Updates from the Chamber

Our goal is to serve as a trusted resource in providing our business community and residents consolidated, accurate information and guidance as to the status and recommended business operations during the coronavirus pandemic - coordinating with CDC, State, local municipal, business and community leaders.

Reopening Information

COVID-19 control plan template

Template that satisfies the written control plan requirement for self-certification

Compliance attestation poster

Poster that customer facing businesses are required to print, sign, and post in an area within the business premises that is visible to workers and visitors

Employer & Worker Posters

Posters that businesses should print and display within the business premises to describe the rules for maintaining social distancing, hygiene protocols, and cleaning & disinfecting

Sector Specific Mandatory Safety Standards and Best Practices

Safety Standards and protocols to address COVID-19

Phase II Guidance for Restaurants and Lodging

Safety Standards and protocols to address COVID-19

Cape Ann Business Information

With the reopening of most of our hospitality businesses as part of the Governor’s Task Force, Phase 2, in accordance with sector specific guidelines, we encourage you to reach-out to businesses directly with any specific questions, and we will continue to maintain a restaurant operations list until the state allows in door dining – thank you for supporting Cape Ann businesses.

To see offers from our members and help support the local economy please click the link below

Important Links

Member & Community Updates:

2020 Census: Senator Bruce Tarr is urging all of us to complete the 2020 Census. We invite you to view his video on Facebook here.

Addison Gilbert and Beverly Hospitals are seeking our support as they work to contain the COVID-19 pandemic and keep our communities safe. They have established an Emergency Response Fund to provide immediate resources to be deployed for this and future emergencies. See more information here.

Anchor Seal, Inc. announced today that they have temporarily transitioned part of their facility to the manufacture of FDA-approved hand sanitizer. As a courtesy they are first offering sales to their neighbors in the Blackburn Industrial Park before we begin more widespread marketing. For details on container options and pricing please click here.

City of Gloucester Updates COVID-19 Resource Page. Mayor Sefatia Romeo Theken yesterday announced that the city has revamped its COVID-19 resource page for residents and businesses. For the full story click here.

City of Gloucester Shares Phase 1 Plan for Reopening Public Beaches. Mayor Sefatia Romeo Theken, Director of Public Works Michael Hale and Public Health Director Karin Carroll recently announced the city’s phase 1 reopening plan for the City’s beaches and Stage Fort Park, beginning today.

Good Harbor Beach will be open for residents only.

Wingaersheek Beach will be open for residents and a limited number of non-residents.

Stage Fort Park will be open to the public. Non-resident parking fees will be on a cash-only, no change basis.

Niles and Plum Cove Beaches are resident-only.

• For more details about Gloucester’s public beaches plan please click here.

Face Masks. We found this interesting article in the New York Times about making face masks at home, for personal use and for health care facilities that have asked for fabric mask donations.

Face Masks II. Scott Muir of Aberdeen Home Care shared this heartwarming story with us this morning: “Judi [Bergeron of Beauport Hearing Care] connected me with a friend and fellow business neighbor named Elizabeth Berthoud, owner of “sacAmain,” who has temporarily converted her business to making cloth, reusable, gender specific face masks. She is asking for a donation of just $2 per mask.” To learn more and view these special masks, visit here. Email Elizabeth at or text her at 978-457-4363.

Face Masks III. The Centers for Disease Control recently issued new guidance on the use of cloth face coverings to help slow the spread of COVID-19, including simple instructions for making face coverings at home using readily available household materials. Read the full guidance and instructions here.

ECCF Announces Third Round of Grants from COVID-19 Response Fund. ECCF has awarded a third round of grants from its Essex County COVID-19 Response Fund, established in March to support nonprofits on the frontlines of the pandemic response. This third round of grants – which totals $710,000 – includes $450,000 from the Massachusetts COVID-19 Relief Fund, and specifically targets economically disadvantaged residents and families, regardless of citizenship.

Essex Town Meeting and Elections Rescheduled. The Essex Board of Selectmen recently voted to reschedule the 2020 Annual Town Meeting to a new date of June 15. The meeting will be held at Essex Elementary School, 12 Story Street at 7:30 pm. Town Elections will be held on June 22. For further information please click here.

