March 25 Daily Round-Up: NEC Members Contribute to COVID-19 Crisis Response

As our region and our nation continue to grapple with the Coronavirus Disease (COVID-19) pandemic, The New England Council is using our blog as a platform to highlight some of the incredible work our members have undertaken to respond to the outbreak.  Each day, we’ll post a round-up of updates on some of the initiatives underway among Council members throughout the region.  We are also sharing these updates via our social media, and encourage our members to share with us any information on their efforts so that we can be sure to include them in these daily round-ups.

You can also check our COVID-19 Virtual Events Calendar for information on upcoming COVID-19 related programming – including Congressional town halls and webinars presented by NEC members.

Here is today’s (March 25, 2020) roundup:

Medical Response

  • Massachusetts General Begins 3-D Printing Protective Equipment – Amid a shortage of medical supplies as the world’s healthcare providers grapple with the novel coronavirus, Massachusetts General Hospital is using their own state-of-the-art technology to 3-D print their own face shields and masks. The hospital has been working nonstop to produce and procure more protective equipment to protect exposed doctors and individuals despite the shortage. NBC reports.

Economic/Business Continuity Response

  • New England Banks Support Local Businesses – Aside from agreeing to be more lenient with loan repayment during the pandemic, Eastern Bank, Citizens Financial Group, and Santander, have established their own programs to support businesses in their area. Eastern’s loan program will allow clients to take out loans from a $5 million pool and make interest-only payments for 6 months, with an additional $1 million for businesses owned by people of color; Citizens has committed its own $5 million in charitable contributions across its operation locations; and Santander is offering $25 million for those organizations aiming to revitalize struggling local economies. The Boston Business Journal has more.
  • Partners HealthCare Continues Operations with Employee Reorganization – Partners HealthCare, the largest private employer in Massachusetts, has remained open and promised wage security through reassignment or payment of full wages for up to eight weeks. The provider cancelled all elective procedures last week, but continues to support its over 62,000 employees. Read more in the Boston Business Journal.

Community Response

  • City of Boston Launches Virus Text Updates in Five Languages – Recognizing that 37% of its residents that speak a language other than English, the City of Boston has created a text alert service that will be available in Spanish, Haitian and Cabo Verdean Creole, French, and Portuguese. The text alerts will provide vital medical and public health information to these populations. Read more.
  • United Way Establishes Family Support Fund – Mobilizing its existing network of organizations on the front lines of the outbreak, United Way of Massachusetts Bay and Merrimack Valley has established the United Way COVID-19 Family Support Fund. The first round of funding, including $155,000 to organizations in the area, has been heavily supported by Eastern Bank and Wells Fargo. The fund will also collaborate with the City of Boston and the Department of Public Health to ensure that efforts by the two will complement each other. Read more.
  • Takeda Pharmaceuticals Donates Over $6 Million to National and Local Relief Efforts – Aside from working on its plasma-based treatment for COVID-19, Takeda Pharmaceuticals has announced more than $6 million in donations to relief efforts across the country. The funds will be dedicated to the American Red Cross nationally, and the two local communities where Takeda has campuses, Cambridge and Lexington, MA. Read the release here.
  • New Balance Foundation Dedicates $2 Million To Response New Balance is donating $2 million in nonprofit grants for community response to the pandemic. The New Balance Foundation has committed the donation to organizations across New England and the country as the world responds to the outbreak of the virus. Read more.
  • Wells Fargo Announces Increased Grants for Support – Wells Fargo has announced over $150,000 in donations to New England organizations offering support and relief to communities affected by the virus. Wells Fargo has also expedited its planned grants for 2020 to provide another almost $400,000 to small businesses, housing organizations, and financial stability programs to ease the burden of the virus’ spread.

Stay tuned for more updates each day, and follow us on Twitter for more frequent updates on how Council members are contributing to the response to this global health crisis.

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