Cambridge Local First

Coronavirus: Resources and Virtual Business Services

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Given the increased recommendations on social distancing, we are compiling a list of COVID-related resources and virtual business services. This list will be updated as new information arises. Send ideas to Theo at theodora@cambridgelocalfirst.org.

The following is a list of local Cambridge businesses that are open and operating within the guidelines set forth by federal, state and local authorities. A complete list is here, and you can view the full visualization on our home page. We recommend checking in with them to ensure their availability, as changes are inevitable:

  • Albertine Press is taking online orders online as well as Instagram and email (until we finish building our new online storefront). Free local delivery and shipping options available.
  • Amorino Gelato – Take out 
  • Anna’s Taqueria is open for delivery! We are at 822 Somerville Ave, Cambridge, MA.
  • Armando’s Pizza
  • Baraka Cuisine is doing take out. You can call them at 617-868-3951 to order Mediterranean fusion.
  • Barre and Soul has moved out studio to 100% virtual until 3/31! Your membership and class pack still pay for these Live Stream Experience classes
  • Base Crave, on Huron, is open for takeout.
  • Berryline – Take out & Delivery 
  • Black Sheep Bagel Cafe – Take out & Delivery via GrubHub or other
  • Bondir has a takeout menu.
  • Broadway Marketplace
  • Cambridge Artists’ Cooperative is updating their website with new products and processing orders.
  • Cambridge Community Center for the Arts has already offered five virtual/remote online classes.
  • Cardullo’s Gourmet Shoppe – Take out
  • Casseroles for a Cause is available Tuesday – Saturday from 11AM-6PM for take out and delivery. Each casserole feeds six people. Soups come in quart size. Order at @talullacambridge.com or 617-714-5584.
  • CCTV is operating remotely. Send us your Quarantine Confessionals here, and see what others have done by visiting here.
  • Central Square Florist
  • Charlie’s Kitchen – Take out only.
  • Chipper Confections
  • Christina’s Homemade Ice Cream Ice cream
  • Chutney’s – Take out and delivery only.
  • Cilantro Chinese Cuisine – Take out and delivery
  • Classic Graphx is now fully open for regular hours 9:30-5 PM M-F. Email any orders to postbox@classicgraphx.com. Thanks for your patronage.
  • Cleenland is open, with reduced hours: THU-MON: 3-7 PM; TUE and WED: closed.
  • Community Phone is open for business! We’ve quickly shifted to helping churches and non-profits forwarding their landlines to their phones. Many businesses are getting calls at the office, but the employees are at home. Those are missed opportunities for folks that may be buying giftcards. This solution lets folks answer all those calls on their cell phone(s), and not have to pay their cable companies for service anymore. More information is here.
  • CultureHouse has launched a website with resources.
  • Curio Spice Co. is operating virtually. Our online spice store is open and we are shipping at 50% off our regular ship rates. We also have VIRTUAL spice classes, starting this Sunday 3/29.
  • Dado Tea
  • The Dance Complex has launched a 6 times-a-week engagement online with 3 classes a week, 2 dance/arts/cultural chats and a release of dance video…we want the world to continue to move, be engaged with their bodies (for stress reduction, for creative purposes) and to stay connected or be introduced to the multiple genres of dance and multiple intents of movement/dance. For those new to dance- or shy, or just never feel they have the time, or afraid to enter a dance class -this a great time to explore in the safety of one’s home a mini-world that can be a saving grace in the larger world we live in. We are also connecting some of our 50+ teaching artists with listings of their online offerings to the community. 
  • Darwin’s – Take out & Delivery
  • Dickson Bros. Hardware
  • Dig
  • El Jefe’s Taqueria – Take out & Delivery 
  • Elmendorf Baking
  • Esmeralda – Jewelry, Accessories & Gifts is taking online orders.
  • Felipe’s Taqueria – Open for take out and delivery 7 days a week. Call (617) 354-9944 or order via online food delivery platforms like Grubhub.
  • five doors health + wellness has been working nonstop to turn our high-touch model (bodywork, physical therapy, reiki, etc.) into an online yoga studio. My hope is to keep our community feeling connected.
  • Forage will be offering its whole menu for takeout and delivery for the foreseeable future. More information here.
