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.

LISC Launches Recovery Grants Program for Massachusetts Small Businesses with Funding from Citizens Bank

Posted on 04.14.2020

 

Karen E. Kelleher, Executive Director
LISC Boston | Local Initiatives Support Corporation
75 Kneeland Street, Suite 1102
Boston, MA 02111
T 617.410.4333
E kkelleher@lisc.org
@LISC_Boston
www.lisc.org/boston

 

Local Initiatives Support Corporation (LISC) Boston today announced the launch of the LISC Small Business Recovery Grant Program for Massachusetts, which will provide grants to hard-hit small businesses to weather the immediate financial impact of closures and social distancing measures required to slow the spread of the coronavirus.

 

LISC will offer grants of up to $10,000 to address immediate financial peril, limit layoffs, avoid gaps in employee benefits or insurance, mitigate economic instability and increase the likelihood of business survival. Launched with seed funding provided by Citizens Bank, the Small Business Recovery Grant Program is part of the LISC Rapid Relief & Resiliency Fund for Massachusetts. In addition to grants, the Fund also aims to provide much-needed technical assistance and longer-term funding to help vulnerable businesses and community-serving nonprofits weather the effects of the pandemic.

 

Small businesses employ nearly half the private workforce in Massachusetts and can be a path to economic stability for minority- and immigrant families. Many have come to a grinding halt, with little or no revenue and many bills still piling up. The CARES Act will help many, but some smaller and more vulnerable businesses will not be able to access federal programs, or will be unable to qualify for or support repayment of loans. Grants and technical assistance are critical to the survival of these businesses.

 

“The LISC Recovery Grant Program offers business leaders an opportunity to support the immediate needs of small businesses and helps set the stage for a sustainable and equitable recovery. We encourage business leaders throughout the state to join us in this effort to provide much needed resources to strengthen the foundation of our economy,” said Jerry Sargent, President of Citizens Bank, Massachusetts.

 

“Business stepping up to help business reflects the Commonwealth’s commitment to the resiliency of all of our communities and presents an opportunity to prioritize equity in our response to this crisis. We are grateful to Citizens for its leadership and partnership,” said LISC Boston Executive Director Karen Kelleher. “The need is compelling and the time is now. These businesses may not survive if we wait to see where need remains after federal aid flows.”

 

Applications will be accepted online from Monday, April 20 to Friday, April 24 through LISC Boston’s website, and will be supported in English, Spanish and other languages. To focus the grants where they will have the greatest impact, LISC is inviting business support organizations, small business accelerators, and community networks across the state to encourage the at-risk small businesses in their communities to apply.

 

Funding priority will be given to vulnerable businesses, including minority- and women-owned businesses and small businesses that are the lifeblood of low-income communities throughout the Commonwealth.

Businesses interested in applying can sign up to receive email updates regarding the program.

 

Click here for more on the program.

 

Read the full press release here.

 

Governor Baker announces Massachusetts COVID-19 Relief Fund

Anthony W. Richards, II
Deputy Chief of Staff, Access & Opportunity
Office of Governor Charlie Baker
Access and Opportunity is an executive office created to increase diversity and inclusion within state government.
Massachusetts Statehouse
Office: 857-400-5215
Cell: 617-910-8875

 

 

The Governor and First Lady Lauren Baker announced today the launch of the Massachusetts COVID-19 Relief Fund, which will help support essential frontline workers and vulnerable populations across the state, including Massachusetts residents and immigrants facing homelessness, food insecurity, and loss of critical services as a result of the COVID-19 public health crisis. The Fund was conceptualized by the One8 Foundation, who helped establish the fund and provided a lead donation of $1.8 million. The MA COVID-19 Relief Fund is administered by Eastern Bank. The Foundation for Business Equity (FBE) and The Boston Foundation are acting as fiscal sponsors for the Fund. Elissa Flynn-Poppey of Mintz Levin provided invaluable advice and counsel.

 

Donations can be made online by visiting MACovid19ReliefFund.org.

 

“I am so grateful to Lauren for her leadership on this important effort, and to the One8 Foundation team, Eastern Bank, FBE, and The Boston Foundation for their hard work and dedication in getting the fund off the ground,” said Governor Charlie Baker. “The compassion and generosity of the people of Massachusetts continues to inspire and amaze me, and I have no doubt that our state will continue to step up and give back to Massachusetts communities so that we can come through this crisis stronger and more united than ever before.”

 

One8, the family foundation of residents Joanna and Jonathon Jacobson, have been joined by other Massachusetts philanthropists providing lead gifts including the Klarman Family Foundation, Joshua and Anita Bekenstein Charitable Fund, Charlesbank Capital Partners/Barbara and Michael Eisenson, the Fireman Family Foundation and an anonymous donor. Additional founding donors include: the Edgerley Family Foundation, Liz and Phill Gross, Mannion Family Foundation, Dupre-Nunnelly Charitable Gift Fund, the Baupost Group, Rob and Karen Hale, TJX, Mickey and Bob Atchinson, the Abrams Family Foundation, Michael and Jill Stansky Family Foundation, the Frieze Family Foundation, William Helman, MFN Partners, Lynch Family Foundation, Stephanie and Brian Spector, Ernie Boch Jr., Eastern Bank Charitable Foundation, Bank of America, Maurice and Luly Samuels, and Chris and Lisa Collins.

