Round 6 LISC Small Business Relief Grants

09.05.2020

 

Staff Contribution

 
The Local Initiatives Support Corporation (LISC), one of the country’s largest social enterprises supporting projects and programs to revitalize communities and bring greater economic opportunity to residents, is providing grants to small businesses to help them keep functioning and remain vital facets of their local economies at this difficult time.
 
These grants are designed to support small businesses and enterprises across the country that have been affected by COVID-19, especially those in underserved communities, including entrepreneurs of color, women-owned businesses, and veteran-owned businesses that often lack access to flexible, affordable capital.
 
Applications will be reviewed based on criteria designed to prioritize particularly challenged businesses, and the final grantees will be randomly selected from the top scoring applicants.
 
The deadline for submissions is this Monday, September 7 at 11:59pm ET.
 
For more information and to apply, please click here.

#safeNB Marketing Materials Available for Businesses

08.18.2020

 

Staff Contribution

 

The City’s Department of Tourism & Marketing has developed digital and print pieces to help businesses promote health and safety.

If you’re interested in utilizing these tools, please contact Brooke Vinagre, Acting Director of Tourism & Marketing at brooke.vinagre@newbedford-ma.gov or (508) 979-1745.

Images may be used either online or in print.

ALERT: Malicious Cyber Actor Spoofing COVID-19 SBA Loan Website via Phishing Emails

08.13.2020

 

Staff Contribution

 

Summary
The Cybersecurity and Infrastructure Security Agency (CISA) is currently tracking an unknown malicious cyber actor who is spoofing the Small Business Administration (SBA) COVID-19 loan relief webpage via phishing emails. These emails include a malicious link to the spoofed SBA website that the cyber actor is using for malicious re-directs and credential stealing.

 

Technical Details
CISA analysts observed an unknown malicious cyber actor sending a phishing email to various Federal Civilian Executive Branch and state, local, tribal, and territorial government recipients. The phishing email contains:

A subject line, SBA Application – Review and Proceed

A sender, marked as disastercustomerservice@sba[.]gov

Text in the email body urging the recipient to click on a hyperlink to address: hxxps://leanproconsulting[.]com.br/gov/covid19relief/sba.gov

The domain resolves to IP address: 162.214.104[.]246

 

For more information about the attack please click here.

Governor Baker Announces Phase 3 Updates

08.11.2020

 

Staff Contribution

 

Over the weekend, Governor Baker announced that Massachusetts will press pause on the implementation of Step 2 of Phase 3 of his reopening plan, among other initiatives, in order to slow the spread of COVID-19. Details of the update can be found outlined in the press release here. Key components have been highlighted below:

 

Group Gatherings Update
Effective today, outdoor gatherings must reduce their capacity from 100 to 50 individuals, per the Executive Order from the administration. Indoor gatherings will continue to be limited at 25 people. Please note, this will now apply to both public and private spaces. Read the revised Executive Order for more details.

 

Step 2 of Phase 3 Postponed
Step 2 of Phase 3 of the Commonwealth’s reopening plan has been postponed indefinitely as a result of rising COVID-19 cases across the state. Events hosted at indoor theaters and concerts, among others will be affected. Please see the Order Authorizing the Reopening of Phase III Enterprises for a list of businesses in Phase 3, Step 2.

 

Restaurant/Bar Protocol Update
According to the updated restaurant protocols, alcoholic beverages may only be served for on-site consumption if accompanied by orders for food prepared on-site.

 

Cross-Agency COVID Enforcement and Intervention Team
The Administration unveiled a targeted cross-agency COVID Enforcement and Intervention Team that will lead enforcement statewide and coordinate with local intervention efforts in higher risk COVID-19 communities. For more information, please see the press release.

 

Small Business Updates & Resources
• Last week, the SBA released a PPP Forgiveness FAQ to support borrowers seeking loan forgiveness.
• The SBA also released its Small Business Resource Guide, full of tools and resources to help businesses with everyday operations and COVID-19 related support.
• SCORE, MSBDC, the Center for Women & Enterprise, and many others are available to assist with virtual counseling and workshops to support your small business; find an SBA Resource Partner here.

