Monday Update
April 20th, 2020
Baker-Polito Administration Launches Manufacturing Emergency Response Team
Supporting PPE Supply Production
The Baker-Polito Administration announced $10 million in funding to support a new initiative enabling manufacturers to pivot production operations to produce personal protective equipment (PPE) and other critical devices, such as ventilators, sanitizers, and thermometers.

Manufacturing Emergency Response Team (M-ERT)
The M-ERT is a coordinated response by the administration and leading academic and industry stakeholders to support the Commonwealth’s manufacturers in their efforts to produce much-needed supplies for front-line workers and the health care system.

Companies can apply for grants through an online form for equipment, materials, supplies, workforce training and other needs. A review committee will process applications based on criteria including production timeline and recommend grant awards.
Non-Traditional Employee Unemployment Filing Begins Today under the CARES Act
Self-employed people, contract workers, and other gig workers will have access to begin filing for unemployment benefits starting today, April 20. Under the federal CARES Act response to the coronavirus pandemic, the state has expanded the unemployment insurance program to workers not previously eligible in the traditional program.

The new unemployment program provides up to 39 weeks of unemployment benefits to those who are unable to work due to COVID-19, but are not eligible for regular or extended unemployment benefits. This includes self-employed workers, independent contractors, gig economy workers, and those with a limited work history. Learn more and apply:
Pandemic Unemployment Assistance Now Available
As of this morning, claimants are now able to file for Pandemic Unemployment Assistance (PUA). PUA is available to the following individuals:
· Self-employed individuals, including gig workers, freelancers, and independent contractors
· Those seeking part-time employment
· Claimants that have an insufficient work history to qualify for benefits
· And claimants that have been laid off from churches and religious institutions who are not eligible for benefits under state law
PUA is a separate program from regular unemployment insurance. Inquiries about the program may be directed to Jennifer Lavin at
MassDOT Advisory: Uxbridge, Daytime Ramp Closures on Route 146
UXBRIDGE – The Massachusetts Department of Transportation (MassDOT) is announcing that it will be conducting paving operations on Route 146 northbound and southbound, between the Rhode Island state line to the Mill Street overpass, in Uxbridge. The work is scheduled to take place next week beginning on Tuesday, April 21, and continuing through to Friday, April 24, during the daytime hours of 7:00 a.m. to 5:00 p.m.
The paving work will require intermittent lane takings and off-ramp closures to allow crews to conduct necessary construction operations.
Traffic will be directed to follow the ramp detour signage in place as follows:
Route 146 northbound off-ramp at Exit 1 is closed:
  • Traffic looking to exit Route 146 northbound at Exit 1 (Route 146A, Uxbridge, North Smithfield RI) will be directed to continue on Route 146 northbound and take a right at Exit 2 (Route 146A Chocolog Road, Uxbridge) in order to access Route 146A from Chocolog Road.
Route 146 southbound off-ramp at Exit 1 is closed:
  • Traffic looking to exit Route 146 southbound at Exit 1 (Route 146A North Smithfield RI) will be directed to continue on Route 146 southbound into Rhode Island and take exit for Route 5 and Route 102, Forestdale / Slaterville. Traffic will be directed to follow the detour signage in place and turn right onto Route 146A Victory Highway.
Route 146 northbound off-ramp at Exit 2 is closed:
  • Traffic looking to exit Route 146 northbound at Exit 2 (to 146A, Chocolog Rd, Uxbridge) will be directed to continue northbound on Route 146 and take a right at Exit 3 (Route 16 Uxbridge/Douglas) and follow the detour signage in place in order to reverse direction.
Route 146 southbound off-ramp at Exit 2 is closed:
  • Traffic looking to exit Route 146 southbound at Exit 2 (Route 146A Chocolog Road Uxbridge) will be directed to continue southbound on Route 146 and take a right at Exit 1 in order to access Route 146A Quaker Highway .
Appropriate signage, law enforcement details, and advanced message boards will be in place to guide drivers through the work area. Drivers who are traveling through the area should reduce speed and use caution.
Summary of Legislation Placing a Moratorium on Evictions and Foreclosures
The Legislature has passed H. 4647, "An Act Providing for a Moratorium on Evictions and Foreclosures During the COVID-19 Emergency," which now proceeds to the Governor for his signature. The bill carries an emergency preamble, meaning if signed by the Governor, it will take effect immediately.
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!


InThink Webinar Series
Running Your Business in Quarantine: A Survival Guide
Week 5:Transitioning to Virtual Operations
Friday, April 17th, 2-3pm
Join CEO, Kham Inthirath, as he discusses how your business can strategically position itself in the wake of COVID-19.
This week, we have our very own Marketing + Operations Manager, Kellee, joining us. Now that your team is remote, how do you make them successful? Kellee will dive deeper into some of the operations and communication tools discussed in our first webinar - Asana, Slack, Toggl - and share tips on how to promote team culture virtually.
April 22 2020 11:00am
"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.
Thirty on Thursday: Communicating During Times of Turmoil
Thursday, April 23, 202011:00 AM - 11:30 AM

For leaders, communicating with clarity, confidence, and compassion amid times of economic and public health turmoil is a critical need. Denterlein will provide practical dos and don’ts to assure that corporate leadership can both communicate effectively around tough business decisions and maintain the long-term confidence of your internal (staff) and external (customers, community, regulatory officials) audiences.
The session will help you:
- Anticipate major corporate communications needs
- Communicate with the right tone
- Develop a succinct message
- Identify strategies for directly sharing information with internal and external audiences
- Prepare for traditional and social media inquiries/feedback.
April 29 2020 11:00am
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 recovery
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
Marcia Decker and Judy Curtis Administration