#12 | WEDNESDAY, APRIL 1, 2020

On Tuesday, Gov. Charlie Baker extended his emergency order requiring all businesses and organizations which do not provide “COVID-19 Essential Services” to close their physical facilities to workers, customers, and the public through May 4. Businesses are encouraged to continue operations remotely.

The Commonwealth’s administration also updated the "COVID-19 Essential Services" list , which is based on updated federal guidance. The new list goes into effect on April 1 (TODAY) at noon.
  • These businesses will not receive a designation or certification from the Commonwealth specific to their individual company as an "Essential Services" business, but they may continue operating.
  • Essential services businesses are urged to follow social distancing protocols in accordance with the MA Dept. of Public Health.
  • Restaurants, bars, and other establishments which sell food and beverages are encouraged to continue to offer take away and delivery options if they follow the social distancing protocols set forth in MA DPH guidance. On-premises consumption of food or drink remains prohibited.
  • Workers at hotels, motels, inns, and other lodgings providing overnight accommodation are considered essential but only to the degree those lodgings accommodate the COVID-19 Essential Workforce, other workers responding to the COVID-19 public health emergency, and vulnerable populations.

Businesses and organizations  not on the list of essential services  are encouraged to continue operations remotely in a way that does not require workers, customers, or the public to be at a brick-and-mortar premises.

If the function of your business is not listed, but you believe that it is essential or it is an entity providing essential services or functions, you may request designation as such. Requests should only be made if the business entity is not included in the categorization listed above.

Are you a small business owner? A comprehensive list of FAQs, please reference the federal government's Small Business Owner's Guide to the CARES Act included in Tuesday's email.
Was this email forwarded to you? Sign up here .
Let the professional cleaners do it. Navigate to the Chamber's homepage for a list of member cleaning companies able to disinfect your space or provide best practices for a hygienic office or home environment.
Looking to transition your operation a virtual platform? We've compiled a list of member IT companies which can do just that. They can also teach you the best tools to communicate remotely and remain flexible.
FREE Webinar: NEW Federal Employment Act

Thursday, April 2, 10 to 11 AM
FREE Webinar: #3 Running Your Business in Quarantine:
A Survival Guide
Friday, April 3, 2 to 3 PM
Learn about the new federal coronavirus employment act, including the emergency sick leave, emergency FMLA amendment, and the Payroll Protection Act.

Employers with less than 500 employees may receive a refundable credit for up to 80 hours of sick leave paid to employees and a refundable child care leave credit for up to 10 weeks. Under the Payroll Act the SBA will pay off loans for up to 8 weeks for payrolls. 
A free webinar for all businesses to help them get up and running during this difficult time, tune in to learn from InThink Agency CEO, Kham Inthirath. During this hour-long webinar he discusses how to leverage chatbots in sales and marketing strategies.
  • What is conversational marketing?
  • Drift Chatbot Uses
  • Tips & Tricks
  • Rapid Response Business Plans and Why You Need One
  • Q&A
D. Moschos,  Labor and Employment, Mirick O'Connell
Kimberly Rozak,  Labor and Employment, Mirick O’Connell
Kham Inthirath , CEO, InThink Agency
ICYMI: Listen to a recording of the Chamber's Human Resources
Roundtable from Monday, March 30.
Families First Coronavirus Service Resource Toolkit | A guide to taking advantage of federal benefits
For whom are you STAYING HOME?
On his Instagram account, Kevin Bacon ( @kevinbacon ) uploaded a video explaining the importance of staying home during the COVID-19 pandemic in order to mitigate the spread of the disease. Riffing off the Six Degrees of Kevin Bacon game, he is encouraging everyone to post a sign or video to their social media accounts stating the person for whom they're staying home.

Post your messages of love to social media and tag the Chamber!

*Photo courtesy Kevin Bacon Instagram account*
NOTE | To keep our members up-to-date on available resources and the Chamber response to COVID-19, for the foreseeable future the Worcester Regional Chamber of Commerce will issue daily emails at noon. These emails contain a variety of information from local, state, and federal loans to the offerings of local businesses and best practices during this uncertain time.

As always, we are here to help. Due to the Governor’s stay-at-home advisory for non-essential employees, the Chamber office will be closed through April 7. Staff members will be checking email and voicemail and will respond accordingly. We will continue to monitor the most up-to-date information to best serve our business community. If you need assistance at the office, please email the Chamber . If you need assistance with Certificate of Origin processing, please email Brenda Elmes , office manager.
We wish you all continued health. Please reach out if the Chamber can be of assistance.