May is Mental Health Awareness Month. As we adjust to this new reality, it’s important to acknowledge the impact this crisis may have on our mental health. Click below for a helpful graphic of COVID-19 resources for mental health courtesy of Boston Councilor At-Large Annissa Essaibi George.
Supporting Local Businesses During COVID-19
On March 23rd, Governor Baker ordered the closure of all non-essential businesses in the state in an effort to curb the spread of the novel coronavirus. The Department of Public Health is also issuing a “stay-at-home” advisory, which will also be in effect during this time. The order takes effect Tuesday, March 24th and is effective until at least May 18th at noon. The order also limits gatherings to 10 people during the state of emergency, a reduction from the 25-person limit established in an earlier order. Allston is home to countless unique bars and restaurants, and this order will have a great impact on the neighborhood.
The mission of AVMS is to develop a thriving commercial district by assisting neighborhood businesses and promoting the physical and cultural vitality of Allston. While we encourage neighbors to continue following the guidelines set by public health officials such as social isolation and best hygiene practices, here are some tips to support local businesses from a safe distance!
Resources for Businesses
Harvard Ed Portal's Business Webinars: Harvard's Ed Portal is offering free webinars focusing on businesses getting online, fitness, language, people seeking jobs, and a lot more!
Annuity's Guide to COVID-19 and Your Finances: A financial literacy guide to what you need to know while dealing with COVID-19.
Financial Relief Handbook: The City of Boston has put together a handbook outlining the City, State, and Federal resources available to small businesses. Many of these resources are listed below.
EIDL Loan: The Federal Small Business Administration offers Economic Injury Disaster Loans to help small businesses meet working capital needs caused by the COVID-19 pandemic. The loans may be used to pay fixed debts, payroll, accounts payable, and other bills that could have been paid had the disaster not occurred.
City of Boston Small Business Relief Fund: The City of Boston has established the Small Business Financial Relief Fund to help businesses most impacted by COVID-19. The grants range from $2,500 to $10,000 and are open to all small businesses who qualify.
Support your Spot: SupportYourSpot is a directory of small businesses that offer online gift cards for purchase. Add your business to this list if you offer gift cards!
Boston Main Streets Foundation Emergency Response Grant: Small Businesses that have 10 employees or fewer, based in face-to-face/in person contact, and are service based, dry goods, and other “non-essential” retail businesses are eligible for a $1,000 grant from the Boston Main Streets Foundation. Applications are open!
City of Boston's Coronavirus Information Page: Stay up to date with the latest city news.
List of Businesses deemed Essential: Staring March 24th, all non-essential businesses are required to close until May 4th.
Boston Public Health Commission Information: The BPHC has hand washing/sanitation posters for businesses in English, Spanish, Chinese, and Vietnamese, as well as fact sheets translated into several more languages.
Resources for Workers
Allston Village Main Streets Workers Relief Fund: AVMS has established this fund in an effort to provide support to any Allston employees that have been laid off or furloughed by the COVID-19 pandemic. The grant will be rewarded in the form of a $250 VISA Gift Card and will require no reporting back of any kind.
Filing for Unemployment: If you have been laid off or furloughed, the governor's office and the state's House of Representatives have made filing for unemployment and receiving benefits easier.
How to Stay Healthy
All residents are urged to practice social distancing: Stay approximately six feet away from other people.
Avoid large crowds and gatherings.
Practice good hygiene: continue to wash hands, use hand sanitizer, cover coughs and sneezes with a tissue or your inner elbow, and stay home if you are sick.
Certain people are at higher risk for serious illness from this virus. High-risk individuals include: older adults, anyone with underlying health conditions such as heart or lung disease or diabetes, anyone with weakened immune systems, and pregnant women.
Individuals at higher risk should stay home and avoid situations of potential exposure. do not attend large gatherings, limit time spent in public areas, and do not congregate in groups of more than 10 people.
Residents should limit interactions with persons who are at higher risk for COVID-19. If you live with someone at high risk, practice social distancing. We all have personal responsibility to take care of ourselves and others, to protect ourselves and our loved ones.
How to Support Local Businesses
Order Take Out/Delivery: Restaurants are considered essential businesses, and while dining in is not allowed, take out and delivery services are. Here is a list of Allston restaurants offering delivery service.
Order Online: While most retail businesses are deemed non-essential and will close their doors, they are still operating online. Support retail by ordering goods online!
Buy Gift Cards: Once the worst is over, many businesses will reopen their doors. In the meantime, there isn't as much cash flow for them to pay rent. By buying gift cards, you give the businesses much needed support!
Resources for Artists and Musicians
Many artists and musicians have had to cancel upcoming performances or exhibits. The city and other organizations are working to create support funds for our city's creatives. This list will be updated periodically:
The Mayor's Office of Arts and Culture, in partnership with the Boch Center for the Arts, has modified their Opportunity Fund to apply to the Boston Artists Relief Fund.
For any questions on how these resources can best support you, contact our Executive Director at