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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.



Essential Services FAQs Updated:
New Curbside Pickup Rules

Non-essential retail stores continued to be limited in Phase One of the Reopening Plan, but expansion to allow for curbside pickup begins on Memorial Day, Monday, May 25th. RAM has been in regular communication with Governor Charlie Baker’s staff regarding our thoughts on the curbside pickup rules and necessary changes to the remote fulfillment guidance. We urged the Administration to move toward using less prescriptive language in the Essential Services FAQs guidance, specifically around employee staffing levels, and to use terms such as “limited staff” necessary to safely complete the necessary functions to operate curbside and remote fulfillment. Based on discussions with senior staff in the Governor’s Office, we are confident that specific employee count restrictions on fulfillment and curbside will not be dictated in the FAQs, but rather will be “limited staff” as determined by the employer.

New Retail Rules for Remote Fulfillment & Curbside


All Essential Businesses are Required to Self-certify by May 25th to Remain Open 

Non-essential retail stores continued to be limited in Phase One, with expansion to allow for curbside pickup on May 25th

However, ALL “Essential Businesses” that remain open have until May 25, 2020, to comply and self-certify with the new safety standards.  A COVID-19 control plan template is provided on the state site to satisfy the written control plan requirement for self-certification.  Required employer and employee posters are available for download, as is the Compliance attestation 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.


Reopening Plan Announced 

Baker has released his plan calling for the gradual reopening of the Massachusetts economy.  The plan is a four-phased approach to reopen non-essential businesses, provided the Commonwealth maintain progress on certain COVID-19 health and testing trends.  May 18 is the first day of Phase One.  Each phase will last for a minimum of three weeks, and a reversal in the public health data trends could freeze or reverse the reopening plans.  

Retail stores continued to be limited in Phase One, with the only expansion to allow for curbside pickup and delivery only on May 25th.  Very few details can currently be found at the “When can my business reopen” page, and there are no additional “Sector-specific” guidelines at this time.  We will notify members as additional information is posted or becomes available.  Retail stores and restaurants are not slated to open until Phase Two.  

Manufacturing, construction and houses of worship can open as of May 18th.  Barbershops and hair salons, pet grooming and car washes can open May 25th, and all have Sector -specific guidelines posted.

Click here for reopening plan.


U.S. Department of Labor Announces New Paid Sick Leave and Expanded Family and Medical Leave Implementation

The U.S. Department of Labor announced new action regarding how American workers and employers will benefit from the protections and relief offered by the Emergency Paid Sick Leave Act and Emergency Family and Medical Leave Expansion Act, both part of the Families First Coronavirus Response Act (FFCRA). The department’s Wage and Hour Division (WHD) posted a temporary rule issuing regulations pursuant to this new law, effective, April 1, 2020.

For more information, click here.



Throughout the COVID-19 crisis a top priority for our small business members has been the safety and well-being of their workers.  The elevated health risks have made employer sponsored health insurance all the more important, and for many businesses the continuation of health care coverage will play an important role in their disaster recovery strategy. 

Both of our carriers, Blue Cross Blue Shield of MA and Fallon Health, have announced expansion of coverage and access to care to help members address health issues related to the COVID-19 pandemic.  RAM reminds members that premium rates on all health insurance plans offered through RAMHIC now come with an upfront discount of 3% for both renewals and new participating members.  Qualifying members also have access to additional financial incentives and free ancillary benefits by purchasing through the cooperative.  Click here to learn more how you can start saving on health insurance and provide peace of mind to your employees during this trying time.


Click here for RAMHIC page with more information.