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.

New Grant for Small Business

Staff Contribution

 

May 4, 2020

 

If you own a small business in Massachusetts, you can benefit from this opportunity.

 

New Bedford businesses this means you!

 

The Empowerment Grant for Small Businesses serves as a funding opportunity to support the needs of Massachusetts small businesses amid the COVID-19 outbreak in the spring of 2020. Grants will be focused on small business owners serving Massachusetts Gateway Cities.

 

Applicants can request up to $2,500 for needs related to continuing operation during and/or after the COVID-19 outbreak. Applications will be open until May 29th so don’t hesitate to apply!

 

Eligible applicants must be:

  • In operation for at least one year
  • Registered in a Gateway City
  • Considered a “small business”

 

Should you have any questions, please email us at  Empowerment@tre.state.ma.us .

 

Your Friends at the Office of Economic Empowerment

 

APPLY HERE

Baker-Polito Administration Extends Non-Essential Business Closures to May 18th, Announces Reopening Advisory Board

04.28.2020

Sarah Finlan

Press Secretary

Governor’s Office

Gov.press@state.ma.us

 

 

BOSTON — Today, the Baker-Polito Administration extended the essential services emergency order to May 18th and launched a Reopening Advisory Board that will produce a plan to the Governor by May 18th. The Administration also announced that the Department of Public Health’s Stay At Home Advisory remains in effect and gatherings of 10 or more people remain prohibited until May 18th.

 

 

Essential Services Order: Governor Charlie Baker’s emergency order requiring that all businesses and organizations that do not provide “COVID-19 Essential Services” close their physical workplaces and facilities to workers, customers and the public will be extended until May 18th. Businesses and organizations not on the list of essential services are encouraged to continue operations through remote means that do not require workers, customers, or the public to enter or appear at the brick-and-mortar premises closed by the order. This order also extends the existing ban on gatherings of more than 10 people until May 18th.

 

 

Stay at Home Advisory: Governor Charlie Baker announced that the Department of Public Health’s stay-at-home advisory will remain in effect. Residents are strongly urged to stay home and avoid unnecessary travel and other unnecessary person to person contact during this time period. Residents who are considered at high risk when exposed to COVID-19 should limit social interactions with other people as much as possible.

 

 

Executive Branch Employee Guidance: The Baker-Polito Administration today also extended the guidance issued to Executive Branch employees on protocol during the COVID-19 outbreak to ensure state government can continue to provide key services while protecting the health and safety of the public and the Executive Branch workforce. Under the guidance, all employees performing non-core functions who are able to work remotely should continue to do so until May 18th.

 

 

Reopening Advisory Board: Today, Governor Baker announced the formation of the Reopening Advisory Board, which will be Co-Chaired by Lt. Governor Karyn Polito and Housing and Economic Development Secretary Mike Kennealy. The Board brings public health officials together with leaders from the business community and municipal government from across the Commonwealth. This group is charged with advising the administration on strategies to reopen the economy in phases based on health and safety metrics. It will meet with key stakeholders and solicit input from a variety of constituencies over the next three weeks to develop a report by May 18th that will include DPH approved workplace safety standards, industry frameworks and customer protocols and guidelines, including enforcement mechanisms and coordination with municipal leaders. This report is due on the 18th, but the administration has made clear that public health data and guidance from health care experts will dictate the timeline of the re-opening process.

 

 

The 17-member Advisory Board is composed of three public health officials, including Department of Public Health Commissioner Dr. Monica Bharel, three municipal officials, and eleven leaders from the business community, including MassDOT Secretary and CEO Stephanie Pollack. Members of the Advisory Board bring a range of perspectives to the table, such as an understanding of workplaces and workforces and insights into key areas like financial markets, education, manufacturing and transportation.

 

 

Reopening Advisory Board Members:

 

 

Aron Ain, CEO, Kronos Inc & Ultimate Software

Carlo Zaffanella, Vice President and General Manager, Maritime & Strategic Systems, General Dynamics Mission Systems

Corey Thomas, CEO, Rapid 7

Daniel Rivera, Mayor, City of Lawrence

Rochelle Walensky, MD, MPH, Massachusetts General Hospital

Girish Navani, CEO and Co-Founder, eClinicalWorks

Joe Bahena, Senior Vice President, Joseph Abboud Manufacturing

Kathryn Burton, Chief of Staff, City of Boston

Laurie Leshin, Ph.D., President, Worcester Polytechnic Institute

Linda Markham, President, Cape Air

Mark Keroack, President & CEO, Baystate Health

Monica Bharel, Ph.D., Commissioner, Department of Public Health

Nicole LaChapelle, Mayor, City of Easthampton

Pamela Everhart, Head of Regional Public Affairs and Community Relations, Fidelity Investments

Stephanie Pollack, Transportation Secretary and CEO

Steve DiFillippo, CEO, Davios Restaurants

Wendy Hudson, Owner, Nantucket Book Partners

 

Original press here.

Important Update! SBA Economic Injury Disaster Loan Program

04.22.2020

 

 

Staff Contribution

 

 

The SBA Economic Injury Disaster Loan (EIDL) Program has begun funding advances up to $10,000 ($1,000 per employee) on applications that were submitted at the end of March/early April. Please note, this is NOT the Payroll Protection Program.

 

 

 

There is a 2-3 week delay in processing, and businesses may not receive notification by phone or email that an advance has been approved.

 

 

 

Please check your business bank account to see if the advance has been deposited without notification!

 

 

 

Businesses can also call the SBA Office of Disaster Assistance Customer Service Center number (800) 659-2955 or email: disastercustomerservice@sba.gov  for a status of applications.

 

 

 

We will continue to provide updated information as it becomes available.

 

Breaking News! Pandemic Unemployment Assistance Program

04.21.2020

 

 

Sarah Finley
Press Secretary
Governor’s Office
gov.press@state.ma.us

 

 

The Baker-Polito Administration announced yesterday that Massachusetts residents who are not eligible for regular unemployment benefits can now apply online for the new Pandemic Unemployment Assistance (PUA) program.

 

 

The new federal PUA program provides up to 39 weeks of unemployment benefits to individuals who are unable to work because of a COVID-19-related reason but are not eligible for regular or extended unemployment benefits.

 

 

This includes self-employed workers, independent contractors, gig economy workers such as artists, and those with limited work history.

 

 

Applicants can learn more and apply at  www.mass.gov/pua.

 

Read full press release here.

 

 

Baker Announces Pandemic Unemployment Assistance (PUA) program

 

Posted 04.20.20

Anthony W. Richards, II
Deputy Chief of Staff, Access & Opportunity
Office of Governor Charlie Baker
Massachusetts Statehouse
Office: 857-400-5215
Cell: 617-910-8875

 

The Baker-Polito Administration announced today that Massachusetts residents who are not eligible for regular unemployment benefits can now apply online for the new Pandemic Unemployment Assistance (PUA) program.

 

The new federal PUA program provides up to 39 weeks of unemployment benefits who are unable to work because of a COVID-19-related reason but are not eligible for regular or extended unemployment benefits. This includes self-employed workers, independent contractors, gig economy workers, and those with limited work history. Applicants can learn more and apply at www.mass.gov/pua.

 

“As a Commonwealth, we are committed to doing everything in our power, and moving as urgently as possible to get workers impacted by the COVID-19 crisis the benefits they deserve,” said Governor Charlie Baker. “With the implementation of this new federal benefit program, we can better support workers not normally covered by the unemployment system like those who are self-employed or work in the gig economy.”

 

“The COVID-19 pandemic has upended the lives of workers across the Commonwealth, and our Administration is doing everything we can to help,” said Lt. Governor Karyn Polito. “The implementation of the Pandemic Unemployment Assistance program in Massachusetts is another important step in our efforts to help those who are economically disrupted by this virus.”

 

To be eligible for this new program, individuals must provide self-certification that they are otherwise able and available to work but are prevented from doing so by circumstances relating to COVID-19, including their own illness or that of a family member.

 

Those able to telework with pay and individuals receiving paid sick or other leave will not qualify for PUA. Individuals receiving paid sick leave or other paid leave benefits for less than their customary work week, however, may still be eligible for PUA. Also, those working fewer hours, resulting in a loss of income due to COVID-19, who are not eligible for regular unemployment benefits may be eligible for PUA.

 

“It is vital that our workforce gets the resources and help they need during this critical time,” said Secretary of Labor and Workforce Development Rosalin Acosta. “I’m proud of everything our team is doing to rapidly implement new programs, and ensure that as many eligible workers as possible get some relief.”

 

The federal CARES Act signed into law on March 27 created PUA, as well as another temporary federal program called Federal Pandemic Unemployment Compensation (FPUC) that provides an additional $600 weekly benefit for those receiving unemployment benefits or PUA. FPUC provides that additional benefit through July 25, 2020. The Commonwealth announced implementation of FPUC earlier this month.

 

All approved PUA applications will initially receive the minimum weekly benefit amount, plus the additional $600 FPUC weekly benefit. Once a worker’s wages are verified, weekly benefit amounts may increase. The amount of PUA benefits received is based on the individual’s reported previous income. PUA benefits may not be more than the state’s maximum weekly benefit rate for regular unemployment, which is $823 in Massachusetts.

 

Weekly benefits, including any increase to your weekly benefit amount, will be retroactive to January 27, 2020, or the date when you became unemployed, whichever is more recent, as long as you became unable to work because of a COVID-19 related reason.

 

PUA Application Process:

 

To apply, individuals must provide their Social Security number or US Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) number if not a citizen of the United States, and their wage records for 2019, which includes 1099 forms, pay stubs, or bank statements. Applicants will also need the Social Security numbers and dates of birth for dependent children and, if requesting direct deposit for payment, your bank account and routing numbers. A full list of required documents is available at www.mass.gov/pua.

 

Please note that, initially, the system can only pay benefits retroactively to the week ending March 14, 2020. Eligible workers will be able to certify for benefits, and will be able to request benefits retroactively to January 27, 2020, if their dates of unemployment make them eligible.

 

Individuals who are determined ineligible for PUA will receive a written disqualification along with information on how to pursue an appeal. Additional information about the appeals process will be separately posted at a later date. Please visit www.mass.gov/dua for the latest information.

Link to Governor’s Press page here.