Friday Update
April 10th, 2020
PPP Loans Extended to Self-Employed, Independent Contractors
Today, Friday, April 10 marks the first day independent contractors and self-employed workers can apply for forgivable loans through the Payroll Protection Program - a $349 million segment of the $2 trillion federal CARES Act. Independent contractors receiving 1099-MISC forms and self-employed individuals are eligible to apply for these, potentially 100 percent, forgivable loans.

REQUIREMENT: You must have been in operation on Feb. 15, 2020, your business must have been harmed by the COVID-19 pandemic, and you must submit required documentation along with your loan application.

WHAT DO I NEED TO APPLY? Once you know with which lender you will apply, complete the PPP application and submit with the required documentation to an approved lender by June 30, 2020.

WHERE CAN I APPLY? Existing SBA lenders and any federally-insured depository institution, federally insured credit union, or Farm Credit System institution is eligible to make PPP loans. Other regulated lenders will be available to make these loans once approved and enrolled in the program. Consult your local lender to determine if it is participating. Visit the SBA's website for a list of eligible lenders.

· The maximum loan size is up to 2.5 times a contractor's average monthly 1099-MISC or net self-employment income for the past 12 months
· All amounts spent on the following list of items during the first eight weeks of the loan term are 100 percent forgivable: (a) to replace your 1099-MISC income or your net self-employment income, (b) interest on mortgages, (c) business rent, and (d) business utilities. Note, if more than 25 percent of this amount is used for interest on mortgages, business rent, or business utilities not all of the amount spent may be forgivable.
· The interest rate is fixed at 1 percent and the loan term is 2 years
· Loan payments will be deferred for six months
· No collateral or personal guarantees are required
· Neither the government nor lenders will charge small businesses any fees for the loans.

FOR WHAT CAN I USE THESE LOANS? You should use the proceeds from these loans on your:
· Replacement for your normal 1099-MISC or net self-employment income (capped at $100,000 on an annualized basis for each employee)
· Interest on mortgage obligations, incurred before Feb. 15, 2020
· Rent, under lease agreements in force before Feb. 15, 2020
· Utilities, for which service began before Feb. 15, 2020

NOTE: A previous version of the PPP application guidelines included language precluding companies from calculating compensation figures which reflected independent contractor fees as well as independent contractors and the self-employed themselves from applying for the loan program. Those provisions were lifted today.
Resources and Updates from Congressman Jim McGovern
We will overcome this challenge. And when we do, I hope we look back at this time and remember the millions of people working together to meet this moment with strength and perseverance. The selfless courage, camaraderie, and concern for one another we see on display right now is who we are as Americans. We should all take pride in that.
Congress has now passed three emergency relief packages to help address the massive health care and economic disruptions caused by this pandemic. Some of the money and resources we allocated have already begun to flow to those who need them, and some will begin flowing in the days and weeks ahead.

COVID-19 text message notification system You can opt-in by texting "COVIDMA" to 888-777.

The Mass. Department of Transitional Assistance (DTA) is issuing emergency SNAP (food stamp) supplements to many SNAP households to help buy food during the pandemic crisis. The fastest and easiest way to apply is to online here.

?*Please note that Massachusetts is currently working to implement many provisions of the CARES Act including an additional $600 to the weekly benefits received by traditional unemployment claimants, retroactive to March 29, 2020. Massachusetts is also implementing a 13-week extension of benefits to unemployment claimants as quickly as possible. You should apply as soon as possible to make sure your benefits are processed quickly. Massachusetts is also implementing provisions of the CARES Act that make unemployment benefits available to individuals who are self-employed, have exhausted their regular benefits, are not financially eligible for regular unemployment benefits, and others not traditionally covered under the regular unemployment program. The application for these filers will be available soon and benefits may be retroactive to the week ending February 2, 2020.
If you have additional questions, I want you to know that my office is here to help you in whatever way we can. You can find contact information for all my offices by clicking here, or you can email me by clicking here.
April 9th COVID-19 Information & Resources Update
Legislature Passes Additional Measures Aimed at Assisting Municipalities and School Districts
Governor Baker filed legislation, H.4616, aimed at further addressing challenges the COVID-19 pandemic has created for municipalities and school districts. Both chambers of the Legislature have now passed the measure, which will be laid before the Governor for his signature. The bill carries an emergency preamble, meaning once signed by the Governor, it will take effect immediately. Click here to access the text of the final legislation.

SBA Resources Available Through the CARES Act
The federal CARES Act makes substantial funding available to support small businesses impacted by COVID-19 through the Small Business Administration, both through new programs and adjustments to existing programs. Click here to learn more
The Economic Injury Disaster Loan Advance is a Loan Advance of $10,000 that is available to applicants who have been approved for an Economic Injury Disaster Loan; it does not need to be repaid, so you can think of the Advance as a grant for business expenses. (click here to begin an application). Click here to learn more
Debt Relief
The SBA is also offering Debt Relief to small businesses. Under this relief, the SBA will pay the principal and interest for six months beginning March 27th, 2020 for qualifying new and current holders of 7(a) loans. Click here to learn more
The Express Bridge Loan Program is available to businesses that have an existing business relationship with an SBA-approved lender; speak to your lender about accessing this option while you await a decision on long-term financing.
From Bowditch & Dewey: Summary of CARES Act Temporary Rule for Paid Sick Leave and Expanded FMLA
The U.S. Department of Labor has released its temporary rule implementing the Paid Sick Leave (“PSL”) and expanded FMLA (“eFMLA”) provisions of the Families First Coronavirus Relief Act. Bowditch & Dewey has published a summary of the new rule, available online here. Included in the summary are:
· The definition of Child Care Provider
· The definition of Telework
· Background on determining an accurate employee count for compliance purposes
· Details on exemptions for employers with fewer than 50 employees
MassDOT Announces Opportunities for Public Comment at Joint MassDOT Board and Fiscal and Management Control Board Meeting
In an effort to provide opportunities for public comment and engagement while protecting the health and safety of the public and staff, the MBTA and MassDOT have announced that the April 13 Joint MBTA Fiscal and Management Control Board (FMCB) and MassDOT Board Meeting will be held virtually; public comments may be submitted by mail, email, or voice message.
The Joint FMCB and MassDOT Board meeting on April 13 will begin at noon and be livestreamed. The agenda for the Joint Board meeting is posted at and on the MassDOT website.
Public comment will also be taken in two segments on April 13. The first public comment period will address MassDOT and Joint items and will take place prior to these items’ discussion. The second public comment period will address the remaining MBTA FMCB items and will take place prior to these items’ discussion.
To Submit Comments In Writing:
· To submit in writing by email, comments may be submitted at any time to
· To submit in writing by mail, comments may be mailed to:
MassDOT Board of Directors
and/or Fiscal and Management Control Board
C/O Owen Kane
10 Park Plaza – Suite 3510
Boston, MA 02116

Please visit for up to date information on loan packages from emergency guaranteed loans up to 10 million dollars and emergency bridge loans $25,000.00 or less. Some include payment deferments are up to 12 months.
Help with immediate relief!
See how the BV Ed Hub is stepping up to help during the COVID -19 Crisis
The four 3D printers at the Blackstone Valley Education Hub, or the Ed Hub, in Whitinsville are “running day and night,” said Jeannie Hebert, president and CEO of the Blackstone Valley Chamber of Commerce.
The Ed Hub’s efforts, spearheaded by Hebert and Mark Lyons of Advanced Educational Technologies Labs have resulted in the production and distribution of about 500 face shields to area hospitals and health care facilities, which are very much in need of personal protective equipment (PPE) while combating the coronavirus pandemic.
“I talked to a doctor and showed her the design,” Lyons said. “She thanked me for saving her life. That’s how important these things are.”
Go Fund Me COVID-19 Medical Face Shield Project
Please help by donating to support this 3D printing project being lead by several Technical High Schools throughout the Northeast. The need for medical shields to protect our front line heroes are in high demand. In order to meet the demand, funds are needed to purchase supplies. The team has been flooded by support across Massachusetts and New York to print face shields and demand is increasing. All donations are appreciated. Stay safe everyone!


Webinar Series: Running Your Business in Quarantine
Friday April 10th, 2:00-3:00pm
This week, we have a business consultant joining us for the webinar with Juliana Marulanda of ScaleTime.... This is going to be a good one!
Grow with Google
Get Your Local Business on Google Search and Maps
Monday | April 13 | 9:00 am
Learn about Google My Business, a free tool for local businesses who want to connect with customers on Google Search and Maps. Get hands-on help creating or updating your business profile or a simple website.
Grow with Google
Using Data to Drive Business Growth
Wednesday | April 15 | 9:00 am

Learn best practices and analyze trends about how customers engage with your business online, then turn these insights into well-informed, actionable decisions. A focus on Google Analytics and how to use this tool to make better business
Thirty on Thursday: COVID-19 Q&A with AIM Experts
State & Federal Tax Implications of COVID-19
Thursday, April 16, 2020 11:00 am
As we grapple with a New Reality, a myriad of concerns begin to consume us as we try to survive this crisis. During these unprecedented times, followers will be looking to their leaders for reassurance. And while "Hope is Not a Strategy", it does play an important role as we lead our teams through these challenging times. Join this session to understand the needs of those we influence, whether employees, customers, family, etc.
"In every adversity lies the seed of an equal or greater opportunity." This famous quote from Napoleon Hill looks to the brighter side of a dark situation. During these times, focusing our thoughts in positive ways can help as we are constantly getting bombarded with negative news and information. Come to this session for some positivity and to brainstorm ideas for identifying opportunities for you and your business/career within these challenging times.
Complete and utter disruption has been thrusted upon our lives. As we deal with a New Reality that is constantly evolving with every minute of every hour of each day, maintaining focus can be challenging not knowing what is changing within the world of business or how long it will last. For many, survival is at the forefront of our minds. The stability and predictability of Business as Usual has vanished. And just as Hope is not a Strategy, nor is Panic. This session will focus on brainstorming beyond survival to
New Members of the BVCC
Please take moment and check out our most recent new members. Support them if you are able by purchasing gift cards, ordering take-out, or scheduling an appointment for a later date. We thank you all! Welcome New BVCC Members!
?Nor’Easter Roofing Inc. · Rob Chaille · 508-341-3261 · · · Roofing

The Crafty Nest DIY · Lesley Woods · 508-341-3781 · · · Retail – Arts and Crafts

Berry Insurance · Kaitlyn Pintarich · 508-528-5200 · · ·

The Candy Shoppe · Todd Wellette · 508-865-0085 · · Retail – Candy Shop

SERVPRO Worcester · Angelique Harvey · 508-757-7885 · · · Security

Olympus Scientific Solutions Americas · Daniel Shapiro · 781-419-3704 · · · Industrial Equipment Supplies

Human Power Solutions · Sandra Kearney · 617-575-9959 · · · Consulting
As a reminder, the BVCC Office is closed to in person meetings this week, but please do not hesitate to contact the staff of the Blackstone Valley Chamber of Commerce. We are here to ensure your questions get answered, and your business needs are met.

Remote contact info:

Jeannie Hebert President & CEO cell #: (508) 981 5782
Liz O’Neil Programs and Events Coordinator
Julia Juskavitch Marketing Coordinator
Marcia Decker and Judy Curtis Administration