Announcing the Mass Cultural Council COVID-19 Relief Fund

Gund Kwok Asian Women’s Lion & Dragon Dance Troupe performs at the Shalin Liu Performance Center in Rockport. Photo by Matthew Muise.


Mass Cultural Council believes in the power of culture, and we recognize that the work done by creative and innovative individuals is key to our vital communities. We know that the coronavirus (COVID-19) crisis has caused major disruptions for the careers of individuals who earn income through their work in the cultural sector. In response, Mass Cultural Council today announces the upcoming launch (pending final approval by our governing Council) of the COVID-19 Relief Fund for Individuals.

Grants of $1,000 will be available to Massachusetts individual artists and independent teaching artists/humanists/scientists who have lost income derived from their work as a direct result of COVID-19 related cancellations and closures.

Pending Council approval, the program guidelines and online application will be available April 8, 2020, at 10am ET, with an April 22, 2020 deadline.

UP TO $10K Disaster Loan Advance


Dear Small Business, Friends and Partners

Yesterday evening, EIDL applicants that already submitted in the previous system received an email instructing those that wish to request a FORGIVABLE advance of up to $10K to submit a new application on the new portal.

If you are submitting a new application, please follow the new streamlined steps in the portal (https://covid19relief.sba.gov/#/) as the questions are mostly the same from all the required documents in the previous version of the portal. 

All small businesses and nonprofits are encouraged to apply for EIDL and request an Economic Injury Disaster Loan advance of up to $10,000.  The  loan advance will not have to be repaid.    

If you already submitted an application and want to check on status, please call customer service at 1-800-659-2955 (TTY: 1-800-877-8339) or e-mail disastercustomerservice@sba.gov

Thank you for your continued patience as we are committed to continually providing updated information as we get it. 

BobPlease direct all inquiries and questions to our District Office email at:

MassachusettsDO@sba.gov

Regards,

Bob Nelson
District Director 

Randolph Disaster Resiliency Committee

Randolph Town Manager, Brian Howard, has formed a Randolph Disaster Resiliency Committee and your Chamber would like to hear from you! This will allow our business community to contribute to the conversation regarding our businesses challenges during this unprecedented time. We welcome your input, suggestions, ideas, and resources. 
 
Additionally, our Executive Director, Jeannette Travaline is now on a weekly conference call with Michael Kennelly, Housing and Economic Development Secretary for the State of Massachusetts. On this call we are able to ask questions that come from our local businesses. Please take this as an opportunity to get your specific questions answered by …
 
 
She is also on a weekly call with all of the small and large Chambers on the South Shore to share information and ideas for staying connected, as well as lists of State Offices that can help us … we’ll share anything that we think you’ll find helpful. We welcome your thoughts and ideas you think we should share with other chambers.

March 25th- COVID-19 Update

SCHOOL CLOSURE EXTENDED:  Governor Baker ordered today that all public and private schools and all non-emergency day care facilities will be shut down until Monday, May 4.  The original date was April 6.

GROCERY STORES / PHARMACY UPDATES:  Per Governor Baker:  grocery stores and pharmacies must provide alternative hours at least one hour every day for adults 60 years and older in order to limit their potential exposure.  They must deploy strategies to reduce COVID-19 exposure for their customers and employees including but not limited to:  disinfecting wipes, as available, at point of entrance for customers to disinfect carts, at cash registers and/or other appropriate locations. Procedures to ensure that both employees and customers remain at least six feet apart at all times.  Procedures should include a marked “Social Distancing Line,” which begins six feet away from all checkout counters.  Closure of any salad bar or other self-serve prepared or other open food stations.  Elimination of any open free samples or tastings. Procedures to sanitize frequent touchpoints throughout the day, including point of sale terminals at registers.  Reusable checkout bags are no longer allowed until further notice.  Stores may not charge extra for recyclable paper bags, compostable plastic bags or single-use plastic bags.

UTILITY BILL UPDATE:  Water / Sewer Utility Bills (March 25) and Motor Vehicle Excise Tax Bills (March 27) that are due this week will not begin to accrue interest or a demand fee until 30 days after the due dates.  We respectfully request that if you are able to make payment sooner, please do so, since the revenue from these payments supports essential Town services.  Payments can be made online through the Town’s website or by dropping the check and bill in the silver payment box located on the circle driveway in front of Town Hall.  Thank you.

COVID-19 CASE UPDATE: As of March 25, 2020, MDPH has reported that there are 1838 confirmed cases of Covid-19 in Massachusetts up from 1159 confirmed cases yesterday.  There are 222 confirmed cases in Norfolk County up from 129 cases yesterday.  Randolph has 10 confirmed cases of Covid-19 as of 4:30pm.  This will be updated daily on the Town website under Covid-19 Updates. (3/25/20)

Randolph Public Schools Student Meal Pick-Up Information:

There are four (4) school sites that have been sanitized and set up as pick up locations for both breakfast and lunch meals. School sites are listed below:

a. Randolph High School – At Poolside entrance

b. Donovan School – At Front Entrance

c. John F Kennedy Elementary – At Front Entrance

d. Lyons School- At Front Entrance

Families will receive packed meals.  There is 1 daily option for breakfast and 1 daily option for lunch.  These meals are available for pick up Monday-Friday between the hours of 11:00AM-12:30PM. You may pick up both Breakfast and Lunch meals at the same time to alleviate multiple trips to pick up locations.