  • Formaggio Kitchen‘s Kendall Square location is offering discounted delivery to locations within a 2-mile radius of the Hampshire Street store.
  • Gather Here
  • General Optical is open for emergency and urgent needs. Patients have to call us 617-864-0204.
  • Glass Paper Scissors is still taking orders, making art, shipping and available for non-touch studio pickup. Just not doing art markets. They are considering doing some classes online if people would like to sign up for those.
  • Grendel’s Den is proud to re-open for takeout and delivery service starting later this week. We’ve created a retooled menu and customer service protocol that allows for contact free take-out and delivery of individually packaged meals. Simply head to our online menu to purchase your items and select takeout or delivery. For takeout, we’ll have special pickup stations for each order that will promote social distancing guidelines. We’ll also be providing clean and safe outdoor patio seating when the weather permits. We are confident in our ability to deliver high quality, delicious food without compromising the health and safety of customers or staff.
  • Harvard Square Eye Care is offering video conferencing for Emergency Eye Care such as eye pain, red eyes, visual disturbances and any other eye issues. We also offer remote contact lens and eyeglass services. Contact our office at one of the numbers here, and we can help guide you through the process.
    • We offer curbside service, no need to come into the office for pickups
    • We are able to mail glasses and contacts. In many cases, contact lens shipping is no charge
    • We sanitize our glasses in front of you
    • We sanitize the office continuously
  • Healthworks has several 100% virtual options: (1) Virtual class options; (2) Pre-recorded class options; and (3) Virtual Personal Training. We are also exploring numerous avenues for continuing to engage our community. 
  • Hi-Rise Bakery is still accepting phone and online orders. Order by phone 617-876-8766 for curbside service. Phone answering service available starting every day at 9:00 for pickup during the above times. Order online here or in the Toast TakeOut app for curbside service (including wine + spirits!). Order through Caviar for delivery (select items available) Mass Ave location closed until further notice.
  • IK BIO Jewelry by Iona is doing online sales.
  • Irving House still has several guests and is open.
  • J.P. Licks – Take out and delivery.
  • Joie de Vivre is doing remote work! You can still shop by mail, or send us an email or call us (617-864-8188).
  • Lamplighter Brewing is operating our retail counter from 12-7:30 PM each day (for beer to-go and cold brew coffee), we have an online store where you can order beer for pick-up, delivery, or shipping, and we’re running an espresso and pastry window from 9 AM-2 PM on Saturday and Sunday.
  • Laura Jean Floral Design’s online shop is still open, and we are posting design videos on our Instagram account laurajean_floral.
  • Le’s – Take out and delivery.
  • The Little Details is operating virtually. Our online organizing store is open – we’re offering FREE local delivery throughout Cambridge, Somerville and Arlington as well as $10 flat rate shipping. We are also offering virtual organizing sessions, FREE Virtual Organizing  Workshops and we just launched our Online Digital Organizing Course
  • Living Harmony gets people organized virtually (Zoom, Skype).  Similar to in-person organizing, we work together every step of the way.  It’s super cost effective. Any new clients will receive 20% off their first session by mentioning “opportunity.”  Also, Erika is working to deliver live virtual group programming.
  • Lizzy’s Ice Cream is now offering in-store pickup and curbside pickup. Call us at 781-893-6677 to place an order and have your payment ready.  You can still come place your order in person as well but please only have one person in your group come inside to place the order. Our takeout menu is available here, and it will also be available outside our store and on our door. We continue to offer delivery with DoorDash.
  • Nirvana, Taste of India – Takeout and delivery
  • Oggi
  • Ole Mexican Grill – Takeout and delivery
  • One Ramen – Takeout & delivery
  • Orinoco – Takeout & delivery
  • Otto – Takeout & delivery
  • Pinocchio’s Pizza – Takeout and delivery
  • Porter Square Books: Starting on Monday, March 23rd the phones will be open and curbside pick up will be available from 10AM-12PM and from 4PM-6PM every day. If you were planning on ordering over the phone, we ask that you place an order online instead. This will make sure a complete record of your order is created, that can be referred to as books come in. Because of the volume of orders, for which we are so, so, so grateful for, we are about a day or so behind on processing online orders. We are working as fast as we safely can to get the books to you. This has been a very difficult time for everyone, but the support you’ve shown us over the past few days has been amazing and energizing. We are so proud to be your bookstore and we look forward to bringing the world of books to you for many years to come.
