1. Articles from masslive.com

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    1. Coronavirus stimulus needs to get to businesses soon, US Rep. Richard Neal says at telephone town hall

      Coronavirus stimulus needs to get to businesses soon, US Rep. Richard Neal says at telephone town hall

      The $2.2 trillion federal stimulus and stability package partially authored by U.S. Rep. Richard E. Neal includes more than $375 billion in small business relief. That includes $349 billion for forgivable loans to small businesses to pay their employees and keep them on the payroll; $17 billion for debt relief for current and new SBA borrowers; and $10 billion in immediate disaster grants.

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    2. Coronavirus: US Rep. Richard Neal to host telephone town hall with Berkshire Health System doctor

      Coronavirus: US Rep. Richard Neal to host telephone town hall with Berkshire Health System doctor

      U.S. Rep. Richard E. Neal, D-Mass., plans a second telephone town hall to update folks on the coronavirus pandemic and the medical, as well as governmental, response. It’s set for 12:30 p.m. Tuesday, March 31, at phone number 866-383-2731. Neal’s guest will Dr. James Lederer of Berkshire Health System in Pittsfield which is the parent of Berkshire Medical Center in Pittsfield, Fairview Hospital in Great Barrington and North Adams Campus of BMC .

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    3. Big Y exec on COVID-19 challenges: ‘We will get through this together’

      Big Y exec on COVID-19 challenges: ‘We will get through this together’

      Born in the wake of the nation’s Great Depression of the 1930s, Big Y Foods survived its first decade amid challenges presented by World War II. One of its founders, Gerald E. “Gerry” D’Amour, went off to serve in the Army Air Corps in the Pacific, while his older brother, Paul H. D’Amour, confronted the realities of wartime rationing of food and supplies on the homefront during the 1940s.

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    4. Coronavirus stimulus: US Rep. Richard Neal stresses need for stability in face of ‘economic contagion’

      Coronavirus stimulus: US Rep. Richard Neal stresses need for stability in face of ‘economic contagion’

      U.S. Rep. Richard Neal, D-Mass., one of the authors of the $2.2 trillion coronavirus stimulus package passed and signed into law Friday, doesn’t like thinking of it as a stimulus bill. Instead, the Springfield Democrat described it during an interview with reporters Saturday as a relief and stabilization bill — a confidence boost in the face of what he now thinks of as an “economic contagion.”

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    5. Coronavirus brings ‘full stop economy’ to Massachusetts; 4% of workforce files for unemployment in 1st week of shutdown

      Coronavirus brings ‘full stop economy’ to Massachusetts; 4% of workforce files for unemployment in 1st week of shutdown

      Earlier this year, employees at Massachusetts job centers were working with schools on training programs and helping companies fill what had been an insatiable need for more workers. Now they’re helping the newly laid off file for unemployment insurance benefits.

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    6. Coronavirus: Amtrak suspends Vermonter passenger train through Springfield; other north-south trains run on Saturday schedule

      Coronavirus: Amtrak suspends Vermonter passenger train through Springfield; other north-south trains run on Saturday schedule

      Amtrak has suspended service of the Vermonter long-distance train north of New Haven, Connecticut, the railroad announced this week. The train normally goes from Washington, D.C., up the eastern seaboard to New Haven and then on through Hartford and Springfield, ending in St. Albans, Vermont. The Vermonter will not run on Sundays until further notice.

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    7. As coronavirus outbreak spurs grocery shopping, C&S Wholesale Grocers partners with companies that supply restaurants

      As coronavirus outbreak spurs grocery shopping, C&S Wholesale Grocers partners with companies that supply restaurants

      C&S Wholesale Grocers, which has Massachusetts warehouses in Westfield and Hatfield, announced partnerships Thursday with US Foods Holding Corp. and with Performance Food Group Company. Supermarkets have been busy in recent weeks restocking as shoppers buy more than usual. People are eating at home due to the state-mandated shutdown of restaurants except for takeout and delivery, and consumers are concerned trips to the market won’t be convenient.

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    8. Coronavirus: Chicopee offering grants to small businesses struggling to stay in operation

      Coronavirus: Chicopee offering grants to small businesses struggling to stay in operation

      The city will be offering loans to local businesses to help them to continue to operate and keep their employees working during the coronavirus pandemic, even if it is remotely. Officials have received approval to reallocate $150,000 in the anti-poverty Community Development Block Grant money it receives from the federal government to help small businesses. The loans are designed to provide immediate short-term relief to small businesses, Mayor John L. Vieau said.

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    9. Coronavirus shutdown doesn’t close Springfield Smith & Wesson plant; gunmaker donates eye protection to Baystate Health

      Coronavirus shutdown doesn’t close Springfield Smith & Wesson plant; gunmaker donates eye protection to Baystate Health

      Saying it is “critical infrastructure for the United States and the Commonwealth,” gunmaker Smith & Wesson is keeping its manufacturing plants, including the Springfield factory, operational during Gov. Charlie Baker’s order closing “nonessential” businesses across the state.

