Massachusetts Rapid Response
If your workplace is temporarily closing or downsizing due to Covid-19 (Coronavirus), the Massachusetts Rapid Response Team can provide assistance to you and to your employees.  For more information contact:

Carol Snyder
MA Rapid Response W. MA Regional Coordinator
MassHire Springfield Career Center office
95 Liberty Street, Springfield 01103

MassHire Franklin Hampshire Career Center BizTeam

All Career Center Job Fairs and Employer Spotlights have been cancelled for March and April, but we continue to post jobs and assist employers to fill open positions and to conduct job matching/referral with qualified candidates.  For more information contact:

MassHire Franklin Hampshire Career Center
Business Services Team
Penni Menard x 329
Marija Boily x 359
(this email goes to both Penni and Marija)

Department of Unemployment Assistance
Covid-19 unemployment information, CARES Act information, FAQ’s.

See our Covid-19 Employee/Job Seeker Resources page for more information about applying for unemployment assistance as a self-employed or gig worker. 

Employer DUA Customer Service Resources
Information about contacting the Department of Unemployment Assistance (DUA) Employer Customer Service electronically and links to self-service resources including email addresses for various unemployment related employer questions.  Also included on this page is updated employer news and updates with notices about employer charges, filing quarterly wages, deadline extensions, and unemployment eligibility guidance (scroll down near the bottom of Employer Customer Service Resources page).

Department of Unemployment Assistance – Workshare Program
Gives employers a way to avoid layoffs by sharing the cost of wages with the State of Massachusetts. Employers apply online with their UI Online Employer Account.  If you have questions or difficulties applying for the Workshare Program contact the Western MA Rapid Response team listed above.

Massachusetts Reopening Plan including industry specific guidelines.

Unemployment Benefits and Returning to Work Guide for Employers
Answers questions about calling employees back to work full-time or part-time and navigating between the Payroll Protection Program (PPP) and unemployment benefits.  Important information for employers and employees alike.

MA Small Biz Reopening Guide is an online resource created by Mass Growth Capital Corp. and Massachusetts Association of Community Development Corps. The site helps businesses navigate available guidance and tools that will help them reopen safely and successfully.

OSHA Guidance on Preventing the Spread of COVID-19 in the Workplace
OSHA has issued guidance on protecting workers from contracting and spreading COVID-19 in the workplace.

Covid-19 Long Term Health Care Jobs Portal
The Commonwealth of Massachusetts COVID-19 Long Term Care Facility Staffing Team has created a portal to assist employers in recruiting healthcare workers for healthcare positions at assisted living and long-term care facilities statewide.  Employers can enter hiring needs in the portal, health care professionals can enter their work interests, and the portal staff will match job seekers to employment sites.  Temporary and permanent positions are available and can be posted.

Click HERE to learn more about jobs at temporary care sites.

Click HERE to learn more about jobs at long term care facilities.

To apply for jobs or to post jobs to the portal please click HERE.
This link includes FAQ’s for employers and workers.

COVID-19 and American Rescue Act Business Resources

U. S. Senate American Rescue Plan Summary

Franklin Regional Council of Governments

Greater Northampton Chamber of Commerce – Covid-19 Resources

Skoler, Abbott & Presser Covid-19 Resources for Employers

Small Business Association – American Rescue Plan Act

Massachusetts Covid-19 Resources for Businesses
Small Business Administrations (SBA) Economic Injury Disaster Loan application, tax relief (postponement of sales, meals, room occupancy taxes until June 20), Small Business Recovery Loan Fund, SBA bridge loans/grants, Paycheck Protection Program, and Debt Relief Program.  Also see link below for SBA resources in Federal Covid-19 legislation/resources below.

Massachusetts Covid-19 Executive Orders
Regarding closing restaurants and bars for on-premise consumption, hospital and assisted living visitor restrictions, among others.

Temporary Moratorium on Evictions and Foreclosures
Massachusetts has enacted a temporary moratorium on non-essential evictions of residential and small business tenants as well as a temporary foreclosure moratorium and relief for residential mortgages.  Click here for forms and guidance documents. 

Massachusetts Manufacturing Emergency Response Team
M-ERT is a coordinated response by the Baker-Polito Administration and leading academic and industry stakeholders to support the Commonwealth’s manufacturers in their efforts to produce much-needed supplies for front-line workers and the health care system. $10.6 million in grant funds is available to help manufacturers scale their operations to produce PPE and other critical items. Companies can apply for grants for equipment, materials, supplies, workforce training and other needs.

Franklin County Community Development Corporation
Small business lending, Covid-19 Fast Track Loan program, Emergency Farm Loans, other Covid-19 business resource links, and technical/business assistance around PPP loans and other business topics.

Massachusetts Growth Capital Corporation – Small Business Grant Program
Baker Administration announces a new small business relief program.  This program will target industries most hard-hit during the pandemic. Applications accepted December 31, 2020 – January 15, 2021. Grant awards up to $75,000.   Program details, eligibility criteria, and applications will be on December 28 here Keep checking back for updates on this program or other opportunities. 