  • Pull-Up LLC
  • Ralph J Galante Insurance Agency Inc.‘s office has been open and will remain open for business as long as we are allowed to be by local officials. I am open to questions by all members and non members to any related insurance questions or needs.  I check my email everyday including weekends and can give my professional opinion on any related insurance topics including business interruption insurance.  This will all be over soon and better days are ahead. Please stay safe. 
  • Robin Bledsoe, Bookseller (shop shared with H.L. Mendelsohn, Fine European Books) is now open by chance or appointment, Tuesday-Saturday 12 to 5 PM.
  • S+H Construction is still open and working with clients and potential clients while adhering to all CDC and local regulations. Call 627-876-8286.
  • Spicies
  • Tanjore – Takeout & Delivery
  • Tunc Tanin is offering open tax filing and financial planning services virtually. Additionally, he is offering free tax filing for Cambridge MA grocery workers. They can drop off tax papers at my home mailbox, office or take picture/scan and email them to me. If necessary, he can connect over Zoom and help with any questions. Their Facebook is here.
  • All meetings are offered virtually for the time being. His email is tunctanin@gmail.com.
  • Urban Hearth has refitted their restaurant to focus on take out and delivery for the foreseeable future. They will offer a family style, comfort-food focused menu that can be ordered every day of the week for pick up or hands-free delivery within a 1 mile radius of our restaurant. Additionally, they are working on a plan to provide meals to Cambridge families in need, allowing our community to sponsor meals. More details to come. Ordering will be hosted on their website or by calling 617-682-7295. The service will go live on Wednesday 3/18/20. Additionally, people can buy gift cards on our website to support the restaurant and staff.
  • Veggie Grill – Takeout and delivery
  • Zinneken’s – Takeout and delivery
  • Zoe’s – Takeout (8:00 AM-2:00 PM)
  • List of Somerville businesses

Resources for small businesses:

  • For our older business owners: The COVID-19 pandemic has dramatically changed our lifestyles, and it has made seniors even more vulnerable to a problem that was already a crisis in the US: isolation, loneliness, and mental health struggles. Preventing those issues while maintaining a safe lifestyle during the pandemic has presented new challenges. Strategies for seniors are here, and strategies for parents are here.
  • TripOutside travels around the U.S. in their RV building relationships with local gear rental shops and discovering the most epic outdoor destinations! There’s no denying that current circumstances have unfortunately put a stop to almost all outdoor activities. But there are still ways we can stay sane and active during the pandemic! They have put together a comprehensive guide on how to stay healthy and active while social distancing.
  • LendEDU surveyed 1,000 adult Americans asking them how the Coronavirus has impacted their job status, monthly finances, retirement savings, and more. Their report analyzes the micro-level economic impact COVID-19 has had on our country. It includes various interactive charts and graphs, so people can view the data from different perspectives. Read the report here.
  • If you are interested in assistance with applying to SBA loans and programs, check out the SBA’s partners across the state that can provide virtual guidance and help.
  • Business for All – COVID-19 Business for All Grant Program
  • Seated Hotline – Free Finance and Law Hotline for Restaurant Owners
  • National Council of Nonprofits – Loans Available for Nonprofits in the CARES Act
  • The Governor has signed into law House Bill # 4598 –An Act to address challenges faced by municipalities and state authorities resulting from COVID-19 (see attached).  This is an emergency law that will allow you, effective immediately and during the state of emergency declared as a result of the COVID-19 virus, to engage in the sale of malt and wine for off-premise consumption with the following conditions: (i) cannot sell to persons under 21 years old, and delivery cannot be made without verification of proof of age; (ii) the wine has to be sold in its original, sealed container; and the malt in a sealed container; (iii) the wine or malt must be sold as part of the same transaction as the food, provided that the order is placed on or before midnight; and (iv) customer is limited to 192 ounces of malt and 1.5 liters of wine per transaction. See Section 12.
  • Farmer-specific Resources
    • MDAR: The Massachusetts Department of Agriculture has issued guidance for fruit and vegetable growers related to Coronavirus & COVID-19.
