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Business Resources

With information changing daily regarding the novel COVID-19, we are dedicated to providing our business community with the most recent and up-to-date resources available to support you during this trying time.

The Coronovirus Aid, Relief, and Economic Security (CARES) Act was signed by the President on March 27. Go to the link below for more details regarding this important resource for your business. More Massachusetts-specific information will be forthcoming. CARES Act Small Business Owners Guide



Quick Links from WesternMass EDC

COVID-19 Updates from

Holyoke Gas and Electric

Local Updates from City Hall

Information on the Outbreak of COVID-19

All updates from Governor Baker, state officials: Video Updates | Press Releases

Information on the new coronavirus—Coronavirus Disease 2019 (COVID-19). This novel coronavirus causes a respiratory (lung) infection.

Governor Charlie Baker has declared a state of emergency, giving the Administration more flexibility to respond to the outbreak.


Sign up for Massachusetts COVID-19 text alerts

To get up-to-date alerts sent directly to your phone, text COVIDMA to 888-777.

You can also call the informational and referral hotline, 211.


MA Unemployment Information

MA Department of Unemployment Assistance   hosts the Work Share program as an alternative for employers faced with a cut in workforce. Employers can divide available work among affected employees to receive a part of their unemployment insurance (UI) benefits while working reduced hours. 

MA Department of Unemployment Assistance is hosting a series of virtual town halls to assist those who need to apply for unemployment assistance. Please visit here for more information.


UP TO $10K Disaster Loan Advance

for SBA's EIDL 

Yesterday evening, EIDL applicants that already submitted in the previous system received an email instructing those that wish to request a FORGIVABLE advance of up to $10K to submit a new application on the new portal.

If you are submitting a new application, please follow the new streamlined steps in the portal (https://covid19relief.sba.gov/#/as the questions are mostly the same from all the required documents in the previous version of the portal. 

All small businesses and nonprofits are encouraged to apply for EIDL and request an Economic Injury Disaster Loan advance of up to $10,000.  The  loan advance will not have to be repaid.    

If you already submitted an application and want to check on status, please call customer service at 1-800-659-2955 (TTY: 1-800-877-8339) or e-mail disastercustomerservice@sba.gov

Please direct all inquiries and questions to our District Office email at: MassachusettsDO@sba.gov

The Disaster Loan Assistance portal has been revamped and the process has been more simplified!

You now are only required to upload two (2) forms to initiate the process:

  1. SBA Form 5/5C
    Business Loan Application (Form 5) (en Español), or Home or Sole Proprietor Loan Application (SBA Form 5C) (en Español)


  2. Form P-019
    Economic Injury Disaster Loan Supporting Information (Form P-019)

As of Monday, 3/24/2020the deferment of the first payment is now 12 months from the date of the promissory note.


Here is a link to a recorded webinar on the SBA EIDL loansThis is a comprehensive presentation.  The first half is the overview of the SBA Disaster loans and process. The second half is a page by page review of the application process with questions answered at the end.


Please note that during the presentation there is mention of selecting your particular county….DO NOT select county, all counties are now included, just select “Massachusetts only”.  It is encouraged that small businesses and private non-profits apply for the SBA EIDL loan program.

Please visit the SBA's Disaster guidance web page: www.sba.gov/disaster    

Applicants may apply online, receive additional disaster assistance information and download applications to mail in forms 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.  

Additional Links and Resources:

Fact Sheet: MA 16344 Economic Injury Disaster Loan Fact Sheet

PDF: SBA Disaster Program and Step-by-Step Application Overview

Handout: SBA Disaster Assistance in Response to the Coronavirus

Handout: Asistencia de Desastre de la SBA en Respuesta al Coronavirus

NEW SBA Express Bridge Loan :

Another Option

Express Bridge Loan Pilot Program allows small businesses who currently have a business relationship (i.e. account or loan) with an SBA Express Lender to access up to $25,000 with less paperwork. These loans can provide vital economic support to small businesses to help overcome the temporary loss of revenue they are experiencing and can be term loans or used to bridge the gap while applying for a direct  SBA Economic Injury Disaster loan . If a small business has an urgent need for cash while waiting for a decision and disbursement on an Economic Injury Disaster Loan, they may qualify for an  SBA Express Disaster Bridge Loan.

o   Up to $25,000
o   Fast turnaround
o   Will be repaid in full or in part by proceeds from the EIDL loan
Find an Express Bridge Loan Lender via  SBA’s Lender Match Tool , or by connecting with your  local SBA District Office .

