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The MGC Offers Resources to Small Businesses Serving the Casino and Horse Racing Industry

The Massachusetts Gaming Commission (MGC) offers the following list of resources available for small businesses in Massachusetts that serve the casino and horse racing industry and have been impacted by the Coronavirus (COVID-19).

“The MGC recognizes and empathizes with the challenges that many small businesses are facing due to the unprecedented circumstances caused by COVID-19. The MGC is here to work with you and wants to make casino and racing vendors aware of important resources that are available to help. We will continue to communicate about emerging resources as we navigate this challenging time together,” said Jill Griffin, MGC director of workforce, supplier and diversity development.

*This list will be frequently updated as new information becomes available.

Updated on Tuesday, April 28 at 12:38 pm.

Please note: Assistance for casino and racing workers can be found by clicking here.

Webinars

MGC’s Workforce, Supplier, and Diversity Development team is collaborating with local organizations to host a series of free webinars to offer helpful information and strategies to small businesses navigating the economic impacts of COVID-19.

On April 14, Workforce, Supplier, and Diversity Development Director Jill Griffin welcomed webinar attendees and introduced the featured speaker: Amine Benali, Managing Director of Strategy and Development at the Local Enterprise Assistance Fund (LEAF).

Mr. Benali joined LEAF after nearly two decades as an investment analyst and portfolio manager for companies such as John Hancock Advisors and Manulife Asset Management. He is an entrepreneurship lecturer at Northeastern University and holds a Master’s degree in Economics from Boston University.

Earlier this year, the workforce and diversity office partnered with LEAF through MGC’s workforce development grant program “to offer technical assistance to rapidly growing small businesses that provide goods to the casinos and horse racing industry.” Adapting quickly to the unanticipated crisis caused by the pandemic, LEAF stepped up to conduct the first webinar and is further providing one-on-one assistance to casino and racing vendors.

MGC’s Workforce, Supplier and Diversity Development Office hosted its second webinar on April 24, as part of the gaming commission’s ongoing effort to lend support and resources to local gaming vendors in response to the many challenges caused by the coronavirus outbreak.

The timely webinar coincided with the issuance of an additional $500 billion in COVID-19 relief, signed into federal law earlier the same day, re-funding the continuation of the Paycheck Protection Program (PPP) and the Economic Injury Disaster Loan Program.  This forum offered gaming vendors the vital opportunity to learn about federal relief programs, including the day’s latest developments directly from the U.S. Small Business Administration (SBA).

One-on-One Assistance

Recently the MGC engaged two small business technical assistance providers to provide targeted, one-on-one consulting expertise to small and medium-sized Massachusetts-based companies who are currently vendors to the state’s gaming licensees.

Local Enterprise Assistance Fund (LEAF): LEAF is a non-profit community development organization that helps small businesses by providing financial counseling through their Elevate Small Businesses program. Visit their website.

Contact: Amine Benali abenali@leaffund.org  or Chris Hunter chunter@leaffund.org

Franklin County Community Development Corporation (FCCDC): For 40 years, the FCCDC has been assisting business owners as they work to thrive in changing economic conditions. Visit their website.

Contact: John Waite johnw@fccdc.org, or Amy Shapiro amys@fccdc.org

State & Federal Resources

UPDATE:  New Pandemic Unemployment Assistance (PUA) Program

 The Baker-Polito Administration announced on April 20, 2020 that Massachusetts residents who are not eligible for regular unemployment benefits can now apply online for the new Pandemic Unemployment Assistance (PUA) program.

  • New federal PUA program provides up to 39 weeks of unemployment benefits who are unable to work because of a COVID-19-related reason but are not eligible for regular or extended unemployment benefits.
  • Includes self-employed workers, independent contractors, gig economy workers, and those with limited work history.
  • Applicants can learn more and apply at mass.gov/pua.

PUA Application Process: A full list of required documents is available at www.mass.gov/pua

  • Individuals who are determined ineligible for PUA will receive a written disqualification along with information on how to pursue an appeal. Additional information about the appeals process will be separately posted at a later date. Please visit mass.gov/duafor the latest information.

MassHire Department of Career Services Rapid Response Team

Prevent layoffs with Rapid Response, a federally mandated, pre-layoff service designed for companies and employees experiencing a layoff or closing. Programs include WorkShare that offers an alternative to layoffs. Employees work reduced hours while collecting unemployment benefits to supplement their lower wages. Visit Mass.gov/RapidResponse and WorkShare, or call 1-800-252-1591.

The Coronavirus Aid, Relief, and Economic Security Act (CARES Act)

The recent passage of the Coronavirus Aid, Relief, and Economic Security Act (CARES Act) allocates $2 trillion in emergency funding for businesses, individuals, federal agencies, and state and local governments. The CARES Act has been designed to distribute capital quickly and broadly. There are a number of provisions that impact small businesses, including the Paycheck Protection Program. Learn more U.S. Chamber’s Guide to Emergency Coronavirus Loans.

