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 August 6, 2020.

State Government Action

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

  • A $459 million economic development bill was passed by the Massachusetts House that will provide funding for nonprofits affected by the coronavirus pandemic, local projects, and more. Read more here.
  • Massachusetts Governor Charlie Baker announced $19.6 million for municipalities to address emergency needs in light of the COVID-19 pandemic. This award comes from the federally-funded Community Development Block Grant program. Read more here.
  • The Commonwealth is launching a strategic testing program to stop the spread of COVID-19. This testing will be done in communities across Massachusetts that have seen higher numbers of residents testing positive. Read more here.
  • The Baker-Polito Administration is working to re-open the Massachusetts economy, providing general business guidance and sector-specific protocols and best practices. Read more here.
  • MassDOT announced a new funding program, “Shared Streets & Spaces” to assist Massachusetts cities and towns to create shared streets and spaces projects and engage their local residents and businesses. Read more here.
  • 50 new pop-up Covid-19 testing sites are free across Massachusetts. 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 $9.5 million 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.
  • MA Governor Charlie Baker and his administration are committing to maintain fiscal 2021 local aid and school aid and to provide an additional $107M in school aid to cover inflation and enrollment factors. Read more here.
  • Mike Kennealy, MA state’s secretary of housing and economic development, discusses challenges of reopening Massachusetts economy. Read more here.

Local Leadership

  • The state’s “Stop the Spread” coronavirus testing program will be expanding into Framingham. The site will be drive-through, and no appointments are required. Read more here.
  • The City of Marlborough and the Marlborough EDC are offering reopening kit consists as a result of their new partnership focused on assisting local businesses with their PPE needs. Read more here.
  • Small Business Strong is a partnership set up to help women and minority owned small businesses navigate the devastating impact of the COVID-19 pandemic. Leaders can participate by engaging in the core elements of the program, all free of charge with no strings attached. Read more here.
  • 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 awarded 22 COVID-19 Emergency Small Business grants over the past several months. The grant funds could be used to cover wages, rent, loss of inventory, and other fixed costs. Read more here.

Medical Advancements

  • Boston’s biopharmaceutical company Constant Therapeutics LLC announced that its peptide drug TXA127 will be tested in a Phase 2 clinical trial in New York. Read more here.
  • Moderna Inc.‘s 30,000-person trial received their first injections of the Cambridge biotech’s vaccine shortly after the company received close to a half billion dollars of new funding. Read more hereModerna Inc. revealed more evidence from an early-stage trial of a potential vaccine for COVID-19 and indicated that it could be successful. Read more here.
  • As part of a $17 million effort to help the world combat the coronavirus, researchers at UMass Medical in Worcester are studying ways to treat COVID-19, and understand how it spreads and how herd immunity can be achieved. Read more here. 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.
  • AbbVie, Harbour BioMed, Utrecht University and Erasmus Medical Center announced their new collaboration focused on developing monoclonal antibody therapy to prevent and treat COVID-19. 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.
  • Quest Diagnostics was the first company to receive authorization for the technique testing specimens in batches during its diagnostic test for COVID-19. The technique is expected to be used in the company’s Marlborough facility. Read more here.

Business Heroes

  • Headquartered in Fall River, Merrow Manufacturing, a diverse manufacturing organization, quickly become the largest producer of US-sourced PPE during COVID-19. Read more here.
  • Spencer-based FLEXcon Company, Inc. stepped up to meet the COVID-19 crisis by providing necessary PPE equipment for frontline and essential workers. The company has donated 25,000 face shields to major hospitals across Massachusetts. Read more here.
  • 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

  • 85 companies in Massachusetts are working on tests, treatments and vaccines related to the coronavirus pandemic. Read more here.
  • enVerid Systems issued new direction for building owners and mechanical, electrical and plumbing professionals for mitigating airborne transmission of COVID-19 within commercial buildings. Read more here.
  • Treacy & Company shared its “COVID Response” series which includes “Revenue Triage” and “Accelerate Your Recovery.” Read more here.
  • A recent press release by CBRE shows Boston’s role as a major hub for the life sciences sector. This has positioned the city at the forefront of the global fight against COVID-19 with 46 Boston area life sciences organizations involved in COVID-19-related endeavors. Read more here.
  • As Massachusetts 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 Boston’s Firefly will screen a company’s employees daily through a mobile app. Read more here.
  • A recent Hunneman report shows that in Massachusetts, 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-19 in a variety of ways. Read more here.
  • 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.
  • VHB Viewpoints covers #COVID19 Trends and Observations, looking 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.

Events

  • Aug 12: The South Shore Chamber is hosting a live webinar with Eric Rosengren, president and CEO of the Federal Reserve Bank of Boston. Rosengren will speak about the U.S. economy and current financial conditions. Read more here.
  • Aug 12: Join the Site Selectors Guild for “Urban, Suburban Or Rural: COVID-19 And The Changing Landscape Of Site Selection.” This webinar will focus on the pandemic’s impact on corporate location preferences. Read more here.
  • Aug 18: Join MassTLC for the “Virtual Workshop Series: 3 Strategies to Re-Imagine Your Workforce” focusing on on how to develop the HR leader mindset and skill set shaped by pandemic. Read more here.