Chamber News

June 09, 2020 Likes Comments

So how'd it go yesterday?

Monday marked the start of Phase 2 of the state’s reopening plan, which allowed for restaurants to offer outdoor dining, retailers to allow indoor shopping, hotels to welcome guests and car dealers to open showrooms, among others.

Not every business that could open did. As I wrote yesterday, daycare and camps were technically able to open. Few, if any, did.
Only one in five restaurants statewide has space for outdoor seating, which is why some municipalities are closing streets to accommodate. (If Waltham can close parts of Moody Street, there should be something we can do in Newton.)
Others businesses stayed closed, perhaps because they weren’t ready to meet new guidelines; hadn’t completed their control plan; found all the right PPE; or just weren’t comfortable interacting with customers yet.
If your business or restaurant opened yesterday, how did it go? If your business was allowed to open, but didn’t, why not? Or if you dined and shopped locally yesterday, I’d like to know that too. Email me here.
‘Dealing with two pandemics’
Sometime today take three minutes to read this interview in the Boston Business Journal with my friend Colette Philips, a chamber member and marketing executive. Thanks.
What’s next for restaurants?
On Thursday morning, the chamber will host a Zoominar called “Rethinking, Redesigning and Reimagining Restaurants."
Here are two other programs you may want to check out:
  • For a look at proposed FEED ACT, federal legislation that would allow local governments to partner with restaurants to prepare meals for vulnerable populations during this critical time, check out this webinar today (Tuesday) at 1:30 p.m. featuring chef and founder of World Central Kitchen José Andrés and Sen. Chris Coons (D-Del.)
  • NBC10’s weekly Facebook Livestream today (Tuesday) at 2 p.m. will focus on reopening the restaurant industry, with Bob Luz of the Mass Restaurant Association.
What’s next for other sectors?
Here’s a list of available sector-specific guidelines released Saturday by the state, including the Close Personal Contact Personal Services (Phase 2, Step 2) and Sectors Not Otherwise Addressed (Phase 2, Step 1).
For more information check out When Can My Business Reopen?.
Still have questions about when your particular business can open, or about the guidelines? Submit an inquiry here.
PPP money still available (but not for long)
It’s not too late to apply for a Paycheck Protection Program loan. The Small Business Administration says there’s still $130 billion in available funds for small businesses, sole proprietors, independent contractors, self-employed persons, 501(c)(3) non-profit organization, 501(c)(19) veterans organizations and Tribal businesses.
But the deadline to apply is June 30 so act fast. Here’s a list of chamber member banks that may be able to help.
Here’s another resource: The MA Small Biz Reopening Guide is an online resource created through a partnership between Mass Growth Capital Corp. and Massachusetts Association of Community Development Corps. The site helps businesses navigate available guidance and tools.
There’s also a loan program that’s about to become available for businesses with up to 15,000 employees and revenues of $5 billion or less. The Fed Reserve’s Main Street Lending Program offers several types of four-year term loans ranging in size from $500,000 to $200 million. Learn more and this and PPP at this webinar
And if you already have your PPP loan, check out a webinar we’re hosting June 18 about how take advantage of the forgiveness features and the just approved changes to the program.
But here’s something you don’t want to do: Emulate this guy.
Where to get a COVID-19 test
A new interactive map provides an easy way to locate a COVID-19 test site, for those experiencing symptoms or those who have been in close contact recently with a COVID-positive individual.
Street artist wanted
In April, Austin Street Partners completed construction of a new public plaza at 28 Austin Street in Newtonville, MA. The Plaza—designed with decorative paving, lush plantings, and sculptural seating—represents the capstone in the transformation of a neglected municipal parking lot into new housing and community gathering space.
Now, Austin Street Partners, working with the Newtonville Area Council, Newton Community Pride and the New Art Center, is looking for an artist to paint a mural on a brick wall facing the plaza. The winner will receive a cash prize of $5,000. Details here.
Don't forget, let me know how it went yesterday. And read this. Thanks.
President, Newton-Needham Regional Chamber
Your chamber is here when you need us.


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