December 29, 2021

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Chamber News
What a great way to end the year - by welcoming our newest TACC member, Society Coffee Bar! ☕️

They have been featured in the Taunton Gazette so be sure to read about owners Debra and Keith Viveiros, their expanding real estate business, and the inspiration for opening a modern craft coffee shop here in Taunton.

The Society Coffee Bar is opening soon, stay tuned for details!

Welcome, Society Coffee Bar, we're so excited to have you in our TACC family!! ✨
Host a Business After Hours in 2022!

Hosting a Business After Hours allows you to introduce other Chamber Members to your business. It's also a great opportunity to network and meet prospective clients, as well as build relationships with business professionals in the greater Taunton area. 

If you’d like to host in 2022, or want more information, email Lisa.
Holiday Cheer Campaign a Great Success!

Thank you everyone that donated to the Holiday Cheer Campaign! Again this year, all donations were matched by our campaign sponsor Morton Hospital. Proceeds will support Cooperative Production, Inc. (CO-OP)New Hope, Inc. and Girls Incorporated of Taunton.

Thank you to these generous donors:
  • Jaime Barnes, CFP®, Ameriprise Financial
  • Linda Sternfelt, Bristol County Savings Bank
  • Debbie Dutra, The Lopes Companies
  • Jennifer Oldfield, loanDepot
  • Kris Silva, Taunton Area Chamber of Commerce (TACC)
  • Debbie Howland, Associates for Human Services
  • Zulmira Allcock, Associates for Human Services
  • Judy Thomas, Associates for Human Services
  • Jenn Nolan, Quality Beverage, L.P.
  • Steve Doherty, Quality Beverage, L.P.
  • Dick Shafer, Shafer Development Services LLC
  • Tim Holick, Wood Palace Kitchens
  • Susan Murray, SEED Corp.
  • Robert Vitello, Bristol Community College
  • Seamus O'Connell, Bank of America
  • Jeff Viall, Bristol County Savings Bank
  • The Lopes Companies
Sponsor the February Chamber Chat

Sponsor a Chamber Chat in February for only $50! These virtual networking events are a great way to meet other members in a fun and informal setting with trivia and prizes! We will work with your schedule to find a day and time that works for you. More dates available for 2022. Email Lisa for more info.
Business & COVID Information
FRIDAY - Last Chance to Apply for EIDL!

Important reminder! The deadline to apply for the COVID Economic Injury Disaster Loan (EIDL) is Friday, December 31. See below for further details.

  • EIDL loan and Targeted Advance applications will be accepted until December 31. SBA will continue processing applications after the deadline, including reconsiderations. We are unable to accept new applications after the deadline.
  • Supplemental Targeted Advance applications will be accepted until December 31. However, the SBA may be unable to process some Supplemental Targeted Advance applications submitted near the December 31 deadline due to legal requirements. The SBA cannot continue to process Supplemental Targeted Advance applications after December 31.
  • Borrowers can request increases up to their maximum eligible loan amount for up to two years after their loan origination date, or until the funds are exhausted, whichever is soonest.
  • The SBA will accept and review reconsideration and appeal requests for COVID EIDL applications received on or before December 31 if the reconsideration/appeal is received within the timeframes in the regulation. This means six months from the date of decline for reconsiderations and 30 days from the date of reconsideration decline for appeals – unless funding is no longer available.

For help with EIDL, call 833-853-5638 (855-440-4960 for the deaf and hard-of-hearing) or email disastercustomerservice@sba.gov. For help with Targeted EIDL Advance, email TargetedAdvance@sba.gov. The COVID-19 EIDL Customer Service Center is open 8:00 am to 8:00 p.m., seven days a week. Learn more at sba.gov/eidl.

PFML Update: What You Need to Know

Paid Family and Medical Leave (PFML) is always improving. The following are links to the most recent updates available to educate and guide you and your employees through PFML.

  1. New: PFML resources employers can share with employees
  2. New: Treatment of bonuses during paid leave
  3. New: Important Guidance on 2022 Benefit Calculations
  4. New: Contribution Requirements for Employers Transferring Back to PFML
  5. Updated: Paid Family and Medical Leave Contribution Calculator
  6. Updated: Paid Family and Medical Leave Information for Massachusetts Employers
  7. Updated: Informing your workforce about Paid Family and Medical Leave
  8. Updated: Wage contributions & reporting for Paid Family and Medical Leave
  9. Updated: Employer role in reviewing Paid Family and Medical Leave applications
  10. Updated: Creating an employer account to review PFML applications
  11. Updated: Request a Paid Family and Medical Leave Exemption
  12. Updated: Applying for a private paid leave exemption

