MassEcon COVID-19 Resource Center

MassEcon’s COVID-19 Resource Center is your dedicated one-stop-shop for the latest information on state government action, local leadership, medical advancements, business heroes, industry expertise, and events.
This page was last updated on June 4, 2020.

MassEcon is Celebrating 2020 Corporate Heroes with its 17th Annual Team Massachusetts Economic Impact Awards: Honoring Massachusetts Companies that had the Biggest Impact During the Pandemic. For 16 years, MassEcon has been honoring employers that have grown in Massachusetts with facility expansions and increased employment, through its Team Massachusetts Economic Impact Awards. In a time of tremendous challenge due to the COVID-19 pandemic, these awards must be different in character than in the past, to properly reflect how employers are positively affecting life in the Commonwealth. MassEcon’s 2020 Impact Awards will endeavor to honor organizations in Massachusetts that have responded to the global pandemic in exceptional ways. The Corporate Hero Awards seek to honor a sampling of employers, large and small, and in every region of the state, that reflect the spirit of Massachusetts businesses to solve problems, serve their communities, and provide for the livelihoods of their workers. Click here to see the criteria and submit nominations.

On May 7, 2020, MassEcon hosted “Re-Opening Commercial Operations: Considerations for Property Owners and Business Tenants as Massachusetts Restarts in a COVID-19 World” with expert panelists from Perkins and Will, CBRE, and Bowditch & Dewey LLP . View the presentation here. MassEcon surveyed its member organizations on readiness to re-open workplaces. The survey was conducted in the period of May 8-15, 2020. View results here.

State Government Action

For the most up-to-date information on Massachusetts, visit the COVID-19 daily update at mass.gov/covid19-updates.

  • Massachusetts has begun the path to re-opening post COVID-19. Governor Baker says the re-opening will be driven by public health data. Read more here.
  • Massachusetts is now the 7th state to join the Multi-State Council to stage economy “reopening” between mid-Atlantic & NE states. The council will include a health expert & chiefs of staff of each state to help fight the spread of COVID-19. Read more here.The Massachusetts COVID-19 Relief Fund, launched by Governor Charlie Baker, is already stocked with more than $13 million. This fund that will support health care workers, the homeless and others in MA that have been affected by the coronavirus. Read more here. The The Empowerment Grant for Small Businesses is available for small business owners serving Massachusetts Gateway Cities. Applicants may request up to $2,500 for the proposed need. Read more here.
  • Governor Baker allocated more than $9.5M in grants to boost production of personal protective equipment and other critical materials needed to respond to the COVID-19 pandemic and the Reopening Massachusetts plan. Read more here.

Local Leadership

  • The Cape Cod Chamber of Commerce provided guidelines for seasonal residents and visitors coming to Cape Cod and the Islands as we move into summer. Read more here.
  • A $415K Economic Recovery Fund was launched by the North Central Massachusetts Chamber of Commerce which will provide loans to eligible small businesses negatively impacted by the ongoing pandemic. Read more here.
  • The Boston Fed created this webpage with resources for New England smaller businesses, including nonprofits, to aid them in applying to the Paycheck Protection Program program’s second round for funding.
  • Worcester: The Worcester Regional Chamber of Commerce has been working with members, the board, the community, and government officials to help mitigate the health care crisis. Read more here. Worcester Together, a joint effort between local Worcester partnerships, is closing in on $4 million in total donations toward its COVID-19 fund. Read more here. The City of Worcester has also established the COVID-19 Small Business Resiliency Grant to assist in the stabilization of existing small businesses within the City of Worcester that have had significant business disruption due to the impact of COVID-19. Read more here.
  • The North Central Massachusetts Chamber of Commerce is providing emergency loans of up to$20,000 for businesses impacted by the coronavirus. Read more here.
  • The MetroWest Chamber of Commerce is collecting gowns, masks, N-95 masks and sanitation wipes for local hospital workers, nurses and doctors for the MetroWest Medical Center during the COVID-19 health crisis. Supply Chain Manager Jill Rock will help with accepting supplies. Donations can be received at the Leonard Morse Hospital Facility loading dock, 67 Union St., Natick, MA. For more information, contact donations@mwmc.com. The MetroWest Chamber of Commerce recently provided information about Pandemic Unemployment Assistance. PUA 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. PUA is a program open to self-employed individuals, including gig workers, freelancers and independent contractors, those seeking part-time employment and claimants that have an insufficient work history to qualify for benefits. Read more here.
  • The Marlborough EDC provided a COVID-19 Resource Guide which includes a list of various resources useful during the coronavirus pandemic. Read more here.
  • Boston Mayor Marty Walsh announced a $2 million small-business relief fund to assist companies, as well as a $3 million fund to help tenants who have fallen behind on rent as a result of the COVID-19 crisis. Read more here.
  • The City of Framingham is establishing a COVID-19 emergency small business grant program to help stabilize existing small businesses within the City that have had significant business disruption due to COVID-19. These grant funds will assist small businesses to cover wages, rent, loss of inventory, and other fixed costs. Read more here.

