Resources for Businesses
Business Impact Survey
Help us understand the challenges you are facing.
A coalition of small business advocacy organizations, including the South Boston Chamber of Commerce, are asking businesses across the state to complete a survey so we can collectively advocate for policy measures and relief packages that will have the biggest impact on you, as a small business owner in Massachusetts.
Your response will also help us learn what issues you are facing in our specific community, so we can advocate for South Boston businesses at the local and state level.
This survey is modeled on the one deployed after the 2018 gas explosions in the Merrimack Valley. Information collected from that survey helped secure support for small businesses which were unable to operate for months.
**NEW** Don't have Internet access?
The Boston Public Library is offering assistance for people without Internet access. Call a number below to speak with BPL staff, or leave a voicemail and get a return call.
General Reference 617-536-5400
Technical Assistance 617-859-2323
ESL Support 617-859-2446
Resume Help 339-215-3866
SCORE Small Business Mentoring 617-565-5591
COVID-19 Resource Center for Businesses
Seyfarth, an international legal firm with offices in Boston, has created an online portal to help "guide businesses through the growing legal considerations and risks they face." Visit the online Resource Center here.
As part of their COVID-19 response, Seyfarth has been providing online webinars about key business concerns, including accessing federal stimulus funding, insurance concerns, and mortgage and loan implications of the pandemic.
Small Business Owners' Guide to the CARES Act
The Commonwealth of Massachusetts has created a list of resources for small businesses, which includes links and information on SBA Loan programs and resources available through the CARES Act.
An updated list of businesses designated by Gov. Baker as "essential" was released April 1. Click here for the most up-to-date list of businesses allowed to operate during this time.
If the function of your business is NOT listed in the guidance linked above, but you believe that it is essential or it is an entity providing essential services or functions, you can submit an online request using this form to be designated as essential for the purposes of the Emergency Order.
Operational businesses should register online if they are still open. The Open Business Listing helps residents find and support businesses that are continuing to operate. Register your business here.
Small Business Assistance from the City of Boston
The Mayor's Office of Economic Development has many resources and guidance documents for small business owners in the city. Below are some of the most relevant to our members. Visit the Economic Development website here.
Small Business Conference Calls The City of Boston held a Small Business Conference Call on March 31st. You can view the recording here.
Small Business Technical Assistance The City's Small Business Team offering one-on-one technical assistance to help get services online. Interested businesses can reach out through firstname.lastname@example.org.
Contact your Neighborhood Business Manager
South Boston: Tom McDonough, email@example.com
Seaport: Abby Furey, firstname.lastname@example.org
Financial Assistance for Businesses
We encourage you to review the City of Boston's Financial Relief Handbook for small businesses, which is frequently updated with local, state, and national programs funded through public and private sources. Below is a limited list of assistance programs that are available.
Small Business Relief Fund The City of Boston will be making relief grants of $2,500 to $10,000 to small businesses that are registered and operating within the city, have fewer then 35 employees, and earn less than $1,500,000 in annual revenue. Applications opened on Monday, April 6 and funding is limited. Click here for more information and to apply.
Economic Injury Disaster Loan (EIDL) Program The U.S. Small Business Administration (SBA) will offer low-interest federal disaster loans for working capital to Massachusetts small businesses suffering substantial economic injury as a result of the Coronavirus. More information here.
The Paycheck Protection Program (PPP) is designed to keep your workers on payroll and your doors open. If employees are kept on payroll for eight weeks, the SBA will forgive the portion of your loan used for payroll, rent, mortgage interest and utilities. Loans can be up to $10 million and up to 100 percent forgivable. Applications for the second round of funding became available April 27. Click here for more information.
The Boston Fed developed a web page to assist businesses with applying for PPP quickly, as the funding is anticipated to run out quickly. Click here to visit the Fed's PPP page.
Small local businesses which have been impacted by the ongoing COVID-19 outbreak, especially in the restaurant and hospitality sectors, may be eligible for tax relief measures. 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. Additionally, all penalties and interest that would otherwise apply will be waived. More information here.
The Rapid Response team works closely with companies to avert layoffs and keep a skilled workforce engaged in the existing regional economy or industry. Find your regional Rapid Response Contact here.
The WorkShare program is an alternative for employers faced with a cut in workforce. Employers can divide available work between affected employees instead of laying off workers. It allows employees to receive a part of their unemployment insurance (UI) benefits while working reduced hours.
Restaurants & Dining Establishments
On-premises consumption of food or drink is prohibited under the Governor's March 24 COVID-19 Essential Services Emergency Order, but restaurants, bars and other establishments that sell food are encouraged to continue offering take-out and delivery if they follow social distancing protocols.
Here are some resources to help restaurants maintain operations during this time:
Register your restaurant here to help people find the right information about your location at this time.
Request a temporary take-out parking zone in front of your restaurant to make picking up delvieries and take-out more feasible
Delivery & Take-Out Guidebook to help restaurants continue operations during this time, published by the City of Boston
Use this template to convert job duties of your restaurant staff to accommodate deliveries.
Self-Employed & Contract Individuals
Pandemic Unemployment Assistance (PUA) applications are now open
Pandemic Unemployment Assistance provides payment to workers who are not traditionally eligible for unemployment benefits and are unable to work as a direct result of the coronavirus public health emergency.
The eligibility rules and the application process for PUA are different from traditional unemployment benefits. PUA makes financial assistance available to a broader range of workers, including the self-employed, gig workers, 1099 contractors, and people unable to work due to illness or quarantine.