Chamber News

March 26, 2020 Likes Comments

Updates on the 'essential/non-essential business' rules and more

Earlier this week, Julie Ben-David, owner of the Needham Florist Shop, was worried about the same thing small retailers across our communities were worried about; How to survive and abide by Gov. Baker's order to close her non-essential business.

Then the phone rang.
 
It was a gentleman offering to purchase all of Ben-David's inventory before Tuesday's mandatory shut down.
 
"He placed 10 large floral orders," Ben-David wrote on Facebook. "Tears couldn't stop flowing. This man's act of kindness was just beyond overwhelming."
 
"He was adamant about remaining anonymous but know that we are all beyond fortunate to live and work in a town of thoughtful, kind hearted people," she added.
 
Unfortunately, this one anonymous donation alone won't guarantee that Needham Florist -- and countless small business like it -- will figure out how to pay the rent and so many other bills over many weeks and likely months.
 
Our merchants, restaurants and other business owners face challenges unlike anything we've ever experienced. There is no way to sugar coat how devastating this is going to be.
 
Still, if you have the means to be inspired by that anonymous flower purchaser, please bring a smile and a sale to one of our local businesses, or nonprofits, today. (That includes small shops like Needham Florist, whose doors may be locked, but are still allowed to do mail order and safely executed deliveries.)
 
Really, please give your favorite shop owner a call.
 
Your chamber remains committed to providing you with regular updates and links to the latest developments and resources. Today, we have a webinar at 4 p.m. with Mayor Fuller (we've invited Needham officials to participate in a similar event soon). On Friday we're hosting a webinar about the SBA's emergency loan program.
 
We're also watching carefully to see what comes out of the federal stimulus bill that may be beneficial to our local businesses, community banks and nonprofits.
 
Meanwhile, we're here to try to answer your questions as best we can; to make referrals to fellow chamber businesses; or just commiserate.
 
I wish I could say we have all the answers. We don't. But if there's any way we can assist, please don't hesitate to reach out.
 
Greg Reibman
President, Newton-Needham Regional Chamber
 
Updates on the 'essential/non-essential business' rules
 
The state has produced FAQs around those essential/non-essential businesses and is updating them regularly here.
 
New rules for pharmacies and grocery stores:
 
The Department of Public Health has issued a new order to support pharmacies and grocery stores and their employees during the COVID-19 public health emergency. This order will require grocery stores and pharmacies to:
  1. Provide at least one hour per day of shopping for adults over 60-years-old.
  2. Offer sanitation options, such as hand sanitizer and disinfecting wipes, as available, to clean shopping carts and points of frequent contact.
  3. Appropriate social distancing policies, including a marked "Social Distancing Line," beginning six feet away from all checkout counters.
  4. Close any self-serve food stations.
  5. Instruct store employees who are ill to stay home, and for stores to accommodate employees who fall in the high-risk category with alternative assignments to limit exposure.
Needham launches new coronavirus website
 
The Town of Needham launched a new COVID-19 website dedicated to providing up-to-date information and resources to the Needham community during the global coronavirus outbreak.
 
The new website includes daily updates from Needham Public Health Monday through Friday, frequently asked questions, online tools and links to important information and resources. The site also provides state-level detail, updated automatically each day. The website will be updated daily, and additional features may be added as the outbreak continues.
 
In addition to the website, the town is now offering residents, employers and others the opportunity to receive daily updates by email or text message. Individuals can sign up here. (After inputting your email or phone number, please be sure to click the email or cell phone icon to complete signup).
 
Announcing a new way to connect with your fellow members
 
Now you can chat directly with other members through the chamber's member portal.
 
Simply login to your member portal and below the welcome message you'll see options to send a text or upload a link, photo or video to share with other members when they login too.
Want to share some news about your company or employee? Have an expert tip that you think will help other members? Or looking for a resource yourself?
 
All good reasons to test out this new member feature.
 
Forgot your login info? Don't hesitate to email info@nnchamber.com for help.

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