COVID-19 Resources and Guidance for Businesses from the Commonwealth of Massachusetts
Small Business Resources - from Senator Comerford's Constituent Guide
The Relief and Resiliency Microgrant Program - Amherst Business Improvement District announces relief fund for small businesses. The Downtown Amherst Foundation expands its focus to all of Amherst, MA with the launch of The Relief and Resiliency Microgrant Program, and will be executed and managed in partnership with the Amherst Area Chamber of Commerce. The goal is to raise $500K. The Downtown Amherst Foundation hopes to have funds in place and be open for applications on May 1st with an initial deadline of May 10th. Subsequent deadlines will be announced.
Other Business Resources:
Baker-Polito Administration announced a $10 Million Small Business Recovery Loan Fund to provide financial relief to small businesses and non-profits impacted by COVID-19. As of 3/19/20 they are no longer taking applications but advise applying to the Small Business Administration's Economic Injury Disaster Loan (EIDL) Program
WorkShare Program (Secretary of Labor and Workforce Development) - In terms of employer-related services, the WorkShare program is one of the state’s primary tools to help small businesses avoid layoffs during a downturn. More information on that program can be found here.
The COVID-19 RELIEF for Small Businesses Act of 2020 was filed in the House, calling for the relaxing of loan requirements for small businesses, increased access to capital and Recovery Grants, which would provide up to $100,000 to small businesses that can demonstrate losses due to the outbreak. “The bill would create a new grant program to award up to $100,000 to small businesses that can demonstrate losses due to the outbreak. The grants may be used to address any purpose that would have been allowable under the EIDL program, including:
providing paid sick leave to employees unable to work due to the direct effect of the coronavirus (COVID–19);
maintaining payroll to retain employees during business disruptions or substantial slowdowns;
meeting increased costs to obtain materials unavailable from the applicant’s original source due to interrupted supply chains;
making rent or mortgage payments; and
repaying obligations that cannot be met due to revenue losses.
Governor Charlie Baker announced administrative tax relief to benefit small businesses, including postponing the collection of regular sales tax, meals tax, and room occupancy taxes that would be due in March, April and May so that they will instead be due on June 20, 2020. Additionally, all penalties and interest that would otherwise apply will be waived.
Further: Businesses that paid less than $150,000 in regular sales plus meals taxes in the year ending February 29, 2020 will be eligible for relief for sales and meals taxes, and business that paid less than $150,000 in room occupancy taxes in the year ending February 29, 2020 will be eligible for relief with respect to room occupancy taxes.
The Massachusetts Alcoholic Beverages Control Commission extended the credit terms for all invoices issued on or after January 18, 2020 to on-premises consumption licensees (i.e. bars and restaurants) for payment of those invoices.
Tax Relief for Businesses: The Baker-Polito Administration is announcing tax penalty relief to support businesses affected by COVID-19. The Department of Revenue today announced that it will waive any late-file or late-pay penalties for returns and payment due for meals and room occupancy taxes between March 20 and May 31, 2020.
Small Business Administration’s Administrator, Jovita Carranza, announced automatic deferments through December 31, 2020 for borrowers still paying back SBA loans from previous disasters. For more information, please refer to the Press Release.