 

To apply for an outdoor dining permit, click here

 

For information on a free masks (must be New Bedford resident), click here.

 

To view additional sector-specific updates and details of the Governor’s reopening plan, click here

 

For more information on the status of reopening in New Bedford and other important news, visit New Bedford’s COVID-19 page.

Bristol Community College offers Free Skills Development Webinars

Contact: Kevin Spirlet
Associate Director of Media Relations
774.357.3361
508.207.8943 (cell)
kevin.spirlet@bristolcc.edu

 

The Coronavirus pandemic has disrupted the lives of so many, both personally and professionally. To assist the region, Bristol Community College’s Business Solutions & Partnerships area is offering free, virtual professional development webinars to develop or strengthen in-demand skills.

 

These innovative webinars provide professional and technical skill development for job seekers, educators, employers and employees looking to increase proficiency in current and forecasted remote work and learning environments. The sessions focus on how to best adapt to the evolving “new norm” of business and education.

 

“Bristol Community College is proud to assist our communities with free professional development webinars during this unprecedented time of change in business and education,” said Jennifer Menard, Interim Vice President, Economic & Business Development, Bristol Community College. “Bristol’s mission is to serve our communities by being able to quickly respond to their needs. This is a great opportunity to aid our regions’ dedicated educators and professionals who are working remotely and in need of virtual in-demand training.”

 

Bristol’s Business Solutions & Partnerships area are offering the free, 60-90-minute live video webinar sessions, accessible from the college’s website listed below. 

 

The webinars will focus on three areas: Virtual Career Exploration and Personal Branding, Upskilling for Distance and Remote Learning for Educators and Professional and Organizational Virtual Training.

 

Career Exploration & Personal Branding includes topics such as developing an effective resume, building a professional LinkedIn presence, the power of personal branding and more.

 

Upskilling for Distance and Remote Learning for Educators includes optimizing student engagement through the Google classroom, time and priority management in the “new norm,” keeping audiences engaged virtually through Zoom, understanding cultural change and the racial divide and more.

 

Professional and Organizational Virtual Training includes development in areas such as improving your productivity with Microsoft Office applications, ways to improve business process improvement virtually, understanding cultural change and the racial divide and more.

 

How to Register: 

 

Participants can register for all or one of the topics in the series.

 

To register or to view a complete listing of the course focuses and topics, please visit:

 

http://bristolcc.coursestorm.com/

 

For more information, please email businesssolutions@bristolcc.edu or call 774.357.2527.

 


 

Business Solutions & Partnerships at Bristol Community College serves the community’s needs for professional development and credentialing leading to opportunities in a wide range of career options and new academic pathways. Business Solutions & Partnerships provides access to affordable, high-quality programs with experienced instructors.

 

These competency-based programs are closely tied to industry needs providing upskilling, credentialing and professional development that is aligned with real jobs and includes new skills and competencies in an ever-changing economy and workplace. Business Solutions & Partnerships also offers high-quality training to the business community to meet regional needs in top industry sectors including healthcare, manufacturing, hospitality, finance, energy and sustainability.

 

For more information about Business Solutions & Partnerships at Bristol Community College, please visitwww.bristolcc.edu/corporateservices.

 


 

About Bristol Community College

 

Bristol Community College (Bristol) has core values rooted in student success and lifelong learning. For more than 50 years, Bristol has served as a leading resource for education and workforce development in the region including locations in Attleboro, Fall River, New Bedford, and Taunton.

 

The college offers a rich variety of degree, certificate, and training programs along with flexible online offerings that lead to an associate degree, a career-ready certificate, or the ability to transfer to baccalaureate colleges throughout the state and country. The Center for Workforce and Community Education provides customized training for businesses and the community. The college also strives to put the needs of learners first with support services and career advancement opportunities that lead to student success by reducing barriers to educational access.

