m. Here is the   Zoom link .

Sincerely,

Your Chamber Team
As always, 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:

        

News & Business Resources:


  • Boston – Governor Baker Presents Four-Phase Plan for Reopening Massachusetts Economy: “The Massachusetts economy will be reopened using a four-phase approach, based on public health guidance. Businesses and activities with a lower risk of COVID-19 transmission will open in earlier phases. Public health metrics will determine when the first phase of reopening begins, as well as when it is safe to move into later phases. If public health metrics worsen, the state may need to return to an earlier phase.” For an overview of the plan, please click here.

  • Mandatory Workplace Safety Standards. The Department of Public Health (DPH) and the COVID-19 Command Center have developed new Mandatory Workplace Safety Standards in consultation with the Reopening Advisory Board. These new standards will apply universally to all workplaces that are open in Phase 1, and are designed to reduce the risk of COVID-19 transmission to employees and customers during the first phase of reopening, and are applicable to all sectors and industries. For details please click here.

  • Boston –Governor Files $1B Supplemental Budget to Help Cover COVID-19 Costs.  The bill would authorize spending for personal protective equipment, rate adjustments for nursing homes and other long-term care facilities, incentive pay for state workers on the front lines and other expenses. The bill also sets aside money for the state’s field hospitals and the contact tracing program. Read a full summary of the proposed bill here.

  • Boston –Community Tracing Collaborative Update. The Commonwealth of Massachusetts, along with Partners In Health, has created the COVID-19 Community Tracing Collaborative (CTC). The program focuses on reaching out to the close contacts of confirmed positive COVID-19 patients to help others who have been potentially exposed to the virus. Calls will use the prefix 833 and 857 and your phone will say the call is from “MA COVID Team.” Calls will be made daily from 8 a.m. to 8 p.m. When the MA COVID Team calls, you can do your part by answering the phone and providing helpful information that will help flatten and reduce the curve in Massachusetts. To learn more about the Community Tracing Collaborative please click here. If you are interested in becoming a Contact Tracer for the CTC please click here.

  • Boston –Reopening Advisory Board Seeks Input. The Massachusetts Reopening Advisory Board appointed last week by Governor Baker is inviting comments and recommendations from business owners and local official as they develop their report. If you would like to submit comments to the advisory board, please click on this link, which was shared with us by Senator Bruce Tarr. For further information, including the composition of this 17-member group, please click here. The Advisory Board’s report is due on May 18.

  • Paycheck Protection Program (PPP) Continues. For further information about PPP and EIDL loans and other SBA loan and debt relief programs please click here.

  • Massachusetts Unemployment Assistance. The Department of Unemployment Assistance (DUA) is now accepting and processing Pandemic Unemployment Assistance (PUA) applications from those who are self-employed, independent contractors or part of the gig economy. For further information and to apply click here. For comprehensive information on Massachusetts Unemployment Assistance programs please click here.

  • Daily and Cumulative Data on Massachusetts COVID-19 cases and testing, and weekly data on confirmed cases by city/town and residents subject to COVID-19 quarantine is now available here.

  • Guidelines for Opening Up America Again. The President’s Coronavirus Task Force recently announced a three-phased approach based on the advice of public health experts. Read all the details here. To download a pdf of the Guidelines click here.
Chamber Resources:

  • 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. We encourage you to review the Chamber’s compendium of Business Resources and Recommended Actions here and we invite you to contact us if you have any questions or need assistance.  
Member & Community Updates: please click here .

New Listings:

  • Gloucester’s Reopening Task Force recently held its kick-off meeting. The group is charged by Mayor Sefatia Romeo-Theken with “advising City Administration on strategies to slowly reopen the Gloucester economy in phases based on health and safety metrics.” Several sub-committees have been formed, including Business Groups which is being chaired by Chamber CEO Ken Riehl. Read the city’s full press release here.

  • Gloucester’s Small Business Grant Application Deadline Extended. The City’s grant program to provide relief to small local businesses affected by the COVID-19 pandemic will provide grant funding of up to $10,000 to qualified businesses in Gloucester.  Applications are due by noon on Friday, May 15.  Business owners with questions regarding the program, eligibility or application process can email: grants@gloucester-ma.gov.

