Gov. Charlie Baker told us on Monday that he will “probably have an announcement” about the start of Phase 2, Part 2, of his reopening plan by “the end of the week.”
It's the end of the week.
And the governor’s next press conference is scheduled for 1 p.m. today (Friday). You can watch live here.
Phase 2, Part 2 includes limited-capacity indoor dining, as well as personal care services such as massage therapy, nail salons and tattoo parlors.
Business groups cheer DACA decision
Last fall, more than 140 companies and 18 major business associations, warned the Court
that efforts by the Trump Administration to dismantle the program would “inflict serious harm” on their businesses, workers and the U.S. economy; creating
havoc (and heartbreak) in many workplaces.
A break for restaurants and hotels
Small restaurants and hotels in Massachusetts can delay paying
their upcoming meals, room, and sales taxes, the state announced yesterday.
Taxes ordinarily owed by the businesses between March and August can be paid in September without penalty and interest. Department of Revenue emergency
regulations are here
Help us spread the word about this
We should have done this a long time ago, but that doesn’t mean we shouldn’t do it now.
As part of an effort to support and promote a wide diversity of businesses within our communities, we’re expanding the searchable categories in our business
directory to allow businesses to self-identify as immigrant-owned, minority-owned, LGBTQ-owned and/or woman-owned.
This self-certification is on the honor system and not a verified listing. Chamber members and nonmembers are eligible to be included, but as with our
and other recent directories, chamber members can fully customize their listing (with descriptions, logos, and more content) and will appear first
on any search.
We recognize that building these directories will take some time. We’ve had quite a few requests for this lately and will need your help identifying businesses,
with the hope that you will look to direct some of your spending with these companies.
Four things I learned during our PPP webinar
More than 250 businesses and nonprofits participated in our Paycheck Protection Program webinar yesterday. Our apologies to everyone who had trouble submitting
questions. We’ve forwarded all 81 of your questions (!) to the SBA and hope to have answers back by Monday.
Here’s four things I found noteworthy from yesterday’s presentation.
- There have been 18 interim final rules for the PPP, which basically confirms what most PPP lenders and 4.6 million applicants know already: The PPP
rules and guidelines keep changing as might be expected for a massive relief program that was set up in record time.
- June 30 is the final deadline to apply for the PPP. But some lenders have already closed their portals. If you haven’t applied yet, do so ASAP. Here’s
a list of chamber member banks,
which may be able to help.
- PPP loan recipients are also eligible to participate in the recently reopened EDIL program,
as long as the two loans are for different purposes. (So, not payroll.) While you must apply for PPP through an SBA-approved lender, you must
apply for EIDL directly through the SBA. You will hear directly from the SBA via email.
- Landlords and nonprofits are eligible for EIDL. This is big, since landlords couldn’t apply for PPP.
It’s farmers’ market season
As the economy reopens, so have our local farmers’ markets.
- Newton’s Farmers’ Market will be opening tomorrow (Saturday), 9 a.m. to 1 p.m. at its new location at Newton South High School (140
Brandeis Road). Many vendors are offering pre-order online (look here for a list) and curbside pickup but vendors have different ordering processes and different cut-off dates for pre-orders. A designated curbside
pick-up area will be available. All shoppers are required to wear a mask, no dogs, practice safe distancing and leave your kids at home.
- Needham Farmers’ Market is open every Sunday from 12-4 p.m. until Thanksgiving in front of Needham Town Hall. NFM is encouraging all
to pre-order online through the vendor’s ordering systems to pick up at the market. Market rules include: adults only, no pets, stay home if you’re sick, wear a mask and observe lane markings. This is
a no touch market (“you point, we pick”) with contact-less payment (if you didn’t pre-order online).
- Watertown’s Farmers’ Market is open Wednesdays from 2:30-6:30 p.m. until Oct., 14 at Saltonstall Park (next to Town Hall at 149 Main
Street). The market has developed a new layout to provide social distancing, monitored entrance and exits and one-way shopping. Additional rules
can be found at this website.
Finally, about my Wellesley comments
A few business owners reached out to me this week after I made some admittedly snarky comments
about a decision in Wellesley to offer drive-in movies, after nixing a plan by CVS to offer free drive-through COVID-19 tests.
I’m sure I should have phrased it more diplomatically. But this decision really bugged me.
Short of a vaccine, testing and face masks are the best tools we have to curtail this pandemic. Wellesley officials admitted the CVS plan was scrapped
because of "traffic" concerns, even though the program would have been limited to five cars per hour (and patients would never even leave their vehicles).
It’s hard to not see this as a NIMBY response. But this bad decision shouldn’t reflect negatively on the entire town or Wellesley’s business community.
I apologize for the way I presented this.
I’ll let you know if the gov says anything important at 1 p.m.
President, Newton-Needham Regional Chamber