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Massachusetts Extension of Professional Licensure Order

On March 18, 2020, the Baker-Polito Administration announced administrative tax relief measures for small local businesses that 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 due in March, April, and May 2020, making them due on June 20 instead. Additionally, all penalties and interest that would otherwise apply is waived.

  • Businesses that paid less than $150,000 in regular sales plus meals taxes in the year ending February 29, 2020 are 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 are eligible for relief with respect to room occupancy taxes.
  • The Department of Revenue implemented these administrative relief measures on Friday, March 20, 2020.

Read the entire March 18, 2020 directive via the State of Massachusetts website.

Massachusetts Rapid Response – Layoff Aversion

The Rapid Response Team works closely with companies to avert layoffs and keep a skilled workforce engaged in the existing regional economy or industry.

Early intervention allows employers and employees to communicate about worker concerns. The Rapid Response Team customizes their services to accommodate each layoff and each company's needs and expectations. All services are provided at no cost to the employer.

Rapid Response tries to identify the exact needs of a company in crisis. Once the needs are assessed, the team tries to help the company establish partnerships with other organizations and build networks to help them acquire necessities meant to reduce the possibility of layoffs or a plant closure.

Resources available to companies to maintain their workforce include:

  • Matching businesses that are in transition with businesses that are hiring similar roles
  • Communicating directly with employers on their needs and what’s necessary to avoid layoffs
  • Educating employers on various state and local programs and agencies including:
    • WorkShare Program
    • Workforce training funds
    • Career centers
    • Tax incentives
    • Business loans
    • Growth-based systems for manufacturing
    • Employee ownership and succession plans
    • Export opportunity identification
    • Small Business Administration information

For additional details and contact information, visit the State of Massachusetts Rapid Response website.

Massachusetts WorkShare for Employers

WorkShare is a program that offers a smart alternative to layoffs. Employees work reduced hours while collecting unemployment benefits to supplement their lower wages.

If your company needs to reduce payroll costs because of a temporary decline in business, the WorkShare program is your alternative to layoffs. WorkShare allows an employer to reduce the hours of work for employees in an entire company (or a small unit or department), and the employees receive unemployment benefits to supplement their reduced wages.

Eligibility requirements

  • You must be up-to-date with your unemployment insurance contributions
  • You cannot have a negative reserve balance
  • You must have filed employment and wage detail reports
  • You must be a Massachusetts company (a small or large company, non-profit, or government agency)
  • Your employees must be permanent full-time or part-time workers (seasonal and temporary employees may not take part in the plan)
  • You must develop a WorkShare plan and apply for approval
  • Your WorkShare plan must include:
    • The reduction in hours (between 10% and 60%)
    • The number of employees affected by the plan (must be at least 2 employees)
    • The duration of the plan (can't be more than 52 weeks)
  • You must continue to provide the same health insurance and retirement benefits to affected employees
  • The union must agree to the WorkShare plan if employees are covered by collective bargaining

WorkShare for employers resources:

Learn more about WorkShare for Employers via the State of Massachusetts WorkShare website.

City of Boston Small Business Relief Grants

The city of Boston is committed to helping small businesses during this unprecedented time through The Small Business Financial Relief Fund. It will help businesses most impacted by COVID-19, providing immediate help and guidance.

Key points to the Boston Small Business Relief Grants

  • Begins Monday, April 6, 2020
  • For the purpose of this fund, a small business is defined as a for-profit entity with:
    • Fewer than 35 employees
    • Less than $1,500,000 in annual revenue
    • Registered with, in good standing with, and operating in, the city of Boston (excluding chain or corporate franchises)
  • $2,500 Relief Grant
    • 0-5 employees (incl. owner)
    • Less than $250,000 in annual revenue
    • Business owner must provide proof of Boston business address (as indicated by a signed lease or home office documentation)
    • Business and business owner must be in good standing with the city of Boston
    • Business must provide a copy of its most recent fiscal year tax return
    • Business must provide proof of payroll (if applicable)
  • $5,000 Relief Grant
    • 5-15 employees (incl. owner)
    • Less than $750,000 in annual revenue
    • Business owner must provide proof of Boston business address (as indicated by a signed lease or home office documentation)
    • Business and business owner must be in good standing with the city of Boston
    • Business must provide a copy of its most recent fiscal year tax return
    • Business must provide proof of payroll
  • $10,000 Relief Grant
    • 15-35 employees (incl. owner)
    • Less than $1,500,000 in annual revenue
    • Business owner must provide proof of Boston business address (as indicated by a signed lease or home office documentation)
    • Business and business owner must be in good standing with the city of Boston
    • Business must provide a copy of its most recent fiscal year tax return
    • Business must provide proof of payroll
  • Contact information: (617) 635-5729 or This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

To access the application and review updates, visit the City of Boston Economic Development website.

