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

Phase Three of the Reopening Massachusetts plan began 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 is divided in two steps. 
 
In Phase Three, Step One, the retail guidance allows for an increase in occupancy to 50%.   All industry guidance including retail and restaurants is included in the sector-specific safety protocols and recommended best practices.
 
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.  
 
 

 

RAM Commits to Addressing Systematic Racism and Discrimination

 

RAM has joined a statewide community of business associations which have committed to addressing systematic racism and discrimination in Massachusetts and beyond. 

Our joint statement may be found here.  

As a part of this group, we have committed to using our platform to support efforts to bring about sustained, societal changes designed to address racial inequalities.

 

 

 

 

DPH to End Reusable Bag Ban, Allow Municipal Plastic Bag Bans to Resume Effect

Late Friday, July 10th, the MA Department of Public Health (DPH) rescinded its March 25th emergency order regarding the operations of grocery stores and pharmacies, and also rescinded the related April 7th grocery store guidance.  Here is Friday’s rescission orderGrocery stores and pharmacies now fall under the general retail sector and must comply with the sector specific COVID-19 workplace safety standards for Retail Businesseswhich were also updated over the weekend.  These protocols do continue to include required senior hours for grocery and pharmacy.  

With this rescission, the state ordered prohibition on reusable bags has been lifted, as has the state ordered suspension of local plastic bag bans.  This may lead to some confusion if some municipalities had adopted their own reusable bag ban in addition to the state order, which would now require additional action.  Also, enforcement and potential flexibility at the local level may vary as we transition back to reusable and/or paper bags in most communities.  With some confusion a certainty, we have been in contact with the MA Municipal Association to urge their cooperation in seeking flexibility from cities and towns during this transition.     

 

 

 

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 

 

 

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.