Are you ready to return to the office? We are.

Are you ready to return to the office?
We are.
After 15 months of mostly working remotely we’re thrilled to announce that the chamber has found a new home at the Workbar in Needham.
Even before the pandemic, a move was in our future. Our long-time office at Marshalls Plaza on Needham Street will soon be razed as part of the Newton Northland Project.
During the pandemic, our good friends at Staples Connect on Highland Ave generously provided a small office space pro bono which allowed us to continue essential in-person member services appointments.
Staples has also been an integral partner to the chamber’s support local efforts, providing all those bright “Welcome Back,” “Open For Takeout” and other free signs that have been hanging in storefronts throughout the pandemic.
(You can still pick up your free "Welcome Back" sign at the Needham Staples print department.)
We’re so appreciative to Staples for hosting us and for our ongoing partnership.

Home is where the free coffee is
Moving to Workbar at Bulfinch’s 117 Kendrick Street puts the chamber in the heart of the N-Squared District and adjacent to the Charles River – providing the perfect point of connection to all of our members and communities.
In fact, we could now walk over to Charles River Canoe & Kayak and (with some portaging) visit all our communities by canoe!
Our team will balance virtual meetings, programs and remote work with working on site. The brand-new coworking space provides flexibility, opportunities for collaboration and space to grow as we serve you and our communities.
And, we’re thrilled to be working elbow to elbow with so many of our chamber members, including the team at Workbar and property owners Bulfinch.
Our new address is: NN Regional Chamber, 117 Kendrick Street, Suite 300, Needham, MA 02494.
However we’ll be maintaining our current post office box as well so feel free to keep using that too.

Today’s debate is brought to you by the number five
We’re now just five days away from the day when many of those state of emergency orders expire.
The state Senate will debate a bill today, along with 44 different amendments filed yesterday, including a proposal left out the original bill to maintain the cap on third party meal delivery fees.
Another amendment would accelerate the start of the expanded summer evening hours for minors under the age of 16 from July 1 to June 15. Many short staffed employers are hoping for the extra help and, really, haven’t your teens been housebound long enough?
Restaurants need more dough to avoid folding 
Meanwhile in the other Senate, a bill will be filed on Capital Hill today to replenish the Restaurant Revitalization Fund with $60 billion in additional direct relief for hard-pressed small operators.
The SBA stopped taking applications in mid-May because it had already received 362,000 requests for $76 billion in aid, or far more than could be satisfied with the initial funding.
The original $28.6 billion program ran out of funds in May, just weeks after launching. The SBA estimates that it needs at least an additional $50 billion just to fund the applications submitted before the application portal was closed.

Is your company doing anything special for Juneteenth?
A growing number of businesses have announced plans to honor or recognize Juneteenth as a paid holiday for their employees this year.
Juneteenth, celebrated on June 19 each year, marks the end of slavery in the United States. Because Juneteenth falls on a Saturday this year, some employers are commemorating on Friday June 18.
CNBC has published this list of some national employers who will be giving employees a paid day, observing moments of silence or marking the occasion in some way.
And the BBJ’s Hannah Green talks to some Greater Boston employers who’ve added the date to their company calendars.
Let me know if your company is doing something special for Juneteenth.
Not sure what to do? Here’s some suggestions.

Note to retailers: Bonus pay rules apply to Juneteenth
Last July, Gov. Charlie Baker signed legislation making June 19 an official state holiday. But unlike some of the 12 state holidays, businesses are not required to close for Juneteenth or give employees flexible time off.
However, retail businesses covered by the Blue Laws must pay an employee 1.2 times their normal rate this year, and cannot force an employee to work on June 19. The bonus pay structure will be phased out by 2023, along with premium pay for several other holidays, according to Matt Murphy at State House News.
STEM initiative to launch at Mount Ida
About 40 young Black and Latinx students from Boston Public Schools will be invited to live on the Mount Ida campus in Newton this fall as part of a new program to give talented kids a head start to STEM degree from UMass Amherst.
In addition to housing and a meal plan, the Digital Ready’s Living Learning Lab program will offer personalized academic coaching, rigorous coursework tied to emerging technologies and hands-on and work-based learning opportunities with industry partners.
At the end of the year, students will have the opportunity to join a full-time undergraduate program at UMass Amherst, with 18 college credits, a year of college experience, and a supportive network of champions at no cost to them or their families.
“This program aligns perfectly with our strategic plan for the Mount Ida Campus, our effort to expand exploratory pathways to a UMass degree, and our diversity, equity and inclusion initiatives,” said UMass Amherst Chancellor Kumble Subbaswamy.

What’s lurking on your home office keyboard
Finally, in the event that you’re wondering if it’s time yet to return to an office, you may be inspired by this report on the Today Show comparing and contrasting the germs found in work from home set ups compared to a professionally cleaned office setting.
But on a more serious note (not that Staphylococcus aureus isn't serious), be sure and read the Globe's Shirley Leung's article on the challenges and opportunities facing working moms -- and all of us -- about returning to work. It's one of the best I've read on the topic.
That’s today’s Need to Knows, unless you need to know how animals safely cross highways (and actually the videos are amazing). Be back tomorrow.
President, Newton-Needham Regional Chamber
Your chamber is here when you need us.

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