READING - Proving an invaluable resource for all local businesses, regardless of membership or affiliation with the advocacy group, the Reading/North Reading Chamber of Commerce is a great resource for area entrepreneurs during the novel coronavirus emergency.

Serving as a bridge to connect in-need business owners with financial resources during the COVID-19 pandemic, the local non-profit is also helping its members launch their own charitable initiatives to help out the community.

Compiled from the Chamber of Commerce’s monthly newsletter, the following is a list of ongoing services and upcoming events being promoted by the organization.

Business Signs

How about a free, outdoor sign to promote your business?

We got you!

The Chamber is creating FREE signs for members to advertise the ways customers can support your business! So many businesses have pivoted and are offering unique programs to stay open. These signs will create a sense of solidarity and support for our community.

The signs are heavy duty, suitable for outdoor display or may be hung in your window (12 X 18 inches). Thank you to Reading Cooperative Bank for generously sponsoring these signs!

There are 3 options to choose from. We have limited quantities of each. Request your preferred sign (first and second choices) via lynn@rnrchamber.com now to reserve yours.

These are available on a first-come, first served basis.

We will begin dropping off the week of May 18th and will contact you in advance to minimize contact. Let's tie the community back together as we look ahead!

Business Impact of Covid-19

Please take our survey about the impact of Covid-19 and your business. This data will be used to fund rebuilding efforts and possibly grants for our communities. Those that reply by May 18th will be entered into a raffle for a $50 gift certificate to their favorite Chamber member business. Survey is online and can be found by visiting the chamber’s website.

Re-Opening Guidance Webinar

Wednesday, May 20th

Noon - 1 PM

Webinar

Join Employment Attorneys David Robinson of Ruberto, Israel & Weiner and Ken DeMoura of DeMoura Smith to learn about steps you should take to reopen as well as best practices for your staff and clients. Pre- registration is requested and the webinar link will be emailed to you an hour prior to the event.

Member Tickets: Free

Non member Tickets: $10

Unlocking Linked In

Thursday, May 28th

Noon - 1 PM

Webinar

With in-person networking on a hiatus, join the Chamber and Kathy McConnell Marketing to learn to network and market your business using LinkedIn. It's not just a platform for job seekers, but an active community of business and consultants to share ideas, articles and forge relationships digitally.

Pre-registration is required and link will be emailed to you an hour before the event.

Member Tickets: FREE

Non Member Tickets: $10

Reopening Guidance Coming Next Monday

Governor Baker will be releasing the State's plan for reopening our economy next Monday.

In preparation, we are working on resources to help you every step of the way. Please reply to this email with:

• Questions you have?

• Resources you'd like to Chamber to compile

• Concerns you are anticipating

PPP Support

Please contact the office for PPP questions or support. We are attending webinars and have updated resources.

Banks that are accepting PPP applications from non customers:

• The Savings Bank

• Reading Cooperative Bank

Send us your good news!

As we look for toward a gradual re-opening, we want to shine a light on the positive things that are happening. Please email us your programs at legan@rnrchamber.com to help or ways you are cheering on your team. We want to share your good news!

Are You Open?

Please reply to this email with details if you are open and if you have an online store, have delivery or curbside pick up. We want to have a complete list of who's open for our website and will share socially too.

Reading High Senior Class:

A few businesses have expressed interest in offering a treat for graduation students (there are 304 of them) or have inquired about providing a gift basket or store credit to donate to the class. Let us know if you'd be interested in participating.

Main Street Road Diet:

As you probably noticed the Town is working with MA Dept of Transportation to update the flow of traffic on Main Street.

This is a pilot program. As a business owner your feedback is welcomed during this trial period especially. Please visit https://www.mass.gov/route-28-in-reading-resurfacing-and-road-diet-pilot for more information about the project, including ways to file comments via an interactive mapping tool.

MassDOT wants YOUR feedback: Email the project team: Route28Pilot@dot.state.ma.us

Unemployment Town Hall

Senator Lewis yesterday arranged for Chamber members to speak with Mass. Labor and Workforce Development Secretary Rosalin Acosta, Chief Counsel Martha Wishart, and Director of Legislative Affairs and Policy Jessica Muradian of the Department of Unemployment Assistance.

The virtual forum was arranged so that Lewis’ constituents could have answered some of their most frequently asked questions.

The chamber is fielding lots of questions about unemployment and has some answers for members looking for assistance.

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