Operation and Services Update from the MassHire South Shore Workforce Team
Although the MassHire South Shore Career Centers and Workforce Board facilities in Quincy and Plymouth are closed to the public until further notice our staff remain available remotely to assist businesses and job seekers. The availability of local, state and federal resources and services are continuously changing. To obtain the latest information and announcements please visit our organization websites at www.masshiresouthshorecc.com or www.masshiresouthshorewb.com.
If you wish to talk with a staff member you may leave a message at (617) 745-4000 and a member of the MassHire South Shore Workforce Team will return your call.
To stay up to date on the Commonwealth of Massachusetts guidance and response regarding COVID-19 visit www.mass.gov/resource/information-on-the-outbreak-of-coronavirus-disease-2019-covid-19.
Immediate assistance on Health and Social/Community Service needs can be obtained by calling the United Way Mass 211 help line at 2-1-1.
General Announcements and Resource Links
Job Seeker Unemployment Information:
- Virtual Career Center Seminars are offered weekly – call 617 745-4000 for details.
- If you wish to file a new Unemployment Claim or have a question on an existing claim please visit www.mass.gov/unemployment-insurance-ui-online and/or www.Mass.Gov/Topics/Unemployment or call by phone at (877) 626-6800 Monday – Friday from 8:30 am – 4:30 pm.
- A complete list of unemployment insurance resources and services provided by the Commonwealth of Massachusetts is located here: https://www.mass.gov/resource/information-on-unemployment-and-coronavirus-covid-19.
- If you wish to file an Unemployment Claim please visit: https://www.mass.gov/unemployment-insurance-ui-online and/or www.Mass.Gov/Topics/Unemployment or by phone at (877) 626-6800 Monday-Friday from 8:30 am – 4:30 pm. You can also fill out a form online at https://www.mass.gov/forms/covid-19-department-of-unemployment-assistance-contact-request and you will receive a telephone call back regarding your UI claim.
- To continue your Career Development visit https://portal.masscis.intocareers.org/ to access a variety of online resources and services.
- If you are a Veteran seeking services please visit the following link for a listing of services and contact information: https://www.masshiresouthshorecc.com/veteran-services/
- To obtain unemployment information and an application in Spanish visit: https://www.mass.gov/info-details/informacion-de-desempleo-de-massachusetts-sobre-el-virus-covid-19
Business Services and Resources:
The MassHire South Shore Business Engagement Team remains available to assist businesses and their hiring needs. Please visit the following link to find a list of services and contact information to receive assistance. https://www.masshiresouthshorecc.com/employers/
The Commonwealth of Massachusetts is providing a variety of resources and services to assist businesses during this difficult time. In addition to the list below please visit the following link for a complete and updated list of resources: www.mass.gov/info-details/covid-19-resources-and-guidance-for-businesses.
The Commonwealth of Massachusetts Business Rapid Response Team has put together a guide outlining the various programs and services available to assist businesses visit: https://www.mass.gov/prevent-layoffs-with-rapid-response and scroll to the bottom of the page to Additional Services for a copy of the Rapid Response COVID-19 Employer Information document or click here.
- Pandemic Unemployment Assistance (PUA) is now available for individuals that would not typically qualify for unemployment benefits such as self-employed, contract workers and individuals that were denied unemployment insurance benefits because they did not earn enough to qualify. The State PUA Information landing page is www.mass.gov/pua. The PUA Benefits Guide Book is located here: https://www.mass.gov/guides/pandemic-unemployment-assistance-benefits-guide. the Guidebook is translated into French, Spanish, Vietnamese, Arabic, and Chinese and additional languages. Virtual Town Halls are provided regularly on PUA and other unemployment resources – view the attached link for a schedule and to register: https://www.mass.gov/forms/massachusetts-department-of-unemployment-assistance-dua-virtual-town-halls. To view an eligibility check list click here. To view an overview of unemployment benefit programs flow chart click here.
- The Paycheck Protection Program (PPP) is a loan program designed to provide a direct incentive for small businesses to keep workers on the payroll. Businesses and nonprofits employing fewer than 500 people can apply. Importantly, the SBA will forgive PPP loans if all employees are kept on the payroll for eight weeks and the money is used for payroll, rent, mortgage interest, or utilities. The program will be available retroactive from February 15, 2020, so employers can rehire their recently laid-off employees through June 30, 2020. Loans can be up to $10M, with a 1% interest rate and a 2-year maturity; there are no payments for the first six months. For more information click here.
- Last week, SBA and Treasury posted a new, streamlined loan forgiveness application for all PPP borrowers. There is also a new “EZ” version of the forgiveness application for certain borrowers who meet any of the following requirements:
- Are self-employed and have no employees; OR
- Did not reduce the salaries or wages of their employees by more than 25%, and did not reduce the number or hours of their employees; OR
- Experienced reductions in business activity as a result of health directives related to COVID-19, and did not reduce the salaries or wages of their employees by more than 25%.
- The Economic Injury Disaster Loan Advance is a Loan Advance of up to $10,000 that is available to applicants who have been approved for an Economic Injury Disaster Loan; it does not need to be repaid, so business owners can think of the Advance as a grant for business expenses. For more information click here.
- $10M Small Business Recovery Fund Announced by Governor Baker
The program is currently closed as a result of the high demand. Visit the Mass Growth Capital Corporations (MGCC) website for additional programs and services as they become available: www.empoweringsmallbusiness.org.
