April 1, 2020 | foleyfoleypc
It is April 1 and that means the FFCRA takes effect. Get your poster up or emailed to remote workers and have your policies ready to comply with this law. And yes, we have our FFCRA Compliance Package at the ready–which is evergreen so you get email updates as they unfold.
Speaking of updates, the IRS has provided guidance on how to document leave requests to get those tax credits. See questions 44-46 for the details.
And what about all that free money from the CARES Act? The SBA lenders are telling us applications for the Paycheck Protection Program will begin April 3, 2020. Here is a sample application. You can find the Emergency Disaster Loan Assistance application here, which is essentially a $10,000 grant for qualifying entities.
Find some joy today! Here is a fun video for home schoolers or anyone who wants a laugh.
Winter is known for being a time of celebration, family gatherings and staying cozy by the nearest fireplace. It’s also a season of potential challenges when it comes to your home, vehicle and health.
Want to keep the season as festive and problem-free as possible? Here are a few tips to help you enjoy the rest of 2019 and beyond:
It’s good advice for any time of the year: Give your home a thorough once-over and complete the maintenance tasks that can prevent you from having to make expensive repairs later on. This includes:
Winterize your car by checking all its vitals:
Health and Safety
Last but not least, take good care of your family and yourself during cold and flu season by getting a flu shot, washing your hands often and regularly wiping down commonly used items like light switches and remote controls.
And whether you’re getting your home ready for colder weather or the upcoming holidays, always exercise caution when using ladders, power tools, fireplaces and candles.
Cape Cod & Islands Bookstore Trail Launches April 27
Follow the Cape Cod & Islands Bookstore Trail to discover a treasure trove of new and used bookstores from Sandwich to Falmouth to Provincetown, Martha's Vineyard to Nantucket.
The program will launch on Independent Bookstore Day, Saturday, April 27 and continue through October 31, 2019. The goal of the Trail is to highlight the unique and diverse array of independent bookstores on Cape Cod and the Islands.
20 independent bookstores (and counting!) will participate in the Trail, including Books By the Sea in Centerville, Booksmith/Musicsmith in Orleans, Brewster Bookstore in Orleans, Bunch of Grapes Bookstore in Vineyard Haven, East End Books in Provincetown, Eight Cousins Books in Falmouth, A Great Yarn in Chatham, Herridge Books in Wellfleet, I Cannot Live Without Books in West Dennis, Isaiah Thomas Books & Prints in Cotuit, Main Street Books in Orleans, Market Street Bookshop in Mashpee, Mitchell's Book Corner and Nantucket Bookworks on Nantucket, Parnassus Book Service in Yarmouthport, Provincetown Bookshop in Provincetown, Reed Books in Harwich Port, Titcomb's Bookshop in East Sandwich, Wellfleet Booksmith in Wellfleet, Where the Sidewalk Ends Bookshop and Children's Annex in Chatham and Yellow Umbrella Book in Chatham.
Trail maps will be available at participating stores and can also be downloaded from the group's website at https://capeandislandsbookstoretrail.com/
People who visit 5 or more stores during 2019 will be given a Cape & Islands Bookstore Trail button.
Many of the participating bookstores will offer light refreshments, and some will have special events planned Independence Bookstore Day on April 27.
The Cape & Islands Bookstore Trail is organized by Caitlin Doggart from Where the Sidewalk Ends in Chatham, Sara Hines from Eight Cousins Books in Falmouth, and Vicky Titcomb from Titcomb's Bookshop in East Sandwich.
For more information, contact firstname.lastname@example.org
This was an article we read in the latest Cape & Plymouth Business magazine which completely answered a lot of questions we get from our members about sending press releases to the local newspaper. Don't overlook this important marketing tool. Just do it in a way that works!
The Do's and Don'ts of news releases
By Nicole Joy Hales
Although some people question the importance of press releases, or news releases, in an overall public relations campaign, they serve many purposes. These announcements are not only an effective way of sharing information about an organization, but they help to remind readers – and reporters and editors – about the organization, which oftentimes leads to a shift in perception about a company for the good. However, if your announcement is not written in a style that news organizations can easily modify or use, the likelihood of it appearing anywhere is minimal. Here are some tips to remember when writing a news release to ensure its visibility.
