Friday Update
May 15th, 2020
HEROES ACT, House Proposal for "Phase 4" of COVID-19 Stimulus Relief
The U.S. House of Representatives is expected to take up a 4th round of federal stimulus funding in response to COVID-19. HR 6800, "The Heroes [Health and Economic Recovery Omnibus Emergency Solutions] Act," is a roughly $3 trillion spending plan that would provide funding for state, local, and tribal governments; hazard pay for essential workers; extension of unemployment benefits; funding for testing, tracing, and treatments; forgiveness of student loan debt; assistance to renters and homeowners for foreclosure and eviction prevention; election security funding; financial relief for the U.S. Postal Service; and an additional round of direct stimulus payments to citizens, among other provisions.
For a full summary of the bill, as prepared by the House Appropriations Committee, click here. You may also access the full text of the legislation online here. We will keep our members informed of any and all updates regarding this.
EDA Now Accepting Applications for CARES Act Recovery Assistance to Support Construction, Non-Construction, Planning, & Technical Assistance for Public Works and EAA Programs
This funding opportunity will provide investments that support construction, non construction, planning, technical assistance, and revolving loan fund projects under EDA’s Public Works program and EAA program. Grants and cooperative agreements made under these programs are designed to leverage existing regional assets and support the implementation of economic development strategies that advance new ideas and creative approaches to advance economic prosperity in distressed communities.
Eligible applicants include:
· District Organizations of EDA-designated Economic Development Districts
· State, county, city or other political subdivisions
· Higher education institutions and consortiums
· Public or private non-profits or associations acting in cooperation with officials of a political subdivision of a state
SBA Issues New Regulations for Women-Owned Small Business Federal Contracting Program
Dear Business Leaders:
I am writing to share with you an update from the Small Business Administration (SBA). Please find the information below.
SBA recently published Women-Owned Small Business Federal Contracting program regulations that will provide a free, online certification and eligibility application process for women-owned small businesses and economically-disadvantaged women-owned small businesses. The timeline for implementation of changes to SBA’s WOSB program has been delayed to accommodate those affected by the current pandemic.
Starting July 15, 2020, SBA will begin to implement changes consistent with the Small Business Act as amended in the National Defense Authorization Act for Fiscal Year 2015. In addition to the certification requirement for firms seeking WOSB and EDWOSB set-aside contracts, the regulations detail certification options for applicants and require authorized third-party certifiers to notify applicants of their fees and the option to use SBA’s free online certification process.
Below are some important timelines for firms to keep in mind:
  • The current self-certification process will remain available for firms until October 15, 2020, in sba.gov;
  • Between now and July 15, 2020, WOSBs must download their documentation, currently housed in the WOSB Program Repository, from sba.gov;
  • On July 15, 2020, firms can begin submitting applications for initial processing; and
  • On October 15, 2020, SBA will begin issuing decisions on certification.
The regulations detail important changes to the certification process, including the following:
  • Allows participation from firms certified by the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs Center of Verification and Evaluations, provided they meet all eligibility requirements;
  • Confirms the continued participation of approved third-party certifiers;
  • Eliminates the self-certification option from sba.gov, effective October 15, 2020; and
  • Adopts a $750,000 net worth standard when assessing economic disadvantage for individuals in the 8(a) Business Development Program (8(a) Program). Additionally, funds invested in official retirement accounts are excluded from the analysis of an economically-disadvantaged individual’s personal net worth in both the WOSB and 8(a) Programs. This makes the economic disadvantage threshold and analysis consistent for EDWOSBs and 8(a) Program participants.
The new WOSB Program regulations will make it easier and more efficient for contracting officers to set aside and make awards to firms certified as WOSBs and EDWOSBs and will better empower agencies to meet the 5% federal contracting goal for women-owned small businesses.
I hope you find this information helpful. If I can be of further assistance on this or any other matter please do not hesitate to contact my office.

Sincerely,
James P. McGovern
Member of Congress
Remember to complete the 2020 Census!

Responding to the census is not only your civic duty; it also affects the amount of funding your community receives, how your community plans for the future, and your representation in government.
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
UPCOMING WEBINARS
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)
Return to the Workplace-Here’s What We Know Webinar
Tuesday, May 19, 2020 10:00 a.m. - Noon

?Massachusetts will re-open its economy in four phases beginning as early as Monday.
But that’s just the beginning of the challenge facing both essential businesses that have been operating throughout the COVID-19 crisis and non-essential businesses preparing to open their doors again.
Re-opening presents a multitude of issues ranging from ensuring workplace safety to reconciling unemployment insurance to industry specific regulations. Join AIM Executive Vice President of Government Affairs Brooke Thomson as Michael Kennealy, Massachusetts Secretary of Housing and Economic Development, and Tom Wesley, Chair of the AIM Re-Opening Task Force, outline the roadmap to re-opening.
Identifying Opportunities Within Adversities
Wednesday, May 20, 2020 11:00 a.m.

"In every adversity lies the seed of an equal or greater opportunity." This famous quote from Napoleon Hill looks to the brighter side of dark situations. 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 to:
  • Escape the bombardment of negative news and information
  • Identify opportunities within the current situation of these challenging times
  • Brainstorm opportunities that will emerge afterwards from this crisis
InThink Webinar Series
Running Your Business in Quarantine: A Survival Guide
Week 8: Drive Results with Talent
Friday, May 22, 2020 2:00 p.m.

Next up, we have Joe Warrino and Sandy Knight, from Modern Business Solutions. Now that we have transitioned to a virtual format, how can we empower our remote team? Joe and Sandy will share unique tips on how to use Microsoft Power Platform to modernize collaboration!
Webinar Agenda
  • Who we are (Modern Business Solutions)
  • Microsoft Power Platform Overview
  • Business and IT Challenges - normal issues and new issues due to COVID-19
  • Empowering Remote Workers
  • Case Studies
  • Q&A

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
MassHire is hosting a virtual Job Fair June 4th at 10:00am to help connect manufacturers with job seekers in the community.
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 · rob@noreasterroofing.com · www.noreasterroofing.com · Roofing

The Crafty Nest DIY · Lesley Woods · 508-341-3781 · Thecraftynestdiy@gmail.com · www.thecraftydiy.com · Retail – Arts and Crafts

Berry Insurance · Kaitlyn Pintarich · 508-528-5200 · kpintarich@berryinsurance.com · www.berryinsurance.com ·

The Candy Shoppe · Todd Wellette · 508-865-0085 · twillette@berizon.net · Retail – Candy Shop

SERVPRO Worcester · Angelique Harvey · 508-757-7885 · Jess.bly@praesdium-security.com · www.praesidium-security.com · Security

Olympus Scientific Solutions Americas · Daniel Shapiro · 781-419-3704 · Daniel.shapiro@olympus.com · www.olympus-ims.com · Industrial Equipment Supplies

Human Power Solutions · Sandra Kearney · 617-575-9959 · skearney@hpowersolutions.com · www.hpowersolutions.com · 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 jhebert@blackstonevalley.org
Liz O’Neil Programs and Events Coordinator loneil@blackstonevalley.org
Julia Juskavitch Marketing Coordinator jjuskavitch@blackstonevalley.org