Wednesday Update
April 1st, 2020
Governor Baker Extends Stay at Home Advisory and Redefines List of Essential Businesses

On Tuesday, Gov. Charlie Baker extended his emergency order requiring all businesses and organizations which do not provide “COVID-19 Essential Services” to close their physical facilities to workers, customers, and the public through May 4. Businesses are encouraged to continue operations remotely.

The Commonwealth’s administration also updated the "COVID-19 Essential Services" list, which is based on updated federal guidance. The new list goes into effect on April 1 (TODAY) at noon.
· These businesses will not receive a designation or certification from the Commonwealth specific to their individual company as an "Essential Services" business, but they may continue operating.
· Essential services businesses are urged to follow social distancing protocols in accordance with the MA Dept. of Public Health.
· Restaurants, bars, and other establishments which sell food and beverages are encouraged to continue to offer take away and delivery options if they follow the social distancing protocols set forth in MA DPH guidance. On-premises consumption of food or drink remains prohibited.
· Workers at hotels, motels, inns, and other lodgings providing overnight accommodation are considered essential but only to the degree those lodgings accommodate the COVID-19 Essential Workforce, other workers responding to the COVID-19 public health emergency, and vulnerable populations.

Businesses and organizations not on the list of essential services are encouraged to continue operations remotely in a way that does not require workers, customers, or the public to be at a brick-and-mortar premises.

If the function of your business is not listed, but you believe that it is essential or it is an entity providing essential services or functions, you may request designation as such. Requests should only be made if the business entity is not included in the categorization listed above.
Real Estate Permitting | Planning for Incapacity | Co-Parenting | Webinar on Employment Law Issues
Massachusetts Senate Approves Bill Including Provisions to Address Real Estate Permitting Challenges Posed by COVID-19
Relief and some certainty is coming to municipalities and real estate developers concerning the municipal approval process and existing municipal approvals.
On Friday, March 27, 2020, the House passed H.4598, An Act to address challenges faced by municipalities and state authorities resulting from COVID-19. On Monday, March 30, 2020, the Senate approved S.2619 with its amendments. The bill is now the subject of further amendment as H.4612. Continue reading...

Planning for Incapacity: Identifying Authorized Health Care Agents for Incapacitated Patients
If am incapacitated, how will first responders identify me? If I cannot make medical decisions for myself, how will they know who to call, so that person can decide for me? Continue reading...

Co-Parenting During the COVID-19 Pandemic
Co-parenting with a former partner often presents challenges during the best of times. In times of chaos and uncertainty, those challenges can become more pronounced. Not only are parents feeling the impact of the stay-at-home orders, job losses and financial uncertainty, but the children's worlds are also upended. Suddenly, predictable school schedules are in limbo, their social network is lost, and they cannot see their friends for an indefinite period of time. Continue reading...

Webinar Recording: Employment Law Issues in a COVID-19 Remote World
Listen to a Worcester Regional Chamber of Commerce Human Resources Roundtable webinar recording with Bob Young from Bowditch who discusses legal implications from the coronavirus for employers. Topics include:
  • Employee leaves of absence, sick time, and paid medical leave
  • Employee wage and hour issues
  • Business crisis communication plans
  • Work from home policies
Listen now! (You can listen anytime, no registration needed)
SBA Partner Update
SBA released a new Economic Injury (EIDL) processing platform yesterday which incorporates the ability to request an Economic Injury Disaster Loan Advance of up to $10,000. The loan advance will provide economic relief to businesses that are currently experiencing temporary loss of revenue. Funds will be made available within three days of a successful application, and this loan advance will not have to be repaid.

SBA sent out the below message to everyone that had applied for an EIDL loan prior to the loan advance option becoming available through the Cares Act.

We know you are facing challenging times in this current health crisis. The U.S. Small Business Administration is committed to help bring relief to small businesses and nonprofit organizations suffering because of the Coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic.
On March 27, 2020, President Trump signed into law the CARES Act, which provided additional assistance for small business owners and non-profits, including the opportunity to get up to a $10,000 Advance on an Economic Injury Disaster Loan (EIDL). This Advance may be available even if your EIDL application was declined or is still pending, and will be forgiven.

If you wish to apply for the Advance on your EIDL, please visit as soon as possible to fill out a new, streamlined application. In order to qualify for the Advance, you need to submit this new application even if you previously submitted an EIDL application. Applying for the Advance will not impact the status or slow your existing application.
Also, we encourage you to subscribe to our email updates via and follow us on Twitter at @SBAgov for the latest news on available SBA resources and services. If you need additional assistance, you can find your local SBA office and resource partners at If you have questions, you may also call 1-800-659-2955.
Central Massachuetts Regional Planning Commission
Business Impact Survey
If you are a business owner, community leader, or municipal economic development committee in Southern Worcester County and are looking for help navigating the many State, Federal or Local resources that have been rolled out in response to the Covid-19 outbreak, please contact Kerrie Salwa, for direction to these resources. If you are a current business owner: Please access the survey using the link below so we have a better idea of the needs of our region. Thank you.
WRCC Business Survey
We at the Worcester Regional Chamber of Commerce and Discover Central Mass are concerned about our businesses and organizations as we are all navigating uncharted waters in response to the COVID-19 pandemic.