Gloucester City Landings Restricted. Effective immediately, until at least May 4, the city has restricted all public landings to use by emergency or commercial licensed vessels only. For this and additional updates on Gloucester’s COVID-19 emergency measure please click here.

Gloucester Police Department Updates Community on COVID-19 response procedures and enforcement. For details click here.

Gloucester’s Reopening Task Force recently held its kick-off meeting. The group is charged by Mayor Sefatia Romeo-Theken with “advising City Administration on strategies to slowly reopen the Gloucester economy in phases based on health and safety metrics.” Several sub-committees have been formed, including Business Groups which is being chaired by Chamber CEO Ken Riehl. Read the city’s full press release here.

Johnson O’Connor has compiled a helpful fact sheet on payroll tax credits and other provisions of this recently enacted Families First Coronavirus Act. Read the details here.

Gloucester Daily Times “As a public service  we have been providing free access to our coronavirus coverage on our website during this time of heightened concern. Subscribers and non-subscribers alike have been turning to us for reliable information in record numbers.” Publisher Karen Andreas writes, “The Times remains firmly committed to delivering your news in print and online. We have a responsibility to you -- especially in times of emergency -- to provide news that is accurate and trustworthy. This is a commitment that we take seriously.” Read the full text of her letter to the Cape Ann community here.

Manchester Historical Museum is now offering virtual tours of the museum and almost 20 lectures and online exhibits on their website. They also offer weekly Art and History postings on their Facebook page.

Messages from Rockport. Marshall and Courtney Tulley from the Addison Choate have created a fun project that gives Rockport businesses and community leaders a platform “to share the creativity that makes Rockport special, to stay in touch with the community and plant seeds of hope during these challenging times.” Check out their latest “From Rockport With Love” video on Facebook here.

The Boston Globe is offering a daily newsletter called “Coronavirus Now" which includes all of the latest credible news reporting on this crisis. People may sign up to receive this email here.

Rockport Eases Bearskin Neck Restrictions/ Creates Reopening Advisory Group. At their meeting Tuesday afternoon the Rockport Board of Selectmen voted to end the resident-only restrictions for the Bearskin Neck area that had been in place for the past several weeks. The Board of Health order requiring the wearing of face coverings in the town’s downtown district remains in effect. Rockport has also created a Reopening Advisory Group to assist in the phased reopening of the town’s businesses in alignment with the Governor’s “comprehensive plan to safely reopen the Massachusetts economy, get people back to work, and ease social restrictions while minimizing the health impacts of COVID-19.” For updates on the Town of Rockport’s ongoing response to the pandemic, please visit here.

Rockport Music Announces Cancellation of July and August Concerts/ Looks Ahead to the Fall: “It is with a heavy heart that we announce that the summer season through the end of August is canceled. This decision was not taken lightly, but given the precautions mandated for everyone’s health and safety, including you, our artists, staff and volunteers, we believe it is the most prudent course of action. Hopefully, we will be able to resume our full concert schedule in September and will provide updates on the status of our fall concerts as our plans progress.” Learn more and enjoy Rockport Music’s latest virtual concert here.

SeniorCare continues to serve the elder population of nine North Shore communities, including Beverly, Essex, Gloucester, Hamilton, Ipswich, Manchester-by-the-Sea, Rockport, Topsfield, and Wenham. Ongoing services include care management; in-home care“Grab and Go” lunch pickup points in Beverly, Ipswich and Gloucester; Meals on Wheels home delivered meals in all nine communities; caregiver support services, elder protective services; and more. They also have several new COVID service options including telephonic companion and specialty shopping to assist elders unable to leave their homes. We remain in close contact with key community partners including Councils on Aging. A weekly “Message from the CEO” update is provided to community providers which can be viewed online at

Sheriff Kevin Coppinger is seeking help from Essex County businesses in procuring personal protection equipment to keep staff and inmate population safe from COVID-19. See the full text of his letter here.