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    10. Coronavirus testing: Baystate Health has OK, but lacks supplies to begin

      Coronavirus testing: Baystate Health has OK, but lacks supplies to begin

      Despite winning federal approval to begin processing coronavirus tests at its Holyoke lab, Baystate Health still lacks the supplies needed to get the effort off the ground. Baystate spokeswoman Shelly Hazlett said Tuesday afternoon that the health system is awaiting swabs and laboratory chemicals including a reagent, which is asubstance or mixture used in chemical analysis to see if a reaction occurs.

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    11. Coronavirus forces Peter Pan, PVTA to cut back bus schedules; decision follows trains, planes and MBTA

      Coronavirus forces Peter Pan, PVTA to cut back bus schedules; decision follows trains, planes and MBTA

      Peter Pan Bus Lines has temporarily reduced schedules across the Northeast in response to restrictions on travel and gatherings meant to stop the spread of the coronavirus. Suspended service includes commuter bus service between Worcester, Framingham, and Boston as well as much of the service in and out of Springfield. A full list of suspended bus routes is available at peterpanbus.com/travel-info/travel-alerts.

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    12. Big Y donates $125K to food banks; grocery donations continue 6 days a week

      Big Y donates $125K to food banks; grocery donations continue 6 days a week

      Big Y World Class Markets has donated $125,000 to five food banks in Massachusetts and Connecticut to assist in their response to the COVID-19 pandemic. The Food Bank of Western Massachusetts, along with the Greater Boston and Worcester County food banks, and Foodshare and the Connecticut Food Bank in Connecticut each received an immediate donation of $25,000.

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      Mentions: Big Y Foods
    13. BJ’s Wholesale Club bumps wages up $2 an hour amid COVID-19 pandemic

      BJ’s Wholesale Club bumps wages up $2 an hour amid COVID-19 pandemic

      BJ’s Wholesale Club is the latest company to boost wages for its employees and offer other compensation during the coronavirus pandemic. Starting Monday, workers will be paid an extra $2 an hour through at least April 12, according to a news release. Managers and key personnel in the stores and distribution centers will receive a one-time bonus that ranges from $500 to $1,000.

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    14. Massachusetts enlists of help of life sciences industry to get supplies for emergency personnel; Here’s what they need - masslive.com

      Massachusetts enlists of help of life sciences industry to get supplies for emergency personnel; Here’s what they need - masslive.com

      Gov. Charlie Baker announced a new Life Sciences Emergency Supply Hub created by the Massachusetts Biotechnology Council and several medical associations. The supply hub is the latest effort to track down lab equipment, protective gear, diagnostics and other supplies that the state can send to those who are testing and treating coronavirus patients.

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    15. #GiveMePPE: Coronavirus has Lee manufacturer looking to make medical masks, gowns, sterile wrap amid shortage

      #GiveMePPE: Coronavirus has Lee manufacturer looking to make medical masks, gowns, sterile wrap amid shortage

      A factory that makes medical device components, diagnostic strips and wound dressings is working around the clock to get the necessary equipment and raw materials to start making desperately needed medical masks and other personal protective equipment for health care providers. “We have the equipment in house to make surgical masks, N95 masks,” said B. Stephen Boyd, CEO of the family-owned Boyd Technologies. That includes clean rooms, Boyd said.

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    16. Coronavirus has Amazon hiring in Holyoke, across US; job centers see help wanted notices from manufacturers, trucking firms

      Coronavirus has Amazon hiring in Holyoke, across US; job centers see help wanted notices from manufacturers, trucking firms

      Online retailer Amazon said it is hiring 1,400 people in Massachusetts as part of its plan to add 100,000 jobs across the country to deal with a spike in demand driven by the coronavirus. That includes the new Holyoke distribution center, said Katelyn Chesley, public relations specialist for Amazon operations. Amazon is raising its starting wage to $17 per hour. This is an additional $2 per hour worked through April from its current rate of $15 per hour.

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    17. Coronavirus: Springfield offers grants to restaurants and their employees affected by partial shutdown

      Coronavirus: Springfield offers grants to restaurants and their employees affected by partial shutdown

      Mayor Domenic J. Sarno said the city will offer $222,679 in grants, with a $15,000 maximum per qualified businesses. “As my administration continues to review any and all options to assist our residents and business community during these challenging times, I (want to) see what we could do immediately to ‘Prime the Pump’ to start to spur a ‘shot in the arm’ relief and recovery assistance program for our restaurants and their employees. In the meantime, I ask our public to please continue to support our restaurants’ takeout services as much as you can,” he said.

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