Here is the link to the survey:

Our goal with this questionnaire is to better understand your business needs so that we can properly advocate on your behalf to federal, state, and local officials. We are communicating regularly with these leaders as we seek to craft solutions that will assist businesses, save jobs, and help those who have been adversely impacted by this crisis – from both a health and economic perspective.

Please take a few minutes to let us know how best we can support you.

Thank you,
  • Worcester Chamber & Discover Central Mass
Looking for Working Capital Assistance?
Please visit for up to date information on loan packages from emergency guaranteed loans up to 10 million dollars and emergency bridge loans $25,000.00 or less. Some include payment deferments are up to 12 months.
Help with immediate relief!
Free Webinar: New Federal Employment Act
Thursday, April 2 10 to 11 AM
Join us to learn about the new federal coronavirus employment act, including the Emergency Sick Leave Law, the Emergency FMLA Amendment, and the Payroll Protection Act.

Employers with under 500 employees may receive a refundable credit for up to 80 hours of sick leave paid to employees under the Emergency Paid Sick Leave Act and a refundable child care leave credit for up to 10 weeks under the Emergency FMLA Expansion Act. Under the Payroll Act the SBA will pay off loans for up to 8 weeks for payrolls.
Attorney D. Moschos, Labor and Employment, Mirick O'Connell
Attorney Kimberly Rozak, Labor and Employment, Mirick O’Connell
Thirty on Thursday: SBA Economic Injury Loan Information
Thursday, April 2 11:00 AM - 11:30 AM
Free for AIM Members & Non-members
Join us for a conversation with Robert Nelson, District Director of SBA’s Massachusetts District Office, and Ili Spahiu, Lead Lender Relations Specialist at the SBA to learn how your business could qualify for an Economic Injury Disaster Loan. The SBA’s Economic Injury Disaster Loan program provides small businesses with working capital loans of up to $2 million that can provide vital economic support to small businesses to help overcome the temporary loss of revenue they are experiencing due to COVID-19.
InThink Webinar Series
Running Your Business in Quarantine: A Survival Guide
Friday, April 3rd 2-3pm
Join CEO, Kham Inthirath, and Drift Senior Partner Sales Manager, Bennett Boucher, as they discuss how your business can strategically position itself in the wake of COVID-19.
Webinar Agenda
· What is conversational marketing?
· Drift Chatbot Uses
· Tips + Tricks
· Rapid Response Business Plan + Why You Need One
· Q&A
If you can’t wait until the webinar, book your complimentary 30-min advising session and see if a Rapid Response Business Plan is right for you. Schedule here or email us at
Grow with Google
Digital Skills For Everyday Tasks
Monday, April 6 9:00 am
Learn how to manage work and life tasks more effectively using Google tools. Whether you want to build a budget, create a meeting agenda or organize your priorities, these best practices will boost your productivity.
SCORE Boston Small Business Webinars

Given by the SBA, this webinar is designed to give the most up-to-date information and a potential opportunity to ask questions to an SBA representative
New Member Spotlight
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!
?Grafton Country Store · Carol Dauphinais · 2 Grafton Common, P.O. Box 554, Grafton, MA 01519 · 508-839-4898 · · · Retail Gift Shop

Evergreen Center · Kelsey McGoldrick · 345 Fortune Blvd., Milford, MA 01757 · 508-478-2631 · · · Non-profit/Human Resource/Health Care

Metrowest Embroidery · Mike Smith · 375 Hill Street, Whitinsville, MA 01588 · 617-388-3364 · · · Embroidery

Julie French Interiors · Julie F. Woodward · 7 Lincoln Avenue, Millbury, MA 01527 · 508-523-1209 · · · Interior Design

Praesidium Security Inc. · Jess Bly · 38 crownshield Avenue, Uxbridge, MA 01569 · 508-221-2480 · · · Security

Central Massachusetts Disaster Animal Response Team · JoAnn Griffin · P.O. Box 1317, Douglas, MA 01516 · 508-476-2873 · · · Volunteer Animal Disaster Response

National Gallery Framing and Gifts · Denise Kirk · 15 Old Farm Road, Auburn, MA 01501 · 508-581-9550 · · Custom Framing
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