First, make sure that your news release is really sharing news. Many people confuse the opportunity for a news announcement with the possibility of being promotional. Announcing a new hire, an employee’s promotion, an acquisition, a donation to a local charity or even an organization’s anniversary is all news; announcing a “10th anniversary sale with hundreds of markdowns” is not. By making sure each of your releases shares worthwhile information, you establish yourself as a credible source in a growing, philanthropic, and/or specialized organization.
Once you’ve determined that your content is business news, be sure to write about the subject in a business style. Keep it simple and straightforward, with your main news at the beginning, and supporting or explanatory facts to follow. A news release should not be seen as an opportunity for creative writing – editors typically do not appreciate being kept in suspense.
Along those same lines, if an editor has little to edit when he or she receives your press release, the likelihood of it being published increases dramatically. Therefore, it makes sense to write in the style of the media outlet. Typically, for the business news sections of a variety of publications, this means writing the news release in third person, and referring to any people mentioned initially by their full name and subsequently by only their last name. Some people don’t necessarily like being referred to by their last name only, but you’ll find that this is fairly standard practice.
Whenever possible, also include a photograph. Not only will you attract more eyes to your news with a photo, but editors are also happy to receive images that break up text-heavy pages. Be sure to identify anyone in the photo with a caption.
Different media outlets do have different ways of accepting submissions, so if there’s one publication in particular you’re trying to get into, it pays to do a little research and determine their preferences. However, most times you can’t go wrong by sending an email, with the announcement as the body of the email message, your headline as the subject, and your photo attached to the email (with a note identifying the photo so that editors understand it’s not a malware infiltration attempt!). This allows for easy copying and pasting of text right from the editor’s email inbox to the publication software. Do not send a news release as a pdf – doing so requires many more steps for someone to extract the content and could result in a time-strapped editor simply ignoring it.
Finally, be sure to add your contact information (or the contact information of your organization’s spokesperson). Doing so not only provides an opportunity to clarify any information, but also offers an easy way for an editor to get in touch again in the future – maybe to ask you to serve as an interview source, or because he or she is interested in profiling your organization for a future issue.
Done right, news releases offer a great opportunity to demonstrate to readers and media professionals alike a variety of strong and positive characteristics about your organization – whether it be growing, innovative, charity-minded, community-based, or all of the above. By sending news releases on a regular basis (about one every two weeks), you can keep your company front and center in the minds of readers and editors alike!
Nicole Joy Hales is vice president, client services at PR first!!! (www.prfirst.com), a public relations firm based in Hanover, Massachusetts. She can be reached at email@example.com.
New Gender-Based Equal Pay Obligations for all Massachusetts Employers
Gender-based equal pay is just a few weeks away in Massachusetts. All employers in Massachusetts with the sole exception of the federal government must comply with the new/amended Massachusetts Equal Pay Act (MEPA), a gender-based pay equity law, on or before June 30, 2018.
The assessment of gender-based pay equity in Massachusetts has changed significantly. The standard is different. The definitions are different. Exposure is different and potential corrective measures are different. The conversation about salary history and employee wages will be significantly different. Here is a link to the guidance issued by the Commonwealth’s Attorney General. That guidance includes links to the Pay Calculation tools and spreadsheet prepared by the Office of the Attorney General.
Please remember the AG’s caveat: “The Pay Calculator tools provided by the Office of the Attorney General will not tell employers definitively whether they have achieved compliance with the new law but instead are intended to assist employers with gathering and analyzing relevant information. Ultimately, the law requires a case-by-case determination.”
All members of the Chamber are covered by this new law and must conduct an evaluation of their pay practices in accordance with the new legal standard in order to achieve compliance with the new law on or before June 30, 2018. In general terms, the updated Equal Pay law requires employers to pay employees of a different gender the same pay if they perform comparable work. MEPA recognizes only six permissible reasons for differences in pay for employees of a different gender who perform comparable work: a system that rewards seniority with the employer; a merit system; a system which measures earnings by quality or quantity of production, sales or revenue; geographic location in which a job is performed; education, training or experience to the extent such factors are reasonably related to the particular job in question; or travel, if travel is a regular and necessary condition of the particular job.
We recommend using outside counsel as part of this process to protect findings under the Attorney/Client privilege.