    • MDAR: The Massachusetts Department of Agriculture has issued guidance for farmers markets, farm stands, and CSA’s during COVID-19.
    • American Farmland Trust’s Farmer Relief Fund: Farmers affected by market losses due to the virus can apply for a $1,000 cash payment to ease their immediate financial concerns.
  • Fisher-specific Resources
    • Market your Catch: Looking to change markets? UC Santa Barbara has put out considerations on creating different markets for fisheries. 
  • Restaurant-specific Resources
  • For more local restaurants, farms, seafood in Boston and Greater Boston, check out SBN’s Open for Business – Local Business Directory.
  • Local Catch Webinar: Tune in to this webinar on Wednesday, April 8 at 12 PM to hear from government officials and other technical assistance providers about resources for the seafood industry.
  • Branchfood: Serving Up Support: A Virtual Series for Food Entrepreneurs: A webinar series designed to help food entrepreneurs and business owners navigate the uncertain times of COVID-19 and stay afloat. The series will run from Monday, March 30th through Friday, April 17th via ZOOM from 1-1:30 PM. 
  • Local Catch: An online resource to find fresh, local seafood near you.
  • Grocery Delivery from Local Boston Area Farms and Businesses: This article highlights a number of food delivery services such as Boston Organics, Siena Farms, and WhatsGood that deliver fresh local groceries and produce right to your doorstep.
  • Action Letter – Farmers, Fishers & Food Workers are Essential: Call your representative and demand action and a plan that fixes our broken system. Use this action letter as a guide to contact your elected officials today. 
  • Ensure COVID-19 Aid Gets to Farmers and Food Systems: While Congress has taken an important first step in helping farmers through the pandemic relief bill, farmers are going to need more help so that they can continue feeding our communities, paying their employees, and responding rapidly to emergency needs. Click here to take action.
  • Executive/Business Coaching at a Deeply Discounted Rate: Bryan Nadeau of Vision to Reality Coaching is currently offering 30-minute coaching sessions for $25, for any business or leader who needs help figuring out how to operate in this new environment. Email Bryan to schedule an appointment.
  • The Office of Inspector General recognizes that we are facing unprecedented times and is alerting the public about potential fraud schemes related to economic stimulus programs offered by the U.S. SBA in response to the COVID-19.  The CARES Act, the largest financial assistance bill to date, includes provisions to help small businesses. Fraudsters have already begun targeting small business owners during these economically difficult times.  Be on the lookout for grant fraud, loan fraud, and phishing.
  • Pursuant to Governor Baker’s Order Extending the Closing of Certain Workplaces and the Prohibition on Gatherings of More than Ten People (Closings and Gathering Limitations Extended to 5-4-2020) (hereinafter called “Order #21”), businesses must remain closed for on-premise consumption until May 4, 2020, unless further extended.  You may continue to operate as take-out/delivery only so long as you practice the social distancing guidelines previously provided to you, including but not limited to: not allowing more than 10 persons to gather in the premises while waiting for a take-out/delivery order; any person waiting for an order must be at least six feet apart from any other person, including the restaurant’s employees; providing hygiene stations/materials for employees and patrons/guests; implementing procedures to limit the exposure and contact between employees and patrons/guests; and ensuring all persons are at least six feet apart from each other, including the employees.
  • In addition, the Commissioner of the Massachusetts Public Health Department has issued the attached Guidance Implementing the Order by the Governor Extending the Closing of Certain Workplaces and the Prohibition on Gatherings of More Than 10 People (Hotel-Motel Guidance).  You must abide by the provisions of the Lodging Guidance as well.  
  • The US Department of Commerce provides these additional small business resources, here.
  • Coronavirus business resource guide for Massachusetts – Boston Business Journal
  • The Small Business Owner’s Guide to the CARES Act
  • Bill Unemployment Compensation Provisions Fact Sheet and FAQ
  • FAQs on Direct Cash Payments to Americans
  • The U.S. Chamber has developed a Coronavirus Emergency Loans Small Business Guide and Checklist. This is the first of a number of resources they are developing to help connect members with the resources recently approved by Congress to respond to the ongoing pandemic.
  • The House passed a bill, H 4598 that would extended the state income tax filing deadline from April 15 to July 15. This is a provision that that Governor Baker, Senate President Spilka and House Speaker DeLeo already agreed to. The bill will also give restaurants the ability to sell beer and wine via take-out or delivery and give municipalities more flexibility around property tax deadlines. The Senate is planning to meet today to continue the work on a handful of other COVID-19 related bills. For the latest State updates click here.
  • Massachusetts’ unemployment resources.
  • FAMILIES FIRST CORONAVIRUS RESPONSE ACT.
  • Bill SD.2888 – Business Interruption – There is a bill in statehouse to activate business interruption insurance for businesses with less than 150 employees. Reporting is here, and the bill is here.
  • Square is now offering a delivery service in response to the COVID-19 chaos and is waiving all fees associated with it for the next three months. At Honeycomb Creamery, we have already been using Square as our POS so it was an easy set up. They also offer scheduled pickups and curbside pickup. We do delivery ourselves, so that I can utilize the employees I already have, so this may not work for businesses that couldn’t hire their own driver. Hopefully this helps someone else who wants to deliver but doesn’t want to use GrubHub, Postmates, etc. Happy to help other businesses if people have questions! I’ve been combing through the site and tweaking things every day. Email Kristen (info@honeycombcreamery.com) with questions.
  • Small Business COVID-19 Relief Program (City of Cambridge)
    • The Small Business COVID-19 Relief Grant Program is a special program helping Cambridge’s U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development (or HUD) eligible retail, food, personal services, and creative for-profit businesses with a grant up to $6,000 per brick and mortar business. The program provides short-term working capital assistance to help the viability of businesses and the retention of jobs during the severe interruption of business related to the impact of COVID-19 pandemic and resulting social distancing. 
    • Grant applications are only available starting March 26, 2020 until May 1, 2020 at 12:00 p.m. EST. This program is first come, first served. There is no guarantee that you will receive a grant. 
    • Click here to check your business’s eligibility for the program.
    • Grant Overview – The COVID-19 Relief Grant Program must help contribute to a small business’s ability to remain open and with employee retention. Each completed grant application will be reviewed on a case by case basis. Grant applicants may apply for one or more of the following eligible working capital assistance.
  • Storefront Improvement Program: The Storefront Improvement Program provides financial assistance to property owners or tenants seeking to renovate or restore commercial building exterior facades. The Program seeks to increase accessibility into storefronts, improve the physical appearance of independent businesses and enhance the commercial districts of Cambridge.
    • This program provides:
    • 90% matching grant up to $20,000 for ADA improvements to entrance, including ramps, lifts, doors hardware and automatic openers, accessible parking, and signage.50% matching grant up to $15,000 for other façade improvements, including better windows, paneling, architectural details and restoration of historic features. 50% matching grant up to $2,500 for signage, lighting and awning improvements.
    • Application Form: To participate in the Storefront Improvement Program property owners or tenants must review the Storefront Improvement Program Guidelines and complete the Storefront Improvement Program Application Form.
    • There currently is a construction moratorium in Cambridge. However, applications are accepted on a rolling basis and applications for future projects are welcome today. Contact Christina DiLisio at cdilisio@cambridgema.gov. 
  • Small Business Enhancement Program: During this time businesses may be interested in applying for the Small Business Enhancement Program to prepare for future improvements and projects. The Small Business Enhancement (SBE) Program is a reimbursement grant program that helps eligible small for-profit businesses purchase equipment and materials associated with growing their business in Cambridge.  Home-based Cambridge businesses could be eligible for a reimbursement grant of up to $1,000 for marketing needs. Brick and mortar Cambridge businesses could be eligible for a reimbursement grant of up to $6,000 for marketing or equipment. Click here to check your business’s eligibility for the program.
  • Restaurant owners are organizing: Ken Oringer, Jamie Bissonnette, Jody Adams, Jon Mendez, Michael Leviton and Tony Maws are working to collect as many names to add to a letter to Governor Baker as possible.  Any and all restaurant owners and operators – cafés, pizza joints, burrito places, fancy-pants restaurants… everyone.  We need the Governor and the Commonwealth of Massachusetts to fully grasp the magnitude of the crisis restaurants are facing now, and will have to face when this madness subsides.  Lots of people are clamoring for dollars, and we feel that the small, independent restaurant community needs to be heard LOUDLY.  Our volume will be heard with signatures (for now). Please forward this document to any owner and operator you know.  If they would like to add their signature then have them email BOTH (tonymaws@gmail.com) and Jon Mendez (jon@salonikigreek.com).
