Friday Update
May 8th, 2020
Gov. Baker Updates “Essential Services” Guidance, Allow for Remote Fulfillment in Closed Stores and Warehouses
The Baker Administration released changes to the COVID-19 Essential Services guidance, loosening restrictions on previously closed, “non-essential” stores and facilities. Under the updated COVID-19 Essential Services FAQs, a limited number of employees will be allowed back into closed stores and warehouses to fulfill and ship remote orders taken over the phone and online. The new guidance takes immediate effect.
PPP Loan Safe Harbor Date Extended One Week to May 14

As we wrote about in a client alert on May 4, the SBA recently issued guidance to PPP loan borrowers (FAQ 31) about the required certification that the loan is necessary to support ongoing operations. Now, in determining whether to apply for or keep a PPP loan, businesses must make a good faith determination of the need for the funds considering other sources of liquidity, access to capital markets and current business activity. The SBA also declared that any business that applied for a PPP loan prior to the FAQ 31 guidance would be deemed to have made the necessity certification in good faith if the loan was repaid in full by May 7, 2020.
On May 5, the SBA issued further guidance in the form of FAQ 43, which has extended the repayment deadline to May 14, 2020. Importantly, FAQ 43 also states that the SBA intends to provide additional guidance on how it will review the certification prior to May 14, 2020.
As a result of this extended safe harbor period, businesses should consider awaiting the SBA's further clarification and guidance regarding the necessity certification, and take advantage of the additional one week extension of the repayment deadline.

Paying the Rent in Bankruptcy - An Overview of Chapter 11 for Commercial Tenants and Their Landlords

Even in the halcyon days pre-coronavirus, a typical small business could not operate for more than two weeks without incoming revenue. In a matter of months, social distancing and mass unemployment having dramatically reduced consumer spending and companies are surviving by cutting energy usage, adjusting inventory purchases, and drawing on Paycheck Protection Program loans to backstop employee wages. Rent, however, is one expense that remains immutable. Continue reading...
Reopening Guidance for Cleaning and Disinfecting Public Spaces, Workplaces, Businesses, Schools, and Homes
This guidance is intended for all Americans, whether you own a business, run a school, or want to ensure the cleanliness and safety of your home. Reopening America requires all of us to move forward together by practicing social distancing and other daily habits to reduce our risk of exposure to the virus that causes COVID-19. Reopening the country also strongly relies on public health strategies, including increased testing of people for the virus, social distancing, isolation, and keeping track of how someone infected might have infected other people. This plan is part of the larger United States Government plan external iconand focuses on cleaning and disinfecting public spaces, workplaces, businesses, schools, and can also be applied to your home.
Golf Courses Allowed To Reopen With Guidelines, Limitations
Golf courses in Massachusetts will be allowed to reopen in limited fashion effective immediately, according to the state website. An official announcement from Gov. Charlie Baker is expected Thursday.
Do You Have
Advisory Board Input?
Send us your suggestions.

Business owners understand their industries better than anyone.

As the Advisory Board continues to discuss reopening businesses, we want to be sure that you have input into the policies and procedures that come out of this group. The Chamber is facilitating input from members to the board.

Submit your ideas about safe, responsible reopening plans to Jeannie Hebert , Blackstone Valley Chamber's President & CEO
Survey of MA businesses on education
MBAE is developing our next strategic plan, even as we continue to advocate for effective, equitable remote learning plans to serve students during the Covid-19 crisis and to meet the needs of parents and guardians who are supporting their children at home while also participating in the workforce, as well as other business priorities on education.
Business input is critical to this process, so we are asking your help to reach as wide a set of businesses as possible and help us learn about if and how business leaders from across different industries prioritize education. We plan to use this feedback to ensure we’re authentically representing the business community’s interests and needs in our work for years to come.

Recognizing that these are very busy and challenging times, I am writing to ask that you spend 5 minutes responding to a survey.

Thank you.
Lender Liability During COVID-19
May 12, 2020 11AM
Strapped for cash and finding themselves in loan default, many borrowers are asking their lenders to forbear, or extend further credit, and often both. Lenders want to do the right thing, while maintaining flexibility and insulating themselves from further risk. What to do?
In the context of working out distressed loans, lenders need to understand the rights and remedies set forth in their loan documents and to act commercially reasonably with their customers. A lender’s agreement to forbear from exercising remedies will require the borrower to meet operational and transactional milestones. As lenders mull restructuring proposals and decide whether to act (or refrain from acting), they should be mindful of actions that may violate their duty to act commercially reasonably and of potential lender liability.
On this Worcester Regional Chamber of Commerce Financial Services Roundtable webinar, Mark Powers and David Mawhinney, attorneys at Bowditch, will discuss basic loan work-out strategy and some of the more common lender liability theories.

Meeting ID: 757 020 3086
Quality Transitions Weekly HR Call
May 13, 2020 10:00 AM
Employers who are considering reopening in the coming weeks will be faced with a dramatically different workplace and a worried workforce. As employers work through the ongoing issues presented by COVID-19, flexibility and responsiveness to issues ranging from the configuration of the workplace and location of workers to employee leave requests as well as evolving health and safety standards will be crucial.
Once shelter-in-place orders have been lifted and employers are permitted to reopen their workspace, they will need to do so with caution. There will be local, state and federal orders and guidance to consider. Wading through the patchwork of requirements and understanding what guidance or recommendations are mandatory is the first step in preparing a return-to-work plan.
To help local businesses navigate the coronavirus (COVID-19) crisis, Quality Transitions has established a Coronavirus Task Force covering a wide range of issues and challenges.
InThink Webinar Series
Running Your Business in Quarantine: A Survival Guide Week 7: Using Predictive Index & Talent Optimization to Maximize Business Results
Friday, May 8th, 2-3pm EST.

Join CEO, Kham Inthirath, as he discusses how your business can strategically position itself in the wake of COVID-19. Next up, we have Joe Cundall, a consultant from The Cornerstone Group, joining us. How can we align our business strategy with our people strategy to get optimal business results? Joe will introduce Predictive Index (PI) and discuss how it can help solve common types of businesses issues.

Webinar Agenda
  • What is predictive indexing?
  • Common types of business issues it can help solve
  • How Cornerstone can partner
  • Q&A
Managing Business within an Evolving New Reality

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.
Connecting Your Business to the Commonwealth
Tuesday, May 19, 2020 10:00 a.m. - Noon

?This FREE workshop is designed for businesses that are interested in learning how to do business with the State. The workshop will provide participants with information about:
• The bidding process and where to find bidding opportunities
• The basics of COMMBUYS, the Commonwealth’s online Market Center
• How to market to public entities (including state and local agencies)
Supplier Diversity Office (SDO) Pre-Certification
Thursday, June 4, 2020 10:00 a.m. - Noon
This FREE workshop is designed for businesses that are interested in learning how to apply for SDO certification. Attendance at a Pre-Certification Workshop is required before a business may apply for certification as a Minority, Woman, and/or Veteran Business Enterprise. This workshop will provide information on how to begin the certification process. Certification may help your business to:
• Become more marketable for government entities
• Learn about new government bidding opportunities
• Create Business to Business (B2B) partnerships
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