Medical Advancements

  • A simplified ventilator from concept to approval took only six weeks for a UMass physicist and global team. These ventilators can be produced quickly. Read more here. Engineers from UMass Amherst are helping to fight COVID-19 by designing a new control cables for ventilators after a request from Baystate Health. Read more here.
  • MassMEDIC and Sanofi are offering up their own equipment and supplies and working to develop a vaccine for COVID-19. Read more here.

Business Heroes

  • West Bridgewater manufacturer Shawmut Corp. produces interior fabrics and materials for the automotive industry, but is pivioting its production to assist during the coronavirus pandemic. Read more here.
  • The Foundation for MetroWest granted over $1.25 million in emergency funds to community organizations since the COVID-19 pandemic began. Read more here.
  • CBRE Group, Inc. launched a COVID-19 Relief Fund to support community and employee needs around the world. The campaign will raise a minimum of $15 million, with a foundational donation from the company of $10 million, plus an employee contribution program. The company will match employee contributions at a dollar-for-dollar rate or greater, if necessary, to meet the $15 million minimum. Read more here.
  • Joseph Abboud’s manufacturing facility in New Bedford recently re-opened in a large mask making effort. So far that effort has resulted in more than 7,000 masks being delivered to multiple organizations, including a large medical supply company and the City of New Bedford. The company committed to producing more than 100,000 masks at its New Bedford facility in the next few weeks. Read more here.
  • Employees at Walter Drake Inc. in Holyoke have gone from making clamshell packaging for electronics, blister packages for pharmaceuticals and trays for many uses to making much-needed plastic face shields for doctors, nurses and others who come in close contact with people suffering from COVID-19. Read more here.
  • MGM Springfield donated 160 portable sleeping cots and 16 outdoor heaters to Mercy Medical Center and the City of Springfield. These items are meant to help the homeless population during the COVID-19 crisis. Read more here.
  • CRRC MA donated 10,000 protective masks for use by Springfield city police, firefighters, and hospital workers during the COVID-19 pandemic. Read more here.
  • Local businesses such as GatherHere, Wentworth Institute, Allego, Lovepop, and others are pivoting resources and equipment to contribute to the fight against the COVID-19 pandemic. Read more here.
  • Universal Plastics in Holyoke is working on a new COVID-19-related product. InTuBox is a box that shields healthcare workers while they are intubating a patient, thus helping reduce the likelihood of spreading infection of coronavirus. Read more here.
  • UCB, a biopharma company with facilities and research and development activities in Bedford, has offered to donate some of its BSL-certified labs (~2,000 square feet) to COVID-19 testing. The company has reached out to the state, and would be willing to provide the space at no cost. Contact Matt Harutunian at 617-910-0679 or harutunian@ucb.com for more information about this opportunity.
  • Middlesex Savings Bank will aid local non-profit organizations impacted by COVID-19 by committing $1 million in aid through its foundation. Read more here.
  • Citizens Bank iscommitting $5 million to support communities and businesses dealing with impacts of the COVID-19 pandemic, including a Community Support Relief program and a Small Business Relief and Recovery program. Read more here.
  • Patriot Place will open a drive-thru coronavirus testing site for first responders in the Gillette Stadium parking lot in Foxboro as part of the state’s second collaboration with the Patriots to contain the spread of the coronavirus. Read more here.
  • Unitil donated $225,000 to help customers with their utility bills and other pressing needs during the coronavirus pandemic. For customers, until further notice, all shutoff and collection activities have been suspended. Read more here.
  • Eversource Energy is pledging more than $2 millionto nonprofit organizations in Massachusetts, Connecticut and New Hampshire during the coronavirus outbreak. The company will also contribute to several food pantries in various communities. Read more here.
  • Eastern Bank is committing over $10 millionto help offset the impact of the coronavirus in the communities it serves. Read more here.