- Small Business Administration’s Economic Disaster Loan Program
Massachusetts small businesses can now access and apply for Economic Impact Disaster Loans at www.sba.gov/disaster.
The Small Business Administration (SBA) has established a toll-free line to answer questions at 1-800-659-2955.
- The SBA is also offering Debt Relief to small businesses. Under this relief, the SBA will pay the principal and interest for six months beginning March 27th, 2020 for qualifying new and current holders of 7(a) loans. Businesses who already have a covered 7(a) SBA loan or receive a 7(a) SBA loan prior to September 27, 2020 will receive this relief. Contact your SBA lender for details.
- Manufacturing Emergency Response Team (M-ERT) and Portal AccessMassTech Collaborative is working closely with manufacturers to set up both supply and market for critical personal protection equipment (PPE) and medical supplies. To learn more or submit an offer to donate or sell PPE, visit the online portal at https://masstech.org/m-ert.
Express Bridge Loan Program to Bridge Long-Term Financing:The Small Business Administration is offering an Express Bridge Loan Program to small businesses impacted by COVID-19. This program authorizes SBA Express Lenders to provide expedited SBA-guaranteed bridge loan financing on an emergency basis in amounts up to $25,000 for disaster-related purposes to small businesses who have applied for and await long-term financing (including the Economic Injury Disaster Loan program).Small businesses who are already working with an SBA Express Lender may be eligible to apply to this streamlined program. Read general information about this program here; guidance is available here.
Interested businesses can use the SBA’s Lender Match Tool to find an Express Bridge Loan Lender and apply.
- The Baker-Polito Administration announced administrative tax relief measures for small local businesses impacted by the ongoing COVID-19 outbreak, especially in the restaurant and hospitality sectors. The collection of regular sales tax, meals tax, and room occupancy taxes that would be due in March, April and May are now due on June 20, 2020. Additionally, all penalties and interest that would otherwise apply will be waived.Businesses that paid less than $150,000 in regular sales plus meals taxes in the year ending February 29, 2020 will be eligible for relief for sales and meals taxes, and business that paid less than $150,000 in room occupancy taxes in the year ending February 29, 2020 will be eligible for relief with respect to room occupancy taxes.The Department of Revenue is currently drafting emergency regulations to implement these administrative relief measures, and they are expected to be finalized before Friday, March 20, 2020.
Phased Opening of Massachusetts Underway by the Baker-Polito Administration
the Baker-Polito Administration announced that Step Two of Phase II of the Commonwealth’s four-phase reopening plan, Reopening Massachusetts, begins Monday, June 22 to allow additional industries to resume operations under sector-specific guidelines. Businesses and sectors set to begin operating in Step Two of Phase II are subject to compliance with all mandatory safety standards.
The following are eligible to reopen in Step Two of Phase II:
Click Here for the COVID-19 Essential Services List https://www.mass.gov/doc/covid-19-essential-servicesBusinesses that are NOT covered under this “COVID-19 Essential Services” guidance can submit an online request to be designated as essential for the purposes of the Emergency Order.
- Indoor table service at restaurants
- Close contact personal services, with restrictions
- Retail dressing rooms, by appointment only
- Offices, at 50% capacity
A FAQ responding to questions submitted to EOHED is posted on the EOHED web page. FAQs for Businesses Live on EOHED Website
- Unemployment Assistance Resources for Businesses
Read about steps the Baker-Polito Administration is taking to ensure that unemployment assistance is available to those who need it at
- The WorkShare program can an alternative to layoffs where employees have their hours reduced while still collecting unemployment benefits. Visit (https://www.mass.gov/workshare-for-employers) or contact WorkShare staff directly for assistance at (617) 626 5521.The Rapid Response Program provides a variety of services to help businesses considering a staff layoff. Visit https://www.mass.gov/prevent-layoffs-with-rapid-response or call (617) 626-5703 for assistance. Question or concerns regarding Employment Insurance can be emailed to UIEmployment@Detma.com.
Flexibility In the Issuance and Administration of Insurance during COVID-19 (Coronavirus) Public Health CrisisThe Division of Insurance issued guidance for insurance carriers yesterday, encouraging them to offer flexibility to individual- and business policyholders. Read the full bulletin here: https://www.mass.gov/news/bulletin-2020-05-flexibility-in-the-issuance-and-administration-of-insurance-during-covid-19
Community Resources and Information
- Department of Transitional Assistance (DTA) Covid questions and answers: https://www.mass.gov/info-details/dta-covid-19-frequently-asked-questions
- If you are a Quincy resident in need of support while waiting for unemployment checks to come through, please visit QCAP for available resources. The Southwest Community Food Center at 1 Copeland Street is accepting new clients and can provide monthly food orders to families (call to make an appointment 617-471-0796). Their Housing Department may be able to help Quincy residents with rental assistance for people who were laid off from the service industry. Their Fuel Assistance program is still processing new applications (617-657-5301). All updates and resources are available here: https://www.qcap.org/important-covid-19-update-from-qcap/
- If you are a South Shore resident in need of support services please visit South Shore Community Action Council (SSCAC) by visiting http://www.sscac.org/ or call 508 747-7575.
- Information on the impacts of the key provisions associated with the Covid-19 Relief Bills on Immigrant Communities can be found on the following link: https://www.nilc.org/issues/economic-support/impact-of-covid19-relief-bills-on-immigrant-communities/.