Chamber News

May 11, 2020 Likes Comments

All eyes on the SBA (again)

This is a big week for every business and nonprofit that has secured a Paycheck Protection Program loan but is nervous, or confused, about how to spend it properly.

And based on the conversations I’m having, that’s pretty much everyone.
The SBA says the long-awaited PPP guidelines -- which will hopefully clearly explain how to take advantage of the program's forgivable features -- will be posted by “May 15, or sooner.”
An SBA official told a group of Massachusetts business leaders on Friday that the federal agency “is going to try and be as flexible as possible” with the forgiveness rules. Here’s hoping that includes giving employers still operating under closure orders more time to spend the funds. Also hopefully, sole proprietors who do not have employees will have a better idea what they need to do too.
While employers wait on the SBA, we at least have new guidance from the state Department of Unemployment Insurance, which has posted answers to questions employers and employees have been asking about returning to work as they look ahead to reopening . (You may want to bookmark these.)
One more reminder: The IRS has released guidelines saying that otherwise deductible business expenses are not deductible if you use forgivable PPP dollars to pay for them.
More tough times at Tripadvisor
Tripadvisor announced last week it was furloughing approximately 850 employees, or 22 percent of its workforce, most significantly at its restaurant reservation subsidiary The Fork. The news came one week after Needham’s largest private sector employer laid off more than 900 employees, or approximately one-quarter of its total workforce.
Company CEO Steve Kaufer expressed appreciation to employees in a letter, while adding that he believed the travel business and Tripadvisor would rebound.
“On behalf of the Tripadvisor family, I want to extend a heartfelt thank you to these colleagues for their passion and their service," he wrote.
“..the lives and livelihoods of great people in our industry continue to be profoundly affected by this pandemic, but we are confident that the skies will brighten and travel will rebound. ...We will continue executing our strategy and ensure Tripadvisor plays an influential role with consumers and partners worldwide in the recovery and beyond.”
Building our future workforce
A reminder to take a few minutes to help the Massachusetts Business Alliance for Education understand what you expect your post-COVID workforce needs will be.
MBAE has been an important voice for business on education policy on Beacon Hill, and a source the chamber looks to when it comes to advocating for teaching skills to fit employers' needs.
Please find five minutes to complete this survey which is designed to help MBAE help businesses plan for their workforce needs.
Health insurance reminder
If you've lost a job and need insurance, you may qualify for coverage through the Health Connector. An extended enrollment period is available through May 25, 202. Apply for coverage here.

Bruce at Boston College!
Here’s an extra reason to hope things are back to normal by the fall. Boston College has announced that Bruce Springsteen will address the Class of 2024 on Sept. 10 in Conte Forum as part of B.C.’s annual First Year Academic Convocation.
Incoming first-year students will receive an electronic copy of Springsteen’s book and reflection guide during this summer. Hard copies of a book written by the upcoming convocation speaker are usually distributed to students when they visit campus for orientation. But orientation sessions for the Class of 2024 are being held online this summer.
First launched in 2004 First Year Academic Convocation has featured Ann Patchett (Run), Colum McCann (Let the Great World Spin), Barack Obama (Dreams From My Father) and John McCain (Lives of Moral Leadership). The convocation is a BC tradition that melds the University’s Jesuit, Catholic mission and heritage with its commitment to the liberal arts and formative education, B.C. said.
Springsteen and his wife Patti Scialfa’s oldest son, Evan Springsteen, graduated from BC in 2012, but the family has remained involved with the University.
As if that wasn't enough ... Some (local) good news
You’ve got to watch this. Really just watch. (And check out that photo of Camp Chickami councilor John Krasinski.)




Let us know how we can help!
President, Newton-Needham Regional Chamber
Your chamber is here when you need us.
P.S. Itching to play golf? The Globe has this list of which courses are open or opening.


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