1. From the EDC

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    1. Massachusetts COVID-19 Innovation Challenge

      Massachusetts COVID-19 Innovation Challenge

      The Massachusetts COVID-19 Innovation Challenge  is the third in a series of innovation pitch competitions to identify and grow innovative solutions to help slow the spread of COVID-19. Companies selected for the Challenge will attend a series of innovation workshops over five weeks, receiving critical mentorship, as well as access to a statewide network of manufacturers and advisors.  The program will culminate on October 30th with a virtual pitch event and a $25,000 prize awarded to the winner, funding which will help kick start the commercial development of their products or services.

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    2. MA Vacant Storefronts Program (MVSP) Webinar

      MA Vacant Storefronts Program (MVSP) Webinar

      The Mass Office of Business Development (MOBD) will be holding a webinar to increase awareness of the Massachusetts Vacant Storefronts Program (MVSP). This program first became available through the Economic Development Incentive Program (EDIP) in 2019, and can be used to help municipalities in their efforts to revitalize their downtowns and commercial areas.

       

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    3. TARGETED FREE COVID-19 TESTING SITES

      TARGETED FREE COVID-19 TESTING SITES

      Last week, the Baker-Polito Administration announced the launch of free COVID-19 testing sites in eight communities from July 10 to August 14 to help stop the spread of COVID-19. This “Stop the Spread” initiative is a data-driven effort to reduce the prevalence of COVID-19 in communities that are above the state average in total cases and positive test rate, and have experienced a decline in testing levels since April. The initiative is being launched in Chelsea, Everett, Fall River, Lawrence, Lowell, Lynn, Marlborough, and New Bedford. Residents of these communities can take advantage of the availability of these new testing ...

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    4. MASSACHUSETTS - PHASE III, STEP ONE TO INITIATE ON MONDAY, JULY 6TH

      MASSACHUSETTS - PHASE III, STEP ONE TO INITIATE ON MONDAY, JULY 6TH

      The Baker-Polito Administration today announced that on July 6th, Phase III of the Commonwealth’s reopening plan will begin and updates on gatherings will be in effect. For the City of Boston, Phase III and the gatherings order will take effect on Monday, July 13th. The Department of Public Health (DPH) also issued updated guidance to mitigate the spread of COVID-19.

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    5. Bay Path University launches Risk Management cybersecurity degree and offers scholarship program for women pursuing cybersecurity degrees

      Bay Path University launches Risk Management cybersecurity degree and offers scholarship program for women pursuing cybersecurity degrees

      Bay Path University is expanding its focus in the rapidly growing area of cybersecurity—and helping to bring more women into it—with the introduction of an undergraduate major in risk management. In addition, the University will offer scholarships to women looking to obtain degrees in cybersecurity. Made possible by Strada Education Network, these generous scholarships will help offset the cost of fall 2020 enrollment in cybersecurity programs.

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    6. MASSACHUSETTS - PHASE II, STEP 2 BEGINS MONDAY, JUNE 22ND

      MASSACHUSETTS - PHASE II, STEP 2 BEGINS MONDAY, JUNE 22ND

      On Friday, 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. 

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    7. ADMINISTRATION ANNOUNCED $41M TO ADDRESS URGENT FOOD INSECURITY

      ADMINISTRATION ANNOUNCED $41M TO ADDRESS URGENT FOOD INSECURITY

      The Administration announced new funding to implement the recommendations of the Food Security Task Force. The Task Force was convened by the Massachusetts COVID-19 Command Center in response to increased demands for food assistance. The Administration opened applications for the new $36 million Food Security Infrastructure Grant Program to ensure that individuals and families throughout the Commonwealth have access to fresh, local food. The Request for Responses for project proposals is available here with details on eligible businesses and entities. The Administration also released a Notice of Opportunity to onboard new agricultural vendors for the Healthy Incentives Program (HIP), which ...

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    8. FORM FOR QUESTIONS ON THE PLAN

      FORM FOR QUESTIONS ON THE PLAN

      The State is working through inquiries submitted regarding Reopening Massachusetts. Please note that every form containing comments is being reviewed and compiled, but only questions will receive a response. If businesses have reviewed the available guidance and have additional questions, they may submit an inquiry form here. Please share this link with businesses in your communities that have questions about reopening in Phase 1.

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    9. Interscape Donates Over $20,000 Worth of Furniture to Charitable Organizations

      Interscape Donates Over $20,000 Worth of Furniture to Charitable Organizations

      Interscape Commercial Environments welcomed the new year by teaming up and donating over $20,000 worth of furniture to 2 local charities. One of the charities chosen was The Hole in the Wall Gang, a camp that was founded by Paul Newman to provide opportunities for children with serious illnesses. The other local charity was Journey Home, an organization that provides shelters for the homeless in the Hartford area.