 

Together, these generous donors will kickstart the fund with over $13 million.

 

Donations raised through the Massachusetts COVID-19 Relief Fund will be distributed in partnership with the state’s community foundations that cover counties statewide and other critical non-profits, ensuring that Massachusetts communities can benefit from access to this much-needed pool of resources.

 

“These are unprecedented and uncertain times, and the people of Massachusetts are struggling. The Massachusetts COVID-19 Relief Fund will help us connect those who are most acutely impacted by COVID-19 with the resources and services they need to get through this difficult time and stay safe, healthy, and supported,” said Lauren Baker, First Lady of the Commonwealth of the Massachusetts. “I encourage all individuals, businesses, foundations – everyone who cares about our state – to consider contributing to this Fund. Every bit helps, and every donation will be used to help our communities.”

 

Jonathan Raymond will serve as the Fund’s Executive Director, supporting fundraising and the effective distribution of funds across the state. Raymond is the Executive Director of the National Association of School Superintendents, and was formerly the President of the Stuart Foundation, a K-12 education foundation in California.

 

“COVID-19 is impacting our state in countless ways, from housing and food insecurity to job losses and an incredible strain on essential workers and the health care system. The need is felt in every corner of our state and across every community” said Joanna Jacobson, Trustee of the One8 Foundation. “Our message to the people, non-profits, and communities of our state is this: We know you are hurting, and we are here for you. Our team is proud to support this effort, and we will continue to do everything we can to reach out and help our neighbors who need it most to get back on their feet.”

 

Eastern Bank is a founding donor to this initiative and is providing their services to the Fund at no cost.

 

“This pandemic is affecting every person, organization, and community and the Fund understands that supporting each other is the best way to get through this together,” said Bob Rivers, Chair and CEO of Eastern Bank. “We believe in doing what we can to help all communities across Massachusetts and to provide a safe and reliable way for donations to be made to this Fund.”

 

The Boston Foundation is hosting this statewide donor advised Massachusetts COVID-19 Relief Fund to accept donations from foundations and donor advised funds.

 

“These unprecedented times call for unprecedented efforts on the state and local levels. While we have increased our active support for non-profits in Greater Boston, we are also proud to stand with donors recognizing the needs across our great commonwealth,” said Paul Grogan of The Boston Foundation.

 

To learn more about the Massachusetts COVID-19 Relief Fund and to make a donation, please visit MACovid19ReliefFund.org.

 

About One8 Foundation

 

The One8 Foundation propels and supports outstanding leaders with compelling ideas that deliver scaled, sustainable social impact. One8’s areas of strategic giving are enabling educational excellence in a rapidly changing world by focusing on applied learning and STEM, strengthening preparedness and access to 21st century careers, providing vital local support to those in need and supporting vibrant Jewish communities in the US and Israel. To learn more, visit www.one8.org.

 

 

From the SBA to Your Inbox!

04.07.2020

 

Staff contribution

 

Don’t know where to get started?

 

SBA’s disaster programs spelled out in just a few clicks.

 

Start with the Paycheck Protection Program to see forms; then next to Economic Injury Disaster Loans and advance; then next to Express Bridge Loans and then next to Debt Relief for existing and future SBA 7a, 504 and microloan.

 

The following questions might help point you in the right direction.

 

Do you need?

 

Capital to cover the cost of retaining employees.

 

Then the  Paycheck Protection Program  might be right for you.

 

A quick infusion of a smaller amount of cash to cover you right now.

 

You might want to look into an  Emergency Economic Injury Grant .

 

If you have an existing relationship with an SBA Express lender, the Express Bridge Loan  might be a good fit to get up to $25K quickly. Look for Express Lenders to ease your fears about keeping up with payments on your current or potential

 

SBA loan?

 

The  Small Business Debt Relief Program  could help.

 

Please direct inquiries and questions to the District Office email at

MassachusettsDO@sba.gov

 

Paycheck Protection Programs Frequently Asked Questions

 

Click here to view PDF of FAQs


SBA District and Regional Office Webinars on Disaster Assistance

 

SBA district and regional offices are offering webinars about Economic Injury Disaster Loans.

 

These webinars explain SBA’s Economic Injury Disaster Loan program and how you can apply for disaster assistance.

 

Sign up here for alerts.


Virtual Tutoring and Mentoring

 

Offices around the country may be closed to the Coronavirus pandemic, but SCORE, Small Business Development Centers, Women’s Business Centers, and Veterans Business Outreach Centers and other resource partners are providing free business mentoring and training by phone, email, and video.

 

Find an SBA resource partner here .


Massachusetts Small Business Development Center Network (MSBDC) provides free virtual assistance.
MSBDC advisors can assist businesses with disaster loan applications.
Online request here for counseling.
If you are not part of the SouthCoast Region, find your region’s counselor here .

