Novel Coronavirus Resources for Businesses

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Transmission electron microscopic image of an isolate from the first U.S. case of COVID-19, formerly known as 2019-nCoV. The spherical viral particles, colorized blue, contain cross-section through the viral genome, seen as black dots.

The Novel Coronavirus outbreak and the social distancing precautions it necessitates are having a big impact on Somerville businesses. We understand the stress that our entrepreneurs, workers, and freelancers are under given the uncertainty of the situation and the level of disruption to daily life.

The site aims to be a place for businesses to access resources, information, and support in this difficult time.

Stay in Touch

The most up-to-date general information about the virus in the city can be found at SomervilleMA.gov/coronavirus. You may subscribe to our Business Newsletter here to receive regular updates on resources and news for businesses. In addition, we and our trusted partners host many events, including our monthly virtual town hall for business owners. We also recommend signing up for City alerts to get general, citywide updates as they are announced.

Questions? Concerns? Submit in the Q&A below and we will be in touch.

Somerville Reopening Resources


Business Reopening Guidelines and Rules
For up-to-date information on business opening dates, policies, and safety requirements, visit the "What's Open, Closed, and OK?" tab at SomervilleMA.gov/coronavirus. Note the detailed guidelines for restaurants, personal services, and Phase 3 businesses.


Winter Guidelines Survey - The City is in the process of creating Winter guidelines for businesses that wish to continue operations outdoors now that the Licensing Commission has extended outdoor seating until January 11, 2021. Our guidelines must consider snow emergencies, construction activities, and public safety as well as business needs. Knowing your business's plans for the winter and whether the 1/11/21 date should be extended can help us design better guidelines and provide more helpful assistance. Fill out the survey to share your thoughts. Email Sue Thomas with any questions.

Coaching for Somerville Businesses Affected by Coronavirus - Get free, expert help on the business issues that matter most right now.

Somerville Delivers - The Somerville Chamber of Commerce Dining & Nightlife Group, East Somerville Main Streets, Union Square Main Streets, Velir, the Welcome Project, and the City of Somerville created SomervilleDelivers.com to promote information on Somerville food businesses who are taking delivery and takeout orders or selling groceries during the COVID-19 crisis. En Español.


Financial Resources for Businesses

Update 1/4/2021: Somerville Small Business COVID-19 Relief Fund - This round of funding provides financial relief for fitness facilities, restaurants, nightclubs, theaters, indoor recreation and other businesses impacted by government-directed closures due to Covid-19. Applications will be available starting 12/30. Eligible businesses may be awarded up to $25,000.

Outdoor Dining Reimbursement Program - Somerville restaurants with a current outdoor dining permit are eligible for $1,000 reimbursement for outdoor furniture or heaters necessary to keep their businesses open.

MGCC is providing a new round of grants to small businesses. Applications due 11/12/2020 at 12:00 PM.


General Resources for Businesses

This page contains legal support, useful links, and informational resources for businesses facing coronavirus disruptions.


Para mas información en Español sobre todos los recursos disponibles para los pequeños negocios en Somerville, por favor contacte a Daniela Carrillo de la Oficina de Economic Development en dcarrillo@somervillema.gov. También puede contactarnos al (617) 625 6600 ext. 2546.

Para obter uma cópia deste panfleto em Português, entrar em contato com 617-666-3311 ou por e-mail SomerVivaPort@SomervilleMA.gov.

Pou yon kopi infòmasyon sa an Kreyòl Ayisyen, tanpri rele 617-666-3311 oubyen voye on email nan: SomerViv@SomervilleMA.gov.

The Novel Coronavirus outbreak and the social distancing precautions it necessitates are having a big impact on Somerville businesses. We understand the stress that our entrepreneurs, workers, and freelancers are under given the uncertainty of the situation and the level of disruption to daily life.

The site aims to be a place for businesses to access resources, information, and support in this difficult time.

Stay in Touch

The most up-to-date general information about the virus in the city can be found at SomervilleMA.gov/coronavirus. You may subscribe to our Business Newsletter here to receive regular updates on resources and news for businesses. In addition, we and our trusted partners host many events, including our monthly virtual town hall for business owners. We also recommend signing up for City alerts to get general, citywide updates as they are announced.

Questions? Concerns? Submit in the Q&A below and we will be in touch.

Somerville Reopening Resources


Business Reopening Guidelines and Rules
For up-to-date information on business opening dates, policies, and safety requirements, visit the "What's Open, Closed, and OK?" tab at SomervilleMA.gov/coronavirus. Note the detailed guidelines for restaurants, personal services, and Phase 3 businesses.


Winter Guidelines Survey - The City is in the process of creating Winter guidelines for businesses that wish to continue operations outdoors now that the Licensing Commission has extended outdoor seating until January 11, 2021. Our guidelines must consider snow emergencies, construction activities, and public safety as well as business needs. Knowing your business's plans for the winter and whether the 1/11/21 date should be extended can help us design better guidelines and provide more helpful assistance. Fill out the survey to share your thoughts. Email Sue Thomas with any questions.

Coaching for Somerville Businesses Affected by Coronavirus - Get free, expert help on the business issues that matter most right now.

Somerville Delivers - The Somerville Chamber of Commerce Dining & Nightlife Group, East Somerville Main Streets, Union Square Main Streets, Velir, the Welcome Project, and the City of Somerville created SomervilleDelivers.com to promote information on Somerville food businesses who are taking delivery and takeout orders or selling groceries during the COVID-19 crisis. En Español.


Financial Resources for Businesses

Update 1/4/2021: Somerville Small Business COVID-19 Relief Fund - This round of funding provides financial relief for fitness facilities, restaurants, nightclubs, theaters, indoor recreation and other businesses impacted by government-directed closures due to Covid-19. Applications will be available starting 12/30. Eligible businesses may be awarded up to $25,000.

Outdoor Dining Reimbursement Program - Somerville restaurants with a current outdoor dining permit are eligible for $1,000 reimbursement for outdoor furniture or heaters necessary to keep their businesses open.

MGCC is providing a new round of grants to small businesses. Applications due 11/12/2020 at 12:00 PM.


General Resources for Businesses

This page contains legal support, useful links, and informational resources for businesses facing coronavirus disruptions.


Para mas información en Español sobre todos los recursos disponibles para los pequeños negocios en Somerville, por favor contacte a Daniela Carrillo de la Oficina de Economic Development en dcarrillo@somervillema.gov. También puede contactarnos al (617) 625 6600 ext. 2546.

Para obter uma cópia deste panfleto em Português, entrar em contato com 617-666-3311 ou por e-mail SomerVivaPort@SomervilleMA.gov.

Pou yon kopi infòmasyon sa an Kreyòl Ayisyen, tanpri rele 617-666-3311 oubyen voye on email nan: SomerViv@SomervilleMA.gov.

Q&A

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    What unemployment benefits are available to contractors or freelancers?

    Lauren asked about 1 year ago

    Answer from Mass.gov: "Currently self-employed individuals and 1099 contract employees are not eligible for unemployment benefits. If the President of the United States makes a disaster unemployment declaration for Massachusetts or nationwide, the self-employed and 1099 contractors would become eligible for unemployment assistance. This is already coded into the Department of Unemployment Assistance system and would be available immediately upon declaration and press release announcement."

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    What is happening to permits and licenses right now?

    Lauren asked about 1 year ago

    Special Alcohol Licenses: All special alcohol licenses through April have been cancelled, but the City is accepting applications for events starting in May.

    Other Permits: The City is accepting new online applications, but processing may take longer than usual because of limited staffing.

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    What protections exist for my employees? How can I best support them?

    Lauren asked about 1 year ago

    The Executive Office of Labor and Workforce Development offers resources for businesses related to employee benefits and will post additional guidance as it becomes available. The state is providing updated information regarding unemployment resources and which rules have been relaxed as a result of Coronavirus.

    In addition, it may be worth familiarizing yourself with two state programs:
    1. The WorkShare program, a tool to help employers avoid layoffs during a downturn.
    2. The Rapid Response program, which works closely with companies to avert layoffs and keep a skilled workforce engaged in the existing regional economy or industry.
    Businesses, have you thought of any other ideas? Let us know in the forums.