The BVCC board and leadership are deeply saddened and troubled by the murder of George Floyd last week which has triggered civil actions reminiscent of the 1960’s. These events seem to be the result of manifestations of racism that has existed since before this country was founded and though we do to want to admit it, clearly persists today.
Chambers of Commerce are the worldwide organization that serves all of our members equally, without regard to race or color. We share the anger, frustration and sadness that these events provoke and we are determined to work together to help find a progressive path forward. Chambers Care and have a commitment to racial equity as an organizational value. It is a priority in our strategic plan. We are the catalysts, conveners and champions for our members and the communities in which we proudly serve.
It will take much effort and solidarity to foster the fortitude to work through the grief and anger to strengthen our communities and build a stable foundation to cultivate economic growth and racial harmony. We hope you will work with us.
Governor Baker Will Announce Phase 2 Reopen Date on Saturday
Tune in this Saturday June 6th to Governor Charlie Baker’s Daily COVID-19 Update press conference where he will announce the reopening date for Phase 2, retail and restaurants limited to outdoor seating.
REMINDER: All Businesses Must Meet State Self-Certification Requirements to Reopen
In order to reopen, all businesses must comply with:
Compliance attestation poster – Poster that customer facing businesses are required to print, sign, and post in an area within the business premises that is visible to workers and visitors
Employer and Worker posters – Posters that businesses can print and display within the business premises to describe the rules for maintaining social distancing, hygiene protocols, and cleaning and disinfecting
Essential businesses that were already operating and providing Essential Services were required to comply with the mandatory safety standards by May 25, 2020.
Senate Approves House Version of Payroll Protection Program
The U.S. Senate passed the House version of Paycheck Protection Program (PPP) legislation last night, tripling the time allotted for small businesses and other PPP loan recipients to spend the funds and still qualify for forgiveness of the loans.
PPP borrowers can extend the eight-week period to 24 weeks, or can keep the original eight-week period. This flexibility is designed to make it easier for more borrowers to reach full, or almost full, forgiveness.
The payroll expenditure requirement drops to 60% (from 75%) but is now a cliff, meaning that borrowers must spend at least 60% on payroll or none of the loan will be forgiven. Currently, a borrower is required to reduce the amount eligible for forgiveness if less than 75% of eligible funds are used for payroll costs, but forgiveness isn’t eliminated if the 75% threshold isn’t met.
Borrowers can use the 24-week period to restore workforce levels and wages to the pre-pandemic levels required for full forgiveness. This must be done by Dec. 31, a change from the previous deadline of June 30.
The legislation includes two new exceptions allowing borrowers to achieve full PPP loan forgiveness even if they don’t fully restore their workforce.
Previous guidance already allowed borrowers to exclude from those calculations employees who turned down good faith offers to be rehired at the same hours and wages as before the pandemic.
The new bill allows borrowers to adjust because they could not find qualified employees or were unable to restore business operations to Feb. 15, 2020, levels due to COVID-19 related operating restrictions.
Borrowers now have five years to repay the loan instead of two. The interest rate remains at 1%.
The bill allows businesses that took a PPP loan to also delay payment of their payroll taxes, which was prohibited under the CARES Act.
Imagining the Future - Business and Life After COVID-19
Wednesday, June 10, 2020 from 11:00 AM to 12:00 PM
As a cure for this virus is developed and vaccines become available, the fears in our minds will gradually diminish. However, it may be 2 to 3 years before this fear factor gets to a point where we feel comfortable going tosports events, enjoying concerts or visiting crowded restaurants again. A new way of life and buisness will emerge and we will have to adapt. New business models will evolve; technology and artificial intelligence may play more important roles. More storefronts may become virtual. Home delivery and takeout may become the new norm. Those who adapt and stay ahead of the change will not only survive but thrive; those who do not may be left behind. This session will focus on:
Imagining life and business after COVID-19
Envisioning possibilities for our life and business
Discussing how to not only adapt to but lead the change
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!
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.