Message from the president
August 7, 2020
August 5, 2020
July 30, 2020
July 27, 2020
July 23, 2020
July 21, 2020
July 16, 2020
July 14, 2020
|Yesterday, the Governor commended the continued efforts of businesses and residents alike to prevent the spread of COVID-19. He noted that the state remains at a low 7-day rolling average of under 2 percent. To continue that low rate, the Administration launched a new compliance Web portal which will allow residents to report non-compliance of the safety protocols in an effort to promote accountability
July 9, 2020
July 7, 2020
On Saturday, while many were enjoying Independence Day celebrations, President Trump signed legislation extending the deadline for applications for the Payroll Protection Program through August 8. While more than $500 billion in loans were issued, approximately $130 billion in funding remains available. On Monday, the Small Business Administration reopened its application process. With the July 15 federal tax deadline looming, employers should speak with their tax professional about the Employee Retention Tax Credit and its interplay with the PPP program.
Yesterday, the Commonwealth officially entered Phase 3 (VIGILANT) further opening up the economy. Also on Monday, Governor Baker signed legislation expanding mail-in and early voting for the fall. The legislation will allow any voter to cast a ballot by mail without the need to qualify for an absentee ballot. All residents of the Commonwealth will receive a mail-in ballot for the primary election and another for the general election. The new law also allows for early voting for both the primary and the general elections. August 22-28 will be the early voting period for the September primary with October 17-30 for the November general election. While the public health data continues its positive trend, this new law is aimed at not only ensuring maximum participation in the voting process but to minimize the COVID-19 risks.
The Administration also issued new guidance to expand testing of asymptomatic individuals at the discretion of an individual’s health professional. With more than 1 million tests administered to date, Massachusetts remains at the forefront in its testing capacity, its contact tracing program, and -- most importantly -- its low positivity rate.
Continue to follow the public health guidelines, and we can continue to remain a leader.
Stay safe and stay well.
June 30, 2020
June 25, 2020
Quickly Evolving News
June 23, 2020
- 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%.
June 12, 2020
June 6, 2020
June 4, 2020
- Extending the eight-week loan term, now allowing borrowers 24 weeks to use the PPP funding in order to be eligible for loan forgiveness
- Lowering the threshold of the required loan forgiveness payroll percentage from a 75/25 ratio to 60% or more of payroll and up to 40% on other costs.
- Extending the covered period from June 30 to December 31
- Extending the loan repayment period from two years to five years
- Allowing borrowers whose loan is forgiven to be able to defer payroll taxes
A Brief Pause for In-Person Programming
All around us, our region is taking action to minimize the spread of COVID-19. In congruence with the guidance of Governor Baker as well as the actions of other chambers and organizations, the Springfield Regional Chamber will pause in-person programming until May 1, at which point we will determine next steps.
We intend to reschedule our current events, including Fire & Ice, the Mayors' Forum and our Beacon Hill Summit, when it is safe to do so. Just like you, we are taking this situation seriously and day-by-day.
BUSINESS DOESN'T STOP... AND NEITHER DO WE
Business hasn't stopped, and your Chamber hasn't either. Our legislative advocacy work in Boston continues. Board and Committee meetings will continue virtually. And our staff will continue to work, be it in the office or from home, to serve our members during this challenging time.
A NEW STRATEGY
New developments call for a new strategy. To that end, we're refocusing some of our resources to support digital member and community engagement.
Be on the lookout for webinars, our regular newsletters, as well as exciting member stories and engagement opportunities on our social platforms. We will continue to build community and support commerce, even "from home.”
We will be processing refunds for anyone who has already purchased admission to events previously scheduled in the near future: Multi-Chamber Speed Networking Breakfast, Mayor's Forum 2020, Fire & Ice, Beacon Hill Summit 2020.