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.
Phased Opening of Massachusetts Underway by the Baker-Polito Administration
- 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.