COVID-19 and Small Business Resources

Dear Business and Property Owners,

This is a short and effective set of resources specifically addressing the concerns of business and property owners in response to COVID–19, otherwise known as the Coronavirus. To receive the most up-to-date information, email director@roslindale.net to get onto the Roslindale Village Business Google Group. You can also sign up for the City's weekly Small Business Email by requesting to be on the list at smallbiz@boston.gov.

Get up-to-date information and links to The Mayor's Office, specific City departments, State of Massachusetts, and The Centers for Disease Control – all from one web address boston.gov/coronavirus.

We realize there is an abundance of information that is rapidly evolving. We will continue to be in touch and encourage you to reach out if we can be of further assistance.

FINANCIAL SUPPORT FOR RESIDENTS AND SMALL BUSINESSES

The City of Boston created a Rental Relief Fund for tenants who fall behind on rent because of the crisis, and don’t have access to enough federal relief or unemployment benefits to make it up. The first round of funding closed on April 10th. The Department of Neighborhood Development will hold a lottery for over 5,500 applicants who qualified in this round. The goal is to distribute the funds by the end of the month. Boston residents can fill out a form at Boston.gov/rentalrelief to be contacted when the next round of funding is open.

The City of Boston is working with 13 of the largest housing lenders in Boston to prevent foreclosures on homeowners. These lenders have agreed to defer homeowners’ mortgage payments by 3 months. They also agreed not to charge late fees or report non-payment to credit bureaus. More info here

The City of Boston created a Small Business Relief Fund for local businesses at risk of shutting down permanently due to the crisis. We received almost 3,000 applications. While this round of funding has closed, we will make an announcement if and when more funds become available. Any business needing guidance can review the City’s Financial Relief Handbook or reach out to the Economic Development team at Boston.gov/smallbusiness.

Both for people making donations and seeking aid:
United Way for direct monetary and other aid to folks in need: https://unitedwaymassbay.org/get-involved/covid-19-family-fund/

Boston Resiliency Fund for supporting non-profit partners: https://www.boston.gov/departments/treasury/boston-resiliency-fund
If folks need food aid, those non-profit partners include Greater Boston Food Bank and Project Bread. Literally, bags of groceries and prepared meals.

City of Boston additional resources

  • Mayor Walsh has set-up a hotline: 617-534-5050 
  • You can also check Mayor Walsh’s twitter: @marty_walsh
  • boston.gov/coronavirus.

Business & employer guidance related to COVID–19· 

SBA Guidance for Businesses and Employers to Plan and Respond to Coronavirus Disease 2019 (COVID–19)·      

SBA Emergency Loan for Small Businesses (Press Release, Including the process for accessing SBA’s Coronavirus (COVID–19) Disaster Relief Lending)·      

Small Business Recovery Fund - Baker-Polito Administration Announces $10 Million Small Business Recovery Loan Fund

SBA Massachusetts District and Local Boston Offices·      

Interim Guidance for businesses and employers (CDC webpage)·      

Preventing the Spread of Coronavirus in Food Service Establishments (Boston Inspectional Services Department fact sheet in multiple languages)·      

Small Business Tips for Handling A Crisis practical experience from a Boston business, Chicken & Rice Guys

Community Health & Food Access Resources

Boston Pubic Health Commission Mayor's Health Line: 617-825-5000 https://www.bphc.org/aboutus/mayors-health-line/Pages/mhl.aspx

To ensure everyone who wants access to covered coronavirus services has it, the Massachusetts Health Connector has announced that uninsured residents can apply and get into coverage.  Click here to learn more and access the application.

Project Bread-Food Source Hotline: 1-800-645 8333 http://www.projectbread.org/get-help/foodsource-hotline.html

Map of Meals Sites in Boston: https://www.boston.gov/departments/food-access/map-meal-sites-boston

Community Servings: https://www.servings.org/

Greater Boston Food Bank: https://www.gbfb.org/

This poster is available to download, print, and / or distribute from The Boston Public Health Commission (BPHC) Coronavirus webpage and is accessible by clicking on the poster above or by navigating from a link to BPHC at the bottom of boston.gov/coronavirus

Roslindale Village Main Street is part of Boston Main Streets, a program that falls under the Mayor's Office of Economic Development. In 2016, the City released its first ever Small Business Plan which identified the top needs of Boston's small businesses, as well as opportunities to create strategies to meet those needs. 

If you own a business or are looking to start a business in Roslindale, please take a look at the tools offered by the Mayor's Office of Small Business DevelopmentThrough the City’s online resource, the Office of Small Business Development can connect you with the right people or appropriate city agencies and provide assistance with permitting, licensing, or other needs your business might have.

On-Site Business Assistance

The City of Boston offers the following services for small businesses:

  • Financial management: assistance setting up books and tracking finances
  • Business planning and growth
  • Marketing and customer experience
  • Legal consulting: HR and contract assistance
  • Operations consulting--inventory management, POS systems, etc.
  • Energy Saving tools

Examples of businesses assisted:

  • Accessories business with in-store and online sales that implemented a business growth plan with their team. Sales on track to double in two years.   
  • Hair salon that improved their customer retention through better communication tools and branding.  
  • New restaurant owner who improved his financial management to better track his expenses and revenue.  

More Helpful Information

Here are some convenient phone numbers, contacts, and tools so businesses can get in touch with the City quickly about these kinds of issues:

  • If you are looking to open a business in Roslindale and have a question about permits or licensing within a Main Street District, call Emily Patrick, our Neighborhood Business Manager by emailing Emily.patrick@boston.gov.
  • Dial 3-1-1: 311 is an easy-to-remember telephone number that connects you with trained Constituent Service Center representatives who are ready to help you with requests for non-emergency City services and information. This phone line is open 24/7, 365 days a week. Or, download the 311 App for your smartphone and start taking photos of neighborhood problems and send them directly to the Public Works database.
  • Office of Neighborhood Services (ONS): The ONS staff schedules and attends community meetings, assists residents and businesses with City services, shares important information directly with neighborhoods, and helps the City respond to emergencies. The Roslindale Neighborhood Liaison is Joseph Coppinger and you can contact him by calling (617) 635-3307 or emailing coppinger.joseph@boston.gov.
  • District 5 City Councilor Ricardo Arroyo’s office:  (617) 635-4210
  • E-5 Boston Police Department: (617) 343-4560

Looking to start a business in Roslindale? Be sure to read the community demographics reports we have on hand.

Other Resources: