5/22/20 COVID-19 Update

  • 6 million Americans have filed for unemployment
  • Massachusetts companies receive $9.5M to produce personal protective equipment
  • Governor Charlie Baker does not feel urgency of mail-in voting
  • State budget timeline uncertain; hinges on Federal COVID-19 funds
  • MBTA lays out passive COVID-19 strategy
  • Beaches are allowed to reopen this weekend under phase one of the reopening plan
  • Restaurant owners are looking for relief on their mounting rent payments
  • Friday’s Silver Lining: Memorial Day Weekend, a chance to remember our fallen heroes

 

  1. 4 million Americans, including about 38,000 Massachusetts residents, filed for unemployment last week bringing to total number of unemployed to a staggering 38.6 million. The Congressional Budget Office (CBO) estimated this week that the economy is shrinking at a thirty-eight percent annual rate in April-June quarter.

 

  1. Governor Charlie Baker announced the Manufacturing Emergency Response Team (M-ERT) awarded 15 Massachusetts companies a total of $9.5 million to create Personal Protective Equipment (PPE) including masks, gowns, ventilators, swabs and testing material. M-ERT has received 71 grant applications since it was created in April and grants are considered on a rolling basis.

 

  1. Governor Charlie Baker does not share the urgency many advocates and lawmakers do around mail-in ballots. Various bills including one to send ballots by mail to every registered voter in the state for the September 1st primary and November 3rd general elections to ensure public health and safety measures are upheld, are currently before the Joint Committee on Election Laws and have yet to be ruled on.

 

  1. Speaker of the House of Representatives Bob DeLeo is uncertain what this year’s fiscal budget proposal will look like without a clear answer as to whether or not states and municipalities will receive any part of the $1 trillion COVID-19 aid package currently being debated in Congress. Temporary monthly budgets could take the place of a yearlong fiscal plan until lawmakers receive direction from Congress. Fiscal projections have plummeted since the outset of COVID-19 with the Commonwealth facing a revenue shortfall of $4-6 billion dollars.

 

  1. While the state begins to slowly reopen, the MBTA will continue to offer reduced Saturday levels of services for the next several weeks, as restarting full service would send the wrong signal. However, officials at the MBTA intend to manage ridership risks with policies that do not mandate social distancing or face coverings. What signal does that send?

 

  1. Three pages of new rules and regulations will hit Massachusetts beach goers this weekend as part of Governor Baker’s reopening plan. They include: twelve feet between beach blankets, water fountains will remain off, changing rooms will remain closed and masks are required when you can’t be six feet apart from one another.

 

  1. CEO of the Massachusetts Restaurant Association, Bob Luz says nearly two-thirds of the restaurants in Massachusetts are shut down amid COVID-19 and without access to the Payroll Protection Program, which stipulates the majority of the funds must be used on payroll expenses, chefs and owners are looking for relief – and quickly.

 

  1. MEANING OF MEMORIAL DAY: For the last ten years the Massachusetts Military Heroes Fund have honored our fallen heroes by creating the Boston Common Flag Garden by planting 37,000 flags and reading the roll call of the fallen at a special ceremony. While COVID-19 has made MMHF pivot this year, their message remains the same. Please join Melwood Global in this year’s MMHF “Virtual Flag Garden” by printing this flag and placing in your windows over the weekend. Share your flag by using #HeroesFlagGarden on your social media.
2020-05-27T10:19:00+00:00