Boston Foundation COVID-19 Response Fund

Hosted by the Boston Foundation, The COVID-19 Response Fund awards one-time operating grants on a rolling basis to non-profits whose operations in support of seniors, children, immigrants, workers, and other vulnerable populations have been stressed by the outbreak. The fund is designed to be adaptable in its goals and focus, which will evolve as community members and non-profits in our region share their needs.

Given the immediate needs within our Greater Boston catchment area, the fund is currently focused on providing general operating support grants to non-profits whose operations address the basic needs of vulnerable populations that are under additional strain due to the pandemic.

The Boston Foundation encourages institutions, companies, and other funders to contribute to the fund, which will work in partnership with the city of Boston and other funders to ensure the fund has maximum reach and effectiveness. In addition to offering an opportunity to contribute to the fund, the Boston Foundation is also urging its donors to look for opportunities to support non-profits directly by making general operating support grants to organizations they wish to help.

Please note: This is a fluid situation. We expect that there will undoubtedly be a crucial need for funds to aid in the rebuilding efforts and any unanticipated community needs many months from now.

Information for those seeking grants from the fund:

To be considered for a grant from the COVID-19 Response Fund at the Boston Foundation, please review the information below. Note: We will update the fund information frequently, especially as the impacts of the COVID-19 pandemic change over time. Only non-profits located in and serving communities in the Boston Foundation catchment area are eligible for grants at this time. The FAQs below highlight the current focus and restrictions on grant eligibility.

Given the immediate needs in the 80 communities within our greater Boston catchment area, grants are being made weekly on a rolling basis. A list of grantees is posted on our COVID-19 Response Fund grantees page.

To limit the burden on non-profits, there is no formal application at this time. Instead, we’re asking interested non-profits to fill out a short form providing basic information about your organization and work to address the basic needs of vulnerable populations impacted by the pandemic.

We encourage you to complete this form if you are a non-profit organization that is authentically connected and providing COVID-19-related relief to greater Boston's most vulnerable populations, including seniors, children, residents without access to paid sick days, healthcare and gig economy workers, communities of color, immigrants, and people with disabilities. If you’ve already emailed us at This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it., you do not need to complete this form. However, we may reach out to you for more information.

Learn more about this Fund via the Boston Foundation website.

Cape Cod Foundation Community Response to COVID-19

Initial investments. The Cape Cod Foundation has joined other local partners who are collaborating to support the community through the rapidly evolving COVID-19 outbreak. We have made initial investments of $5,000 to the Cape Cod and Islands Major Crisis Relief Fund, a program of the Cape Cod Times Needy Fund, to support immediate individual needs as a result of the coronavirus outbreak. We have also invested $5,000 in Cape and Islands United Way for immediate support to non-profit organizations whose clients are disproportionately impacted by COVID-19 and the economic consequences of this outbreak.

Strategic Emergency Response Fund. In addition, recognizing the need for a multi-pronged approach to this community crisis, and the role of a community foundation in providing both immediate and long-term flexible resources, The Cape Cod Foundation has allocated $100,000 in discretionary money to seed The Cape Cod Foundation Strategic Emergency Response Fund. It will provide funding to support the continued operation of vital Cape Cod non-profit organizations as they address the evolving impacts of COVID-19 on the health, economy, and vitality of our community. The Strategic Emergency Response Fund complements the efforts of those providing immediate aid and relief by providing needed operation support to local non-profits during and after this challenging time.

Learn more about eligibility and application requirements by visiting the Cape Cod Foundation website.

Cape and Islands United Way COVID-19 Fund

In this time of crisis, the Cape and Islands United Way is committed to providing access to funds quickly and efficiently, to community-based organizations working on the front lines.

Since the COVID-19 outbreak, the Major Crisis Relief Fund and the Cape Cod Foundation partnership is focused on serving the community from all angles.

  • The Major Crisis Relief Fund provides assistance directly to individuals and families in need.
  • The Cape and Islands United Way provides funding for current and recent community partners for program support.
  • The Cape Cod Foundation provides operating support and assistance to local non-profits associated with longer term needs.

The first priority area of funding will be for organizations providing access to basic needs, including food, shelter, and emergency assistance. Funds will be distributed equitably based on geography and need.