Toodeloo’s Offers Special Birthday Services. If your child is having a birthday in these times of social distancing Toodeloo’s can help. Contact them at 978.281.2011 and set up a birthday registry that you can then share with family and friends, near and far. Toodeloo’s will manage all the purchases, wrap all the presents, and deliver the gifts to the birthday recipient's door. A magical surprise for your child! They also have a lot of puzzles in stock, as well as art supplies.

Town of Essex updates public health advisories. To read the May 2 update from the Essex Board of Health, click here.

Town of Rockport issues public health order requiring the wearing of face coverings in public areas in Rockport. Effective immediately, all individuals over the age of 4 are required wear a face covering or mask in public outside of their personal property. To read the full order click here.

Education & Training Resources:

NonprofitWebAdvisor is offering a special COVID-19 series of webinars for non-profits. For further information and to register, click here.

Cape Ann’s Public Libraries and the National Emergency Library are offering enhanced online educational and reading resources.

Manchester-by-the-SEA Library Facebook Page

Sawyer Free Library Facebook Page

Rockport Public Library Facebook Page

National Emergency Library has made many book available to the public. see details here.

Comcast Business Webinar Series. For information about this series of webinar to help businesses of all sizes and educators navigate through COVID-19 and to register please click here.

WGBH Distance Learning Center: WGBH has partnered with the Massachusetts Department of Elementary and Secondary Education and WGBY/New England Public Media to provide learning opportunities and resources for students, families and educators. Learn more here.

Cape Ann Museum’s Timeship: Visit the museum’s Education page and learn about Timeship, distributed to appropriate grade levels throughout the community free of charge.

Cape Ann Art Haven: Learn how to make a mini-elevator with your children using household materials here!

GMGI News: Gloucester Biotechnology Academy is currently accepting students for the class of 2021. If you're interested in applying - or know someone who is - please visit their website for more information. Informational meetings and interviews are being held virtually to ensure proper social distancing. 

LEAP for Education’s Summer Internship Program is now recruiting employers and community members. Be a “Career Mentor” and virtually advise a teen summer intern in a six-week project-based remote learning experience. Please email JoAnn Leavitt, Program Coordinator, at if you would like further information, or call 774-270-0119.

NEW from the YMCA. The YMCA Distance Learning program offers virtual personalized support with school assignments, reading stories and fun educational activities for children in grades K-5. Y staff who have experience working with school-age youth will help your child(ren) complete school assignments and play fun games with learning as a goal. Operating on a by-appointment schedule through online bookings, the Y will provide 1 hour blocks of online distance learning to support students and their families. For more information, contact Rachel Quinn at Register Here

News from Manchester Historical Museum. While the museum is closed during the current health crisis, they are staying very active on social media, sharing their art show, videos, past lectures and interesting posts from their partners in the Museums of Cape Ann Collaborative (MCAC). Like and follow MHM here.

Managing Your Business Remotely in Times of Uncertainty. Tune in to this special livestream for small businesses on Wednesday, May 6 at noon. The Grow with Google team will share the latest resources from Google and other partners to help support small businesses. Discover tools, tips and resources to help you manage your business remotely during the COVID-19 crisis. Learn how to update critical business information online to keep customers informed, and how to host virtual meetings and events. Interested in learning about tools like Google My Business, Google Ads, Google Meet, and YouTube? RSVP today at

Rockport Art Association & Museum Offers Online Course. “PAINT: A Fresh New Start”, an online art course with Emily Passman, is scheduled for four consecutive Wednesdays, beginning June 10. For more information and to register, please click here.

The Massachusetts Health Connector for Business is conducting a free webinar on Thursday, May 14 at 11 am, for options for small businesses and their employees to get health insurance during this time. For more information and to register please click here.

The Massachusetts Small Business Development Center’s Wednesday Workshop Series presents “Annual Tax Reporting for a Small Business” on Wednesday, May 13, at 9 and 10:30 a.m. For more information and to register, please click here.

The New PPP Flexibility Act Explained. Paul Carelis, PHR, SHRM-CP and VP of HR & Client Services at MassPay, hosts a webinar this Thursday, June 11 at 1pm followed by a live Q&A. For more information and to register, please click here.