  • Farmers, ranchers, and fishermen need (to name a few) emergency payments, debt relief, access to zero interest credit, and support to adapt their markets and distribution, and that these short-term provisions should be linked to systemic reforms.  Farm, fish and food workers should also receive a range of protections including unemployment assistance, paid sick leave and access to healthcare.  Here are the latest policy recommendations that NAMA, NFFC, FarmAid, WhyHunger, IATP and the HEAL Food Alliance have put forward.  
  • Resource for supporting Boston restaurants.
  • GoFundMe is launching the Small Business Relief Initiative to support our friends and neighbors at local businesses facing financial loss from the COVID-19 pandemic. As part of the Initiative, the Small Business Relief Fund will be issuing $500 matching grants to qualifying businesses that raise at least $500 on GoFundMe.
    • GoFundMe has made supporting your local business easier than ever, thanks to partnerships with Yelp and Intuit Quickbooks. We’ve also created a centralized hub allowing you to search verified fundraisers by business name or location. This way, you can help your favorite businesses continue running during and after the coronavirus crisis.
    • Small business owners can learn more about the Small Business Relief Initiative and browse through the FAQs to determine whether their business qualifies for matching grants.
    • Here are 3 ways you can help:
  • QuickBooks is committing up to $1 million through a fund and employee-directed contributions while also seeking donations from other large partners. With support crowdsourced from the world’s largest small business community, we’re excited to see this initiative grow. If you’re a small business impacted by COVID-19 or want to help a local business, you can start a GoFundMe fundraiser. Steps are:
    • (1) Visit Small Business Help to start your free GoFundMe page.
    • (2) Share your fundraiser with your community, using #SmallBizRelief to spread the word.
    • (3) Learn more about how the Small Business Relief Initiative will support these fundraisers, boosting contributions from your supporters.
  • HSBA has created list of these virtual activities that our businesses are hosting – from yoga classes to concerts.
  • Unemployment benefits: If people have questions on unemployment specific to COVID-19 they can visit here. DUA is also hosting call in town halls that people can access here. The call and claim volumes are enormous right now, so those are best bets for getting information from DUA at this time.
  • Business interruption toolkit is here.
  • As of Wednesday, March 18th the SBA’s Economic Injury Disaster Loan program has been activated statewide in Massachusetts.  Staff from the local district office will provide an overview of SBA resources available for small businesses to get help.  Updated details about the SBA Economic Injury Disaster Loan and how to apply will be provided, including:
    • To learn more, go here.
    • Apply for the Economic Injury Disaster Loan by mail or online here
    • Customer Service Center can be reached at: 1-800-659-2955 or e-mail disastercustomerservice@sba.gov
    • No cost to apply, small businesses are urged to submit applications right away because decisions are made on a first-come, first served basis.
    • NEW 12-Month Deferment period for the first payment was approved for EIDL program.
    • NEW Expedited Processing for loans under $500,000 where the submission of current tax return is not required for small businesses.
    • Sign-up for the latest updates here or follow @SBA_MA.
  • SBN has put together a directory of local businesses to support and that remain open for business during the health crisis. The list focuses on our Buy Local region of Boston and Greater Boston. Consider supporting these businesses today!
  • The Families First Coronavirus Response Act was signed by President Trump on March 18. Employers must comply with the Act as they adapt to the challenges and rapidly changing circumstances caused by the COVID-19 pandemic.
  • Join AIM, AIM HR Solutions, and Kirsten B. White, Counsel at Schwartz Hannum for this 30-minute free webinar to get the information you need to know regarding this Act, as employers’ obligations will become effective no later than April 2.
  • Cambridge Chamber has put together a survey for restaurants to share if they are open for take out and delivery orders. This list will be live on the Chamber website and be updated daily. Link to sign up is here.
  • Tax Extensions and Waivers Aimed at Assisting Small Businesses: On Thursday, March 19, the Massachusetts Department of Revenue (DOR) issued emergency regulation 830 CMR 62C.16.2(7), which grants extensions on remitting the room occupancy tax and the sales/meals tax and is aimed at assisting small businesses. Learn more.
