Friday Update
April 17th, 2020
U.S. Chamber of Commerce to Give $5,000 Grants to Small Businesses
The U.S. Chamber of Commerce launched a fund to provide assistance to small businesses in the form of $5,000 grants.

The Save Small Business Fund -- in collaboration with Vistaprint and with support from Merck, S&P Global Foundation, and Travelers -- will include contributions from corporations and philanthropies. The grant is expected to address small businesses’ immediate needs such as closures and job loss and will support their long-term recovery.

Applications for the Chamber’s fund will open on April 20, 2020.
In order to qualify a business must:
· Employ between 3 and 20 people
· Be located in an economically vulnerable community
· Have been harmed financially by the COVID-19 pandemic

"It is hard enough to be a small business owner – only about half of all small businesses with employees make it to their five-year anniversary. Add in the coronavirus and measures we have adopted to halt its spread, and you are looking at an existential threat that could wipe out millions of small businesses." - US Chamber of Commerce
Paycheck Protection Program: Lapse in Appropriations
The U.S. Small Business Administration has announced that the Paycheck Protection Program (PPP) will not be accepting any more applications for the $349 billion program.

The agency reported that they approved more than 1.6 million PPP loans totaling more than $339 billion in partnership with over 4,900 lending institutions.

There are currently negotiations at the federal level to re-capitalize the program.
A Message from the Attorney General's Office: FrontlineMA Launch
People on the front lines are fighting an unprecedented epidemic. Thank you @MassAGO for creating a trusted, vetted site that gives health care workers and first responders the resources they need.
LISC Small Business Recovery Grant Program for Mass.
Local Initiatives Support Corporation (LISC) and Citizens announced the LISC Small Business Recovery Grant Program providing grants up to $10,000 for small businesses in Massachusetts impacted by COVID-19. Businesses must have been in operation for at least 2 years and priority will be given to minority and women owned businesses. Please carefully read through the eligibility criteria and supporting documentation requirements.

The link to the application will be available online beginning Monday, April 20. Applications will be accepted through Friday April 24. Sign up here to receive updates.

Please click here to review additional information and eligibility criteria.
CMRPC COVID-19 Resource Page
This webpage was set up to be a one-stop-shop to access the latest material produced by CMRPC for the Southern Worcester County Economic Development Organization. We are working hard to keep you up to date on the latest, federal, state and local resources as they develop.
Public-facing Mask Requirements Expanded

Worcester City Manager Edward Augustus announced yesterday the expansion of an order signed this earlier this week requiring public-facing business employees to wear face masks during the COVID-19 pandemic.

The expanded language now requires people shopping at essential businesses to cover their nose and mouth with a mask, or scarf at minimum.

Further, he advised customers to enter stores knowing exactly what they need to purchase and to get in and out as quickly as possible.
Please visit for up to date information on loan packages from emergency guaranteed loans up to 10 million dollars and emergency bidge loans $25,000.00 or less. Some include payment deferments are up to 12 months.
Help with immediate relief!


US Chamber of Commerce Webinar
Path Forward: Navigating the Return to Work
Thursday, April 16 3:00 PM to 4:00 PM
U.S. Chamber President Suzanne Clark will lead a deep dive discussion on the importance of swift and accurate COVID-19 testing to the economy, the barriers employers must overcome, and what we can learn from other parts of the world.
"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