SCORE Webinar on PPP Loan Forgiveness. This webinar, on Wednesday, June 10, from 11am to noon, will provide small businesses a simple 10 step approach to complete the lengthy forgiveness application. For more information and to register, please click here.

Virtual Networking Webinar Replay. If you missed the virtual networking webinar with Matt Ward on May 7 - or if you would like to review some of his key networking tips - please click here.

Community Services & Resources:

$1,000 Grants for Artists. The Mass Cultural Council has launched a COVID-19 Relief Fund to support individuals whose creative practices and incomes are adversely impacted by the COVID-19 crisis. The application deadline is April 22. Find all the details here.

Action Inc. continues to provide services via phone appointments and email. Action’s Emergency Shelter remains open and operational. All Main Office and Energy Office services will be available Monday – Friday 9am-5pm. If you have general inquiries or questions, please call 978-282-1000 or You can also live chat with team members at

Action Inc. continues to offer assistance through the Cape Ann Emergency Relief Fund. They want to reach as many eligible, hourly-employed people as possible. Here is a link to their website with information about eligibility and how to apply. Apply by calling 978-282-1000 x234 or emailing Action Inc. also has a COVID-19 Resource Page with links to help residents with housing, employment, behavioral health issues, and more. 

Action Inc. Update. More affordable housing will soon become a reality for downtown Gloucester. In addition to the 30 rental units, there will also be approx. 2,000 sqft of retail space on the ground floor. For more details, including photos of the former Cameron’s site under construction, please click here.

Backyard Growers: Grow Food Safely and Stay Healthy. Backyard Growers has launched an online shop, offering Gloucester and Rockport residents compost, seeds, and new GrowBags. Contact-free payments and contact-free home delivery for Gloucester and Rockport residents. Seedlings will be available in a couple of weeks. Also, they still have a few spots left in the Backyard Garden Program for income-eligible older adults (62+). Program includes a raised garden bed in their backyard, supplies, training, and resources for successful growing.

The Cape Ann Emergency Relief Fund has surpassed its target and is on course to raise more than $250,000. The Fund, launched by Action Inc. in conjunction with the City of Gloucester and the Cape Ann Chamber of Commerce, has been supported by hundreds of local individuals and businesses. Action Inc. is now distributing Relief Fund checks to qualifying workers for $500 in direct financial assistance.

Cape Ann Emergency Relief Fund Update. To date Action Inc. and their partners have raised over $350,000 for the fund and more significant donations are expected in the coming days. Action Inc. has raised a further $55,000 as an additional supplementary fund from ECCF and Mass COVID fund for vulnerable subpopulations hardest hit by the pandemic. As of May 27, Action has provided payments to 227 families, distributing a total of $113,500. Today Action Inc. will announce plans to provide additional assistance, and in the coming weeks they will reassess additional changes to the eligibility and distribution processes.

Cape Ann Tourism Facebook Group. Members of the Chamber’s Tourism Council have formed a Facebook Group to share ideas, enable discussions, and promote information and resources that can enable a strong, safe and viable tourism industry North of Boston in and around Cape Ann.

Care Dimensions provides hospice and palliative care to many here on Cape Ann. They are experiencing increased demand for crucial medical supplies, emergency financial assistance to cover patient care and more requests from patients for help meeting critical, non-medical expenses such as groceries, utilities and rent. If you would like to support their clinical teams and their patients and families, please visit here.

CARRYOUTMA. We invite our readers to check out this new website created by the Massachusetts Restaurant Association. This is a great resource designed to help us support our favorite local eateries offering take-out, curbside pick-up and delivery services.

CATA has modified its weekday bus schedule to accommodate changes in customer travel patterns, provide more consistent service, and sustain appropriate social distancing. Saturday service will run on a regular Saturday schedule, with exception of the Mall Bus. The modified weekly schedule is available by visiting

Children's Friend and Family is continuing to provide outpatient mental health therapy via telehealth, and is accepting referrals for persons with all forms of MassHealth. People in need of services are invited to call 978-283-7198, and follow the prompts for intake. Referral forms are also available here. They currently have no wait for In-Home Therapy, a service to support families with youth under 21. Children’s Friend and Family is actively exploring the needs of the community in these trying times and will be offering virtual groups in addition to their already established services in the near future. 

