Chamber News

Needham / Newton
February 16, 2021 Likes Comments

One more thing managers must manage

We’ve been telling ourselves that everything will be better soon.

And for many of us, it seems, like it will.

Of course, that’s not true for those no longer with us and for the family, friends, neighbors, coworkers and customers we've lost.

Coping with loss and the psychological impacts of a year in isolation is a challenge for every manager looking to get their work teams back.
Employers also face an a new managerial challenge: Accommodating COVID long-haulers, those individuals who suffer from chronic symptoms for weeks or months after their initial infection.

The condition can effect anyone – young, old, those who were healthy, those who had a chronic condition, those who were hospitalized and those who weren’t, according to the Cleveland Clinic.

"Many long-haulers are now requesting accommodations for their physical and cognitive symptoms through shortened schedules, fewer meetings and adjusted expectations for constant digital communication," reports the Wall Street Journal.

"But not all workplaces can adapt. Smaller or more traditional firms tied to the 40-hour-workweek may find it harder to do so. And some workers may simply be too ill to go back."

Vax clinics in Needham, Newton cut off

Just days after they opened, it appears the vaccine sites at Tripadvisor in Needham and the former Boston Sports Club on Wells Ave. in Newton will be shutting down, at least for now.

Last week the Baker administration announced plans to halt vaccine distribution to hospitals, saying hospitals were scheduling more vaccine appointments than the state could meet with the current level of supplies.

And nationwide, the supply isn’t increasing fast enough.

Tripadvisor’s clinic, open since Feb. 3, was operated by Newton-Wellesley Hospital and parent Mass General Brigham.

The clinic at 135 Wells Ave. was operated by Beth Israel Deaconess Hospital - Needham's parent Beth Israel Lahey Health.

The hospital-operated clinics will still administer second doses to those who've received a first dose. But as of last week, new appointments were on hold.
The state plans to focus on mass vaccination sites, retail pharmacies and community health centers until more vaccine is available.
Visit this page to find step-by-step instructions for checking your eligibility to receive the vaccine, locate a vaccination site near you, and schedule an appointment to receive the vaccine. Data on distribution of vaccines is available here.

BC COVID cases on the rise

Boston College has reported its highest number of undergraduate cases of COVID-19 in a single week with 75 positive cases out of 9,628 tests, a positivity rate of .78 percent, according to the University’s COVID-19 dashboard as of Sunday, the BC Heights reports.

The University has also reported the largest number of undergraduates in isolation, with 105 students isolating as of Friday. Last semester, the highest number of undergraduate students in isolation at one time was 87 on Nov. 27.

In an email to students on Feb. 9. Interim VPP for Student Affairs Michael Lochhead attributed the spike to “students letting their guard down.”

If the trend continues, BC may implement further restrictions, including further limiting the guest policy, requiring all students to quarantine in their rooms, and potentially ending the on-campus semester early, the email said.

Need to knows
  • English for New Bostonians host a virtual panel "Looking Ahead: Equity, Opportunity and the Immigrant Workforce” this afternoon (Feb. 23) at 1 p.m. The very-impressive panel includes: Mass Labor Secretary Rosalin Acosta, Boston Planning and Development Agency Research Director Alvaro Lima, Eastern Bank President Quincy Miller and Little Leaf Farms founder Paul Sellow. Register here.


  • The SBA put together a matrix that compares the Paycheck Protection Program (PPP), Shuttered Venue Operators Grant (SVOG) and the COVID-19 Economic Injury Disaster Loan (EIDL) eligibility. This matrix is designed to help you decide what is best for your small business. Learn more.


MBTA cuts coming

We’re now less than a month away from another round of MBTA service cuts.

The changes begining March 14, include a 20 percent reduction to the Green, Orange and Red Lines and the elimination of 20 bus routes (including Routes 52 and 505 which run through Newton) as well as reductions to express buses and other routes.

The service cuts come just as vehicle use appears to be increasing and vaccine programs are stepping up. Gas prices across Massachusetts are 14 cents a gallon more than just a month ago, AAA said Monday. (MassLive )

The MBTA will hold a virtual public meeting to present the changes that go into effect in March and April tomorrow (Feb 17) at 6 p.m., with another session next Wed. Feb. 24. also at 6 p.m.

And in Wellesley...

Service on the MetroWest Regional Transit Authority (MWRTA) Route 8 bus ended yesterday. It’s been replaced by CATCH Connect a new micro-transit program.
The five passenger van will operate within Wellesley and select destinations outside of Wellesley including the Waban and Woodland T Stations, Newton-Wellesley Hospital, and the Natick Community Center, Monday through Friday from 7 a.m. to 7 p.m. Details.

Stacy’s closes but doesn't turn back on Needham

Last November, Stacy Madison closed Stacy’s Juice Bar after operating for seven years in Needham, another victim of the COVID-ravaged economy.
But Madison has not abandoned Needham.
She is a major donor to the chamber’s dues assistance program, our program that offers subsidized chamber dues to restaurants, retailers, other small businesses and nonprofits.
And every Wednesday Madison organizes a lunch prepared by a local restaurant which is then delivered to Beth Israel Deaconess Hospital - Needham to feed doctors, nurses, and essential staff.
The program is a win/win: Our local restaurants get paid for the meals and the hospital staff get to enjoy a treat (and a thank you from the community) every Wednesday.
Your can help our restaurants and our front line workers too. Follow this link to the donation page, click the “Direct My Gift To” button, select “Other”, and type “Wednesday Lunch Program” in “Other” field. Each gift of $8 provides one meal for a frontline worker.
That’s it for today. Careful, the roads are slippery. And don't forget to register to hear Rep. Katherine Clark Thursday.

President, Newton-Needham Regional Chamber
Your chamber is here when you need us.
Dine out. Take out. Shop locally. Mask up. And tip generously.


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