Additionally, below is a list of recent updates that you can use to educate your employees.
  1. New: Paid Family and Medical Leave Help Center
  2. New: Paid Family and Medical Leave appeals timeline
  3. New: Taxes on Paid Family and Medical Leave benefits
  4. New: Check the status of your PFML application
  5. New: Treatment of bonuses during paid leave
  6. New: Transitioning from medical leave to family leave to bond with a child
  7. Updated: Paid Family and Medical Leave (PFML) overview and benefits
  8. Updated: Types of Paid Family and Medical Leave
  9. Updated: Required documents for your PFML application
  10. Updated: Your eligibility for Paid Family and Medical Leave (PFML)
  11. Updated: Paid Family and Medical Leave Benefits Calculator
  12. Updated: How to apply for Paid Family and Medical Leave (PFML)
  13. Updated: Get Ready to apply for Paid Family and Medical Leave (PFML)
  14. Updated: How PFML benefit payments work
  15. Updated: Updating or extending your approved Paid Family or Medical Leave
  16. Updated: PFML application approval timeline
  17. Updated: What is a serious health condition?
  18. Updated: Paid Family and Medical Leave Benefits for Employees

If you have any more questions, please call (833) 344-7365​ between the hours of 8:00 a.m. - 5:00 p.m.​ 
Vaccine: Mandate for Employers with 100+ Employees

Massachusetts employers with 100 or more employees will once again have to comply with President Biden’s OSHA mandate by January 10, 2022. The 6th Circuit Federal Appeals Court on Saturday, December 18th ended a previous injunction that had paused the national regulations. Learn more here.
Recent ARPA Legislation

The Governor recently signed a $4B COVID-19 spending plan to support continued recovery across key priority areas, making substantial investments in housing and homeownership, healthcare, workforce development, premium pay for essential workers and infrastructure. The funding, first proposed by the Baker-Polito Administration in June of 2021, will put to work a portion of the Commonwealth’s direct federal aid from the American Rescue Plan Act (ARPA). Read more about the bill – including its support for housing, small business, and the Unemployment Compensation Trust Fund – in the press release.
Mayor Announces Free COVID-19 Test Kits Available to High-Need City Residents 

Last week, Mayor O’Connell announced the City of Taunton will be distributing free COVID-19 test kits to high-need Taunton residents. Last week, the Baker-Polito Administration announced plans to partner with local cities and towns to increase at-home access to COVID-19 test kits for Massachusetts residents. Read the press release.
Community One Stop For Growth

The Baker-Polito Administration is pleased to announce the opening of the FY23 Round of the Community One Stop for Growth with the launch of the Expression of Interest period. The Expression of Interest is an optional, but highly recommended, form that allows applicants to seek guidance from EOHED and partner agencies prior to completing a Full Application(s). The Expression of Interest period will be open from December 15, 2021 through March 18, 2022. Each organization may submit one (1) Expression of Interest form for the FY23 Round. The EOI form will allow prospective applicants to seek feedback on up to two project ideas (or up to 5 project ideas, if submitted by February 4, 2022). For more information on the Expression of Interest and the FY23 Round of the One Stop, please visit www.mass.gov/onestop.
Join us for the next session of our Chamber Chat virtual networking series! Meet other members in this fun and informal setting with trivia and prizes! This session is Tuesday, January 11th at noon and is sponsored by one our new members KS Dance Studio. Register below.

You could sponsor a future session for just $50! Email kris@tauntonareachamber.org for sponsorship details.
Connect with Customers and
Manage Your Business Remotely
Wed, Jan. 26 | 12:00 - 1:00 PM 

Join Bryan Caplan, Speaker for Grow with Google, for an info-packed webinar dedicated to growing your business online and keeping you connected. In this 45-minute webinar, you will discover Google tools that can help business owners like you work and manage your business during this time of uncertainty. Plus, get insights on more online and timely resources for small businesses.

In this workshop we’ll discuss:
• How to update critical business information online
• Keep customers informed
• Conduct virtual meetings
• Access important files from anywhere.

Register below.
Sell Online with E-Commerce Tools
Tues, Feb. 1 | 12:00 - 1:00 PM 

Join Bryan Caplan, Speaker for Grow with Google, as he walks you through how to sell your products online.

He will walk through listing your products for free with Google My Business and Merchant Center and will show you one way to sell on your website, using an E-Commerce store built with Shopify. Plus, learn about more helpful tools to stand out online, such as Local Opportunity Finder and Grow My Store.