Discover Gloucester is offering business sector “Guest Preparedness” roundtable conversations. For the first session, on Wednesday, May 13 at 11 am, the focus will be on businesses in Cape Ann’s attractions and arts & culture sectors. Following that on Thursday, May 14 at 2 pm, attention will turn to Cape Ann’s restaurant sector. On Friday, May 15 at 11 am, the spotlight will be on Cape Ann’s retailers. For more information and to register RSVP to Elizabeth Carey at

Element Care/PACE announces measures they are taking to care for the many frail elders in their program and protect staff. Read the full story on their website here.

Essex County Community Foundation (ECCF) announced that it has awarded a second round of rapid response grants from its Essex County COVID-19 Response Fund, established in March to support nonprofits on the frontlines of the pandemic response. This second round of grants – which totals $130,000 – focuses on organizations serving the homeless population. Read all the details here.

Gloucester Education Foundation has partnered with local teachers and volunteers to organize an effort to manufacture 100 face shields a day using 3-D printers at Gloucester High School and O’Maley Innovation Middle School. These shields are free to anyone in need, to protect front line and essential business workers against the coronavirus. If you or an organization you know is in need of face shields, please contact to place an order. To support the project, donate to their GoFundMe Campaign or click here for more information

Job Postings Welcome. We encourage Chamber members to use us as a resource to post job openings as Aberdeen Home Care has done. Link All CACC members have an online account where they can post a job listing. View current job listings here. To learn how to post job openings for your business, please contact Olivia Perez-O’Dess at

LISC (Local Initiatives Support Corporation) will offer grants of up to $10,000 to non-profits to address immediate financial peril, limit layoffs, avoid gaps in employee benefits or insurance, mitigate economic instability and increase the likelihood of business survival. To learn more about LISC click here. The link to the application will be available online beginning Monday, April 20. Sign up to receive updates here.

The Open Door: The Open Door is making every effort to keep our programs operating during this COVID-19 (Coronavirus) event, with some adjustments. Please check their Facebook page for updates. The Gloucester Food Pantry remains open Monday–Friday, 10 AM–5 PM, for curbside pick-up only.

The Open Door’s #MyBowlAtHome Tribute. The Empty Bowl Dinner has been a long-standing community tradition that brings us together each spring. We won't gather for the annual Empty Bowl Dinner this month as we have for the past 20 years, but The Open Door has created a fun way to still come together—while staying apart. They are inviting us to join them in our #MyBowlAtHome Tribute where we can still #ShowUsYourBowls and be #CommunityStrong. From May 21 through May 31, take a picture with your favorite empty bowl (or bowls!) from years past and share them on social media with your friends and family.

Pathways for Children teachers and social workers have reached out to all enrolled families to assess needs and provide resources. Pathways staff continues to return calls to 978-515-5330 within 24 hours. In addition Pathways is hosting positive youth groups, early intervention social skills groups, and parenting support groups via Zoom and has added robust social service and educational family resources to their frequently updated website. Pathways has established an Emergency Response Fund (ERF) to help maintain steady support for their children, families and programs. Donations to the ERF will help ensure that Pathways is well-positioned to respond effectively to the emerging needs of the most at-risk children and families. Pathways is accepting donations to the ERS online at

Rose Baker Senior Center staff continue their efforts to remain in contact with seniors at home with wellness reassurance telephone calls from the senior center and staff from their homes. Calls to seniors provide support and information for available services. A wellness visit is provided as needed to a senior we are unable to reach by telephone. Delivery of Meals on Wheels continues each day from the senior center to seniors at home. Reservations for a "Grab a Meal" received at the rear of the senior center are available every day by calling 978 281-9765. Seniors needing delivery to your door of books, puzzles, and cards, please call 978 281-9765.

Sharing Some Fun Cape Ann Chamber History. 1623 Studios recently interviewed Cape Ann photographer, historian and raconteur Les Bartlett. Les recounted the story of the 1925 road trip from Gloucester to Florida to promote summer tourism on Cape Ann. To see the full interview, including a vintage photo of the Chamber’s classic Reo Sedan on YouTube, please click here.

