May 1, 2020

RAM First to Appear before Gov. Baker’s Economic Reopening Advisory Board

 Governor Charlie Baker extended his stay-at-home advisory to May 18th this week, and simultaneously announced a 17-member Economic Recovery Advisory Board (ERAB) to come up with a recommendation to get the Commonwealth back up and running.  RAM Board and Executive Committee member Wendy Hudson of Nantucket Bookworks and Cisco Brewers is on the panel.
RAM was the first group to appear before the ERAB, given an opportunity to present on Wednesday, just one day after the Board’s announcement.  RAM President Jon Hurst was joined in the presentation by three RAM members, Rocco Falcone of Rocky’s Ace Hardware, Eric Michelson of Michelson’s Shoes, and Richard Vaughn of Needham Music.  The group went over a plan for the gradual, phased reopening of the retail industry in the Commonwealth, facilitated by some of the familiar additional protections and safety protocols we now see in place at “essential” businesses. 
However, RAM did highlight an immediate need to address the one issue where MA is an outlier, in prohibiting the fulfillment of consumer orders made online, by phone or email, from closed retail establishments and warehouse facilities.  Hurst described how “essential” stores have been operating safely under strict protocols here in the Commonwealth and provide a blueprint for “non-essential” stores and warehouses to do the same.  The industry supports strict guidance and protocols to facilitate an immediate change to allow for the operation of currently deemed “non-essential services” in closed retail stores, warehouses and facilities. 
“Taking this initial immediate step will realign the Commonwealth with what has been the common practice across the country in allowing for fulfillment of remote orders.  It’s the first step to give MA retail employers and employees a chance to save jobs for the future, and it will give them a fighting chance at future economic survival,” said Hurst. 
The ERAB is to report back to Governor Baker by May 18th. 

Baker Issues State-wide Face Covering Order


Effective Wednesday, May 6, 2020, Governor Baker issued an Order requiring face masks or cloth face coverings in public places where social distancing is not possible. This applies to both indoor and outdoor spaces. Exceptions include children under the age of 2 and those unable to wear a mask or face covering due to a medical condition. Full details are outlined in the May 1 Order

To learn more please visit the Department of Public Health website.


Operation Open Doors: NRF Guidance for Retailers on Reopening Stores


As retail businesses begin to open to employees and customers, Operation Open Doors will provide operational guidelines and considerations developed with input from hundreds of retail industry leaders convened by the National Retail Federation.  The effort prioritizes four functional areas for America’s retail sector: Health and Safety, People and Personnel, Logistics and Supply Chain, and Litigation and Liability. 

Click here to learn more about these issues and how to prepare your business for reopening.