Extended outdoor dining and other COVID-19 recovery matters were on the agenda for the Braintree Chamber of Commerce business update meeting held September 14.
As a liaison between business leaders and government, the Chamber is hosting these business meetings for its members as well as the general public.
Chamber Chair Kim Kroha led the Q&A with Mayor Charles Kokoros, State Rep. Mark Cusack, Margaret Laforest of the Mass. Office of Business Development, and South Shore Chamber head Peter Forman.
Here’s the recap:
Outdoor dining to continue through cool weather
Braintree restaurants are free to offer expanded outdoor dining through the fall and winter (for 60 days after the end of the state of emergency), according to a recent announcement by Gov. Charlie Baker.
“We’re seeing a lot of resiliency and people determined to make it through. A lot of businesses have adjusted by lowering expenses,” said Peter Forman, president and CEO of the South Shore Chamber of Commerce. “But we’re concerned about lingering unemployment and what early next year is going to look like.”
The mayor said Braintree restaurants continue to struggle and are worried about surviving through the winter without additional state or federal aid. “The landlords can only wait so long before people have to move out and close their business,” the mayor said. The mayor conveyed his support for local restaurants and is committed to working with the those and other Braintree businesses in any way possible.
Covid-19 infection rates remains low
The mayor praised the community for helping keep Braintree’s positive coronavirus test rate at below 1 percent.
“The residents of Braintree are doing a great job of protecting themselves and the businesses are doing a great job following all of the guidelines,” the mayor said. “Here we are in September and we haven’t had that spike that many predicted. It’s really about vigilance and keeping that vigilance up.”
The mayor recalled his personal experience while sick with Covid-19 earlier this year. “It’s not anything you want to catch. But the mask really helped me from spreading to my staff members. I firmly believe the masks work to prevent the spread.”
State grapples with budget shortfalls
State Rep. Mark Cusack, chair of joint committee on revenue, shared updates from Beacon Hill.
My Local MA campaign to help small businesse
Margaret Laforest discussed the Baker-Polito Administration’s “My Local MA” advertising campaign that kicked off in August.
The shop-local initiative seeks to encourage spending at Massachusetts-based businesses and attractions. Small businesses account for approximately 45 percent of the commonwealth’s workforce, according to the US Small Business Administration.
Visit FindMyLocalMA.com for more information.
Visit Reopening Massachusetts for the up-to-date business guidance.
Visit https://boston.insights.bbb.org/main-st-matters-ma-norfolk for information on another grant application, Main St. Matters, offered through the Better Business Bureau and discussed by Margaret Laforest.
Chamber to host chat with Cusack and Collins
Join the Chamber for Chat with the Candidates on October 5 at 11:00 a.m. Rep. Mark Cusack and Frank Collins, candidates for 5th Norfolk District state representative, will discuss issues facing the business community. The Zoom chat is free and open to public, but you must sign up.
The Braintree Chamber wants to hear from you! Visit braintreechamber.com to sign up for alerts and learn about membership. Or follow us on Facebook
Thank you to Businesses that Support Businesse
The Braintree Chamber thanks its sponsors South Shore Bank, Toyota of Braintree, Brewster Ambulance, Liberty Bay Credit Union, Quincy Credit Union, BELD, and Vibrancy Communications for their continued support.