March 18, 2020 E-news


COVID-19 Business Resources 

Please continue to check the RAM website for more frequent updates.



 Revised Survey

Please take a minute to complete this brief eight question follow up survey on the ongoing COVID-19 impacts to your business, which assists us in communicating the needs of our members and our industry to federal, state and local officials.

 Click here to respond.

MA Attorney General and Department of Environmental Protection (DEP) Suspend Bottle Law Redemption


March 18, 2020 -- Effective immediately, the MA Department of Environmental Protection (DEP) and the MA Attorney General’s Office have suspended enforcement of the requirements for retailers to accept beverage containers that have a deposit until further notice or until the current state of emergency is terminated. 

For notice of the emergency order visit:


State Updates has compiled and continues to issue guidance for businesses and employers.  There you can find updates on Unemployment Resources, Gatherings Over 25 People, On-Premise Food Restriction, and Small Business Relief Funding programs. Members are urged to check the following link daily for the most up to date news and developments –COVID-19 Guidance and Directives - Businesses & Employers.

Small Business Recovery Fund - Massachusetts 
Governor Baker has announced a $10M Small Business Recovery Fund.  The program is open to small businesses with less than 50 employees who can demonstrate an adverse impact on revenues resulting from the coronavirus outbreak.  Loans are up to $75,000, with an annual interest rate of 3%; there are no payments for the first six months, followed 30-months of principal and interest payments. To learn more about the program including eligibility and application process please visit the Massachusetts Growth Capital Fund website at

U.S. Small Business Administration’s Economic Disaster Loan Program Update
Governor Baker has submitted a request to activate the Small Business Administration’s Economic Injury Disaster Loan (EIDL) program in Massachusetts.  The application is now awaiting formal acceptance from the United States Small Business Administration.  Once finalized the EIDL will be able to provide Massachusetts businesses who are experiencing hardships resulting from the COVID-19 outbreak access up to $2M in emergency loan capital with rates capped at 3.75%. 
RAM will provide an update once this program has been approved for Massachusetts.  Businesses can learn more about the Federal loan program through the U.S. Small Business Administration here.
Unemployment Assistance Resources
Efforts to expand coverage and provide flexibility from program requirements during this are ongoing at both the state and federal level.      
In Massachusetts, legislation which would waive the normal one-week waiting period for UI benefits so that the state can immediately begin paying benefits to persons affected by the COVID-19 outbreak.  It is anticipated that the state will adopt this change by the end of the week. An update will be issued once this legislation has been adopted.
Also, state and federal emergency regulations now provide access to UI benefits if a worker is quarantined due to an order by a civil authority or medical professional or leaves employment due to reasonable risk of exposure or infection or to care for a family member and does not intend to or is not allowed to return to work. The worker need not provide medical documentation and need only be available for work when and as able.  Members can learn more about these changes here  

Massachusetts Emergency Management Agency - Updates

National Retail Federation -Coronavirus Resources for Retailers