Industry Expertise

  • Take a listen to this MassMEP podcast and hear from panelists on how to navigate during COVID-19.
  • Dacon Corporation released the office guide “Transition: Office Design & Costs Post COVID” which explains how to redesign offices to consider employee safety amidst the pandemic. Read more here.
  • EY Americas studied the impacts of COVID-19, including, staff shortages, restrictions in delivery routes, changes in buying patterns and point out how companies can be resilient to these disruptions. Read more here.
  • The City Of Cambridge is working with the new City Manager’s Small Business Advisory Committee, including Kendall Square Association‘s Executive Director, to draft best practices that the City can incorporate into its “Small Business Back to Business” plan. Read more here.
  • SGA announced the launch of its “Workplace Re-Entry Design” practice, that reimagines and reconfigures workspaces to respond to the COVID-19 pandemic’s impact. Read more here.
  • The latest VHB Viewpoints covers #COVID19 Trends and Observations. The Viewpoints looks at the impact on transportation, real estate, institutions, and energy. Read more here.
  • Bowditch & Dewey LLP is supporting clients during COVID-19 by offering crisis management and legal solutions across a multitude of industries and disciplines. Read more here.
  • MassMEDIC launched a COVID-19 resource center for its members in the MedTech community as a way to keep up to date on everything they need to stay on top of this rapidly developing crisis, including business information, helpful links and business opportunities. Read more here.
  • As MA companies prepare to return to the workplace during the pandemic, they must decide how to handle screening their workforce for COVID-19 symptoms. Companies like Firefly will screen a company’s employees daily through a mobile app. Read more here.
  • A recent Hunneman report shows that in MA: warehousing is becoming ever more important, the manufacturing sector is becoming a major focus and drug manufacturing is becoming a hot commodity as companies combat COVID in a variety of ways. Read more here.

Events

  • June 9: Kendall Square Association will be hosting their twelfth annual meeting: “Kendall Together.” The event will be virtual and will share the stories of Kendall’s response to the COVID-19 crisis and discuss how the organization will build their new normal. Read more here.
  • June 10, and 17: Join Middlesex 3 Coalition & NEREJ Real Estate for their webinar panel series. Topics will include COVID-19’s impact on real estate, the future of real estate development for life sciences, and sustainable real estate development. Read more here.
  • June 11: Massachusetts was in the midst of an unprecedented economic expansion before the COVID-19 Outbreak. As Massachusetts re-starts its economy, its greatest assets are still in place, including the most highly educated workforce in America and highly innovative leading industries. Join MassEcon for “Massachusetts Economic Growth in a Post-Pandemic World” where experts will share their insights on the following questions: When we reach the post-pandemic era, what will be different about Massachusetts economic growth?  What will be considerations in selecting new workplaces and will those spaces have different characteristics than in the pre-pandemic era? Will worker space preferences change? How does the Commonwealth’s experience battling COVID-19 enhance or deter future growth? Read more here.
  • June 11: Join Precision for the online webinar Strategically Accelerate COVID-19 Diagnostics from Development to Market at 1 pm. Use the valuable insights we’ve gained from participation in multiple COVID-19 research studies to understand the contingencies for success and, just as critical, to anticipate pitfalls that can be avoided. Register here.
  • June 16: Join the MIT Sloan School of Management for an online webinar Thriving in Uncertainty: 5 Leadership Activities for a Nimble Response. Register here.