We will continuously assess the needs in the community and communicate and collaborate with our funding partners to make sure funds are available and meeting the most pressing needs.

Apply for funds via the United Way Cape and Islands COVID-19 Response website.

Berkshire Taconic Community Foundation COVID-19 Response

Berkshire Taconic and the Berkshire United Way have launched the COVID-19 Emergency Response Fund for Berkshire County through a coalition of philanthropic organizations, business partners, and generous individuals. The fund is currently focused on providing flexible resources to non-profit organizations working with communities who are disproportionately impacted by COVID-19 and the economic consequences of this outbreak. Grants will help fund frontline human services organizations that have deep roots in the community and strong experience working with vulnerable populations.

Learn more about how to apply at the Berkshire United Way website.

Columbia County Business Continuity Grant

To help support small businesses in our city and town centers, Columbia Economic Development Corporation (CEDC) and Berkshire Taconic Community Foundation (BTCF), in partnership with Berkshire Taconic’s Fund for Columbia County, the Columbia Chamber of Commerce, and the Hudson Business Coalition, have created the Columbia County Business Continuity Fund to provide cash grants to small businesses in our communities most affected by the COVID-19 crisis.

This fund will award grants from $1,000 to $5,000 on a competitive basis to applicants that meet the core criteria and are seeking immediate assistance to retain and pay their employees, stay current on rent, and cover other fixed costs related to their operations.

Grants will be reviewed by an independent committee and awarded based on the availability of funds. For those small businesses awarded a grant, funds will be disbursed as quickly as possible. Additional funding rounds will be dependent on receipt of donations from businesses, individuals, area foundations, and other generous contributors.

Businesses can apply for the grant via the Choose Columbia website.

Columbia County COVID-19 Emergency Response Fund

The Columbia County COVID-19 Emergency Response Fund provides flexible resources to non-profit organizations with experience helping individuals and families stabilize their lives in times of crisis and will help meet the following emergency needs:

  • Access to food for children, youth, and seniors
  • Demand for early child care, especially among health care professionals, first responders and lower-income residents who need to work
  • Mobilizing volunteers to provide services and supports
  • Internet access to ensure students can participate in online instruction
  • Support for the homeless population
  • Increased demand for medical services for uninsured or undocumented individuals
  • Support for residents unable to pay rent due to job loss or cutbacks in hours

Grants are intended to address gaps in services and increase the capacity of organizations to meet needs.

Who can apply?
  • Human services and community-based organizations in Columbia County working with individuals and families who are disproportionately impacted by the coronavirus and the economic consequences of this outbreak.
  • Eligibility:
  • Organization must be a 501(c)(3) in Columbia County
  • Organization must be responding to emergency needs pertaining to COVID-19
  • Organizations must adhere to social distancing recommendations of public health agencies
  • Amount:
  • Funds may be requested for up to $15,000
  • Deadline:
  • The application process is rolling. Grant amounts will be determined by funding availability and applications will be considered until all funds have been expended. Berkshire Taconic Community Foundation will administer grants from the fund in close collaboration with our partners, including the Fund for Columbia County.

Apply to the Columbia COVID-19 Emergency Response Fund by answering the questions below and attaching a PDF with responses in an email to This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it..

  1. How will the funds address the above eligibility criteria? Please share the primary beneficiaries you will serve.
  2. How will the funds be used over the next month? How are you collaborating with other agencies?
  3. How much are you requesting? Please provide a detailed project budget indicating how you propose funds be used.
  4. If you expect to receive federal funding for this project, please indicate how a grant from the Columbia County COVID-19 Emergency Response Fund will be used.

Northeast Dutchess Fund

The Northeast Dutchess Fund committee acknowledges that non-profits are facing unique challenges due to the implications of COVID-19 and will consider applications for critical needs of non-profits in this grant cycle.

The Northeast Dutchess Fund was formed in 2002 to set in motion a community effort to build an endowment that would support non-profit activities in Amenia, Clinton Corners, Dover Plains, Millbrook, Millerton, North East, Pine Plains, Stanford, Washington, Wassaic and Wingdale and their hamlets.

The fund is positioned to serve as an ongoing resource that can look across town borders and combine resources to achieve maximum benefit for the residents of these towns. Under the guidance of a group of community advisors, it reviews and makes grants in response to applications it receives, provides technical assistance to non-profits, and initiates projects to provide services that do not exist.