  • Rockport Music Announces Cancellation of July and August Concerts/ Looks Ahead to the Fall: “It is with a heavy heart that we announce that the summer season through the end of August is canceled. This decision was not taken lightly, but given the precautions mandated for everyone’s health and safety, including you, our artists, staff and volunteers, we believe it is the most prudent course of action. Hopefully, we will be able to resume our full concert schedule in September and will provide updates on the status of our fall concerts as our plans progress.” Learn more and enjoy Rockport Music’s latest virtual concert here. ting

Ongoing: For additional member and community updates please click here .

Education & Training Resources:

New Listings / Upcoming Events:

  • NEW from the YMCA. The YMCA Distance Learning program offers virtual personalized support with school assignments, reading stories and fun educational activities for children in grades K-5. Y staff who have experience working with school-age youth will help your child(ren) complete school assignments and play fun games with learning as a goal. Operating on a by-appointment schedule through online bookings, the Y will provide 1 hour blocks of online distance learning to support students and their families. For more information, contact Rachel Quinn at quinnr@northshoreymca.org. Register Here

  • The Massachusetts Health Connector for Business is conducting a free webinar on Thursday, May 14 at 11 am, for options for small businesses and their employees to get health insurance during this time. For more information and to register please click here.

  • Virtual Networking Webinar Replay. If you missed yesterday’s virtual networking webinar with Matt Ward - or if you would like to review some of his key networking tips - please click here.

Ongoing: For listings of education and training resources please click here .

Community Services & Resources:

New Listings / Upcoming Events:

  • SeniorCare Message: May is Older Americans Month. This year’s theme is “Make Your Mark” to remind us of and “celebrate countless contributions that older adults make to our communities.” To learn more about SeniorCare’s services, and COVID-19 resources please click here.

  • Discover Gloucester is offering business sector “Guest Preparedness” roundtable conversations this week. On Thursday, May 14 at 2 pm, the focus will be on Cape Ann’s restaurant sector. On Friday, May 15 at 11 am, the spotlight will be on Cape Ann’s retailers. For more information and to register RSVP to Elizabeth Carey at ecarey@discovergloucester.com.

Ongoing: For listings of community services and resources please click here .
Members Helping Members & the Community:

New Listings:

  • MassPay Offers Reopening Checklist. This helpful compendium of best practices covers workplace safety, communications, HR policies and more, all designed to help ensure “a safe and effective return to the office.” Download the complete checklist here.

  • Congratulations Paper House! Rockport’s iconic Paper House on Pigeon Hill Street has made Trip Advisor’s list of “19 of America’s Coolest Roadside Attractions.” See the story here.

  • Cape Ann Museum’s Pop-Up Road Rally for our Heroes. The Cape Ann Museum invites us to “join fellow members of the community in support of our Frontline Heroes and become a part of an innovative contemporary art project on Cape Ann!!!”

  • WHEN: Thursday May 14 @ 8:30pm

  • WHERE: Meet at O’Maley Middle School Parking Lot (join line of cars – please do not exit your vehicle)

  • WHAT: Cars will form a procession from O’Maley down Washington Street, around the Grant Circle Rotary and back down Washington Street towards Addison Gilbert Hospital.

  • During this procession, cars will pass by the “In Gratitude” installation at Cape Ann Museum Green twice. Each time, passengers are encouraged to show their support with cheers and words of thanks for our frontline heroes. These cheers will be recorded and become a part of the permanent art that is created from this temporary exhibition.

  • The procession will start at 8:45pm.
Ongoing: For additional listings of members helping members and the community please click here .

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: 

  • Associated Industries of Massachusetts (AIM). For AIM’s latest COVID-19 blog please click here.

  • COVID-19 Command Center Update: Read MEMA’s May 12 Command Center report 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.







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.
We at the Cape Ann Chamber of Commerce would like to extend a big thank you to our supporting sponsors.

If you are interested in promoting with the Cape Ann Chamber of Commerce and sponsoring this newsletter, please contact Vince Mainetti at vince@capeannchamber.com