*We will be sending COVID-19 Business Resource Updates on Mondays and Fridays only beginning this week. Our goal, as always, is to bring you the most recent updates and news in the most effective way possible.
The Paycheck Protection Program is a loan designed to provide a direct incentive for small businesses to keep their workers on the payroll.
SBA will forgive loans if all employees are kept on the payroll for eight weeks and the money is used for payroll, rent, mortgage interest, or utilities.
You can apply through any existing SBA 7(a) lender or through any federally insured depository institution, federally insured credit union, and Farm Credit System institution that is participating. Other regulated lenders will be available to make these loans once they are approved and enrolled in the program. You should consult with your local lender as to whether it is participating in the program.
With the additional funding provided by the new COVID-19 relief package, SBA will resume processing EIDL Loan and Advance applications that are already in the queue on a first come, first-served basis.
We will provide further information on the availability of the EIDL portal to receive new applications (including those from agricultural enterprises) as soon as possible.
To learn more about the relief options available for your business, click here.
The Clarity & Confidence Businesses Need Right Now
Fidelity Bank understands that local business is the lifeblood of our communities. And, as part of their unique, caring LifeDesign banking approach, they care deeply about the health and well-being of our area businesses, their employees, and our surrounding communities.
To aid their clients, and all our fellow small businesses, in planning for the proceeds of the Paycheck Protection Program (PPP) relief loans, their CARES Act Support Team has developed a set of PPP Loan Forgiveness FAQs. We hope these help bring you the clarity you need to make informed decisions with confidence during this difficult time.
Coronavirus Update: Congress Passed Congressman McGovern's Oversight Bill
I want to update you on the latest action we've taken in Congress to respond to the coronavirus pandemic.
First, I'm proud to report that yesterday, the House of Representatives passed my bill creating a new panel to ensure that coronavirus relief money is spent on the people who need it.
We are living through extraordinary times. Congress has appropriated trillions of taxpayers dollars out into our communities to deal with this crisis. That money should be going to small businesses and not big corporations. It should be going to workers and families, not the wealthy and well-connected. It should be spent efficiently and transparently, without waste, fraud, or price gouging.
The American people have a lot of questions about how this administration has responded to this crisis. They deserve answers. And they deserve to know their tax dollars are being well spent. Click the video to watch my remarks on the House Floor about why Congress must ensure the money we've appropriated is spent on the people and businesses it was intended for.
James P. McGovern
Member of Congress
A Consumer Guide to Scams
Mass.gov has put together a great consumer guide to scams explaining how scammers gain your confidence to giving up information. Please click the link below to read the article and learn how to be prepared if a scam comes your way.
*Thank you to the Whitin Community Center for sharing this link with us.
Worcester State is surveying our business community, and individual workforce members, to identify the information and training needed for recovery from the impact of the coronavirus pandemic. Our goal is to identify most immediate training needs, and quickly develop and deploy intensive practical workshops and training programs that address the identified needs. This effort is a collaboration between Worcester State's Center for Business and Industry and Center for Entrepreneurship, linking the resources and expertise of these two centers in this recovery effort. Please take 5 minutes and provide Worcester State with this important feedback at New Economy Readiness Training Needs Assessment, or at https://www.surveymonkey.com/r/ZQVQG9B
InThink Webinar Series
Running Your Business in Quarantine: A Survival Guide
Friday, May 1st 2020 2:00pm More info to come
Common Concerns we will address:
·How will my business survive?
·How do I manage my team remotely?
·How do we communicate COVID-19 messaging to our clients?
·How do we humanize the virtual culture, sales, marketing, and customer experience?
·What is going to be our new business strategy?
We’re all asking ourselves these questions while navigating stressful and emotional decisions. InThink is here to help! Our team has been working around the clock to create and launch a weekly webinar series to help our community and businesses.
If there are any specific topics you'd like to know about, please fill out our form and we will create a webinar episode dedicated to your pain point!
Building a Community of Support. As we continue to deal with the COVID-19 situation and our New Reality of disruption, desperation, and isolation, we are offering a series of weekly webinars to help you work through these challenging times that have impacted not only our lives but our livelihood
Next week's hour-long webinar is Managing Business Within a Constantly Evolving New Reality. Complete and utter disruption has been thrusted upon our lives. As we deal with a New Reality that is constantly evolving, maintaining focus can be challenging not knowing what is changing within the world of business or how long it will last.
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!
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.