Chamber News

April 03, 2020 Likes Comments

Late breaking updates

Gov. Charlie Baker has just signed a bill allowing take-out beer and wine from restaurants. The new regulations are now in effect. Go here for our list of local restaurants offering takeout and/or delivery.

 
The bill Baker singed today also includes provision that relaxes rules for municipalities on local property tax deadlines.
 
Here’s a few additional updates since this morning’s email…
 
No news yet for self-employed and 1099 workers
 
Self-employed and 1099 workers who are anxiously awaiting word on when they can file for unemployment claims as allowed under the CARES act, are going to have to wait at least several days longer, officials said today.
 
Rosalin Acosta, the state’s Secretary of Labor and Workforce Development, told business leaders on a call this afternoon that her department is still waiting for guidance from the U.S. Dept. of Labor and cannot begin taking claims until that information is available. Payments for the self-employed and 1099 workers will be retroactive, she said, but the system is still not ready.
 
Meanwhile, Acosta said the state is processing a record number of traditional claims, in fact more claims have been filed over the past two weeks than in all of 2019. As part of the CARES act, all filers will receive an extra $600 per week until the end of July.
 
A rocky start for PPP
 
PPP doesn’t stand for “Preposterously Perplexing Process.” But there’s plenty of businesses and bankers today who probably think it does. Banks just received guidance for the Paycheck Protection Program from the feds late last night. Some lenders are taking applications, others are just gearing up.
 
Every lender we’ve heard from is currently working only with existing customers. (The SBA says it is developing online tools to help identify lenders who are accepting new customers.) But for starters, applicants are encouraged to start with their local lenders and expect delays.
 
Newton’s ‘non-essential construction’ ban clarified
 
We have an important clarification from the city regarding Mayor Fuller’s announcement of a construction ban in the city.
 
Projects such as tear-down replacement homes, kitchen remodels and additions are no longer considered essential and therefore must immediately stop in accordance with the state’s guidance.
 
However, in keeping with state guidance housing projects that add new units to our housing stock are considered essential and allowed to continue, providing they comply with the strict social distancing and risk prevention guidelines. Energy retrofits and maintenance (e.g. plumbing and electrical) are allowed to continue.
 
Be kind to each other this weekend,
Greg Reibman
President, Newton-Needham Regional Chamber
617-244-1688

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