BECOMING A MEMBER OF RAM IS ONE OF THE BEST DECISIONS YOU CAN MAKE FOR YOUR BUSINESS.  
By joining you gain access to exclusive, money saving discounts on services and programs, legislative updates and advocacy as well as valuable educational opportunities. We aim to help you grow and protect your business, promote the retail industry and save your business money.

 

CORONAVIRUS (COVID-19) RESOURCES

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.

CLICK HERE FOR LINKS TO ALL KEY BUSINESS RESOURCES

   

MA Reopening Plan - Current Status Phase Three, Step One

Massachusetts remains in step one of Phase III of the Reopening Massachusetts plan, after Gov. Baker recently announced an indefinite delay to the implementation of step two due to an increase in COVID-19 cases reported in certain parts of the Commonwealth.  

In addition to the delay, Gov. Baker also issued a number of new initiatives designed to curb further spread of the virus, including the adoption of a stricter state-wide gatherings standard and updated restaurant specific guidance, both discussed below.

All RAM members are reminded that businesses open for operation must continue to comply with all Phase III sector-specific safety protocols and recommended best practices as well as the Mandatory Safety Standards for Workplaces.  Members are strongly encouraged to review the new Phase III guidance to ensure compliance.

 

 Gatherings

Businesses permitted to open their brick-and-mortar premises to workers and the public under Phase III are not subject to the new general gathering standard which reduces the limit on outdoor gatherings from 100 to 50 people, while the indoor gatherings limit remains at 25 people.  Such businesses must instead continue to comply with the occupancy provisions contained in the state's applicable sector-specific safety protocols and recommended best practices.  For example, the retail specific guidance allows for retailers to operate at 50% occupancy. 

 

Restaurants

No activity in Restaurants can occur without meeting the following sector specific COVID-19 workplace safety standards for restaurants.  These updated standards became effective August 11th and apply to all restaurants in operation until rescinded or amended by the State. The operator of each restaurant shall be responsible for meeting these standards.

Under the updated guidance, "Restaurant" is now defined as "an establishment that provides seated food service that is prepared on-site and under a retail food permit issued by a municipal authority pursuant to 105 CMR 590.000. Potato chips, pretzels, and other similar pre-packaged, shelf-stable foods, or other food prepared off-site do not constitute food “prepared on-site.”

In addition, the updated guidance also clarifies that events hosted at restaurants must follow the state's Indoor and Outdoor Events guidance, including its provisions on capacity limitations.  

 
 

  

RAM 2020 Electricity Offerings

 

Fixed Rate Electricity Supply Program

RAM continues to partner with electricity broker Freedom Energy Logistics (FEL) to secure Fixed Rate Electric Supply Pricing for members. The fixed rate program is designed to protect your business against unexpected price fluctuations commonly experienced in the electricity market.  This allows members to confidently budget their annual electricity costs.  Click here before October 1, for current rate and enrollment procedure.

 

RAM Community Solar Offering

RAM is proud to partner with Ampion to provide our members access to the Massachusetts-authorized shared Community Solar Program.  The program allows your business to purchase discounted utility bill credits designed to offset and reduce electricity costs.  With no upfront costs and nothing to install, it’s the easiest way for your business to benefit from solar energy while saving money on electricity costs.  Click here for more information.

 

 

 

 

 Gov. Baker Issues New Order Extending Outdoor Dining,  Allows Arcades to Open 

On Thursday September 10th, Gov. Baker issued a new Executive Order, “COVID-19 Order No. 50,” allowing municipalities to extend outdoor dining, table and alcohol service beyond November 1st.  The Order also permits the reopening of indoor and outdoor gaming arcades beginning on September 17, 2020.

 

 

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 

 

State Launches “My Local MA” to Support Small & Local Businesses:
 

FindmylocalMA.com


Governor Charlie Baker and Lt. Governor Karyn Polito took a tour of RAM member, Wheelworks, in Belmont, last week to promote the Sales Tax Holiday weekend and to announce the launch of an effort to encourage residents to support their local economies by shopping at local Massachusetts businesses and attractions, safely – in person, online, and using curbside pickup or takeout.

The “My Local MA” campaign kicked off on August 29-30 with the Sales Tax Holiday, and will run through the holiday shopping season in December.  The campaign was developed by the MA Office of Travel and Tourism (MOTT) to showcase MA businesses and attractions – from family owned-restaurants to artisan boutiques to museums – that are a critical part of the Commonwealth’s economy.
 
“RAM is thrilled to have the state as a partner in promoting our local retailers, restaurants and Main Streets,” said RAM President Jon Hurst.
 
The campaign, found at findmylocalma.com, will also include print, broadcast, billboard and digital ads, and social media. All RAM members are encouraged to visit the site and to follow along and cross promote the effort through social media – and don’t forget to use the RAM sponsored #BuyinMA hashtag!