BECOMING A MEMBER OF RAM IS ONE OF THE BEST DECISIONS YOU CAN MAKE FOR YOUR BUSINESS.  
By joining you gain access to exclusive, money saving discounts on services and programs, legislative updates and advocacy as well as valuable educational opportunities. We aim to help you grow and protect your business, promote the retail industry and save your business money.

 

CORONAVIRUS (COVID-19) RESOURCES

During this critical time, it is important for members to remain informed about the ongoing government response to the COVID-19 crisis and its resulting changes which may affect your business, your employees and your customers. 

RAM has prepared a comprehensive list of resources and links on openings, operations and gatherings, small business loan programs, unemployment insurance expansion, taxation, and federal paid leave, sick time, and economic stimulus legislation.  RAM urges members to click the link below to access this frequently updated information.

CLICK HERE FOR LINKS TO ALL KEY BUSINESS RESOURCES

 

Governor Talks Phase II of Re-opening, Releases Guidance for Restaurants & Lodging,
Retail Guidance Expected Early Next Week

 
Governor Charlie Baker discussed next steps in the Reopening Massachusetts plan today and released guidance for the restaurant and lodging sectors to review in preparation for their limited Phase 2 reopening.  RAM expects guidance for the retail sector to be released on Monday or Tuesday of next week.  The specific date on which Phase 2 will begin will be announced on June 6th.
 
On Monday, the Governor will issue an updated Executive Order with a detailed list of sectors that fall into each phase.  The order will detail steps to allow Phase 2 businesses (retail, restaurant, lodging) to bring back employees to prepare for reopening. 
 
Restaurants will be limited to outdoor dining only at the start of Phase 2, with indoor dining to follow later in Phase 2.  The restaurant guidance is here.
 
The lodging guidance is here.
 
All of these steps and the progression into Phase 2 is incumbent upon the continued positive trends in the reported public health data.  Click here for more information on the full reopening plan.

All Essential Businesses are Required to Self-certify by May 25th to Remain Open 

Non-essential retail stores continued to be limited in Phase One, with expansion to allow for curbside pickup on May 25th

However, ALL “Essential Businesses” that remain open have until May 25, 2020, to comply and self-certify with the new safety standards.  A COVID-19 control plan template is provided on the state site to satisfy the written control plan requirement for self-certification.  Required employer and employee posters are available for download, as is the Compliance attestation poster that customer facing businesses are required to print, sign, and post in an area within the business premises that is visible to workers and visitors.

 

 

Phase One: Retail Curbside Pickup & Remote Fulfillment Rules…
But what’s next?

Non-essential retail stores are limited to curbside pickup and remote fulfillment in Phase One of Governor Charlie Baker’s Reopening Plan. Download the retail operating rules here.

 

RAM continues to communicate with the Governor’s office regarding a possible expansion of the rules to allow for limited in-store appointment retail services prior to Phase Two. Retail, restaurants, lodging, and personal services such as nail salons and spas, remain scheduled for opening in Phase Two, with expected restrictions and capacity limitations still to be determined. For all of the information on the Reopening Plan, including current status, general business guidance, sector-specific protocols and best practices, click here.

 

U.S. Department of Labor Announces New Paid Sick Leave and Expanded Family and Medical Leave Implementation

The U.S. Department of Labor announced new action regarding how American workers and employers will benefit from the protections and relief offered by the Emergency Paid Sick Leave Act and Emergency Family and Medical Leave Expansion Act, both part of the Families First Coronavirus Response Act (FFCRA). The department’s Wage and Hour Division (WHD) posted a temporary rule issuing regulations pursuant to this new law, effective, April 1, 2020.


For more information, click here.

 

 

Throughout the COVID-19 crisis a top priority for our small business members has been the safety and well-being of their workers.  The elevated health risks have made employer sponsored health insurance all the more important, and for many businesses the continuation of health care coverage will play an important role in their disaster recovery strategy. 

Both of our carriers, Blue Cross Blue Shield of MA and Fallon Health, have announced expansion of coverage and access to care to help members address health issues related to the COVID-19 pandemic.  RAM reminds members that premium rates on all health insurance plans offered through RAMHIC now come with an upfront discount of 3% for both renewals and new participating members.  Qualifying members also have access to additional financial incentives and free ancillary benefits by purchasing through the cooperative.  Click here to learn more how you can start saving on health insurance and provide peace of mind to your employees during this trying time.

 

Click here for RAMHIC page with more information.