The Town of Arlington is committed to supporting the business community during this difficult period of closures and restrictions to stem the spread of COVID-19 infections in our region. Ongoing updates are being posted on the Town's website regarding our comprehensive response to COVID-19. Please contact Ali Carter, Economic Development Coordinator, at email@example.com, if you have any questions or need assistance navigating these resources.
For guidance and information for residents and consumers visiting Arlington establishments, please visit Reopening Arlington Safely.
Arlington Economic Recovery Task Force
The Arlington Economic Recovery Task Force includes representatives from the Department of Health and Human Services, the Select Board, the Park and Recreation Department, the Office of the Town Manager, the Arlington Redevelopment Board and the Department of Planning and Community Development. These Town officials and their boards and committees establish, create, and implement policies and regulations that will help drive and revive our town's economic recovery. The role of business owners, nonprofit leaders, property owners, banking executives, and others on the Task Force is to provide the Town with guidance in order to create policies and procedures in Arlington that meet real needs and address concerns of health and safety as businesses are allowed to reopen by the state. The contributions of members of this Task Force will also inform the town's longer-term economic recovery to ensure the long-term health and stability of our business districts.
Please fill out this survey so we can identify and support the needs of our business community. The survey is confidential and all questions are optional, however those that include their contact information will be entered into a drawing to win a $50 Shop Arlington First gift certificate courtesy of the Arlington Chamber of Commerce. You can only submit the survey once and it is likely to take 10 minutes to complete.
Additional Information on Task Force
Agendas and Minutes
Minutes are forthcoming.
Reopening Massachusetts Information
The following are key steps businesses should take as they look ahead to reopening:
- Identify the phase in which your industry or sector is eligible to reopen:
- Read the guidance for reopening:
- Mandatory Workplace Safety Standards
- General Business Guidance
- Sector-Specific Protocols and Best Practices Please check this link regularly as additional guidance will be made available as Massachsuetts progresses through the Phases.
- Please note that businesses that have been offering essential services and have remained open throughout the COVID-19 outbreak must adhere to the safety standards and create a COVID-19 Control Plan (see below) by May 25th. Businesses with office spaces that have been operating as an essential service have until July 1st to comply with occupancy limits.
- Develop a COVID-19 Control Plan:
- You may use the COVID-19 Control Plan template or create your own written plan.
- All businesses in the Commonwealth must develop a written control plan outlining how its workplace will comply with the mandatory safety standards for operation in the COVID-19 reopening period.
- Control plans do not need to be submitted for approval but must be kept on premises and made available in the case of an inspection or outbreak.
- Before reopening, the business must meet the Mandatory Workplace Safety Standards and attest to compliance:
- Reopen brick-and-mortar operations safely and in line with guidance:
These standards will be jointly enforced by local Boards of Health and the state’s Department of Labor Standards (DLS).
Businesses play a key role in setting a standard for safe public interactions and in restoring consumer confidence.
By adhering to these mandatory standards and best practices, businesses, employees, and customers will ensure Massachusetts is able to progress from Phase 1 to Phase 4, the “New Normal.” It’s all of our responsibility to ensure we move forward, and not backwards, in reopening the Massachusetts economy.
Arlington-Specific Reopening Guidance
The Arlington Board of Health released the following sector-specific guidance for Arlington businesses:
The Town of Arlington fast tracked its retail grocery permitting process to allow restaurants, suffering under the combined weights of social distancing and minimum orders from suppliers, the right to sell food inventory, including meat, eggs, milk and more, to consumers. Restaurants interested in the special permit can fill out the Temporary Change of Food Operation-Plan Review Application.
Open Businesses in Arlington
The Town is maintaining a list of open businesses in Arlington. The listings will be updated at least once daily. Please contact businesses directly before placing and order or going to their establishment to confirm that they are open, as the information on this list is subject to change.
