Updates from the Newton-Needham Chamber

We knew this was coming

So yesterday Gov. Charlie Baker did what everyone expected he would do: He extended his order to close non-essential businesses and his stay-at-home advisory until May 4 in response to the Covid-19 pandemic.  More importantly for some businesses, Baker also announced some modifications to the list of what qualifies as “essential.” The Globe’s Jon Chesto has a good explainer here.

And we’ve been waiting for this to come

It seems like we’ve been waiting forever for details about the new federal Paycheck Protection Program.
Actually, it’s only been five days since it became law as part of the larger CARES act. But that’s just shows how anxious — and in some cases desperate — our businesses and nonprofits are for financial relief.
Finally, late yesterday the Small Business Administration shared new details and even published a downloadable a sample form showing the information that will be requested once the program is up and running starting Friday. These loans, unlike the SBA’s continuing disaster loan program, are processed through SBA lenders with forgivable features
Unfortunately, of last night, we still don’t know which banks and other lenders will administrate the program.
The CARES Act also includes an opportunity to get up to a $10,000 advance on an Economic Injury Disaster Loan. This advance may be available even if your EIDL application was declined or is still pending and will be forgiven. Visit www.SBA.gov/Disaster 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 your existing application.
Confused about the two programs? Maybe this will help.
You can also subscribe to SBA email updates via www.SBA.gov/Updates or call 1-800-659-2955.

Do you have a question for Joe Kennedy?

I’m looking forward to asking Congressman Joe Kennedy III about the CARES act and other matters during our chamber webinar Thursday at noon. Scroll down if you haven’t registered yet and email me if you have a question for our congressman.

AG advice about insurance

The office of Attorney General Attorney General Maura Healey offers this advice regarding insurance:
“You may want to contact your insurance company or insurance agent to ask whether any of your commercial insurance policies can be re-rated mid-term based on reduced exposures (e.g., reduced payroll or sales figures) While these types of audits typically take place at the end of the policy term, securing a mid-term review may help provide your business with immediate premium relief. If you are having trouble paying your commercial premiums, you should also speak to your agent or insurer about options to postpone payments.” Healey’s office has an FAQ for employer obligations and employee rights during COVID-19, which you can read here.

Don’t rip up your disruption policy

And speaking of insurance, Grafitto, the real estate development and design firm, explains why landlords and tenants should file business interruption claims with their insurers even if they’ve told that pandemics aren’t covered in their policy.

Governor urges self-employed and 1099 workers to wait 

Governor Baker urged that certain individuals wait for a state alert before applying for unemployment insurance.
Under the federal CARES act, self-employed and 1099 workers, in addition to individuals who have exhausted their original state unemployment insurance benefits, will be able to apply for unemployment insurance. 
Baker indicated that individuals should apply when Massachusetts receives federal guidance and subsequently notifies the public that the claims can be made.

Greg ReibmanPresident, Newton-Needham Regional Chamber 617-244-1688

NEW WEBINAR
How to support those at risk for suicide with Kendra McDonald, Samaritans, Inc.
Thurs. April 2, 4:15 to 5:15 p.m.
Online Zoom Webinar
Free, open to all
Kendra McDonald, Community Education and Outreach Manager for Samaritans, Inc will shed light on common statistics, myths, risk factors, and warning signs related to suicide. Participants will also be invited to build skills similar to those used by 24-hour helpline volunteers to support those who may be in need.
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TOMORROW
Government Affairs Series
A conversation with Congressman Kennedy 
Thurs. April 2, noon to 1 p.m.
Online Zoom Meeting
Free, but RSVP required
Join Congressman Joe Kennedy III for an online conversation about the federal response to Covid-19 and challenges facing our businesses and nonprofits, followed by your questions.
Email your questions in advance to Greg Reibman
RSVP HERE
Resources
The Small Business Owner’s Guide to the CARES Act
SBA Disaster Loan Program Unemployment information
Mass.gov covid-19 resources & guidance for businesses 
Chamber homepage
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