  • Commonwealth of Massachusetts Small Business Relief Loan
    Baker-Polito Administration announced economic support for small businesses with a $10 million loan fund to provide financial relief to those that have been affected by COVID-19. The Massachusetts Growth Capital Corporation (MGCC) is managing the program. How to Apply:
  • Complete the application found on MGCC’s website: EmpoweringSmallBusiness.org
  • Completed applications can be sent via email to mgcc@massgcc.comQuestions? MGCC can be reached by email: mgcc@massgcc.com
  • If you have any questions, please reach out to Carlos Hernandez, Lender Relations Specialist at the SBA Massachusetts District Office at 617-565-5565 or carlos.hernandez@sba.com
  • Eversource is offering extended payment arrangements to its small businesses customers. They are offering $0 down payments and a one year payment arrangement. The first payment would not be due until June 1st.  
  • The DOR has given a grace period until mid June for sales, meals and room tax for businesses that paid less than $150k in 2019.  That does not apply to bigger businesses. Here is the DOR site.
  • If you are an employer or business owner, and are seeking information about economic support for small businesses, please visit the Massachusetts Growth Capital Corporation’s website. The website includes information about applying for the loan and completed applications can be sent via email to mgcc@massgcc.com with the subject line “2020 Small Business Recovery Loan Fund”
  • The Cambridge COVID-19 Emergency Fund and Cambridge Artist Relief Fund will infuse an initial sum of $350,000 into the community through grants of up to $1,000 for individuals and a limited number of larger grants to nonprofits and arts organizations. We will also be distributing more than $400,000 in grants to over 50 nonprofits next month as part of our regular spring grantmaking cycle. 
  • Online activities in Harvard Square
  • Union Square Main Streets (USMS) is keeping businesses informed through newsletters and:
  • Online resources.  
  • Business survey
  • Preparing advocacy materials for greater small business emergency relief 
  • Collecting info about e-commerce offerings in Union Square so that we can amplify, through this survey 
  • Fill out the Cambridge Local First COVID-19 impact survey, so we can better advocate for you.
  • Graffito SP and Commonwealth Kitchen policy recommendations
  • Alcoholic Beverages Control Commission (“ABCC”) is extending the terms for bars and restaurants (section 12 licenses) from 60 to 90 days automatically for all invoices after January 18, 2020 provided the licensee was not already listed as delinquent on previous invoices.  The ABCC has also informed us that as it continues to publish documents related to the COVID-19 emergency, they will be published here. Any questions relating to this ABCC Advisory should be directed to them via email to: rsacramone@tre.state.ma.us or rmelville@tre.state.ma.us.
  • Boston Business Journal’s resource guide for businesses
  • Governor Baker signed S.2599 to provide unemployment assistance to workers impacted by COVID-19. This legislation will allow new claims to be paid more quickly by waiving the one week waiting period for unemployment benefits. You can read the Governor’s press release with additional updates here. The latest information and guidance regarding COVID-19 is always available here.
  • Cambridge CDD EDD has a small business resource site.
  • Unemployment Insurance Updates. On March 18, the House of Representatives fast-tracked legislation which grants certain workers a waiver from the one week waiting period for unemployment benefits. This applies to anyone making a claim for unemployment insurance benefits who has become separated from work due to circumstances surrounding the Coronavirus
  • On March 18, Governor Baker announced tax relief measures for small businesses, especially in the restaurant and hospitality sectors, impacted by COVID-19. Businesses will have until June 20th to pay their March, April, and May meals and occupancy taxes without penalty. Learn more here.
  • The U.S. Small Business Administration is offering low-interest federal disaster loans for working capital to Massachusetts small businesses suffering substantial economic injury as a result of the Coronavirus (COVID-19). SBA acted under its own authority, as provided by the Coronavirus Preparedness and Response Supplemental Appropriations Act that was recently signed by the President, to declare a disaster following a request received from Gov. Charles D. Baker on March 17, 2020.
  • SBA Customer Service Representatives will be available to answer questions about SBA’s Economic Injury Disaster Loan program and explain the application process.
