Chamber News

March 30, 2020 Likes Comments

New program aims to help health care workers & restaurants

As we enter our third full week of the shutdown, here's the latest updates:

Our businesses and nonprofits are anxiously waiting this week for specifics about the $2 trillion federal CARES Act. The bill reforms the unemployment insurance program; provides financial assistance to the health care system, including support for state, local and tribal governments; and helps both small businesses and hard-hit industries; among other provisions.
 
Critical to many of our employers will be the $350 billion Paycheck Protection Program, which provides 100 percent federally guaranteed loans to small businesses. Unlike other programs, these loans may be forgiven if borrowers maintain their payrolls during the crisis or restore their payrolls afterward.
This guide prepared by the U.S. Chamber provides an overview. Additional information is here. However, it could take a week or more before specific instructions and a list of participating lenders is finalized.
 
(Businesses and nonprofits completing applications to the SBA's current Disaster Loan Program may want to proceed with their SBA appicaiton as a fail safe. You do not need to accept the SBA loan if approved. But since those loans are being processed on a first come/first serve basis -- and the newer program details are not finalized -- you can decide later if you should accept.)
 
One program, two worthy goals

A new initiative created by group of Newton residents has two critical missions: Helping our front line health care workers and supporting our local restaurants.
 
Using donations from the community, Feed The Fight Boston buys prepared meals from local restaurants and delivers them to hospital workers. Last week they purchased meals from Ellana’s Kitchen and Johnny’s Luncheonette and delivered them to Newton Wellesley Hospital.
 
Today they’re planning a drop off at Boston Medical Center. The group hopes to expand to other hospitals, rescue workers and others as this situation evolves. Donations of any size welcome at www.feedthefightbos.com.
 
“We may not be able to repay them for their dedication, but we can help keep them healthy and strong while they work,” the group writes on its website. “Together, we can make a difference.”
 
FeedthefightBoston is seeking partnership with a local 501c3, to serve as its sponsor organization and accept tax-deductible donations. To discuss more email feedthefightbos@gmail.com.

Online portal for PPE and volunteers
 
The state has created an online portal where individuals and companies can easily donate or sell personal protective equipment (PPE) and volunteer to support the COVID-19 outbreak in Massachusetts. This effort will ensure that front line responders get the protective equipment they need to stay and push for more trained volunteers to join the response.
 
Ongoing blood product shortage
 
The Red Cross is facing a critical shortage of blood products due to cancellations of blood drives across the Commonwealth because of implementation of necessary prevention and mitigation actions during COVID-19 outbreak. To make a donation use the Red Cross Blood Donor App, visiting RedCrossBlood.org, or call 1-800-RED CROSS (1-800-733-2767). To schedule a new blood drive contact Bill Forsyth at (617) 699-3808 or email William.Forsyth@redcross.org.

Foundation accepting nonprofit funding requests
 
The Foundation for MetroWest is now accepting funding requests from 501(c)3 nonprofit organizations serving our most vulnerable populations in MetroWest as part of its newly created MetroWest Emergency Relief Fund. Details to apply can be found here. Go here to make a donation. Earlier this week Midddlesex Savings Charitable Foundation and Eastern Bank Charitable Foundation each made a $100,000 gift to the MetroWest Emergency Relief Fund.
 
As, always, if your chamber can be of assistance, don't hesitate to contact us.
President, Newton-Needham Regional Chamber
617-244-1688

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