Chamber News

April 23, 2020 Likes Comments

Business help Newton Covid-19 Fund raise over $600K

It’s not surprising to see so many displays of kindness and generosity these days.

It’s the kind of community we’ve always been.
Still, it was impressive when the Newton COVID-19 Care Fund announced yesterday that it has raised over $600,000 from more than 700 businesses, foundations and individual donors since launching one month ago.
Local businesses that have made major gifts include Mark Development, Northland Investment Corp., The Village Bank, Criterion Development Partners, Eastern Bank, Garden Remedies and Schlesinger & Buchbinder. The David and Katherine Moore Family Foundation, Rebecca Pomroy Foundation, Paul & Phyllis Fireman Charitable Foundation, Brae Burn Country Club, the Newton Cantonese School and United Way of Massachusetts Bay and Merrimack Valley, also stepped up big.
The Newton COVID-19 Care Fund was inspired by Mayor Ruthanne Fuller and established by a group of community leaders, in partnership with United Way of Massachusetts Bay and Merrimack Valley, to help families and individuals who have been financially impacted by this coronavirus pandemic.
I especially like that the Newton COVID-19 Care Fund not only provides financial aid to Newton residents but to employees of our Newton-based employers, even if they’re not residents.
Individuals who work in Newton restaurants and shops, care for our kids or elderly and work in our office buildings may not live in Newton, but they are part of our community.
If you have an employee or coworker who needs help, please let them know about this resource.
The fund pays for rent, food, utilities, internet connectivity, childcare, medications and other basic needs. First responders who incur new childcare expenses or other expenses as a result of the crisis are also be eligible.
“Thanks to the tremendous generosity of people who live and do business here, those who need help will receive it. Bravo to the good people of Newton,” said Mayor Ruthanne Fuller.
The West Newton-based Family ACCESS reviews the requests on a rolling basis and interviews applicants to determine whether they qualify. An application for financial assistance is available on United Way’s Newton COVID-19 Care Fund website. Go here for more information or to donate to the Newton COVID-19 Care Fund.
Recognizing the big-hearted
Speaking of good deed doers, Direct Federal Credit Union is giving away $10,000 to recognize those who are always willing to help others, selfless and/or active in the community, even when they’re down on their luck.
If you know someone who would benefit significantly from an unexpected $500 nominate them at Twenty nominees will be selected to receive $500. Nominees must live, work (or regularly conduct business in), worship, or attend school in Norfolk or Middlesex Counties.
Remote notarization bill advances
The Massachusetts Senate approved legislation this week that would allow for notaries to use video conferencing to validate documents throughout the COVID-19 state of emergency. The law would allow for remote notarization for financial transactions and other matters to occur remotely, something that’s been a big challenge for bankers, lawyers, real estate agents and others. The proposal still needs approval from the House and Gov. Charlie Baker.
B to B opportunity from the Boston Globe
The Boston Globe recently launched a Small Business Support Initiative via Slack to connect small business leaders with resources and access to experts to help them through the COVID-19 pandemic.
This virtual community has already grown to over 350 members and they’ve hosted several events so far, including a session business reporter Jon Chesto on the future of the local economy (here's the Zoom recording). The Small Business Administration will be answer questions next week.

The objective is to offer small to mid-size businesses opportunities to connect and knowledge-share with Globe writers, business experts and their peers. You can sign up to join this free virtual community here.
Developing diversity virtually
This pandemic has created all sorts of opportunities to challenge and rethink the ways we conduct business and will do so in the future.
So why not use this as an opportunity to make our networks and places of businesses more inclusive and diverse?
That’s the thinking behind “Building Inclusive Networks 2.0 Developing Diverse Business Relationships Virtually” a 90-minute webinar I’m looking forward to attending Friday, May 1 at 10 a.m. Learn more here.
And here are two more things…
  • Back “before,” we were really excited about Workbar opening on the Needham side of the N-Squared District. The good news is the build out on Kendrick Street is complete, with considerations for social distancing and wellness. Take a video tour here.
Let us know how we can help!
President, Newton-Needham Regional Chamber

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