1. Western Mass. tourism industry and small businesses brace for trouble ahead as pandemic pressures bottom lines

    Western Mass. tourism industry and small businesses brace for trouble ahead as pandemic pressures bottom lines

    Due to the coronavirus pandemic, expenses for many businesses across Massachusetts are going up, but incomes have declined for most industries, some by fifty percent or more in many cases. In Western Massachusetts, tourism, restaurants and entertainment venues have seen the largest declines with many businesses looking at furloughs, layoffs and in some cases closures.

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    1. There's a whole number of additional costs that have been added to the industry.
    2. When you've got a large swath of that disappearing, how does it come back? When does it come back?
    3. I suspect that you're going to see the unemployment at the lower wage-earning area of the economy be hit more heavily hit than at the higher wage-earning area.
    4. We're going with the basic everyday convenience store with a good amount of groceries.
    5. I don't know if there's a direct correlation or if there's been a reduction since that unemployment benefit has gone down.
    6. The family-run restaurant is probably closer to living month-to-month than other chain operations where it's a bigger operation, but conversely the chain operators probably have higher occupancy costs.
    7. I think all these programs are fantastic and they're critical and they're necessary. Do I think there's enough? No, I don't.
    8. It could be that there's enough support but there's not enough outreach.
    9. You have no history. No credit. Nobody's not going to give you anything. You pretty much have to make that business work, you know.
    10. I think a lot of people are waiting for Congress to do something.
    11. I think a number of funds are expected from the federal government, and I think it will come, probably mid-September if they can they can work out their differences.
    12. For the protection of workers, federal law requires companies to provide a date of separation for furloughed employees who are not recalled within six months.
    13. We'll also continue supporting current and former employees during these challenging times through the MGM Employee Emergency Grant Fund
    14. I think to some extent the smaller restaurants and the ones that are able to adapt a little more, may do well.
    15. I've actually been contacted since the pandemic by two different groups that are looking to buy manufacturing companies in [Western Massachusetts].
    16. I think that many people have been able to be very productive working from home and telecommuting. That's an opportunity for Western Massachusetts because that can be done quite easily out here.
    17. In addition to adding the 180 roles in 2019, we added approximately 560 roles to the state in 2018.
    18. This work from home experience has validated how productive an organization can be working remotely, while at the same time, reinforcing the importance of people coming together in the same space to achieve common goals.
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