Governor Baker signed a bill establishing a moratorium on non-essential evictions and residential foreclosures. This law provides temporary protections for both residential tenants and small businesses that are unable to pay rent, in an effort to stabilize homes and commercial spaces during the COVID-19 crisis. The law also prohibits proceedings on residential foreclosures during the COVID-19 crisis.
- While this bill does not relieve a residential or commercial tenant of their responsibility to pay their rent or mortgage, it does offer protection for those who are unable to make these payments as result of the economic hardships caused by the COVID-19 crisis.
- Under this legislation, a landlord cannot file a complaint in court to evict an eligible small business for a non-essential purpose (i.e. a purpose that does not pose a health or safety risk). Eligible small businesses are businesses which operate only in Massachusetts, have 150 or fewer employees, and are not publicly traded. This moratorium will last for either four months following the bill’s signing on April 20, 2020, or until 45 days after the emergency declaration expires (whichever is sooner, and unless extended by the Governor).
- The new law does not eliminate or reduce an obligation to pay rent. Businesses that are able to pay rent should continue to do so, and should work collaboratively with their landlords when they are unable to pay rent due.
- Under this legislation, landlords may not apply late fees or negatively report to credit bureaus if the tenant sends a timely notice that the non-payment of rent was the result of a financial hardship caused by COVID-19. Evictions may still proceed when a tenant’s lease violation creates a health or safety risk for others.
Eligible small businesses can use the Form of Notice – COVID-19 Hardship – Small Business Tenant and the Documentation of Financial Hardship – Small Business Tenant forms to provide the required notice to their landlord of their inability to pay rent. Access these forms and Emergency Regulations here.
SBA PPP Loan Forgiveness Application Released
The SBA and Treasury released the application borrowers should use to calculate their loan forgiveness eligibility and apply for loan forgiveness associated with the Paycheck Protection Program. In summary, this form and guidance:
- Instructs borrowers on how to calculate their loan forgiveness amount based on expenses during the “Covered Period” of their loan (i.e. the eight weeks following the first disbursement of the loan);
- Clarifies that expenses incurred during the “Covered Period” may also count towards a loan forgiveness total; and
- Defines an “Alternative Payroll Covered Period” that businesses may adopt in place of the “Covered Period”, which may be helpful for businesses with a bi-weekly payroll cycle.
Please note that, according to this guidance, businesses still need to document that 75% of the forgiven amount was spent on payroll expenses.
Additional Funding for SBA Coronavirus Relief Programs
The President signed new legislation to provide relief and stimulus in light of COVID-19. This legislation is a $484B package which will replenish the dollars in the SBA’s PPP and EIDL programs, as well as provide additional funding for hospitals and coronavirus testing.
The Paycheck Protection Program will receive an additional $310B to offer relief to small businesses. Of this total, $60B will be set aside to fund PPP loans made by small and community financial institutions to reach underbanked communities. We will share additional information on which financial institutions are eligible for this set aside funding as it becomes available.
The Economic Injury Disaster Loan (EIDL) and EIDL Loan Advance offerings have also received additional funding through this legislation, totaling $60B ($50B for the EIDL program and $10B for the Loan Advance).
Using SBA data, HED has published this list of institutions that provided loans to Massachusetts companies in the first round of the Paycheck Protection Program. The list also includes all entities that appeared on the SBA’s approved lenders list, which was last updated on April 13, 2020. Lenders on this list are categorized by asset level, so businesses can easily identify which institutions will be eligible for the $60 billion carveout. We have also noted which of these lenders are state chartered institutions.
Technical Assistance for Businesses
- The Small Business Administration’s Boston District Office connects small business owners to information and technical assistance through SBA Resource Partners. These partners can provide remote counseling, workshops, and other support to businesses navigating the impacts of COVID-19 and include:
- Small Business Development Centers (SBDCs): A network of centers that provide counseling and training to help small business owners start, grow and expand their business. Find an SBDC.
- SCORE: Volunteer business counselors, advisors, and mentors who offer individual free to low cost counseling throughout the U.S. and its territories. Find a SCORE mentor.
- Women’s Business Centers: WBCs provide free to low cost counseling and training and focus on women who want to start, grow and expand their small business. Find a WBC.
- Veterans Business Outreach Centers: Designed to provide entrepreneurial development services and referrals for eligible veterans owning or considering starting a small business. Find a VBOC.
- Massachusetts Growth Capital Corporation (MGCC) also has dedicated tools to support companies managing the impacts of COVID-19 on their businesses.
- The COVID-19 Small Business Stabilization Network consists of MGCC Small Business Technical Assistance grantees, nonprofit organizations offering small business supports, including lending, financial education, and business coaching. Read about the COVID-19 Small Business Stabilization Network here. You can also consult a list of technical assistance providers participating in the Network.
- Translation Services for Paycheck Protection Program applications are available through MGCC’s partners across the state. This service will be available in 19 languages. Access Translation Services here. Again, businesses should consider preparing an application in the event that additional funding becomes available.
The Baker-Polito Administration recently announced administrative tax relief measures for small local businesses which have been impacted by the ongoing COVID-19 outbreak, especially in the restaurant and hospitality sectors. This tax relief includes 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.
The Department of Revenue 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.
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.
State Implements Pandemic Emergency Unemployment Compensation
Massachusetts residents who are eligible for the federal CARES Act and qualify for having exhausted their regular unemployment compensation may now receive the new Pandemic Emergency Unemployment Compensation (PEUC). The launch of this program marks the third and final benefit available for the Commonwealth through the CARES Act. Read the full release.
Pandemic Unemployment Assistance
The Pandemic Unemployment Assistance program is now accepting applications; this program provides up to 39 weeks of unemployment benefits to individuals who are unable to work because of a COVID-19 related reason, but are not eligible for regular or extended unemployment benefits. This includes the self-employed, independent contractors, workers with limited work history, and others. Individuals can review eligibility scenarios and apply for PUA.
Please visit the Department of Unemployment Assistance’s website to learn more about Federal Pandemic Unemployment Compensation, Pandemic Unemployment Assistance, and Pandemic Emergency Unemployment Compensation. You can also consult the FAQ for additional information.
The MA Department of Unemployment Assistance has resources for employees.
- To file for unemployment benefits online, click here.
- For assistance by phone, call (617) 626-6338, daily 6 a.m.–10 p.m. Voice relay 711 via their website.
- The Boston Globe published this helpful article on applying for unemployment in MA due to the health crisis.
- The MA Department of Unemployment Assistance gives daily presentations online and by phone detailing the process of filing for unemployment step by step.
- Información de desempleo de Massachusetts sobre el virus COVID-19 en Español esta aqui.
The WorkShare program, a tool to help employers avoid layoffs during a downturn.
The Rapid Response program, which works closely with companies to avert layoffs and keep a skilled workforce engaged in the existing regional economy or industry.
Guidance and Resources for Businesses
CDC Interim Guidance for Businesses and Employers
Commonwealth of Massachusetts Guidance
Executive Office of Labor and Workforce Development Guidance
National Main Street Center Resources
Mainvest Main Street Initiative
US Department of Commerce Coronavirus Special Topic Conference Call Series
Facebook for Business COVID-19 Resource Hub
Eversource COVID-19 Resources
COVID Relief Coalition--Relief and Legal Assistance Resources for Massachusetts Small Businesses and Nonprofits
LISC Small Business Recovery Grant Program for Massachusetts
Technical Assistance Resources for Small Businesses
Guidance and Resources for Restaurants
Guidance and Resources for Nonprofits, Artists, and the Arts and Culture Sector
Mass Cultural Council
Americans for the Arts Resource and Response Center
The Boston Foundation COVID-19 Response Fund
Event Safety Alliance Reopening Guide