It's no secret that the pandemic is taking
its toll on local restaurants. One in five restaurants statewide have closed. More inevitably will.
Here's how it works: Any time you visit a participating restaurant between today and Nov. 15, post to Instagram or Twitter with the #keepmakingmemoriescontest
Post a photo of your meal, of you dining out, or of the restaurant you visited. If you’re camera shy or not on social media – you can enter via an online form a the bottom of this page
There will be three random drawings from all entries each week (for gift card values around $25), with additional prizes for multiple entries. No purchase
is necessary (rules here
But we certainly hope you’ll help support and promote our restaurants at this critical juncture.
BC infection rates decline
Boston College’s weekly COVID-19 undergraduate positivity rate fell last week for the second week in a row, a new semester low, according to university’s
Now students are being surveyed to whether they would prefer to return home for the Thanksgiving break and finish out the semester remotely, or remain
in Massachusetts (at BC or at home) and complete the semester on campus. The university will make decision by Monday, the Heights reports.
Rausch wants to hear about your business
State Sen. Rebecca Rausch wants to hear from you. The Needham Democrat has launched a survey for small business owners
to better understand how the pandemic may have impacted your business.
The survey will be used to inform statewide policy solutions in the Massachusetts state legislature to combat the coronavirus pandemic and related economic
"Small businesses are the backbones of our communities, and COVID-19 has posed significant challenges for our local and state economies," said Rausch.
"I want to hear from our local business leaders to ensure the legislature's actions are as responsive to our local economies' needs as possible."
PPP questions? Of course you have questions.
Since last week’s announcement
from the SBA about its new streamlined the forgiveness application process for Paycheck Protection Program
loans of $50,000 or less, I’ve received tons of questions from businesses and nonprofits wondering about how and when to proceed.
My first suggestion is always to consult with your financial advisor or lawyer if you have one. Second suggestion? Check in with your lender.
And here’s some added resources:
If you reach out to the SBA hotline or any of the above resources, please let me know
if you found them to
be helpful, or the opposite, so I will know if I should keep recommending them, or not.
Newton reverses decision to remove parking
The City of Newton is reversing its decision to eliminate upwards of 200 parking spaces along Washington Street and replace them with a one-way bike lane.
The spaces were removed, without advance notice, last Thursday along the Mass Pike side of Washington Street between Sullivan Tire in West Newton and Lowell
Ave. in Newtonville.
City officials say the move was a trial designed to last a few months.
But after hearing objections from City Councilors, businesses and the community, the decision was reversed yesterday and the parking reinstated.
A community meeting scheduled for this evening at 6 p.m. to discuss the matter is still taking place, according to City Councilor Alicia Bowman. Join the meeting via Zoom here
While the city erred by not communicating the decision in advance (or giving stakeholders a chance to weigh in), it’s appropriate to be rethinking travel
along Washington Street.
Parking on the south side of Washington is generally light. Making cycling safer along that corridor (and across the region) should be a shared priority.
But improvements need to be considered more holistically. This may have been a good idea, but it wasn't executed properly.
To fully appreciate how Washington Street could be truly transformed to benefit all forms of travel I highly recommend watching this eye-opening video
created a couple years ago by renowned urban planner Jeff Speck.
Really, find ten minutes today to watch it.
Today’s three bullet points
- Lasell University’s President Michael Alexander will host a neighborhood town hall for area businesses, community leaders and neighbors next Weds,
Oct. 21 at 5 p.m. via Zoom. Register here. See Lasell’s COVID-19 testing results here.
- The Department of Housing and Community Development offers two programs that can assist eligible low-income households in covering both past and future
rent and mortgage costs. On Monday, the Baker administration also announced a $171 million initiative to support tenants and landlords during the pandemic. To learn more about the Eviction Diversion Initiative and available
housing assistance programs, visit mass.gov/CovidHousingHelp.
Business leaders call for election integrity
A group of more than 50 of the nation’s top business leaders -- including media, technology, retail, real estate, finance and more – are calling on Americans
to work together to “fix Democracy.” (New York Times
part of the Leadership Now Project
have signed a joint nonpartisan statement which includes a call for counting every vote; urges the media to avoid calling the election prematurely;
and calls on business leaders to promote patience and civility among employees, communities and the American people.
Be back tomorrow.
President, Newton-Needham Regional Chamber