This program sponsored by Local Initiatives Support Corporation (LISC) supports small businesses and enterprises affected by Covid-19 across the country, especially those in under-served communities, including entrepreneurs of color, women- and veteran-owned businesses that often lack access to flexible, affordable capital.  Rolling applications due Jan 5, 2021 for current round.  Applications can be submitted again in the next round January 26 – Feb 2, 2021.   Small businesses in rural communities are eligible.  Rural communities are defined as having a population of 50,000 or less.  Frequently asked questions available in multiple languages.

Small Business Strong is a public-private partnership that offers access to information, business advisors, and functional specialists to help small business navigate the impacts of COVID-19 with industry specific resources.

Grants for Women-Owned Restaurants in Massachusetts
The Massachusetts Conference for Women in partnership with the Massachusetts Restaurant Association has created a $250,000 fund to assist women-owned restaurants across Massachusetts. Fifty $5,000 grants will be presented to women-owned restaurants.  Apply by October 22, 2020.

Mass Development COVID-19 Response: Resurgent Places Funding
Funding specifically to help community partners prepare public space and commercial districts to best serve their population during communities’ economic recovery efforts. Eligible projects will comply with the Commonwealth’s Reopening Massachusetts plan, and may include outdoor seating spaces, sidewalk retail venues, partitions to support social distancing, and more.  Applications due July 31, 2020.

Greenfield Small Business Grant Program
Forgivable loans (grants) to small businesses located in Greenfield, MA that are dealing with the negative economic impacts of the COVID-19 pandemic. Must be: Income eligible, five or fewer employees, for-profit entity, Greenfield registered business, paid up-to-date Greenfield taxes as of date of application.

Regional Small Business COVID Recovery Grants Program
The City of Easthampton, in collaboration with the Pioneer Valley Planning Commission, was awarded approximately $1.3M from the Mass Department of Housing and Community Development through the CARES Act, to support local small businesses hardest hit by the COVID-19 pandemic. Valley Community Development Corporation will act as Program Administrator for the application and selection process to award one-time grants up to $10,000 for micro-businesses located in the following Hampshire County towns:  Easthampton, Hadley, Hatfield, Granby, Southampton, South Hadley, and WesthamptonEligible Hampden County towns include:  Agawam, Southwick.   Applications accepted beginning November 2, 2020. 

Northampton MA Emergency Small Business Grant Program

City of Northampton and Valley Community Development Corporation have teamed up to provide grants to low and moderate income businesses to assist in remaining open during/after Covid19 crisis. Applications open April 15, 2020 at 9am. Limited funds.

Massachusetts Cultural Council (MCC) Covid-19 Relief Programs
The MCC Covid-19 Relief Fund provides unrestricted grants of $1,000 to individual artists and independent teaching artists/humanists/scientists in Massachusetts who have lost income derived from their work as a direct result of COVID-19 related cancellations and closures. Application deadline is April 22.

The MCC Safe Harbors Initiative is a package of support for cultural nonprofits to encourage access to COVID-19 federal assistance programs along with financial supplements for MCC grantees, educational webinars, and coaching to review financial challenges and develop strategies.

Western MA Economic Development Council
Website includes a list of funding resources available for businesses.

Families First Coronavirus Response Act (FFCRA)

The FFCRA Act requires certain public employers and private employers with fewer than 500 employees to provide employees with paid sick leave or expanded family and medical leave for specified reasons related to COVID-19.  The U.S. Department of Labor website provides fact sheets for employers and employees, questions and answers providing more detail, an the temporary rule for implementation.

Click here to see U.S. Department of Labor and Internal Revenue Service details on family and sick leave tax credits for businesses.

New Federal Covid-19 legislation

U.S. Chamber of Commerce guidance on the Coronavirus Aid, Relief, and Economic Security (CARES) Act programs to help small businesses keep workers employed amid the pandemic and economic downturn. Website includes guides in English and Spanish on emergency forgivable loans as well as other resources.

Small Business Administration Coronavirus Relief Options – Paycheck Protection Program, Economic Injury Disaster Loan (EIDL)with advance of up to $10,000 (advance will not have to be repaid), express bridge loan, debt relief.  Agricultural businesses now eligible and prioritized.

For technical assistance questions around SBA loans and PPP program, contact Amy Shapiro at the Franklin County Community Development Corporation.  Also serves Hampshire County.

Contact Oreste Varela at the Small Business Administration (SBA) Massachusetts Springfield office to learn speak with a local SBA representative about Covid-19 small business guidance and loan resources – (413) 785-0484.

Learn more about Internal Revenue Service (IRS) Coronavirus Tax Relief for taxpayers, businesses, employers including: Families First Coronavirus Response Act paid sick/family leave tax credits, employee retention tax credits, deferred tax payments, and more.

U.S. Department of Treasury Paycheck Protection Program guidance, forms, how to apply.