  • Eligibility for Economic Injury Disaster Loans is based on the financial impact of the Coronavirus (COVID-19). The interest rate is 3.75 percent for small businesses. The interest rate for private non-profit organizations is 2.75 percent. SBA offers loans with long-term repayments in order to keep payments affordable, up to a maximum of 30 years and are available to entities without the financial ability to offset the adverse impact without hardship.
  • Applicants may apply online, receive additional disaster assistance information and download applications at https://disasterloan.sba.gov/ela. Applicants may also call SBA’s Customer Service Center at (800) 659-2955 or email disastercustomerservice@sba.gov for more information on SBA disaster assistance. Individuals who are deaf or hard-of-hearing may call (800) 877-8339. Completed applications should be mailed to U.S. Small Business Administration, Processing and Disbursement Center, 14925 Kingsport Road, Fort Worth, TX 76155.
  • The deadline to apply for an Economic Injury Disaster Loan is Dec. 18, 2020.
  • Boston Mayor Marty Walsh announced the creation of the Boston Resiliency Fund, which has a $20 million funding target and will provide relief to families needing assistance. This is hopeful news as we look to ways to help Cambridge families in need. Learn more here.
  • Central Square BID and ECBA survey to members. (In the midst of this health and economic crisis, the East Cambridge Business Association (ECBA) is working with other local business association to gather information about our business district that could be helpful in advocating for future resources. The following survey was created by the Central Square BID in conjunction with 8 other BIDS (Business Improvement Districts)).
  • Scout Cambridge article on the social distancing
  • Restaurant Strong Fund: The Greg Hill Foundation has teamed up with Samuel Adams to support those from the Massachusetts restaurant industry who have been impacted by the Covid-19 closures.
  • General Hygiene, Social Distancing and Food Waste Guidance for take-out restaurants and food markets is here.
  • City-related resources and updates are here.
  • SBN is currently sending around this survey to collect information from locally owned businesses in the greater Boston area that have either made changes to their business or are promoting items like gift cards during the COVID-19 crisis. The goal of the survey to create a living, up-to-date directory for folks to see what businesses are open for delivery, what businesses are promoting online orders or curbside pickup, and what businesses may be temporarily closed but are encouraging the purchasing of gift cards. 
  • Segun Idowu is a POC for organizing efforts for minority-owned businesses.
  • Food for Free is organizing food delivery for resource-limited individuals.
  • Nicola Williams is a POC for organizing efforts for farmers.
  • Rachael Solem is a POC for organizing efforts in the hospitality industry.
  • Advice for grocery stores (need Nextdoor account to access)
  • Participate in Cambridge Small Business Programs, including free assistance with experts in financial planning, commercial insurance, and business law. If you are interested in these services, contact Pardis Saffari at 617-349-4654 or psaffari@cambridgema.gov. 
  • Scout Cambridge is compiling a list of closures, cancellations, and extra precautions here.
  • Graffito SP resources here.
  • Best practices are listed here.
  • Cambridge Neighborhood Aid Network. This community organizing initiative connects neighbors to neighbors and provides opportunities for us to support each other in these changing times.
  • More SBA business resources are here.
  • Spreadsheet activism. Stephanie Lee and Meg Miller have created a database for small businesses affected by COVID to make it easier for people to support them directly in this dire moment—particularly with an eye to help businesses that might not be as tech savvy as others. Small businesses with brick and mortar operations can sign up to be on a database that has their circumstances (while not identifying the name of the business).
  • The full explanation can be found here.
  • Businesses can sign up using this Google Form.
  • Folks who want to support can browse the database here.
  • MainVest is excited to announce phase one of the Main Street Initiative. Starting today, they’re offering a $2,000 zero-interest cash infusion to small businesses affected by coronavirus closures, in conjunction with fundraising campaigns to help businesses receive investment from their supporting communities. Learn more here.
  • Toast has banded together with Rally for Restaurants, a program created to help consumers buy gift cards to their favorite local eateries. Why gift cards? When you buy a gift card to a local business, a mini loan is essentially created. They get the income today, and the buyer gets a delicious meal tomorrow. Check it out here!
  • Virtual tip jar. HSBA’s newest member, Jessica Sculley, founder of the Commonwealth Wine School, which is slated to open in early summer, created a Cambridge Virtual Tip Jar for people to donate tips individually to service workers who are out of work, or dealing with reduced hours. 

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