Key points:

  • Grant amounts:
    • Grants usually range between $500 and $3,000, with requests up to $10,000 considered for exceptional projects. All grants will require a one-to-one match either in cash, services, or in-kind donations. Berkshire Taconic reserves the right to modify this policy case-by-case. An assessment of the project’s outcomes will be required once the program or service funded is completed and before any applications are submitted to the Northeast Dutchess Fund for further funding.
    • Emergency grants of up to $500 may be awarded case-by-case at the discretion of the Northeast Dutchess Fund Committee. Please submit a one-page letter of inquiry outlining the nature of the crisis and projected use of funds. Further information may be requested by Berkshire Taconic before a decision is made.
  • Who can apply?
    • Non-profits, municipalities, community organizations or civic entities in northeast Dutchess County.
  • Who is eligible to apply?
    • Non-profit organizations, public agencies, or community organizations that provide services to the residents of Amenia, Clinton Corners, Dover Plains, Millbrook, Millerton, North East, Pine Plains, Stanford, Washington, Wassaic and Wingdale are eligible to apply for grants. Requests will be considered for projects, programs, capital improvements and general operating support.
    • An organization may submit only one application per deadline. Projects that have received prior support from the Northeast Dutchess Fund may reapply.
    • Non-profits, teachers, students, or parents may apply for projects that enhance the education experience for the children in the aforementioned towns. Projects may provide individual school or system-wide education and enrichment opportunities. All requests must be accompanied by a letter of support from the school principal or superintendent.
    • Public agencies may apply for projects that enrich the experience of their residents or offer additional opportunities for public improvements. Please note that grants are not intended to replace tax dollars.
  • The Northeast Dutchess Fund does not support organizations which in their constitution, by-laws or practice, discriminate against a person or group on the basis of age, race, national origin, ethnicity, gender, disability, sexual orientation, political affiliation, or religious belief.
  • Applications will be reviewed by the Northeast Dutchess Fund Committee. This committee is comprised of residents of Northeast Dutchess who are active in community affairs.
  • The selected recommendations will be reviewed by Berkshire Taconic Community Foundation's board of directors.
    • Quality: How worthy is the project? Is it the right time for this project? Does it involve qualified individuals or organizations? Is it well conceived? Does it fit well with other related activities and priorities? Is it cost effective?
    • Extent of impact: What is the potential impact of the project or service on the community? Does it engage the community? Does it address an unmet need in the community? Is it a critical program or initiative at this time?
    • Feasibility: Can the applicant complete the project? Does the organization or individual exhibit a demonstrated capacity to initiate and successfully execute similar projects? Are the appropriate staff members or volunteers involved? Is the staff/group capable and stable enough to perform the tasks necessary to complete the proposed project?

Visit the Northeast Dutchess Fund website for updates and additional information.

Worcester Together: Central Mass COVID-19 Fund

The Foundation and the United Way of Central Massachusetts, together with our generous donors and in collaboration with the city of Worcester, have launched Worcester Together. This Fund will rapidly deploy grants and other resources to organizations throughout Worcester County that work with communities disproportionately affected by the coronavirus public health crisis.

About the fund

The goal of Worcester Together is to address immediate and long-term needs, complementing the work of public health officials, and expanding local capacity to address the impact of this public health crisis on our region’s vulnerable populations. Grants will target organizations that have deep roots in the community and strong experience working with residents without health insurance or access to sick days, people with limited English language proficiency, healthcare and gig economy workers, our seniors neighbors, and communities of color, among others.

While this pandemic is unprecedented, our highest priority continues to be serving the needs of our community. The Foundation, the United Way, the City of Worcester, local officials throughout the county, and other donor and philanthropies are all collaborating to give the fund the optimal reach and exposure.

Learn more about ways to participate in the Worcester Together COVID-19 Fund via the Greater Worcester Community Foundation website.

Life Science Cares COVID-19 Response Fund

With so much uncertainty around the COVID-19 pandemic, one thing is clear. The most vulnerable among us—the homeless, those living in poverty, and students—are being hit the hardest.

  • Distributing food to students who are missing out on free lunch due to school closures
  • Providing medical care to the homeless and giving them a bed when they are sick
  • Ensuring learning continuity for students
  • Helping families missing out on a paycheck to survive

Life Science Cares has launched this LSC COVID-19 Response Fund to award flexible grants to 27 partner organizations and others in the community tirelessly working to meet the emerging and shifting needs caused by this unprecedented outbreak. Learn more by visiting the Life Science Cares website.

Additional Resources:

Visit our Economic Resources and Relief Guide to review nationwide and statewide opportunities for businesses, non-profits, and individuals.

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