 

Bristol annually serves more than 11,000 credit students and 18,000 students who participate in noncredit activities. The college is one of the largest employers in the region and is dedicated to fostering an inclusive environment with a rich diversity of beliefs, cultures, languages, abilities and lifestyles. Bristol is a public community college accredited by the New England Commission of Higher Education (NECHE). http://www.bristolcc.edu/.

 

Outdoor Dining Guidelines Available on City Website

06.08.2020

 

Staff Contribution

 

Mayor Mitchell announced that New Bedford will follow and implement the second phase of Governor Baker’s reopening plan, which allows for additional sector reopening today.

 

The plan includes sector-specific guidance for businesses and operations permitted to reopen with guidelines during the second phase. The Governor’s plan may be found here:  https://www.mass.gov/info-details/reopening-massachusetts.

 

New Bedford’s restaurant reopening advisory group has released guidelines outlining outdoor dining available at  https://www.newbedford-ma.gov/health-department/city-guidance-on-reopening-of-dining-establishments/ . Restaurant reopening begins today with outdoor dining and appropriate social distancing.

 

For city dining establishments, the reopening and outdoor dining process includes an expedited Outdoor Cafe permitting process, with easy-to-follow guidance to comply with the state’s public health and safety requirements. The permit is also available at  https://www.newbedford-ma.gov/health-department/city-guidance-on-reopening-of-dining-establishments/.

 

For more information on the status of reopening in New Bedford and other important news, visit the COVID-19 page on  www.newbedford-ma.gov.

 

For information on the masks available to any New Bedford resident who wants one, visit  www.masknb.com.

 

 

 

Prepare to Reopen NB! Stay Informed and Be Safe

05.22.2020

 

 

Staff Contribution

 

 

Dear Friends,

 

We hope your Memorial Day weekend offered a nice break and opportunity for family and reflection.

 

You may have missed it, but on Friday, Secretary Kennealy summarized key steps businesses should take as they look ahead to reopening in Massachusetts. His message is below and outlines additional guidance, standards, and resources for phase one industries.

 

It is also critical to stay in the loop on what the City is requiring in addition to the State, which at the moment is focused on our larger manufacturing and processing businesses. The specific requirements for prevention can be found  here, and the requirements for reporting can be found here .

 

We will continue to post the City’s and State’s updates and share critical and relevant information over the coming weeks, as we make it through the phases of reopening.

 

Stay well,

 

Derek

 


 

 

Message from Secretary Kennealy’s Office: 05.22.2020

 

Last week, the Baker-Polito Administration released the Reopening Advisory Board’s report on the four-phase reopening of the Massachusetts economy,  Reopening Massachusetts . This report outlines a roadmap for gradually reopening, as well as guidance as to when which businesses may reopen, and what standards they must adhere to in Phase 1.

 

Phase 1 began on May 18th with lifting restrictions in some industries/sectors. The next milestone you should be aware of within Phase 1 is May 25th, when additional sectors are able to reopen with limitations (including curbside pickup for retail businesses).

 

Phase 1 will last at least three weeks; the Commonwealth will progress to Phase 2 when public health metrics and progress indicate it is safe to do so.

 

Below, I’ve summarized key steps businesses should take as they look ahead to reopening. As always, I hope you will get this word out to the businesses in your communities.

 

I’d also recommend reviewing and circulating  What Businesses Can Expect in Phase 1  to businesses, as it offers a condensed, one-page summary of key information.

 

RECOMMENDATIONS FOR BUSINESSES

 

Identify the phase in which your industry or sector is eligible to reopen

 

 

 

Read the guidance for reopening

 

 

 

 

  • Please note that businesses that have been offering essential services and have remained open throughout the COVID-19 outbreak must adhere to the safety standards and create a COVID-19 Control Plan (see below) by May 25th. Businesses with office spaces that have been operating as an essential service have until July 1st to comply with occupancy limits.

 

Develop a COVID-19 Control Plan

 

 

  • All businesses in the Commonwealth must develop a written control plan outlining how its workplace will comply with the mandatory safety standards for operation in the COVID-19 reopening period.

 

  • Control plans do not need to be submitted for approval but must be kept on premises and made available in the case of an inspection or outbreak.

