News & Updates

  • Guidance for Restaurants and Lodging
    Some key guidance for restaurants & lodging just released. Here are more details.RESTAURANTS: Outdoor dining will begin at the start of Phase II. Indoor dining will begin later within Phase II, subject to public health data. Even when indoor seating is permitted, use of outdoor space will be encouraged for all restaurants. Social distancing guidance includes spacing tables six feet apart with a maximum party size of six people. The use of bars, except for spaced table seating, will not be permitted. For hygiene protocols, utensils and menus should be kept clean through single use or with strict sanitation guidelines, […]
  • Disability Workplace Forum
  • Gov’s Reopening Report released
    Public health data, key metrics established to track real-time progress, determine advancement to future phases while mandatory workplace safety standards, sector-specific guidance issued to all Phase 1 industries, businesses, customers and activities BOSTON — Today, the Baker-Polito Administration released Reopening Massachusetts, the Reopening Advisory Board’s report, which details a four-phased strategy to responsibly reopen businesses and activities while continuing to fight COVID-19. The Administration also released a new “Safer At Home” Advisory, which instructs residents to stay at home unless engaging with newly opened activities, as a way to continue limiting the spread of COVID-19. Starting today, based on current public health data and trends, Massachusetts will begin […]
  • Rep. Khan & Rep. Cutler to host panel on Disability Workplace Matters
    Thursday, May 21 at 10:30 a.m. VIRTUAL STATE HOUSE, MA — Residents seeking assistance regarding disability benefits, legal rights and workplace issues for persons with disabilities and their family members in the era of COVID-19 are invited to participate in an online forum hosted by Rep. Kay Khan and Rep. Josh S. Cutler. The forum will be held Thursday, May 21 at 10:30 a.m. and streamed live on PAC-TV at PACTV.org/live. It will also be rebroadcast on the Talking Information Center, a state-wide reading service for visually impaired listeners.  The panel will include experts from The Arc of Massachusetts, UMASS’s Work Without […]
  • Legal Aid Services Forum hosted by Rep. Josh Cutler
  • Legal Aid Forum
    Excited to share details on program I’ll be hosting with a panel of legal aid attorneys focused on topics of special importance during this time, including housing law, unemployment, access to benefits & elder law. Our panel includes civil legal aid attorneys from South Coastal Counties Legal Services (SCCLS) and the Justice Center of Southeast Massachusetts. You can send in your questions ahead of time on any of these topics. You’ll be able to watch via streaming provided by PAC-TV and we will broadcast via Facebook. We’ll also be taking questions live as time permits. The forum is Thursday, May […]
  • Reopening Advisory Board
    Further details on today’s orders and members of the new Reopening Advisory Board ESSENTIAL SERVICES ORDER: Governor Charlie Baker’s emergency order requiring that all businesses and organizations that do not provide “COVID-19 Essential Services” close their physical workplaces and facilities to workers, customers and the public will be extended until May 18th. Businesses and organizations not on the list of essential services are encouraged to continue operations through remote means that do not require workers, customers, or the public to enter or appear at the brick-and-mortar premises closed by the order. This order also extends the existing ban on gatherings […]
  • Nursing & Congregate Care facilities update:
    More details on new measures announced today for Nursing & Congregate Care facilities: The Baker-Polito Administration today announced a second round of funding up to $130 million for nursing facilities to support COVID-19 response efforts over the next two months, as well as increased funding of $44 million for residential congregate care service providers. This funding will support staffing costs, infection control and personal protective equipment (PPE). In addition to increased financial support, the administration has implemented required testing for staff and residents of nursing facilities. ADDITIONAL SUPPORT SERVICES: The Commonwealth will offer support for temporary staffing assistance for all […]
  • Updates on loan programs and worker benefits
    This edition has important updates on small biz loan programs, unemployment benefits, stimulus checks and other types of assistance.  PAYCHECK PROTECTION PROGRAM (PPP) UPDATE: The US Small Business Administration will resume accepting PPP loan applications on Monday, April 27 at 10:30 AM from approved lenders on behalf of any eligible borrower. Congress appropriated an additional $310 Billion for the program and added some new regulations to steer more funds to customers of community banks and credit unions. For PPP loans you apply though your bank and they submit to SBA on your behalf. If you did not already start the process […]