In this workshop, he will:

• Discuss the Products tab in Google My Business

• Introduce Google Merchant Center and the basics of creating a free account and a product feed

• Show you set up an E-Commerce website using Shopify

Register below.
Member News
HarborOne Bank's New Business Plan Tool

Use the HarborOne Bank online business plan tool to create a quick start lean business plan in 20-30 minutes. You’ll be guided through a number of sections to add in your own custom content. Learn more here.
BCSB Awards Grants to 4 Taunton Non-Profits

In partnership with the City of Taunton and Mayor Shaunna O’Connell, Bristol County Savings Bank (BCSB) recently awarded four $10,000 grants to local non-profits Cory’s Cause, Taunton Emergency Task Force, Taunton Family Resource Center and Triumph, Inc. Read the press release.
Town of Dighton Shares Information on Updated COVID-19 Contact Tracing Protocols

Town Administrator Michael Mullen would like to provide an update on the process of individual case investigation and contact tracing for COVID-19 cases. The Town of Dighton continues to place a priority on contact tracing for residents in the community. The Board of Selectmen recently approved the use of $5,000 in American Rescue Plan Act (ARPA) funding to help fund contact tracing efforts and the Town is in the process of hiring a Contact Tracer. Read the press release.
SCORE Business Resources
Help For Your Small Business
Let SCORE business advisors help you navigate the SBA Debt Relief Programs or the start-up and growth of your small business. All services are FREE and CONFIDENTIAL. If you are an existing SCORE client, please send an email to your SCORE counselor to schedule a phone call or Zoom conference. If you are new to SCORE, please complete the Request a Mentor form and someone from SCORE will contact you via email to schedule an appointment with an advisor. Sign up for SCORE webinars here. View upcoming webinars here.
Google Analytics and Search Engine Optimization (SEO)
Tues, Jan. 4 | 10:00 - 11:30 AM - Part 1
Thurs, Jan. 6 | 10:00 - 11:30 AM - Part 2

Join veteran digital marketer Dale Shadbegian in this two-part series on tips to getting found in Google Search and analyzing your website traffic. We will focus on Google Keyword Planner, Google Analytics, and the Google Search Console. These free tools help website owners understand how their website is being found, and what visitors are doing once they have landed.

Part 1 will be take place on Tuesday, January 4th from 10:00 - 11:30 a.m. and will focus mostly on Getting found in search results.

Part 2 will take place Thursday, January 6th from 10:00 - 11:30 a.m. and will focus on more on the Analytics tools used to determine effectiveness of the website.

Key concepts discussed:
- How does organic google search and google maps work?
- What are strategies to find what people are searching for and how to get found?
- How can we track progress?
- Identify and analyze some basic KPIs (Key Performance Indicators) of how your website is delivering results for your organization.

Some of the KPIs that will be measured are:
-Total page visits
-Most popular pages
-Amount of time spent on individual pages
-Demographics such as location, gender, age and affinity
-What keywords you are being found for, determine if people are clicking to your site, or clicking to a competitor's site instead

Register here for Part 1. Register here for Part 2.
SCORE’s Small Business Resilience program

This year, during an unprecedented national health crisis, small businesses needed help more than ever before. In order to support these business owners when they needed it most, the SCORE Foundation provided funding for SCORE’s Small Business Resilience program. This platform allowed SCORE to pivot their mentoring and educational services onto virtual platforms, where clients could easily access the pandemic-related information, guidance and resources they needed to survive and thrive. Learn more here.
Resources for Veteran Entrepreneurs

Veterans make up an important part of the small business community. They make up 8% of the population, but own 9.2% of all American businesses. Check out these resources specifically for veteran entrepreneurs. SCORE is here to help!
Volunteer At SCORE

Are you looking for ways to help your small business community? Would you like to grow your network or develop professionally? As a SCORE volunteer, you get it all!

Join the SCORE network of 10,000 volunteers. SCORE relies on volunteers to help small business around the country thrive.

Interested? Visit the volunteer web page to find about the many benefits of volunteering and the right opportunity for you!
SCORE's Partners In Success Newsletters
·    Blogging Tips
·    Cash Management
$5 off orders of $50 or more

20% off your first month membership or class package. Email Melynda for more info

Offering Chamber members $10/unit for Botox. $150 off a syringe of Dermal Filler.

10% off first week temporary services.
Email Joni for more info.

10% off for Chamber members

10% off for Chamber members

10% off most services. Contact Kerry for more info.

5% off your auto insurance. Contact Luke for details.

Relaxation Works Spa
$10 off any facial. Enter code TACC online. (Does not include membership appointments.)

10% off any purchase

10% off regular price items on the sales floor, and 20% off print and marketing orders over $50.00. Chamber Members must access through the Members Only section of the TACC website. Email Lisa for assistance.

10% all parts, labor on applicable services. Email Ken Rubino for more information.

10% off for TACC Members
Taunton Area Chamber of Commerce, 6 Pleasant Street, Taunton, MA 02780
(508) 824-4068