Economic Injury Disaster Loans for Massachusetts Small Businesses


1-on-1 Business Advisory Appointments Available

The Massachusetts Small Business Development Center Network is committed to helping your business succeed in Massachusetts.


While face-to-face meetings have been paused for the time being, we will continue to offer business advisory services via phone or video conferencing.



Please complete our online Request for Counseling form. This information will be sent directly to the Western Regional Office and a staff member will contact you via email to set up an appointment with a business advisor. 



Please contact your advisor directly via email or send an email to MSBDC@msbdc.umass.edu to request a 1-on-1 appointment with your business advisor.



All Advisory sessions will be done via phone or videoconferencing using zoom (https://zoom.us/) You may download the free zoom software to ensure your video call goes smoothly or use your computer browser.

CARES Act Paycheck Protection Loan and

Loan Forgiveness

Since the passage of the CARES Act on Friday, March 27, 2020, a practical issue for many small businesses is "How can we get the loan that we might not be required to pay back"?!


This Client Update, provides a practical, step-by-step [click here] and starting analysis to help eligible small businesses begin to answer that question and includes the following subject-headings and content: 


STEP 1: Is The Entity Eligible To Receive The Loan?


STEP 2: Calculating The Amount Of The Loan The Entity Is Eligible To    



STEP 3. Will You Seek The Entire Amount For Which The Business Is Eligible?

    • For what can the loan amount be used?

    • Factors related to determining the "anticipated" loan forgiveness: How much of the loan amount will be forgiven?

    • If 100% is not forgiven, what are the terms of the loan balance?

    • How would currently laid-off or furloughed employees impact loan forgiveness?

STEP 4: Once You Know The Amount Of The Loan For Which You Could Be Eligible And Will Seek, What Happens Next?


STEP 5: Securing "Loan Forgiveness" To Avoid Repayment Obligations.


As the CARES Act regulations are implemented, SHQ will be providing additional detail about these and other topics arising from the CARES Act. 


If you have additional questions, please email the attorney with whom you regularly consult or SHQ's Managing Partner at Meghan.Sullivan@sullivanandhayes.com 


Benefits Under 'Family First' Act

This answers only the basics of many questions received regarding amounts of benefits for which employees are eligible to receive under this law.  The DOL has also issued some initial guidance here.

  • Eligible Employees

    • If working for an employer with fewer than 500 employees

    • For a COVID-19 Coronavirus related-absence.

  • Sick Leave

    • Covers employees regardless of length of employment

    • Up to 80 hours

    • Full pay (for part-timers, an average calculation) if employee is subject to a quarantine or isolation order, has been advised by a health care provider to self-quarantine, or is experiencing coronavirus symptoms and seeking medical diagnosis

    • 2/3rds pay if to care for a family member or for a child whose school or daycare closed

    • Capped at $200 per day, or $2,000 in aggregate

  • Family Leave

    • Covers employees with 30 days of employment

    • Up to 12 weeks

    • First 10 days (i.e., interpreted as 2 weeks under current DOL guidance) is unpaid

    • After the 10 days, remaining time at 2/3rds pay

    • Capped at $200 per day or $10,000 in the aggregate

  •  Employers are to receive a limited tax credit towards these payments. 


Coronavirus (COVID-19):

Tax Relief for Small Businesses

Businesses across the country are being affected by the coronavirus (COVID-19). Fortunately, Congress recently passed a law that provides at least some relief. In a separate development, the IRS has issued guidance allowing taxpayers to defer any amount of federal income tax payments due on April 15, 2020, until July 15, 2020, without penalties or interest.

Families First: Coronavirus Response Act

On March 18, 2020, President Trump signed into law the Families First Coronavirus Response Act (the Act) to address mandated sick leave and mandated paid leave for those infected with or directly affected by COVID-19. The Act will take effect no later than 15 days after enactment and will remain in place until the end of 2020.

To offset wages paid under this law, employers will receive a tax credit, reducing their payroll tax cost. The Act does not prohibit employers from paying benefits in excess of these required amounts (see summaries below); it just mandates these minimum amounts of sick and paid leave to employees in certain circumstances.

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