Brigham and Women's/Mass General Health Care Center
*Member of the Executive Committee
COVID-19 and Reopening Resources
Be sure to check out our webpage for a complete list of resources for your business during the COVID-19 crisis.
Updates to Reopening in MA
Step 2 of Phase III Begins October 5th
The Governor announced this week that effective Monday, October 5th, lower risk communities will be permitted to move into Step 2 of Phase III of the Commonwealth’s reopening plan. All other communities will remain in Phase III, Step 1.
Changes to Protocols and New Reopenings
Effective October 5th, a limited number of sectors will be eligible to reopen, with restrictions, in Step 2 of Phase III for lower risk communities only. Updated protocols for the below industries and businesses were posted on the Reopening website this week. Industry specific guidance and protocols for a range of Phase I, II, and III businesses have also been updated.
Indoor performance venues will be permitted to open with 50% capacity with a maximum of 250 people.
Outdoor performance venue capacity will increase to 50% with a max of 250 people.
For arcades and indoor and outdoor recreation businesses, additional Step 2 activities like trampolines, obstacle courses, roller rinks and laser tag will also be permitted to open and capacity will increase to 50%.
Fitting rooms will be permitted to open in all types of retail stores.
Gyms, museums, libraries and driving and flight schools will also be permitted to increase their capacity to 50%.
Gatherings Order Update
The limit for indoor gatherings remains at a maximum of 25 people for all communities.
Outdoor gatherings at private residences and in private backyards will remain at a maximum of 50 people for all communities.
Outdoor gatherings at event venues and in public settings will have a limit of 50 people in Step 1 communities, and a limit of 100 people in lower risk, Step 2 communities.
Extension of Tax Relief for Small Businesses
This includes the extension of the deferral of regular sales tax, meals tax, and room occupancy taxes for small businesses due from March 2020 through April 2021, so that they will instead be due in May 2021. Read more here.
Updates to Restaurant Protocols
Effective September 28th, restaurants can seat 10 people to a table, an increase over the previous limit of six; this will apply to both indoor and outdoor seating. These protocols also reflect updates to guidance on bar seating for dining.
Updates to Retail Protocols Regarding Self-serve Beverages
As of September 28th, self-serve beverage stations may reopen in retail businesses in line with guidance provided in the protocols.
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Chamber Members in the News
Rob Peters Entertainment recently introduced DJ Dogs, mobile food service!
I stopped by the Fairfield Inn & Suites in Walpole to sample one (chili dog with cheese!) and got a photo of Rob and Fairfield's manager and Chamber board member, Michelle Lloret.
In addition to being available for events, Rob is looking for high traffic locations to bring DJ Dogs on a regular (weekday or weekly) basis. Contact Rob today if you would like to discuss having him at your location for FREE.
Southern Airways is continuing their service from Norwood airport to Nantucket on a year-round basis. As tourist travel to Nantucket decreases, they will focus on businesses, trades people and individuals who need to travel to the island on a year-round basis.
I had the opportunity to take the flight last weekend with some Chamber members and it is great way to go.
The Boston Business Journal recently published its list of top charitable contributors in the state. The list includes companies that paid out at least $100,000 to Massachusetts based charitable organizations in fiscal 2019 and includes the following Chamber members:
Middlesex Savings Bank
Bank of Canton
Thank You! The following members have renewed their membership with the NRR Chamber
We understand the difficulties that many of our members are dealing with at this time. We know that many may not be able to renew their memberships until the situation improves.
We are grateful to those who are in a position to support the Chamber, including the following who have recently renewed:
Applied Communications, Inc.
BrightStar Care of Norwood
The Cooperative Bank
Davio's Northern Italian Steakhouse
J.L. Pratt Realtor's Inc.
Judge Rotenberg Educational Center
Massasoit Community College
Murphy, Hesse, Toomey & Lehane, LLP
Neponset River House
The Education Cooperative
Walpole Cooperative Bank
Y D Autobody, Inc.
MicroBusiness Grants Available in Foxboro, Medfield and Walpole
Microbrusinesses in the Chamber communities of Foxboro, Medfield and Walpole may be eligible for grants up to $10,000.
A Microbusiness is a business with 5 or fewer employees, including the owner, not FTE. Grant can be used for working capital to cover business costs, such as rent, staffing, and utilities, insurance, cost of foods. Funds may also be used for purchasing personal protection equipment (PPE). The grant does not need to be repaid.
The application deadline for the Preliminary Applications is October 7th at 4:30 pm. The consultant, COG, will review these to make sure they meet the basic eligibility criteria. If you have specific questions about eligibility criteria, please contact: Paula Stuart by phone (617-388-1331) or email (firstname.lastname@example.org).
If you meet the criteria, you will be placed in a lottery that will be held on October 14th via Zoom time TBA.
Chamber members enjoyed beautiful weather and a great golf course at our annual (but delayed) golf outing last month. It was so nice to see people in person, albeit at a distance and with face coverings on!
The winning foursome was the City of Boston Credit Union (again!)
Photo Captions (clockwise from top left):
Foursomes await the start of the tournament
First Place team from the City of Boston Credit Union; Steve Green, Kevin Linsky, Greg Rooney, Mark Bedard
Renee Pike, Debora Lasota, Keith Steiding, Keane Steading
Norwood Hospital Foursome; Justine DeFronzo, Ailish Willie, Donna Fosse, Joan Buckley
2nd Norwood Hospital Foursome and winners of the Putting Contest; Dr. Sal Perla, Dr. Mike Elman, Dan Cheney, Wally Kuropatkin
Young Professionals Foursome; Nick Calderelli, Anthony Brown, Jose Camacho, Marquis Cooper
The Department of Family and Medical Leave (DFML) wants to make sure you are aware of two important PFML changes:
We updated mass.gov/pfml with new information. The website will continue to be updated throughout the fall, so it’s important that you visit it frequently.
The PFML contact center opened. Whether you have questions about timelines, general eligibility, or where to find resources on mass.gov – call 833-344-7365 – we’re here to help in English, Spanish, and Portuguese.
In the next few weeks, employers registered through MassTaxConnect should expect to receive a request to update your contact information. That way you’ll be ready when employees start taking paid leave in January 2021.