  • New protections for homeowners and tenants
    Gov. Baker signed legislation into law to protect homeowners and tenants from eviction and foreclosure. An Act providing for a moratorium on evictions and foreclosures during the COVID-19 emergency ensures housing stability for residents and families. Here is a brief summary courtesy of Mass. Association of Realtors” Protections for Homeowners: The bill provides two important protections for homeowners: A moratorium on foreclosures for the sooner of 120 days from enactment or 45 days after the end of the state of emergency, and 180 days of mortgage forbearance for homeowners experiencing a financial impact from COVID-19. MAR advocated in support of […]
  • COVID-19 Quick Assistance Guide
    Update 4/21/20. Click image to download PDF
  • COVID 19 Update for Friday
    Gov. Baker just wrapped up his press conference, here are the highlights: 8750 tests yesterday, largest number on any single day. 4 Million pieces of PPE delivered across commonwealth to date, more to do. 18,000 beds statewide. • Effective today MEMA is distributing respirator masks to all police/fire/sheriffs/university police. 200,000 distributed State-wide. • Setting up regional isolation sites for homeless, MEMA opens 5 hotels across state for care and shelter. Homeless shelters can request PPE. Municipality can apply for grant to reimburse 75% for quarantine/isolation practices for personsexperiencing homelessness. Foster Parents: additional 100$ per child reimburse for April to June […]
  • Update on PPE distribution
    New info on PPE distribution to first responders: BOSTON – The Baker-Polito Administration today announced the distribution of approximately 200,000 respirator masks for all local law enforcement officers and firefighters to ensure they have the protective equipment during the COVID-19 crisis. These FDA-approved respirator masks will be distributed to all local law enforcement officers, including sheriffs and college and university police, and firefighters starting today through a coordinated effort by the COVID-19 Response Command Center and the Massachusetts Emergency Management Agency (MEMA). Emergency Medical Service (EMS) providers are continuing to receive these types of masks and other PPE. To facilitate […]
  • Legislature passes bill to help vulnerable residents, support schools amid public health crisis
    The Massachusetts House and Senate on Thursday passed legislation that supports those experiencing homelessness and provides testing and budgetary flexibility to school districts. “The wide-ranging effects of the COVID-19 outbreak on our schools and communities demand action, and the Legislature took steps to help those most in need and provide flexibility to our schools so that they may operate effectively during this public health crisis,” said House Speaker Robert A. DeLeo (D – Winthrop). “By providing emergency funding for the homeless, we are protecting those most at risk. I appreciate the leadership of Senate President Spilka as well as the […]
  • Update On Hospital Surge Capacity
    BOSTON – Today, the Baker-Polito Administration provided an update on the Commonwealth’s hospital capacity and efforts to add more beds to the system to meet the expected surge in COVID-19 cases. The Administration also announced that the Department of Public Health will issue a Public Health Advisory that people should wear a mask or cover their faces in public when they cannot safely socially distance. Hospital Capacity In Massachusetts: Click here for high-resolution versions of these charts. Hospital Surge Capacity: The Administration’s COVID-19 Response Command Center released its initial projections on the surge last week. Since then, the Command Center has remained in […]
  • My letter to Executive Office of Labor and Workforce Development
  • Overview of State & Federal Assistance Program
    Whether you are a small business owner, self-employed, gig economy contract worker, or just out-of-work, there are a variety of resources to help you through this challenging time. Here is a quick overview of key state and federal assistance programs. Updated 4/10/20. Here is link to PDF
  • SBA loan programs overview
    Click image to download as PDF.
  • Business Loan Guide
  • Emergency childcare facilities remain open
    UPDATED: A reminder that emergency childcare facilities remain open to serve children of families designated as COVID-19 Essential Workforce. We’ve heard from a couple folks who were not aware of this. My staff called around yesterday to facilities on the approved EEC list in our area and confirmed that the following have openings: • Bright Ideas Childcare – 112 Hedges Pond Rd, Plymouth – 1 child today/ 29 capacity • Suzette Connelly – Home Child Care – 47 Maple St., Whitman – 0 children today/ 8 capacity • SS YMCA Early Learning Center, 1075 Washington St. (Rte. 53) – 28 […]

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