Paycheck Protection Program

UPDATE as of 4/16: SBA is no longer accepting application for the Paycheck Protection Program.

The Paycheck Protection Program, offered by the U.S. Small Business Administration is a loan designed to provide a direct incentive for small businesses to keep their workers on the payroll. SBA will forgive loans if all employees are kept on the payroll for eight weeks and the money is used for payroll, rent, mortgage interest, or utilities.

The Paycheck Protection Program will be available through June 30, 2020.

Important related links and documents:

PPP Fact SheetPPP Application Form/Find eligible lenders

Or contact MA Small Business Development Center at www.MSBDC.org

UPDATE – Lapse in Appropriations NoticeSBA is unable to accept new applications at this time for the Paycheck Protection Program or the Economic Injury Disaster Loan (EIDL)-COVID-19 related assistance program (including EIDL Advances) based on available appropriations funding.  EIDL applicants who have already submitted their applications will continue to be processed on a first-come, first-served basis.

To learn more about the relief options available for your business, click here.

Economic Injury Disaster Loan Program

UPDATE as of 4/16: SBA is no longer accepting application for the Economic Injury Disaster Program.

Federal disaster loans provide working capital to Massachusetts small businesses suffering substantial economic injury as a result of the Coronavirus (COVID-19). Small businesses, private non-profit organizations of any size, small agricultural cooperatives and small aquaculture enterprises that have been financially impacted as a direct result of the Coronavirus (COVID-19) since January 31, 2020, may qualify for Economic Injury.

Disaster Loans of up to $2 million to help meet financial obligations and operating expenses which could have been met had the disaster not occurred. Eligibility for Economic Injury Disaster Loans is based on the financial impact of the Coronavirus (COVID-19). The interest rate is 3.75% for small businesses. The interest rate for private non-profit organizations is 2.75%. SBA offers loans with long-term repayments in order to keep payments affordable; these terms may go up to a maximum of 30 years, and are available to entities without the financial ability to offset the adverse impact without hardship.

Find EIDL application here.  Massachusetts small businesses can access and apply at www.sba.gov/disaster. For toll-free information on SBA disaster assistance at 1-800-659-2955 and disastercustomerservice@sba.gov.

UPDATE – Lapse in Appropriations NoticeSBA is unable to accept new applications at this time for the Paycheck Protection Program or the Economic Injury Disaster Loan (EIDL)-COVID-19 related assistance program (including EIDL Advances) based on available appropriations funding.  EIDL applicants who have already submitted their applications will continue to be processed on a first-come, first-served basis.

To learn more about the relief options available for your business, click here.

SBA Express Bridge Loans

Express Bridge Loan Pilot Program allows small businesses who currently have a business relationship with an SBA Express Lender to access up to $25,000 with less paperwork. These loans can provide vital economic support to small businesses to help overcome the temporary loss of revenue they are experiencing and can be a term loans or used to bridge the gap while applying for a direct SBA Economic Injury Disaster loan. If a small business has an urgent need for cash while waiting for decision and disbursement on Economic Injury Disaster Loan, they may qualify for an SBA Express Disaster Bridge Loan.

Terms

-Up to $25,000

-Fast turnaround

-Will be repaid in full or in part by proceeds from the EIDL loan

-Rate is prime plus up to 6.5%

Find an Express Bridge Loan Lender by connecting with your local SBA District Office.

With a $2.5 million investment from Verizon, they are offering grants to help small businesses fill urgent financial gaps until they can resume normal operations or until other more permanent financing becomes available.

LISC will use the Verizon funding to provide grants of up to $10,000 to businesses facing immediate financial pressure because of COVID-19—especially entrepreneurs of color, women-owned businesses and other enterprises in historically underserved communities who don’t have access to flexible, affordable capital. The grant can be used for paying rent and utilities, meeting payroll, paying an outstanding debt to vendors and other immediate operational costs.

The next round of funding will occur in mid-April.  Please register here to stay updated about another round beginning mid-April. Having trouble? Email enews@lisc.org to sign up.

Eastern Bank Small Business Impact Loan Fund

The Small Business Impact Loan Fund will provide $5 million in lending to small businesses who are existing customers in need of working capital to help fund their operations.

  • Low payment and flexible terms, with interest-only payments for the first six months and a low-interest rate of 3.99%.
  • Customers can borrow up to $25,000.

For more information, please call 1-800-EASTERN (327-8376) or email heretohelp@easternbank.com.

Learn more.

IRS Tax Deadline and Economic Impact Payments

The deadlines to FILE and PAY federal income taxes are extended to July 15, 2020.

The IRS has established a special section of its website focused on steps to help taxpayers, businesses and others affected by the coronavirus. The distribution of economic impact payments will begin in the next three weeks and will be distributed automatically, with no action required for most people. However, some seniors and others who typically do not file returns will need to submit a simple tax return to receive the stimulus payment. Learn more.

 

 

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