January 13, 2022


3 Reasons Why Congress Should Expand COVID-19 Relief Grant Funding to Small Retailers, Restaurants & Other Small Businesses


RAM urges members to ask their Members of Congress to reauthorize, expand and fund restoration grant programs aimed at all in-person, consumer serving small businesses—including restaurants, stores, venues, dry cleaners, cobblers, barbers, gyms, etc.

Congress can help Main Street employers rebuild their businesses and serve their communities by replenishing and refocusing the PPP to target in person consumer serving small businesses; as well as by reauthorizing and expanding the Restaurant Revitalization Fund, granting eligibility to small retailers and other in person, consumer serving small businesses to receive RRF grant funding.

Here are three reasons why Congress should expand grant new funding and revise eligibility through the PPP and RRF for small businesses.

  1. Economic ripple effects of the pandemic have slowed recovery for small retailers, restaurants and other consumer serving, Main Street employers by lowering sales and raising costs.
  2. Loan and grant programs only covered a fraction of early losses, those grants have been exhausted, yet government restrictions and messaging redirecting consumer spending continue.
  3. Some small businesses were left behind by prior loan and grant programs, while at the same time some employers operating primarily virtually received aid when they never needed the programs in the first place.

Small retailers, restaurants and other brick and mortar small businesses continue to face challenges that slow their economic recovery, including rising inflation, supply chain backlogs and labor shortages. They deserve continued government investment until the pandemic triggered restrictions and messaging are gone to rebuild their businesses and serve their communities.




MA Announces Optional Digital Vaccine Card

App launched as mandates approach in Boston, Brookline & Salem


On Monday, Governor Charlie Baker announced a new option available for residents of MA to access a COVID-19 digital vaccine card.  The state is NOT mandating the use of vaccine cards/passports of any kind, but maintains that this is an optional tool for residents who may need or want a digital record.  Click here for more details on the state’s “My Vax Records” site.
The rollout of this digital option comes in advance of the vaccine mandate set to take effect on Saturday, January 15th, in the City of Boston, which will require all employees and customers to show proof of vaccination against COVID-19 to enter certain indoor spaces, such as indoor dining, including bars and nightclubs, indoor fitness, and indoor entertainment venues.  More info on the Boston ordinance is here.  Both Brookline and Salem have since followed Boston’s lead and adopted similar ordinances set to take effect on Saturday.


RAM Promotes “Marketplace Principles” for a Return to Economic Normalcy

To kick off the new year, last week RAM joined with a number of other business groups in an effort to promote a quick and safe return to economic normalcy.  The groups signed a statement in support of a set of marketplace principles, opposing additional mandates and urging additional support for the Commonwealth’s small businesses.
“Two years into the COVID-19 pandemic, many small businesses across the Commonwealth still have not obtained normalcy, due in large part to constant negative public messaging.” 
The statement continued on to say, “Rather than one-size-fits-all, government-imposed mandates, we must return to economic normalcy by recognizing that personal responsibility and appropriate choices by individuals, employers, employees and consumers represent the long-term path forward.”
The full statement and list of signatories can be found here.

DPH Webinar on New Testing Protocols

The MA Department of Public Health (DPH) has issued an updated advisory with specific guidance on testing protocols.  DPH and other state officials have scheduled a webinar for businesses across the Commonwealth to learn more about the current CDC and DPH testing guidance as it relates to employers and employees.
This webinar will be held on Friday, January 14th at 2:30 pm. Mike Kennealy, MA Secretary of Housing and Economic Development, will be joined by MA DPH Acting Commissioner Margret Cooke, State Epidemiologist Catherine Brown, and Medical Director of the Bureau for Infectious Disease, Larry Madoff.
To join the Zoom webinar:
When: Jan 14, 2022 02:30 PM Eastern Time (US and Canada)
Topic: Business Community Call
Please click the link below to join the webinar:
Passcode: 364462
Or One tap mobile :
    US: +13017158592,,86427504789#,,,,*364462#  or +13126266799,,86427504789#,,,,*364462#
Or Telephone:
    Dial(for higher quality, dial a number based on your current location):
        US: +1 301 715 8592  or +1 312 626 6799  or +1 646 558 8656  or +1 253 215 8782  or +1 346 248 7799  or +1 720 707 2699
Webinar ID: 864 2750 4789
Passcode: 364462