[Taxes] IRS: The Treasury Department and the Internal Revenue Service announced that distribution of economic impact payments will begin in mid-April and will be distributed automatically, with no action required for most people.
[Taxes] IRS Tax Day Now July 15: The Treasury Department and Internal Revenue Service announced today that the federal income tax filing due date is automatically extended from April 15, 2020, to July 15, 2020.
[Taxes] Massachusetts Administrative Tax Relief Measures: The Baker-Polito Administration announced administrative tax relief measures for small local businesses which 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 that would be due in March, April and May so that they will instead be due on June 20.
Housing and Utilities Protections
The following is a list of housing and utilities resources for individuals in Boston.
[Housing] Moratorium on Eviction Proceedings in Boston to Protect Residents: Mayor Martin J. Walsh, the Greater Boston Real Estate Board and its entity the Massachusetts Apartment Association, and the Massachusetts Association of Community Development Corporations today announced they have created a partnership to impose a moratorium on evictions while Massachusetts is under a state of emergency.
[Housing] City of Boston: The City of Boston has established a $3 million fund to help Bostonians pay their rent. Recipients will have to demonstrate financial need.
[Utilities] Baker-Polito Administration Temporarily Prohibits Utility Shutoffs to Protect Massachusetts Ratepayers: The Baker-Polito Administration announced action to support ratepayers during the COVID-19 outbreak, directing the Department of Public Utilities to issue an Order prohibiting investor-owned utility companies from shutting off gas, electric, and water utility service to any customers for failure to pay a bill or a portion of a bill until the State of Emergency is lifted or the DPU determines otherwise.
[Utilities] Eversource: Eversource will suspend disconnection of service for non-payment, eliminate late payment charges, and offer flexible payment plans.
[Utilities] Comcast:Comcast’s comprehensive plan COVID-19 plan to help keep Americans connected to the Internet.
[Utilities] AT&T: Request a waiver of late fees and overage charges due to impact of COVID-19.
[Utilities] Verizon: If you are experiencing hardship because of COVID-19 and cannot pay your bill in full, Verizon will not charge you a late fee or terminate your service during this difficult period. To qualify, you must let Verizon know about your hardship.
The following is a list of resources for freelancers and independent contractors in Boston.
The following is a list of resources for independent artists in Boston.
[Funding] City of Boston Artist Relief Fund: The Boston Artist Relief Fund will award grants of $500 and $1,000 to individual artists who live in Boston whose creative practices and incomes are being adversely impacted by COVID-19.
[Funding] Boston Singers Relief Fund: Boston Singers Relief Fund is offering emergency relief for classical singers with gigs cancelled due to COVID-19.
[Funding] Boston Music Maker Relief Fund: The Record Co. has established a fund to provide financial relief to music makers in the Boston area experiencing lost revenue from gig cancellations resulting from coronavirus and COVID-19.
[Funding] Theater Community Benevolent Fund: TCBF provides financial relief in a confidential, respectful manner to individual theater practitioners of Greater Boston and the surrounding areas, facing occurrences of a catastrophic nature including but not limited to extreme illness, devastating acts of nature, housing emergencies, vandalism, and theft, and who have limited or no resources with which to handle such events.
The following is a list of resources for small businesses in Boston.
A majority of the funding support for small businesses at this time is in the form of loans. We do not recommend loans as a means for funding unless your business fills an essential need in the current environment or provides a product or service that will likely withstand the economic impact of this crisis over the next few years.
[Crowdfunding] GoFundMe: The GoFundMe Small Business Relief Initiative is intended to support local businesses facing financial loss.
[Grants] Black Business Relief Fund: Collaboration between Shea Moisture and We Buy Black to provide business grants to We Buy Black businesses in response to the COVID-19 pandemic.
[Grants] Boston Resiliency Fund: Grants are made at a rolling basis. Interested organizations should apply for future grants by submitting a formal statement of interest. This fund is focused on supporting organizations that need to change or expand essential services that provide immediate and basic needs to Bostonians.
[Grants] Facebook Small Business Grants: Facebook is offering $100MM in small grants and credits for up to 30,000 eligible small businesses in the 30 countries in which it operates.
[Grants] The James Beard Foundation Food and Beverage Industry Relief Fund: The purpose of the James Beard Foundation Food and Beverage Industry Relief Fund is to provide critical financial assistance to small, independent restaurants that, due to the COVID-19 (Coronavirus) national disaster, have an immediate need for funds to pay set operating expenses and keep from going out of business.
[Grants] The Red Backpack Fund: Sara Blakely, Founder of Spanx, has established a fund to provide business grants to female entrepreneurs. Grants up to $5,000.
[Grants] Verizon Small Business Recovery Fund: With a $2.5 million investment from Verizon, LISC is offering grants to help small businesses fill urgent financial gaps until they can resume normal operations or until other more permanent financing becomes available.
[Loans] The Futures Fund: To offer relief for small businesses that are already feeling significant pressure due to the COVID-19 pandemic, BECMA, in partnership with the Massachusetts LGBT Chamber of Commerce and powered by Berkshire Bank, announced The Futures Fund to help stabilize existing Black-owned businesses across the Commonwealth. The Futures Fund offers loans and lines of credit up to $50,000. This resource can be used in conjunction with SBA products.
[Loans] Kiva: Effective immediately, applicants for a Kiva crowdfunded loan will have access to expanded eligibility, crowdfunding limit increase to $15,000, and a grace period of up to 6 months.
[Loans] SBA Disaster Assistance Loan Program: The U.S. Small Business Administration announced on March 12 that it will provide disaster assistance loans for small businesses impacted by COVID-19.
[Loans] SBA Paycheck Protection Program: The Paycheck Protection Program is a loan designed to provide a direct incentive for small businesses to keep their workers on the payroll. SBA will forgive loans if all employees are kept on the payroll for eight weeks and the money is used for payroll, rent, mortgage interest, or utilities.
The following is a list of resources if your small business has employees or worker-owners in Boston.
[Paid Sick Leave] Earned Sick Time Information: Information on the State of Massachusett’s Earned Sick Time laws enforced by the Commonwealth of Massachusetts Attorney General’s Labor Division.
[Telecommuting] Resources for Managing Teleworkers: Employers may be able to avert layoffs or work reduction by offering flexibility in work location and hours through telecommuting.
[Unemployment Claims] Filing an Unemployment Insurance Claim: Information on how your employees can file unemployment insurance claims in the event that the worker is quarantined due to an order by a civil authority or medical professional or due to a temporary workplace shutdown as a result of COVID-19.
[Work Share] Workshare Program: WorkShare is a program that offers a smart alternative to layoffs. Employees work reduced hours while collecting unemployment benefits to supplement their lower wages.
[Worker Support] Bartender Emergency Assistance Fund: USBG National Charity Foundation’s emergency assistance fund for individuals employed as bartenders or the spouse or child of a bartender.
[Worker Support] One Fair Wage Emergency Fund: Financial support for restaurant workers, gig worker and other hourly workers are facing unprecedented economic hardship from the coronavirus crisis.
[Worker Support] Restaurant Cares: The California Restaurant Association Foundation, a nonprofit that supports the state’s restaurant workforce through educational grants, has an emergency loan program to help restaurant workers cover basic living expenses.