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COVID-19 Update for July 10: Here’s What Massachusetts Businesses Need to Know

As the news surrounding the global COVID-19 pandemic continues to evolve, our team at blumshapiro is staying focused on answering the local business community’s most pressing questions. As of Friday, July 10, 2020, here are the latest updates leaders in Massachusetts’s business community need to know.   

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Insights  <  COVID-19 Update for July 10: Here’s What Massachusetts Businesses Need to Know

As the news surrounding the global COVID-19 pandemic continues to evolve, our team at blumshapiro is staying focused on answering the local business community’s most pressing questions. As of Friday, July 10, 2020, here are the latest updates leaders in Massachusetts’s business community need to know.   

The Latest News

Phase 3 of Massachusetts reopening begins

Phase 3 of the state’s reopening plan began on Monday, which allows museums, fitness centers, movie theaters, casinos, and other businesses to begin operation under appropriate guidelines, along with expanded youth sports – with one exception:  Boston.  Instead, Boston’s Phase 3 will begin this Monday, July 13.  Still, some business leaders express concern that the state may have to retreat if another surge gathers steam.     

National News

Paycheck Protection Program extended; data released

After being approved by both the House and Senate, the President signed into law the extension of the Paycheck Protection Program through August 8.  The original deadline passed on June 30 but the program still had $130 billion in unspent funds.  On Monday, the SBA release redacted data showing major recipients of PPP funding as well as impacted jobs.  (There is an ongoing lawsuit requesting transparency from the program; these data represent some, but not all of the information requested.)  Also seen in the data, the state’s smaller banks lent much more than its biggest bank.  (For previously mentioned PPP resources, please visit the Available Resources for Massachusetts Businesses section, listed later in this update.)

Continuing conversations on additional aid

There continues to be discussion in Congress regarding providing more aid to Americans, but what that looks like is still very much in question.  Discussions are expected to pick back up once the Senate returns on July 20; current themes seem centered around additional aid for businesses and the unemployed, another round of checks to individuals, liability limits for employers, health care and infrastructure funding, and aid to state and local governments.

Massachusetts News

Vote by mail now legal in Massachusetts

A new law signed into effect by Governor Baker on Monday will allow all Massachusetts voters the ability to cast their ballot by mail as a result of the pandemic.  In-person voting will still be made available, as well an expanded number of early voting days.

Massachusetts lawmakers pushing for extension to eviction moratorium

Several lawmakers are advocating for an extension of the moratorium against evictions, which is currently set to expire on August 18.  Recognizing that not all landlords are homogenous, the state legislators are pushing for a bill that extends the moratorium to one year after Governor Baker lifts his public health emergency, while also making more support available for tenants and homeowners hardest hit by the pandemic.

Governor launches Stop the Spread campaign

On Wednesday, Governor Baker announced the start of a new campaign, “Stop the Spread,” aimed at eight communities hardest hit by COVID-19.  Starting today, free testing sites will open in Chelsea, Everett, Fall River, Lawrence, Lynn, Lowell, Marlboro, and New Bedford.  According to the Governor, those eight communities make up about nine percent of the state’s population, but 27% of the state’s COVID-19 cases.

Industry News

Education

Colleges and universities continue to announce their plans for the fall, with remote learning a common theme.

Restaurants and Hospitality

Although now open, Boston hotels are limited in the number of people that can gather indoors, at 25.  Some are making a push that the Phase 3 limit be pushed higher, to 100 people.

Available Resources for Massachusetts Businesses 

Previously mentioned PPP resources:

Additional and previously mentioned resources:

How You Can Help

The community-minded response of Massachusetts’ business community has been nothing short of extraordinary.  There are plenty of ways to contribute to the statewide effort to navigate this crisis.  Here are few:

Future Updates and Additional Resources

We will be providing regular updates over the next several weeks as new developments are made available.  If you have any questions whatsoever, please do not hesitate to reach out.  We are here to help you with your tax and business advisory needs.

In the meantime, you can refer to the following state agencies and associations for the latest information:

And a Last Good Word…

We all need some good news right now – here’s some from this week:

Looking for a little distraction?  The city of Boston recently announced it is hosting free drive-in movies every Wednesday through the end of the month.  The double features are family-friendly and will take place either at the Boston Convention and Exhibition Center parking lot or the Wentworth Institute of Technology campus.  Next up:  “Frozen 2” and “Jurassic Park”!

 

COVID-19 Business Resources

 

Disclaimer:  The contents of this resource are for general informational purposes only. While every effort has been made to ensure its accuracy, the information is provided “as is” and no representations are made that the content is error-free. We have no obligation to update any content, comments or other information for retroactive or prospective interpretations or guidance provided by regulators, financial institutions or others. The information is not intended to constitute legal advice or replace the advice of a qualified professional. There are areas of the CARES Act where additional clarification from the Treasury Department and the SBA is needed. Your judgment and interpretation of the act may be needed. Users should consult with their legal counsel and representatives of the lending institution regarding the proper completion of their application and supporting documentation.

Any written tax content, comments, or advice contained in this article is limited to the matters specifically set forth herein. Such content, comments, or advice may be based on tax statutes, regulations, and administrative and judicial interpretations thereof and we have no obligation to update any content, comments or advice for retroactive or prospective changes to such authorities. This communication is not intended to address the potential application of penalties and interest, for which the taxpayer is responsible, that may be imposed for non-compliance with tax law. 

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