May 8th Information & Resources Update
Submitting Comments to the Reopening Advisory Board

Earlier this week, Governor Baker announced the formation of a Reopening Advisory Board, Co-Chaired by Lt. Governor Karyn Polito and Housing and Economic Development Secretary Mike Kennealy. This board is charged with advising the administration on strategies to reopen the economy in phases based on health and safety metrics. It will meet with key stakeholders and solicit input from a variety of constituencies to develop a report by May 18th that will include Department of Public Health-approved workplace safety standards, industry frameworks and customer protocols and guidelines, including enforcement mechanisms and coordination with municipal leaders. 

This report is due on the 18th, but the administration has made clear that public health data and guidance from health care experts will dictate the timeline of the re-opening process.  

An online mechanism has been created for members of the public, as well as representatives of organizations and businesses, to submit comments to the Reopening Advisory Board. Click this link to access the online comment form. The form asks a number of optional survey questions, and provides space for comment on additional factors that should be considered in developing the plan.
Senate Committee Accepting Testimony on Transportation Bond Bill

The state Senate Committee on Bonding, Capital Expenditures and State Assets is accepting written testimony on H.4547, An Act authorizing and accelerating transportation investment, also known as the Transportation Bond Bill. Click here to view a summary of H. 4547, as passed by the House in March.

The Committee will be accepting written testimony until May 19th at 5:00 pm.

Those wishing to submit testimony may do so by creating a MyLegislature account with the General Court. To register for MyLegislature, click here. For those needing assistance, instructions can be found online at this link.

As the hearing is utilizing a new system to accept testimony, should anyone attempting to submit testimony have difficulty accessing the system, written testimony may also be submitted via email to Senator Michael O. Moore, who chairs the committee. Please include "TBB TESTIMONY" in the subject line and provide your name and contact information.
MAPC Webinar: How Municipalities Can Support Small Businesses

The Metropolitan Area Planning Council (MAPC) will host a webinar focused on how municipal governments can best support small businesses. Topics will include municipal small business support plans (both short and long term), and municipal unemployment response plans, in coordination with MassHire career centers and other community partners.

This webinar will take place on Wednesday, May 13th at 2:00 PM via Zoom. Click here to register for the Supporting Small Businesses webinar.
SBA Updates FAQs for Paycheck Protection Program

The U.S. Small Business Administration (SBA) has updated its "Frequently Asked Questions" for the Paycheck Protection Program, to provide additional guidance based on continued feedback from lenders and borrowers. The updated PPP FAQ can be found online in full at this link.
Spotlight on Our Investors: Kleinfelder

495/MetroWest Partnership Investor Kleinfelder has prepared Water Services Guidance for operators of larger facilities, which may have been vacant or largely unused during COVID-19, which includes advisories from the CDC and American Water Works Association on appropriate measures to take when restarting a facility or water distribution system that may have been idle for an extended period.

As water users such as industrial complexes, business parks, school campuses, shopping malls, hotels, and restaurants plan their reopening, drinking water utilities, in partnership with state and local health agencies, will play an important role. The CDC cautions that standing water can cause the conditions that increase the risk for Legionella and other biofilm associated bacteria. The CDC and American Water Works Association have developed helpful tools and recommendations for building owners/operators and water utilities.

Click the image below to access the full PDF!
Join the 495/MetroWest Partnership &
the MassHire Metro South/West Workforce Board for our
MetroWest Weekly Employer Town Hall Series

Area employers are invited to join the 495/MetroWest Partnership and the MassHire Metro South/West Workforce Board for weekly discussions surrounding critical issues business are facing right now. We will answer questions about the various resources that are available to companies and their workers during these difficult times.

Topics to be addressed include:
  • Financial resources available to all businesses that can help support businesses negatively affected by this pandemic
  • The programs and organizations available help weather this crisis such as Rapid Response, WorkShare, and Federal stimulus programs
  • The Department of Unemployment Assistance and staffing options
  • Updates on pending legislation aimed at addressing the impact on the economy and business community

These discussions are open to any interested party, and will be held each Wednesday afternoon at 1:00 PM via Zoom. Click here to sign up!

  • Jason Palitsch, Executive Director, the 495/Metro West Partnership
  • Greg Bunn, Executive Director, MassHire Metro South/West Workforce Board
As always, please do not hesitate to reach out if the Partnership can be of any assistance to you. Partnership operations are continuing throughout the duration of the current public health crisis, with our staff working remotely. You may reach me directly via email at [email protected] .

Jason Palitsch
Executive Director
The 495/MetroWest Partnership