SCORE Is Looking For Volunteers. If you can give back, SCORE Northeast Massachusetts needs your help. “Our work depends on our amazing volunteers. We are proud to help small businesses in the area, and would love to have you as part of our team.” To learn more about SCORE and how to become a SCORE volunteer, click here.

SeniorCare Message: May is Older Americans Month. This year’s theme is “Make Your Mark” to remind us of and “celebrate countless contributions that older adults make to our communities.” To learn more about SeniorCare’s services, and COVID-19 resources please click here.

“We Are All In This Together Gloucester” Facebook Group. This group was started on March 21 “with the goal of coming together and helping each other during this current health crisis. We currently service both Gloucester and Rockport with 5137 members,” reports founder Patty Wall. To learn more, including ways that you can help and support their cause, please visit here.

Wellspring continues to provide Homelessness Prevention & Employment Support services via phone appointments, email, & video conferencing. The Family Shelter remains open and operational. The Shelter is full at this time. If you have questions please call 978-281-3558 Monday - Friday, 8:30 AM - 4:30 PM. Staff contact information is available here.

The YMCA of the North Shore is providing free emergency child care for the children of parents required to work. See details here.

For the most current information about the federal, state and local response to COVID-19 – including information of particular relevance to employers and employees, we recommend visiting the following websites: 

Associated Industries of Massachusetts (AIM) provides helpful information and resources for Massachusetts businesses. Read their latest blog post here.

Commonwealth of Massachusetts

Travel Guidelines and New Health Care Resources (March 27)

Symptom Checker for Mass Residents from Buoy Health and Department of Public Health and CDC (March 27)

Department of Public Health: Stay at Home Advisory. For details click here.

MEMA: Read MEMA’s June 29 update here.

Representative Ann-Margaret Ferrante: June 29 | June 19 | June 15 | June 10 | June 8 Update | June 5 Update | June 2 Update | May 29 Update | May 27 Update | May 22 Update | May 20 Update | COVID-19 Reopening Update | May 15 Update | May 13 Update | May 11 Update | May 8 Update | May 6 Update | May 1 Update | April 27 Update | April 24 Update | April 22 Update | April 15 Update | COVID-19 Unemployment Update | April 6 Update | April 2 Update | April 1 Update | March 30 update | March 27 UpdateCOVID-19 Federal Relief Update | March 25 Update, | March 23 Update, | March 21 Update, | March 19 update, | March 18 Update

Centers for Disease Control

Symptoms and Self-Checker

What You Need to Know

Congressman Seth Moulton: Updates and Resources

OSHA: Guidance on Preparing Workplaces for COVID-19

For information and updates specific to one’s local community, we recommend visiting the following city and town websites for Cape Ann:

Our goal as always is to serve as a trusted resource in providing our business community and residents with helpful information and guidance during the Coronavirus pandemic.

The members of your team here at the Cape Ann Chamber of Commerce wish you the very best, as we all pull together to meet and overcome the challenges of COVID-19.

Please use the links below to view recordings of our previous information sharing meetings

June 17 | June 11 | June 3

May 28 | May 21 | May 14 | May 8


Many of the things we do to help prevent colds and the flu can help protect us against other respiratory viruses, including COVID-19:

Proper Handwashing guide & video

Wash your hands often with soap and warm water for at least 20 seconds.

Avoid touching your eyes, nose and mouth.

Clean things that are frequently touched (like doorknobs and countertops) with household cleaning spray or wipes.

Cover your mouth when you cough or sneeze. Use a tissue or your inner elbow, not your hands.

Stay home if you are sick and avoid close contact with others.

There are currently no vaccines available to protect against this novel coronavirus infection. 

Social distancing

We can all help prevent the spread of COVID-19 with social distancing:

Call/Facetime/online chat with friends and familyStay home as much as you canIf you must go out:

Don’t gather in groupsStay 6 feet away from others

Don’t shake hands or hug

And please continue to wash your hands frequently