June, 2020
Chamber Chat Newsletter
News from the Executive Director

Well, as we all know the re-opening process has begun and for many it is anything but a re-opening at the moment. We have learned just recently that restaurants will be allowed to open for outside activity only. The Chamber has been working with the Town on developing a plan for allowing businesses to expand to the outside to assist their businesses during this reopening process. 

It’s not everything we all wanted but let’s be a bit positive and take the glass half full. Let’s Celebrate! The daily and weekly trends of diagnosed Covid-19 cases and related deaths are dropping steadily. While we are not out of the woods yet we are heading to hopefully better times not too far ahead.

Consequently, we are very excited that businesses are starting to re-open and we want to help you rebound - hopefully stronger than ever. Send us a photo of you and/or your team at your place of business. Be sure to add any special hours, offers, etc – let us know. We are looking forward to helping you spread the word!

Marie and I have been working diligently on trying to keep you informed of all of the on-going regulatory information channels. There has been so much to filter but hopefully you have benefited from most of it.

As a reminder - all essential businesses are required to self-certify compliance with the new safety standards.  A COVID-19 control plan template is provided on the state site to satisfy the written control plan requirement for self-certification. Required employer and employee posters are available for download, as is the Compliance attestation poster .    
The Chamber is hosting a Zoom Business Roundtable for members on Tuesday, June 2 at 11:00 am. Please register and join us for some good back and forth conversation.

I am pleased to remind you of our monthly Breakfast Club zoom gathering on Thursday, June 4 at 8:30 am. We had a terrific attendance last month. Let’s be sure to keep it going, register today.

Thanks to the success of the “Thank You” sign program the Chamber has been able to purchase a supply of 3000 disposable three layer healthy masks as well as a supply of hand sanitizer. We are not looking to be your primary supplier but to act as a backup for you should your business run short prior to you next expected delivery.

Well stay safe everyone and hopefully we will all be meeting again soon.

All the best,
Additionally, listed below are some pieces the Chamber has been supporting and working to pass on behalf of our members. Feel free to reach out on your own to our State Representatives Jones, Wong and Lipper- Garabedian to voice your support as well.     
HD5103 - An Act to address challenges faced by restaurants and other establishments due to COVID-19:  Allows local licensing authorities to grant a change in the description of liquor licenses as they deem reasonable and proper for the purpose of outdoor alcohol service. This will allow restaurants to take advantage of any outdoor seating space, meet their customers needs and follow distancing protocols .  

HD5101 - An Act relative to the waiver of accrued meals tax interest related to the COVID-19 pandemic:  The Governor exercised his authority to waive late file and remittance penalties for meals tax collections deferred until June 20. However, these amounts are still subject to interest collection. This legislation authorizes the waiver of interest that accrues on late filed meals tax collections that have been deferred during the pandemic.

HD5102 - An Act authorizing the distribution of tips to certain restaurant employees during the COVID-19 pandemic:  Establishments that are open and operating are doing so with very streamlined operations. There are no defined roles for the employees that remain. Currently, operators cannot distribute tips to the kitchen staff, even if the customer's intent is for the gratuity to be shared with all employees, as the current law says tips must be shared only with employees who meet the definition of wait staff employees. By pausing the existing tip law during the pandemic, restaurant operations will have the ability to reward all employees that are working on the front lines to ensure food demand is met.

All the best,

The Chamber will continue to share information from the federal, state and local agencies with you. You can find important links below as well as on our website, www.wakefieldlynnfieldchamber.org :