 

 

  • Before reopening, the business must meet the Mandatory Workplace Safety Standards and attest to compliance

 

 

 

  • These should be displayed in an area within the business premises that is visible to employees, customers, and visitors.

 

Reopen brick-and-mortar operations safely and in line with guidance

 

  • These standards will be jointly enforced by local Boards of Health and the state’s Department of Labor Standards (DLS).

 

  • Businesses play a key role in setting a standard for safe public interactions and in restoring consumer confidence.

 

  • By adhering to these mandatory standards and best practices, businesses, employees, and customers will ensure Massachusetts is able to progress from Phase 1 to Phase 4, the “New Normal.” It’s all of our responsibility to ensure we move forward, and not backwards, in reopening the Massachusetts economy.

 

Additional resources: 

 

What Businesses Can Expect in Phase 1, which condenses key detail into a single page

 

The report, Reopening Massachusetts, offers the full framework of the four-phased reopening and provides an overview of the issues underpinning the approach

 

The Reopening: Four-Phase Approach page outlines the phased approach and the key role that public health benchmarks play in reopening

 

The Purchasing Hygienic or Protective Supplies page includes information for employers and employees about supplies needed to return to workplaces, as well as a Vendor Tool to assist businesses in locating and purchasing hygienic and protective supplies

 

Department of Public Health’s Safer-At-Home Advisory gives key guidance for all residents of the Commonwealth, including employers and employees, during Phase 1. Please note, businesses authorized to operate under Phase 1 are not subject to the 10-person limitation on gatherings.

 

Note for retail businesses: retail businesses may engage in curbside pickup sales as of May 25th. Please check the Essential Services FAQ document for current guidance on remote fulfillment. Additional notes on curbside pickup guidance will be available in the coming days.

 

Breaking News: Governor Baker Releases Reopening Plan

05.18.2020

 

Staff Contribution

 

Dear Friends,

 

Today, Governor Charlie Baker and Lieutenant Governor Karyn Polito announced the release of Reopening Massachusetts – The Baker-Polito Administration’s comprehensive plan to safely reopen the Massachusetts economy, get people back to work, and ease social restrictions while minimizing the health impacts of COVID-19.

 

Also released today was a comprehensive state web platform that will be updated as additional industry sectors are allowed to open. The  report  and the  new webpage  provide information to help businesses meet the state’s required self-certification requirement to reopen.

 

Please note that the City of New Bedford is reviewing these new workplace rules and will have an announcement on how this will be applied in New Bedford later this week. Until then, the City’s orders concerning industrial facilities remains in effect.

 

As more information becomes available, we will share it as soon as we are able.

 

Be well,

 

Derek

 

Reopening Massachusetts

 

Update from Secretary Kennealy’s Office

Staff Contribution

 

May 12, 2020

 

New Guidance for Fulfillment of Remote Orders By Retail Businesses

 

Earlier this week, the Administration provided new guidance for retail businesses. Under this guidance, non-essential businesses are allowed to bring in a small number of employees in order to remotely fulfill online or phone orders, provided they can meet safety protocols.

 

Read the full guidance in the  COVID-19 Essential Services FAQs.

 


 

Department of Unemployment Assistance Resource

 

DUA has recently released FAQs to guide employers and employees in returning to work:

 

Unemployment Insurance Benefits and Returning to Work: Guide for Employers 

 

Unemployment Insurance Benefits and Returning to Work: Guide for Workers.

 

These FAQs provide responses to some of the questions that employers and employees may have when looking ahead to reopening.

 


 

U.S. Department of Commerce EDA Funding: Economic Adjustment Assistance Program

 

The U.S. Department of Commerce’s Economic Development Administration announced  the availability of $1.5B in funding through an Economic Adjustment Assistance program.

 

This funding will support communities in economic recovery through planning and technical assistance grants, grants for recovery and resilience strategies, capitalizing or recapitalizing revolving loan funds, and innovation grants.

 

Non-profits working in partnership with local government, cities and towns, regional planning agencies, and others can apply for this support.

 

Read more about this funding on the  EDA’s website ; eligible applicants may apply  here.