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.

 

 

 

The SBA has announced that the Restaurant Revitalization Fund portal will accept applications beginning Monday, May 3rd at noon.

  • Eligible businesses can submit an application online via the application portal orvia an SBA-recognized Point of Sale (POS) vendor.
    •  If a business is submitting via the application portal, they need to register first. Registration for the SBA application portal will begin this Friday, April 30, at 9 am.
    • If a business has an existing relationship with a POS vendor, they should reach out directly to their vendor to apply. Participating vendors include Square, Toast, Clover, and NCR Corporation (Aloha).
  • SBA will offer two webinars today (Wednesday, April 28th) to cover program details and how to submit an application – one in English (2:30 pm) and one in Spanish (10 am). The SBA Massachusetts District Office will hold a session with the Office of Senator Markey, Massachusetts Restaurant Association, and Mass Restaurants United tomorrow, April 29th at 3 pm. In addition, SBA has put together a Knowledge Base page with responses to frequently asked questions.
  • Businesses can use this sample application form to prepare their information ahead of submission; they should not submit these sample forms to SBA, but use them to guide preparation for when applications do open next week.
  • Eligible businesses are encouraged to apply as soon as possible for this opportunity, as funds are limited and demand is substantial.

 

MA DOR Draft Guidance on Upcoming Sales/Meals Tax Changes:

Early Remittance for Many Coming Due April 25th

The MA Department of Revenue (DOR) has released its initial guidance, a Working Draft Technical Information Release (TIR), regarding the recent tax changes included in last year’s state budget, including the acceleration of the remittance of sales, use, meals, and room occupancy taxes and the new filing due date for these taxes. All RAM members are urged to closely review the new requirements, which will require many members to make two payments in April – the regular remittance for the month of March and an advanced April payment for the first 21 days of sales.


As you know, RAM has been at the center of the fight on issues related to the remittance of sales tax since Governor Baker first proposed a switch to “Real Time” sales tax collection four years ago. While we have been successful so far in repeatedly defeating the extremely costly “Real Time” sales tax proposals, the issue has raised awareness of the prevalence of prepayment requirements in many other sales tax states. As prepayment, or the acceleration of sales tax, advanced as a policy proposal here in the Commonwealth, RAM has sought to simplify or streamline the process and minimize the impact on smaller sellers. We continue to seek additional flexibility through further legislative changes and with the DOR.
Click here to keep reading.

 

 

State Issues Delay in Employers’ Q1 UI Payments After Outrage over Solvency Fund Assessment


The Baker Administration has issued emergency regulations to delay the remittance due date for employers’ first quarter unemployment insurance payments.  Employers were notified late Thursday of the change in an email from the Department of Unemployment Assistance (DUA).
 
 
Originally due on April 30, 2021, with this delay, payments will now be due on June 1.  Wage filings will still be due on April 30.

 
This delay will give Beacon Hill additional time to determine a pathway forward as they look to respond to the massive 9.23% Solvency Fund Assessment that came as a shock to employers in their Q1 bills.  As you know, RAM and our members have led the charge in the effort to seek some shared responsibility with the federal and state government, pushing for the use of federal relief funds to help cover a portion of the COVID related claims that have drained the UI Trust Fund.  Read more on that effort below.

 

Click here to read email  from DUA to employers

 

Unemployment insurance bill doesn’t go far enough
All employers being penalized for a problem they didn’t cause

 

By Jon Hurst, Op-Ed in March 11, 2021 edition of Commonwealth Magazine

 

A BEACON HILL deal has been made to prevent an enormous, unprecedented tax bill in April for Massachusetts employers. Some businesses were aware it was coming while most had no idea. But the Legislature is now acting to provide temporary relief for those first quarter unemployment insurance (UI) tax bills, which otherwise would have resulted in a nearly 60 percent tax increase, averaging $327 more per employee.

Yet, the employer community should ask: “Is this fix good enough for our small businesses, and how did the unprecedented deficits happen?”

 

Click here to continue reading.

 

State Revises Retail & Restaurant Protocols – Effective Monday May 10th

 

This afternoon, the Baker Administration posted revised sector-specific guidance for the retail and restaurant industries in the Commonwealth.  The changes are to take effect on Monday, May 10, 2021.  The updated sector-specific protocols and best practices can be found here:

 

RAM has been actively lobbying the Administration to revisit the announced timeline for a full reopening, advocating that the state fully reopen by Memorial Day.  In the immediate term, we had also raised a number of issues with the protocols, citing restrictions that should be relaxed sooner.  Some of those concerns have been addressed with this update, including, but not limited to, the following changes in the retail protocols:

  • the elimination of mandated senior hours for pharmacies and grocery stores
  • the elimination of the requirement to quarantine/steam clean clothing tried on by a customer
  • the elimination of required cleaning logs, deference to CDC guidance

 
ALL members are encouraged to closely review the new protocols.

 


 

RAM members are strongly encouraged to take action by contacting their state legislators, Governor Baker, and Congressional Representatives and Senators, and requesting relief from significant increases in unemployment insurance taxes charged to employers by supporting the use of federal pandemic recovery funds to bolster the state’s Unemployment Insurance Trust Fund.  For your convenience, RAM has prepared a voter voice campaign which you can use to facilitate your communication. 

 

New Online Loss Prevention Information Sharing Platform 

The RAM LP Committee recently introduced the New England Organize Retail Crime Alliance’s (NEORCA) new online information sharing platform. 

LP committee members interested in requesting access to the service, should click here.  

 

 

 CORONAVIRUS RESOURCES

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 

Visit the state’s website to learn more: