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During this critical time, it is important for members to remain informed about the ongoing government response to the COVID-19 crisis and its resulting changes which may affect your business, your employees and your customers. 

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.



MA Enters Phase Three of Reopening Plan on Monday, July 6th

Gov. Charlie Baker announced today that Phase Three of the Reopening Massachusetts plan will begin on Monday July 6th, allowing for gyms, museums, movie theaters and more to resume some operations, with continued social distancing, face-covering and increased hygiene practices in place.  Phase Three will "last significantly longer than the other phases," according to Gov. Baker, and will be divided in two steps. 
With the beginning of Phase Three, the retail sector guidance will be updated to allow for an increase in occupancy to 50%.  The new guidance is also expected to allow for increased use of general dressing and fitting rooms, with requirements of removing garments and frequent cleaning in place.  The new retail guidance will be updated and posted to the retail sector-specific safety protocols and recommended best practices over the weekend.
All businesses must continue to comply with the Mandatory Safety Standards for Workplaces
Also in Phase Three, restrictions on indoor gatherings will be capped at eight people per 1,000 square feet with a maximum of 25, while outdoor enclosed gatherings will be limited to 25 percent of permitted capacity with a maximum of 100.
All members are encouraged to closely review the new Phase Three guidance to ensure compliance in advance of July 6th.  




MA Annual Sales Tax Holiday Weekend Set for August 29-30, 2020


The Annual MA Sales Tax Holiday has been set for the weekend of August 29-30, 2020.  For the Department of Revenue’s (DOR) list of Frequently Asked Questions, click here.


Gov. Baker & Legislative Leaders Announce Extension of Sales & Meals Tax Relief

Governor Charlie Baker, Lt. Governor Karyn Polito, Senate President Karen Spilka and House Speaker Robert DeLeo announced additional administrative tax relief for businesses impacted by the COVID-19 crisis.   

The MA Department of Revenue (DOR) had previously extended the deadline to June 20, 2020, for returns and payments for certain sales and use (including meals) tax and room occupancy vendors for periods beginning February 1, 2020 through April 30, 2020.  That deadline is now being further extended to September 20, 2020.  The extension will now apply to returns and payments for periods beginning February 1, 2020 through July 31, 2020.
Click here to keep reading.


All Businesses Must Meet State Self-Certification Requirement to Reopen  

In order to reopen, all businesses must comply with:

  1. The Mandatory Safety Standards for Workplaces,
  2. Any additional sector-specific safety protocols and recommended best practices, and
  3. Complete and post the following:    
  • COVID-19 control plan template – Template that satisfies the written control plan requirement for self-certification
  • Compliance attestation poster – Poster that customer facing businesses are required to print, sign, and post in an area within the business premises that is visible to workers and visitors
  • Employer and Worker posters – Posters that businesses can print and display within the business premises to describe the rules for maintaining social distancing, hygiene protocols, and cleaning and disinfecting 


Executive Order on Phase 2, Releases Rules, Checklist & Guidance for Retail Reopening


Governor Charlie Baker issued a new Executive Order on Monday, June 1,  outlining the businesses and activities that fall into Phases 2-4 of his reopening plan. The Order includes guidance for the retail sector to review in preparation for the limited reopening of retail stores as part of Phase 2 of the Reopening Massachusetts plan.  

“Effective immediately, the Executive Order permits Phase II businesses to reopen their physical workplaces to workers only to conduct necessary preparations prior to the start of Phase II.  Preparations include but are not limited to completing a COVID-19 Control Plan, implementing sector-specific protocols, and complying with Mandatory Workplace Safety Standards.”

For the Reopening Phase 2 Executive Order, click here.