Randolph Public Schools will deliver meals at 10:20 AM near the rental/leasing offices at Liberty Place, Rosemont Square (a.k.a. Chestnut West), Pacella Park, Avalon Apartments/Prynne Hills, Franklin Square Condominiums (at the entrance on High Street). The buses will stay on site for 20 minutes.

For families receiving special education transportation, drivers will start dropping off meals between 10:30 – 11:30 AM. Someone needs to be home to receive the meals. We will knock and drop. If you cannot be home, you can go to any of the other locations to receive meals.

GOV. BAKER STAY AT HOME ADVISORY: Residents are advised to stay home and avoid unnecessary travel and other unnecessary activities during this two-week time period.  Restaurants are open for take-out and delivery only.   Please maintain “Social Distancing” of 6 feet if you go to the supermarket or pharmacy.  While Powers Farm and the RHS Track are open for walking and hiking (using Social Distancing), the playgrounds and ballfields are not – no organized games, sports or practices are allowed.

DPW UPDATE:   The DPW urges residents to not flush anything other than toilet paper in their toilet.  While many wipes claim to be “flushable” they are not and will clog the sewer system.  So please no wipes, paper towels or any other items other than toilet paper.  Help us keep the sewer system clean and clear – Thank you!!

MASS 2-1-1   The Massachusetts Department of Public Health announced that Massachusetts 2-1-1 will now provide real-time COVID-19 information, resources, and referrals in multiple languages. This new service is in addition to a dedicated site:   https://mass211.org

Key Public Health Messages for All Residents:

  • Protect yourself by following public health advice about keeping your hands clean and covering coughs and sneezes.
  • Stay home if you are sick. If you need to consult a health care provider, call ahead first or use telehealth services.
  • Protect others who are most at risk of COVID-19 by keeping your distance from people (at least 6 feet away from others), especially those who are older, and people living with chronic health conditions.
  • If you are outside, avoid crowds.
  • Don’t shake hands or hug.
  • Stay connected to friends and loved ones by phone or through other technology.
  • Get information from trusted sources. Visit https://www.mass.gov/covid19 for the latest news, case counts, and lab testing results.
  • Take care of your emotional health and help others do the same. If you need emotional support during these stressful times, call 2-1-1 and choose the “CALL2TALK” option

For more information call 211, contact the Randolph Public Health Department at 781-961-0924 or gcody@randolph-ma.gov or visit our Coronavirus Information page. We will continue to provide updates on this rapidly changing situation.

Read more

Small Business Update on SBA Disaster Loans

Small Business Resources in Response to Coronavirus

Baker-Polito Administration Announces $10 Million Small Business Recovery Loan Fund

Prepare for Recovery

By Cliff Robbins, MSBDC Senior Business Advisor

“NOW what do I do?”

This is the question on every small business persons’ mind. Well, this is the time to prepare yourself for a post-coronavirus world: Especially because you have probably been forced to shutter or otherwise change your business approach.
Massachusetts Small Business Development Center logo

1) CFIMITYM – Cash Flow Is More Important Than Your Mother.
Conserve your cash. Act like you’re in a turnaround crisis because you probably are [too]. If you haven’t done so already, project your cash needs out for the next twelve months. (We can help with that.) Go to MSBDC.org/SEMass and contact an advisor.

2) COMMUNICATE
Talk to your customers; communicate with your bank; invest in your social media; let them know that you’re still around; keep them engaged. Try selling gift certificates. This is a great time to try that for future business. Send them emails to let them know you’re still here and OKAY!

3) CREATE
Most small business people don’t continually create content because they say they just don’t have the time. Well, now your schedule is a little more open today, so create some content. Create educational content about your products and services; create instructional videos; create stories that you can share in the near future to tell the world how great your business has been and still is!

4) ADVERTISE YOUR LOCAL SERVICES
If you work at people’s homes, particularly for services like landscaping, or other home improvement services that are low-touch, get the word out that you’re available. If people aren’t ready today, the nicer weather will catch up with them quickly once this all starts to sort itself out.

5) PREPARE AND INVEST – Now’s the time to get a leg up on the competition!
Get that new website started, it’s going to take a little time to get going, and this downtime will help you modernize.
Optimize your business for local search, it takes a few weeks for optimizations to happen, so get the leg up once people are ready to leave the house again.
Sort out the back-end of your business: Your CRM, your customer databases, your online store. Make sure these are all up and running so that you are prepared for the future.

“This too shall pass.”
Look at this period as an opportunity to get ahead, and stay focused on growth. The region sure needs it!

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