One Stop Shop for SBA Forms and Information

04.03,2020

 

Staff Contribution

 

Dear friends,

 

As the SBA continues to update its website by the hour, we recommend that you check here for all the SBA funding options and for up to the minute information on the Paycheck Protection Program.

 

The Paycheck Protection Program (PPP) is a federal loan designed to provide a direct incentive for small businesses to keep their workers on the payroll.

 

SBA lenders will begin accepting and reviewing applications for PPP, beginning today, April 3rd.

 

The PPP application will be available through June 30, 2020.

 

Click here to find a PPP lender within a specific zip code/s.

 

Be well,

 

Derek

 

Please note: The NBEDC is not authorized to service the PPP. Please refer to the SBA website for local lenders.

 

Breaking News: Governor Baker Emergency Order Updated

04.01.2020

 

Staff Contribution

 

Good morning friends,

 

Governor Baker has just announced an updated emergency order for nonessential businesses and organizations to close physical workspaces and facilities to customers, workers, and the general public.

 

This order takes effect at noon, April 1, and continues to noon, May 4th.

 

What is important to understand is how this order affects your particular business. There are many exceptions to this order, so please carefully read the links below provided by the Governor’s office:

 

Emergency Order

Essential Services List

Assemblage Guidance

 

Please pass along this information to others in your network of contacts, and as new information becomes available we will pass it along.

 

Be well,

 

Derek

SBA Update for $10K Advance on Economic Disaster Loans

03.31.2020

 

Staff Contribution

 

Dear friends,

 

Yesterday we sent a note regarding the recently passed CARES Act. This new federal law provides additional assistance for small business owners and non-profits, including the opportunity to get up to a $10,000 Advance on an Economic Injury Disaster Loan (EIDL).

 

This Advance may be available even if your EIDL application was declined or is still pending, and will be forgiven.

 

We have just been informed by the SBA that if you wish to apply for the Advance on your EIDL, please visit  www.SBA.gov/Disaster  as soon as possible to fill out a new, streamlined application. In order to qualify for the Advance, you need to submit this new application even if you previously submitted an EIDL application.

 

Applying for the Advance will not impact the status or slow your existing application.

 

Again, as new information becomes available on this and other COVID:19 rescue programs, we will pass it along and ask you to share with your contacts.

 

Be well,

 

Derek

 

A Survey for New Bedford Businesses

03.30.2020

 

Staff Contribution

 

Dear friends,

 

We are working to quantify the early economic impacts of COVID-19 on New Bedford businesses of all sizes.

 

This brief survey will help provide us vital information needed to ensure that all available federal, state, and private sector resources are brought to bear in the midst of this crisis.

 

We greatly appreciate your input and value your insight. If it is possible to complete survey by Friday afternoon, it would be most helpful.

 

Be well,

 

Derek

 

Survey here.

Breaking News: Update on the SBA’s Disaster Loan Program

03.30.20

 

Staff Contribution

 

Dear friends,

 

We know everyone is anxiously awaiting guidance on the recently passed CARE Act and the funding for small business included within the legislation. We will be passing along more detailed guidance from the SBA, HUD, and the EDA on accessing this funding as it becomes available.

 

In response to the overwhelming volume at the SBA disaster loan application portal, the SBA has just updated the portal and streamlined the application process.

 

Of note, the SBA has now included a $10,000 advance request as part of the application process.

 

The loan advance will provide economic relief to businesses that are currently experiencing a temporary loss of revenue. Funds will be made available within three days of a successful application, and this loan advance will not have to be repaid.

 

Access to the new SBA application process can be found here and information on the SBA EIDL can be found here .

 

Be well,

 

Derek

 

 

A Note from New Bedford Department of City Planning

03.27.2020

 

Partner Updates

 

Due to the COVID-19 outbreak, Governor Baker issued an Executive Order prohibiting gatherings of 10 or more people, effective March 24, 2020. Further, Mayor Mitchell closed City Hall to public access, effective March 17, 2020.

 

This effectively means that boards and commissions may not meet in person with the public during the time that these state and city orders are in effect. However, pursuant to a March 12 executive order issued by Governor Baker that relaxed the requirements of the Open Meeting Law, boards and commissions may meet entirely remotely.

 

To avoid further disruptions in schedule, all upcoming meetings of our governing boards (Planning Board, ZBA, Historical Commission, NBRA and CPC) will be held via conference call until the restrictions are lifted.  Case materials will continue to be accessible via our board websites. For dial-in information, please see upcoming agendas as posted.

 

In addition, City Hall offices remain closed.

All filings, abutters requests, and other inquiries will be processed via email and hard copies must be delivered by appointment only. All schedules and deadlines will remain the same.

 

Please see our main page for links to staff emails and agenda information:  www.newbedford-ma.gov/planning/  or call: 508-979-1488

 

Kindly,

 

Tabitha Harkin

Director of City Planning

City of New Bedford

Working from home

Cell:508-863-9245

Skype:  tabhark@gmail.com

*Also find me on Microsoft Teams