Monday Update
May 18th, 2020
Baker Announces “Phased Re-opening Plan”
Manufacturing, construction companies, and houses of worship can resume operations with restrictions, capacity limitations, and staggered start times today, May 18. Businesses that were deemed essential will have until May 25 to comply with safety standards aimed at limiting the spread of the virus.

MAY 25, 2020
· Offices*, labs, personal services like hair salons by appointment), pet grooming, and car washes can also open with some restrictions.

· Activities and outdoor locations like beaches, parks, drive-in theaters, some athletic fields and courts, most fishing, hunting, and boating will be accessible on May 25, Memorial Day.

· Other health care providers who attest to specific public health/safety standards can provide high priority preventative care, pediatric care and treatment for high risk patients

· Retail remote fulfilment and curbside pickup

· *Office spaces in Boston can open on June 1 with a 25 percent limit on the number of people who can show up to work.

Restaurants and lodging will receive the go-ahead to open with restrictions and some capacity limitations once phase two of the reopening plan launches. Additional personal services like nail salons and day spas are also included in phase two.

When Phase III arrives, residents can expect bars, casinos, and all other business activities to resume with restrictions and capacity limitations. Large venues and nightclubs will remain closed during phase three.

During Phase IV, the state plans to enter into a “new normal” with full resumption of activities and business operations.

Our loan partners are announcing a new package to help businesses adversely affected by COVID-19.
North Central Mass. chamber launches $415K Economic Recovery Fund
In an effort to fill in gaps across loan relief programs, the North Central Massachusetts Chamber of Commerce announced Friday the launch of an Economic Recovery Fund, which will provide loans to eligible small businesses negatively impacted by the ongoing economic disruption.

The fund will help supplement the North Central Massachusetts Development Corp.’s efforts to provide emergency support to local businesses.

Founding sponsors for the fund include Berkshire Bank of Boston, Fidelity Bank of Leominster, and Digital Federal Credit Union Marlborough, all of which contributed $100,000 to help capitalize the recovery effort. NCMDC also contributed $100,000, the Chamber said. Workers Credit Union of Littleton and BankHometown of OXford contributed $10,000 and $5,000 respectively.
Qualifying small businesses and nonprofits are eligible for loans of up to $50,000 through the new fund.
Those interested in inquiring about a loan should contact Sandie Cataldo, the economic development manager, at 978-353-7600 or email Businesses or organizations interested in supporting the fund should contact Roy Nascimento, the chamber’s president and CEO, at
LISC Small Business Relief Grants
Small businesses across the country, the backbone of our nation's economy, are facing potentially devastating economic pressure as a result of the Covid-19 pandemic. Many have already been forced to shut temporarily, and even those operating remotely still face major revenue shortfalls. With few or no reserves to pay their expenses, many will have no choice but to lay off workers and close their doors forever.

Financial assistance at this critical time can make the difference between staying in business or closing permanently, leading to lost income and jobs and economic instability.

Thanks to support from funders like Verizon and Sam's Club, we are providing grants to small businesses, to help them keep functioning and remain vital facets of their local economies through this challenging period.
Grant Application

Application period for round 3 is now open. Before applying, please review the grant information and FAQ here.

Applications must be submitted by Wednesday, May 20th at 11:59 p.m. ET.
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
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 · · · 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