May 1, 2020

Dear friends,

As we all continue to adapt, we hope this email finds you, your co-op members and families safe and healthy. We have been working with borrowers to make sure that you have the information you need to take advantage of federal relief programs.

Signal Boost: Equitable PPP Access Initiative
Many minority-owned small businesses missed out on the first round of PPP funding. In response, a coalition of business support organizations, community development financial institutions, and local banks has formed the Massachusetts Equitable PPP Access Initiative. This partnership connects minority-owned businesses to banks committed to providing forgivable PPP loans. It also matches them with business advisors to make sure applications are complete.
CFNE is lending our time, know-how, and voice to this initiative because of our commitment to racial equity. Please invite eligible small business owners in your networks to sign up TODAY at to get individual support with their PPP application.

PPP Forgiveness

About 25% of our borrowers have applied for PPP, and first round applicants are starting to receive their funds. PPP recipients will need to proactively request forgiveness from their banks. Keeping good records of payroll, rent, and utility costs will be important to maximize the forgiveness amount. 

Wegner CPAs is hosting a webinar We Received Our PPP Funding, Now What? today at 2 pm. We know this is very short notice, so we will also post the recording and additional tools on our resource page as soon as it’s available.

Policy Updates: Workers Compensation & Insurance

Several states, including Massachusetts and Vermont , have bills in process that would extend workers compensation benefits to grocery store employees and other essential workers impacted by COVID-19. Many insurance providers are also revising their rules to: 
  • Prevent COVID-19 claims from raising a business’s workers’ compensation rates
  • Allow businesses to change how they classify workers or property to reflect changes due to COVID-19, and/or
  • Continue to cover property damage even if the property is vacant for more than the normally-allowed period
If any of these apply to your co-op, check with your insurance agent to make any changes and find out what records you should keep as documentation.

As always, we would love to hear how your co-op is faring and if there are ways we can help.

In cooperation,

Micha Josephy
Executive Director
Cooperative Fund of New England