February 24th Information &
Resource Update
Paycheck Protection Program: Special 14-Day Window for Small Businesses Only Begins Today

Beginning today at 9:00 AM, the Small Business Administration (SBA) began a 14-day, exclusive Paycheck Protection Program (PPP) loan application period for businesses and nonprofits with fewer than 20 employees. This period of exclusive focus on small businesses, which will last through Wednesday, March 10th, is designed to give lenders more time to work with the smallest businesses to submit their applications. Larger PPP-eligible businesses will still be able to apply for and receive support between March 10th and March 31st.

SBA also announced four additional changes to open the PPP to more underserved small businesses. SBA will:

  • Allow sole proprietors, independent contractors, and self-employed individuals to receive more financial support by revising the PPP’s funding formula for these categories of applicants

  • Eliminate an exclusionary restriction on PPP access for small business owners with prior non-fraud felony convictions, consistent with a bipartisan congressional proposal

  • Eliminate PPP access restrictions on small business owners who have struggled to make student loan payments by eliminating student loan debt delinquency as a disqualifier to participating in the PPP

  • Ensure access for non-citizen small business owners who are lawful U.S. residents by clarifying that they may use Individual Taxpayer Identification Number (ITIN) to apply for the PPP

An intent of the latest round of PPP funding authorized was to reach small and low- and moderate-income (LMI) businesses who have not received the needed relief a forgivable PPP loan provides. Congress created a $15 billion set-aside for small and LMI first draw borrowers. With existing policies, the current round has only deployed $2.4 billion to small LMI borrowers, in part because a disproportionate amount of funding in both wealthy and LMI areas is going to firms with more than 20 employees. The "less than 20" exclusivity period is intended to help achieve the original intent of reaching more LMI businesses. Click here to access complete information about the PPP program.
Our New Website is Now Live!

Our new website is now live! Check out the new 495Partnership.org, where you can learn more about our organization, access reports and data on the region, learn about upcoming events and committee meetings, and more!
Past Information & Resource Updates can still be accessed online, though no longer from the homepage; click here to view previous editions.
Federal Stimulus Legislation: House Status

The U.S. House of Representatives is currently considering a version of the President's proposed "American Rescue Plan," major legislation aimed at responding to the health and economic crises created by the COVID-19 pandemic.

On Monday, the House Budget Committee advanced its version on a 19-16 vote, having been marked up by nine other authorizing committees during the prior week. The bill now proceeds to the House Rules Committee, with a vote by the full House expected by week's end.

These resources are provided for informational purposes, and do not reflect final stimulus legislation. Please note, as indicated above, that this legislation is subject to change prior to passage by the full House. Upon passage by the House, the bill advances to the Senate; it is expected the Senate will pass a more limited version of the legislation, with key Senators voicing opposition to certain provisions.

Among other provisions, the House legislation at present includes:

  • $219.8 billion for a Coronavirus State Fiscal Recovery Fund for states, territories, and Tribal governments to mitigate the fiscal effects of the pandemic

  • $130.2 billion for a Coronavirus Local Fiscal Recovery Fund for metropolitan cities, counties, and other units of local government to mitigate the fiscal effects of the pandemic

  • $25 billion for a Restaurant Revitalization Fund for restaurants that have suffered financial losses due to the pandemic, to be administered by the SBA

  • An additional direct payment of $1,400 per person to Americans earning up to $75,000 annually, bringing their total relief to $2,000 per person since December

  • Extension of temporary federal unemployment and benefits through August 29th, increasing the weekly benefit from $300 to $400

  • Expansions of both the Earned Income Tax Credit for workers without children and the Child Tax Credit 
Water Resources Committee Meeting March 30th

The Water Resources Committee of the 495/MetroWest Partnership will host a presentation from the Massachusetts Water Resources Authority (MWRA) and the MWRA Advisory Board on Tuesday, March 30th at 8:30 AM. MWRA is a public authority established by the Legislature in 1984 to provide wholesale water and sewer services in 61 metropolitan Boston communities, including, at present, 6 communities in the Partnership’s service area. The MWRA Advisory Board is an independent agency that was established at the same time to represent the interests of the cities and towns in the MWRA’s service area.

The presentation will focus on MWRA’s activities and services in the Partnership’s service region, and will be followed by a Q&A. Presenters will include:
  • Joseph Favaloro, Executive Director, MWRA Advisory Board
  • Bethany Card, Director of Environmental and Regulatory Affairs, MWRA
  • Matthew Romero, Deputy Executive Director, MWRA Advisory Board
  • James Guiod, Director of Finance, MWRA Advisory Board

The meeting will take place remotely via Zoom. Click here to register for the meeting; our Committee meetings are open to all interested persons, with advance registration.

The 495/MetroWest Partnership’s Water Resources Committee focuses on issues related to water and water resources in the region, including but not limited to the region's rivers and watersheds, other bodies of water, drinking water, wastewater, stormwater, permitting, regulations, health and safety/ water quality, water supply, environmental protection, and infrastructure.
Transportation Committee Meeting March 4th

The Transportation Committee of the 495/MetroWest Partnership will meet on Thursday, March 4th at 8:30 AM. Our featured speaker at the meeting will be Barry Lorion, District Highway Director for District 3, who will discuss regional roadway projects both upcoming and underway. The meeting will take place remotely via Zoom. Click here to register for the meeting; our Transportation Committee meetings are open to all interested persons, with advance registration.

The 495/MetroWest Partnership’s Transportation Committee focuses on regional mobility and enhancing transportation options in the region, addressing areas such as municipal roads and bridges, highway infrastructure, traffic congestion, commuter rail, regional transportation authorities, transit modernization and long-term visioning, interagency coordination, workforce transportation, complete streets projects, and transportation policy.
As always, please do not hesitate to reach out if the Partnership can be of any assistance to you:
Jason Palitsch, Executive Director
(774) 760-0495 x105

Thank you for your continued commitment to strengthening our region.