COVID-19 Resources for Business
Support & Guidance for Our Businesses
State-wide mandated closures and private sector decisions to temporarily close places such as the Burlington Mall, L.L. Bean, and Marriot Hotel have created extreme hardships. In the Town of Burlington we have over 250 restaurants, bars, and food service establishments and thousands of employees wrestling with the financial impacts of these closures. We want you to know that the Town of Burlington is working with state and local agencies to share information and assist our local businesses, their employees, and families during this unsettling time. I welcome your input and appreciate your spirit to help support one another- we'll get through this!
Melisa Tintocalis, Economic Development Director/Twitter Handle @BurlingtonVital
Newsletter with key stimulus links
GOVERNOR ANNOuces STAY-AT-HOME To MAY 4, 2020
Governor Baker announced extending the non-essential business emergency order and employees until May 4. The Department of Public Health’s Stay-At-Home Advisory remains in effect.
The Administration also updated the “COVID-19 Essential Services” categories for businesses and other organizations that provide essential services and workforces related to COVID-19 that are permitted to operate brick and mortar facilities during the emergency.
$10K DISASTER LOAN ADVANCE
The U.S. Small Business Administration (SBA) is administering a FORGIVABLE advance of up to $10K through a new application on the new portal. If you are submitting a new application, please follow the new streamlined steps in the portal as the questions are mostly the same from all the required documents in the previous version of the portal.
All small businesses and nonprofits are encouraged to apply for and request an Economic Injury Disaster Loan advance of up to $10,000. The loan advance will not have to be repaid. For a pdf of resources click here!
New For FOOD Pick-Up & DeliverY/GrocEry & PHarmacies
GovErnor Issues Stay-AT-Home Advisory
All businesses and organizations that do not provide “COVID-19 Essential Services” to close their physical workplaces and facilities to workers, customers and the public as of Tuesday, March 24th at noon until Tuesday, April 7th at noon. These businesses are encouraged to continue operations remotely.
What Businesses Are Approved To Work?
Nine pages of services:
To Request Designation As an Essential Business, please click here: https://www.mass.gov/forms/essential-service-designation-request
Update for the Massachusetts Emergency Management Agency "MEMA"
Please read the update from the state here
State Rep. Ken Gordon's Update
BNEWS Update with bulleted highlights posted
Small Business Administration’s Economic Injury Disaster Loan ("EIDL") program
On March 18, 2020 Massachusetts received approval for the disaster declaration. Businesses who are experiencing hardships resulting from the outbreak have access up to $2M in emergency loan capital with rates capped at 3.75%.
- Small businesses and private non-profits from all counties in MA are now able to apply for SBA EIDL loans: The website for applicants is www.sba.gov/disaster or scroll down for SBA flyers en Espanol/Spanish.
Applicants may apply online or download applications at https://disasterloan.sba.gov/ela
Applicants may also call SBA’s Customer Service Center at (800) 659-2955 or email email@example.com for more information on SBA disaster assistance
Individuals who are deaf or hard-of-hearing may call (800) 877-8339
Hard copy applications should be mailed to U.S. Small Business Administration, Processing and Disbursement Center, 14925 Kingsport Road, Fort Worth, TX 76155
Additional questions? Call Bob Nelson, SBA Director at (617) 595-7251
The deadline to apply for an Economic Injury Disaster Loan is Dec. 18, 2020.
- $10 million Small Business Recovery Loan Fund, administered by Massachusetts Growth Capital Corporation (MGCC), to provide emergency capital up to $75,000 to Massachusetts-based businesses impacted by COVID-19 with under 50 full- and part-time employees, including nonprofits. Info at www.empoweringsmallbusiness.org/.
- This fund is being offered with no payments due for the first 6 months, then 30-months of principal and interest payments and no prepayment penalties (annual interest rate of 3.0%).
- Elegibility includes "unemployed, or working significantly reduced hours, through no fault of your own" https://www.mass.gov/info-details/covid-19-guidance-and-directives#businesses-&-employers-
- Apply online, offices may not be staffed for phone calls
- On March 18, 2020 Legislature passed Governor Baker’s emergency legislation eliminating the one-week waiting period for unemployment benefits to begin for those whose employment is affected by COVID-19
The Executive Office of Labor and Workforce Development
- WorkShare program, a tool to help employers avoid layoffs during a downturn: https://www.mass.gov/service-details/workshare-information-for-employers
- Rapid Response program, which works closely with companies to avert layoffs and keep a skilled workforce engaged in the existing regional economy or industry: https://www.mass.gov/service-details/rapid-response-layoff-aversion
- Massachusetts Emergency Management Agency ("MEMA"). Call to offer donations or services to support private sector operations. The hotline will be staffed Monday – Friday from 8am to 4pm: 508-820-2094.
- Massachusetts 2-1-1 dial 2-1-1 for information on essential community services
- Burlington's Local Alerts sign-up for local alerts via email
- On March 18, 2020 the Governor issued an executive order postponing payment of taxes for small hospitality and restaurant business through May
- Governor Baker’s Emergency Order (3/15) limiting gatherings to 25 individuals and prohibiting on-premises consumption of food or drink at bars and restaurants, beginning on March 17 and effective until April 6.
- Read more about the Emergency Order here: https://www.mass.gov/news/baker-polito-administration-announces-emergency-actions-to-address-covid-19
- The Order does not apply to normal operations at airports, bus and train stations, medical facilities, libraries, shopping malls and centers, polling locations, grocery or retail stores, pharmacies, or other spaces where 25 or more persons may be in transit.
- The Order does not apply to typical office environments, government buildings, or factories where large numbers of people are present, but it is unusual for them to be within arm's length of one another.
- Additional guidance can be found here: https://www.mass.gov/doc/march-15-2020-assemblage-guidance
Eversource's MESSAGE TO Business Customers:
- "Eversource has postponed disconnections for nonpayment for residential and business customers across our electric, natural gas, and water operations. Our customer service team is available to help customers with financial programs we offer, such as setting up a payment plan." Visit: eversource.com for the latest COVID-19 customer information. Customers are also encouraged to call and speak with a customer service representative by dialing 1-800-592-2000
- Be alert! Increase in scam activity. Eversource is reminding customers to be wary of any unsolicited calls that threaten to disconnect their utility service and that demand payment by unusual means. Eversource will never ask a customer for personal information over the phone in this manner and does not accept payments via gift cards or other common tools used by scammers.
- The Massachusetts Restaurant Association posted a link to a technical discussion of what may or may not be covered under certain policies: https://www2.massagent.com/publications/tech-talk-coronavirus-and-commercial-business-shutdown-covered-or-not
- Town Updates: Town of Burlington COVID-19 Updates and Resources
- Town Administrator's Notice: Town Administrator's Update