Friday Update
May 29th, 2020
Massachusetts Reopening Guidelines

Mandatory Workplace Safety Standards
Mass. DPH and COVID-19 Command Center issued mandatory workplace safety standards that apply universally to all workplaces open in Phase 1, and are applicable to all sectors and industries. These safety standards also have additional sector-specific safety protocols and recommended best practices.

COVID-19 Control Plan Template
All Massachusetts businesses must develop a written control plan outlining how its workplace will comply with the mandatory safety standards for operation in the COVID-19 reopening period. This template may be filled out to meet that requirement. Control plans do not need to be submitted for approval but must be kept on premise and made available in the case of an inspection or outbreak. All individually listed businesses must complete a control plan, even if the business is part of a larger corporation or entity.

Required Workplace Posters
Customer facing businesses are required to print, sign, and post signage that is visible to workers and visitors. These posters describe the rules for maintaining social distancing, hygiene protocols, and cleaning and disinfecting.

All of these documents can also be found in different languages here
“Red Back Pack Fund” offering grants to women owned businesses effected by the COVID pandemic
Empowered Women Empower Women
Since its inception, Spanx and The Spanx by Sara Blakely Foundation have been dedicated to elevating and supporting women through entrepreneurship. Knowing the ripple effect that empowering women can have to strengthen communities, the foundation donated $5 million to support female entrepreneurs in the wake of COVID-19 and teamed up with GlobalGiving to establish The Red Backpack Fund. GlobalGiving is making at least 1,000 grants of $5,000 each to female entrepreneurs in the U.S. to help alleviate the impact of the crisis. The fund is open to public donation, so anyone can partner with us to bolster these businesses in their hour of need.
Governor Signs Bill Providing Additional Unemployment Insurance Relief for Workers & Businesses
The legislation includes the following provisions:
· Effective January 1, 2021, expands the maximum allowable benefit period for unemployment claims from 26 to 30 weeks following any week that exceeds 100,000 unemployment insurance claims.
· Effective March 10, 2020, exempts an employer’s experience rating from the impacts of an unemployment claim resulting from the effects of the 2019 novel coronavirus or the effects of the governor’s March 10, 2020 declaration of a state of emergency, and directs resulting charges to the solvency account that are not paid for by federal funds for either a year from the effective date or 6 months after the termination of the March 10, 2020 state of emergency, whichever is later.
· Effective March 10, 2020, provides that benefits paid for an employee separated from an employer as a result of any circumstance related to or resulting from the effects of the 2019 novel coronavirus or the effects of the governor’s March 10, 2020 declaration of a state of emergency, shall not be charged to the account of any employer to the extent that such benefits are paid for by federal fund for either a year from the effective date or 6 months after the termination of the March 10, 2020 state of emergency, whichever is later.
· Allows nonprofit organizations a 120 day extension from the date of the next scheduled payment due after the effective date of this act prior to paying a required contributions to the unemployment insurance system.
Nationwide Unemployment Scam Targeting Massachusetts Claimants
The Department of Unemployment Assistance (DUA) has warned that criminal enterprises in possession of stolen personal information from earlier national data breaches have been attempting to file large amounts of illegitimate unemployment claims through the DUA system. This is part of a national unemployment fraud scheme.
DUA has begun implementing additional identity verification measures that will temporarily delay the payment timeframe for many unemployment claims in Massachusetts. As a result of these measures, certain unemployment claimants may be asked to provide additional identity information in order to verify the validity of their claim.
Individuals who believe they may have had a false unemployment claim filed using their identity are urged to utilize the Department of Unemployment Assistance fraud contact form online at or to call the DUA customer service department at 877-626-6800.
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
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.
Navigating the Pandemic Workforce Training Grant Funds Available
June 5th 1:00 pm - 2:00 pm

If you could have a safety consultant walk you through the development of your pandemic control plan and answer your specific question, would you? If you said yes, you need to listen to this webinar that explains two funding source options for your company to get a significant discount or in one case for free. We will help you navigate through all of the changes you will need to make in your business in order to keep your employees and business safe and healthy.
MassMEP will help your company prepare and apply for training funds through the Workforce Training Fund’s Express & General Grant program.
Our experts will guide you through the application process.
Specific topics covered in this workshop include:
  • Develop a Training Plan
  • Establish Training Objectives
  • Identify Key Performance Indicators
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