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. Click here to JOIN NOW!

RETAIL ADVOCACY 

 

 

Adjusted 2021 UI and COVID-19 Recovery Assessment Rates 
  

Adjusted 2021 Unemployment Insurance and new COVID-19 Recovery Assessment Rates are now available online from the Department of Unemployment Assistance (DUA).  RAM members are strongly urged to visit their UI Online Account to review their updated rate notice which includes recalculated Q1 and Q2 contributions and a new COVID-19 Recovery Assessment.  More information regarding these changes including how to access your rate notice, recommendations and deadlines for future filings and payments, and explanation of the new assessment may be found on the DUA website
 
While the DUA guidance materials describe the COVID-19 Recovery Assessment as being part of the Commonwealth’s plan to manageably spread over time the $7 billion cost of COVID-related UI claims, it does not explicitly notify employers that this quarterly charge will remain on their bills for the next 20 years.  RAM continues to advocate for the state to use a portion of funds received from the American Rescue Plan Act to pay down a portion of the existing UI deficit.  Members concerned about the impact of this unprecedented tax increase on their business are strongly encouraged to take action today by contacting their state legislators and Governor Baker and requesting their support in using federal pandemic recovery funds as a means to mitigate the long-term impact of the UI deficit on businesses and job growth.  Please join us in this effort by contacting your elected officials today.

 

Click here to send your message.

 

Employers alone can’t foot the $7 billion bill for unemployment insurance

Beacon Hill should follow other states and devote federal COVID-19 relief funds to bring down the debt from the cost of layoffs from the pandemic.

 

As published in the August 2, 2021 Boston Globe by Jon B. Hurst, RAM President

 

Massachusetts employers were recently handed their revised unemployment insurance tax bills for 2021. These lower bills are the result of new legislation that has been marketed as a fix for the unemployment insurance crisis. It authorizes the state to borrow $7 billion to shore up what would have been an insolvent unemployment insurance fund to pay back federal loans and interest on those loans. For many businesses, their revised tax bills dropped dramatically from what was first sent to them in April. The catch? Employers must pay it back. While the reduction in payments is welcome, employers have been handed an unprecedented tax increase for the $7 billion COVID-19 unemployment tab, which is now being amortized over 20 years rather than just two years.

Learn more about RAM’s proposal for relief.  

Sales Tax Holiday Weekend Set for August 14 & 15, 2021 

 

For information on this year’s Sales Tax Holiday weekend, to be held on August 14 and 15, 2021, members are encouraged to review the following:

 

Sales Tax Holiday Regulation:  830 CMR 64H.1.8: Sales Tax Holiday  

FAQ’s:  https://www.mass.gov/info-details/sales-tax-holiday-frequently-asked-questions

 

 

MA DPH Issues New Mask Advisory

 
Effective July 30th, the MA Department of Public Health (DPH) has issued a new mask advisory in light of the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention’s updated guidance. Fully vaccinated individuals are advised to wear a mask or face covering when indoors outside of your home if you have a weakened immune system, are at increased risk for COVID-19 or if someone in your household is at increased risk or unvaccinated. Masks are still mandatory for all individuals on public and private transportation systems, in healthcare facilities and in other settings hosting vulnerable populations, such as congregate care settings.  For more information regarding the new advisory please click here

 

 

 RAM E-News

August 2, 2021 -- Employers alone can’t foot the $7 billion bill for unemployment insurance

July 15, 2021 -- Revised UI Tax Notices, Emergency Paid Sick Leave Reimbursement Guidance, RAM Opposes Employee Scheduling Bills

July 8, 2021 -- Retailer Comments Requested on Debit Card Rules / DOR Posts Sales Tax Holiday FAQ’s

June 24, 2021 -  Gov. Baker Confirms August 14th & 15th Sales Tax Holiday & Introduces Proposal For Two Month Sales Tax Holiday

June 16, 2021 -- Gov. Baker Signs COVID-19 Policy Extensions Law and Alert for MA Lottery Sales Agents: Oppose Pending Cashless Lottery and Online Lottery Proposals

The Retail Review -- 2nd Quarter 2021 Edition

June 9, 2021 -- CALL TO ACTION: Support Extension of Important COVID-19 Measures Set to Expire on June 15th

June 3, 2021 -- Baker Signs COVID-19 Emergency Paid Sick Leave Law

May 26, 2021 -- UI Tax Crisis Lingers as More Needs to be Done / Sample Signage for CDC Mask Guidance

May 24, 2021 --  iVision Announcement

May 17, 2021 --  MA to Fully Reopen on May 29th – All COVID Restrictions to be Lifted, Upcoming Action on Unemployment Insurance

May 7, 2021 -- State Revises Retail & Restaurant Protocols / DOR Updates Timeline for Relief of Certain Business Taxes

 

The RAM Health Insurance Cooperative is NOW thriving – and growing – in 2021! 

The RAMHIC program offers RAM members:

  • A 3% discount off premium rates for small businesses in the small group market (groups of 1-50 employees).
  • Access to every small group plan offered by BCBSMA.  As well as a two plan option for added flexibility.
  • Defined contribution options to address the needs of both your business and your employees.

 

All BCBSMA small group plans through RAM come with:

  • A wellness program with potential employee incentives of up to $300 and an opportunity to earn 7.5% in backend employer incentives.
  • A free supplemental hospitalization policy for all subscribers, which covers $750 for a hospital admission and $150 each additional day up to 10 days.
  • A free $10,000 life insurance policy for all subscribers.
Click for more information on RAMHIC.