       

       

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    10. Eversource Reminds Customers to Remain Vigilant Against Scams

      Eversource Reminds Customers to Remain Vigilant Against Scams

      As part of Eversource’s efforts to support its customers and communities during the pandemic, the energy company is reminding people to remain vigilant and protect themselves against scams. The COVID-19 outbreak has led to an increase in scam activity, with sophisticated scammers finding unique and intimidating ways to exploit people and steal their money during these uncertain times.

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    11. MASSACHUSETTS PHASED REOPENING ANNOUNCED

      MASSACHUSETTS PHASED REOPENING ANNOUNCED

      Today, Governor Baker announced a four-phased approach to reopening the Massachusetts economy, and published Mandatory Workplace Safety Standards that will apply universally to all workplaces that are open in Phase 1, and are designed to reduce the risk of COVID-19 transmission to employees and customers. As the Lt. Governor and I have mentioned on our weekly calls, this phased reopening (driven by public health indicators and guidance) charts a course to allow some businesses, services, and activities to resume, while protecting public health and limiting a resurgence of new COVID-19 cases.

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    12. NEW GUIDANCE FOR FULFILLMENT OF REMOTE ORDERS BY RETAIL BUSINESSES

      NEW GUIDANCE FOR FULFILLMENT OF REMOTE ORDERS BY RETAIL BUSINESSES

      NEW GUIDANCE FOR FULFILLMENT OF REMOTE ORDERS BY RETAIL BUSINESSES 

      Earlier this week, the Administration provided new guidance for retail businesses. Under this guidance, non-essential businesses are allowed to bring in a small number of employees in order to remotely fulfill online or phone orders, provided they can meet safety protocols. Read the full guidance in the COVID-19 Essential Services FAQs.

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    13. REOPENING ADVISORY BOARD & INPUT FROM THE BUSINESS COMMUNITY

      REOPENING ADVISORY BOARD & INPUT FROM THE BUSINESS COMMUNITY

      Lt. Gov. Polito and I co-chair a Reopening Advisory Board to map out a phased approach to safely reopening our economy. While this document will be finalized by May 18th, the timing and rollout of the plan will be anchored in evidence that the public health threat is being effectively managed in Massachusetts. We would value the input of Chambers of Commerce, business associations, and other groups in this process. To participate, please submit Chamber- or association-level input via this online form. We look forward to reviewing the perspectives of your business communities and regions to inform the reopening ...

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    14. Paycheck Protection Program Resources

      Paycheck Protection Program Resources

      In anticipation of the second round of funding for the Paycheck Protection Program going live on Monday, the Boston Fed has created a web page with resources for New England smaller businesses including nonprofits to aid them in applying to this program. These resources may be helpful to your organization; as well we strongly request that you forward this email to your networks that include smaller businesses/nonprofits as soon as possible. It is anticipated that the second round of funding will run out quickly and that it is essential that applicants connect with a financial institution able to process ...

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    15. TechSpring Community Connect

      TechSpring Community Connect

      We need your help! Baystate Health cares for a population of about 1M people in Western Massachusetts. That's a lot of people that depend on us, right now more than any other time in modern history. Our care depends on medical supplies that are increasing in short supply, around the country, around the world. Plus, there's a whole bunch of new ideas for tools or supplies that can make a difference during the current crisis. 

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    16. Massachusetts Administration’s response to COVID-19

      Massachusetts Administration’s response to COVID-19

      Massachusetts Administration’s response to COVID-19, SBA programs for small businesses, technical assistance offered through Massachusetts Growth Capital Corporation (MGCC) and SBA Resource Partners, and implementation of unemployment benefits authorized by the CARES Act.  Below, please find a list of resources,  please feel free to share this content broadly with businesses and individuals in your community.

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    17. Information from the Executive Office of Housing & Economic Development

      Information from the Executive Office of Housing & Economic Development

      I’m sharing a call summary below to recap the key points of our discussion and share some important resources related to the Paycheck Protection Program, new guidance on federal unemployment provisions, and the Manufacturing Emergency Response Team (M-ERT) portal. I’d like to acknowledge the efforts of many individuals and offices to implement the Paycheck Protection Program over the past week or so. District Director Bob Nelson and his team at the SBA MA District Office have worked tirelessly, as have many members of our banking community here in Massachusetts. Together, these stakeholders are working hard to operationalize this ...

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