It’s safe to say, business is anything but usual these days, and as the Coronavirus pandemic evolves each day, Massachusetts business owners are shifting and pivoting their daily operations. For those businesses labeled as ‘COVID-19 Essential Services’, they are now obliged to the social distancing guidelines and new protocols. And for those non-essential businesses, they are doing their best to shift to virtual services or had to make the tough decision to temporarily close.
The truth is small businesses are the heart and soul of our local economy. In total, Massachusetts small businesses employ over 1.5 million people, over 46% of the private workforce. Because of this, we put together the following resources to support our small business community during these unprecedented times.
Governor Baker has been reminding the state of Massachusetts that “as a commonwealth, we are committed to doing everything in our power to get workers impacted by the COVID-19 crisis the benefits they deserve.” Here are a few loan assistance programs to consider for your small business.
Economic Injury Disaster Loan The U.S. Small Business Administration (SBA) will offer low-interest federal disaster loans for working capital to Massachusetts small businesses suffering substantial economic injury as a result of the Coronavirus (COVID-19).
Express Bridge Loan Program The Express Bridge Loan Program is available to businesses that have an existing business relationship with an SBA-approved lender; speak to your lender about accessing this option while you await a decision on long-term financing.
Small Business Relief Partnership Grant Program The Massachusetts Office of the Attorney General has pledged $500,000 to provide financial relief to local small businesses affected by COVID-19. Each business chosen will be awarded funds up to $50,000 per request.
SBA Debt Relief The SBA is also offering Debt Relief to small businesses. Under this relief, the SBA will automatically pay the principal and interest for six months beginning March 27th for qualifying new and current holders of 7(a) loans.
Pandemic Unemployment Assistance PUA provides up to 39 weeks of unemployment benefits to individuals who are unable to work because of a COVID-19-related reason but are not eligible for regular or extended unemployment benefits.
Local Recovery Grant There have been a number of local grants created that will assist small businesses, restaurants, and nonprofit organizations impacted by the COVID-19. Some of these grants include:
The Boston Foundation's COVID-19 Response Fund for Nonprofits
We know that not every small business has the same needs — that’s why we put together some additional resources that can assist you during these uncertain times.
COVID-19 Non-Essential Organizations and Businesses Request Form This form is only for businesses who are not listed as an essential service but believe the function of their business is considered essential, or provides essential services or functions to essential businesses, can submit a request for a review.
The Executive Office of Labor and Workforce Development Resources The Executive Office of Labor and Workforce Development offers resources for businesses related to employee benefits and has a new resource page.
Administrative Tax Relief Measures The Baker-Polito Administration announced administrative tax relief measures for small local businesses that have been impacted by the ongoing COVID-19 outbreak, especially in the restaurant and hospitality sectors.
SCORE Resource HUB SCORE is offering business guidance and resources for business owners during COVID-19.
Disaster and Emergency Relief Resources This website will continue to be a resource page for funders with ways to respond to different types of disasters. We’ve listed below the resources that we believe may be the most beneficial:
How Can You Help Small Businesses?
Now more than ever, our small businesses need our support. We’ve put together a list of ways that you can assist your favorite restaurant, shop, spa, etc. during this time.
Buy Gift Cards: Purchasing gift cards guarantees cash flow for your favorite business. Gift cards can be great gifts in the future — whether a gift for a birthday or a little pick-me-up for you!
Order Takeout: Many local restaurants are offering delivery or curbside pickup. Check their websites or use a food delivery app such as Uber Eats or GrubHub.
Shop Small Online: Before purchasing from a big-box chain, consider shopping at a local business online.
Share On Social: One great way to show your appreciation for a small business is to share their messages or products on social media. Remember — word of mouth is a powerful marketing tool and can help make a difference for a small business.
We know these last few weeks have been filled with uncertainty for business owners — but we are all in this together. If you have any questions in regards to your current insurance policy, please call your local Cushman Insurance agent — we are here to help.