Cummings Properties' buildings are open for business. We have upgraded our HVAC systems and continue to provide cleaning and disinfection of frequently touched surfaces in building common areas. Signs throughout our properties promote health guidelines as advised by the Commonwealth.
Account managers are readily available to answer any questions from leasing clients. You may also call our main offices at 781-935-8000 (Woburn) or 978-922-9000 (Beverly).
We are committed to assisting businesses with their real estate needs while adhering to coronavirus precautions. Our staff is available for in-person showings of available space, including lab, flex, and office. Virtual tours and live video walkthroughs are also available for those wishing to view from a distance. Call 781-935-8000 or email firstname.lastname@example.org to schedule a tour.
Cummings Properties is proud of the important work in which our clients are engaged, from providing critical healthcare services to adhering to social distancing practices to slow the spread of the virus. As we all assess and adapt to the impacts, both long- and short-term, of the COVID-19 pandemic, some of our clients are offering valuable resources and expertise for businesses of all sizes.
LGA (500 West Cummings Park, Suite 5650, Woburn) has provided $150,000 in business consulting services through LGA Cares. The firm also offers a Business Check-Up program. This program helps to identify and monitor potential risks and set the groundwork for risk mitigation and value optimization moving forward. LGA provides helpful information related to COVID-19 on its Resources webpage.
Business mentoring and education provider Northeast Massachusetts SCORE (100 Cummings Center, Suite 310-G, Beverly) is offering remote mentoring sessions, online workshops, and live webinars designed to help businesses adapt their operations and remain productive throughout the pandemic. Its Coronavirus Small Business Resource Hub also includes information about government and partner aid programs for small businesses.
HR and payroll software provider MassPay (500 Cummings Center, Suite 4900, Beverly) is conducting a series of webinars focused on the impact of the novel coronavirus on businesses. Topics range from tips for managing a remote workforce to practical explanations of emerging HR legislation like the Families First Coronavirus Response Act. In addition, the firm has created a COVID-19 Resources page with helpful links and important updates.
The legal professionals at McLane Middleton (300 TradeCenter, Suite 7000, Woburn) have created a comprehensive online Coronavirus Resource Center to help businesses navigate the crisis. This robust compilation of materials covers a wide range of topics, including business interruption insurance, information security for remote employees, wage and benefit policies, and much more. Watch its News &Events webpage for information.
We hope you and your colleagues remain safe and healthy during this challenging time.
Analytik Jena US, 100 Cummings Center, Suite 234-N, Beverly, has created the UVP Crosslinker, a shortwave ultraviolet device that can be used to disinfect N95 masks. The technology is intended to address the N95 surgical mask shortage by offering an option to irradiate masks for safe reuse. Read more.
BigRep, 50-E Concord Street, Suite 100, Wilmington, is a creator of large-scale 3D printers. This global company is creating and donating face shields and providing instructional resources to encourage other additive manufacturing firms to produce and donate face shields in their local communities. Learn more.
Evolved by Nature, 196 Boston Avenue, Suite 1100, Medford, is combining its skincare expertise with essential ingredients from Boston Harbor Distillery to create hand sanitizer. The sanitizer will be distributed to the frontline workers who need it most in local hospitals and health care facilities. Read more.
Genomic Expression, North Shore InnoVentures incubator firm, 100 Cummings Center, Suite 451-C, Beverly, has developed a COVID-19 test utilizing RNA detection. It will be submitting its testing protocols to the FDA for approval.
Sciessent, 100 Cummings Center, Suite 251-G, Beverly, is working with a cooperative consortium of major apparel manufacturers helping to meet surgical mask needs across the country. These partners are applying Sciessent’s Agion® antimicrobial solution to masks designed for use in healthcare facilities with. Read more.
Spectrus, North Shore InnoVentures incubator firm, 100 Cummings Center, Suite 451-C, Beverly, provides bioanalytical chemistry services. The firm is currently exploring proteomics methods to detect the novel coronavirus in human samples.
The Biden-Harris Administration and the U.S. Small Business Administration have announced the following steps to provide further relief for the smallest businesses through the Paycheck Protection Program.
Details can be found on the SBA website.
SBA is currently accepting Second Draw PPP loan applications from participating lenders. The program allows certain eligible borrowers that previously received a PPP loan to apply for a Second Draw PPP Loan with the same general loan terms as their First Draw PPP Loan. Second Draw PPP Loans can be used to help fund payroll costs, including benefits, plus rent, utilities, worker protection costs related to COVID-19, and more.
A borrower is generally eligible for a Second Draw PPP Loan if the borrower
Additional information is available on the SBA website.
The (ERC) encourages businesses to keep employees on their payroll. Eligible employers can now claim a refundable tax credit against the employer share of Social Security tax equal to 70% of the qualified wages they pay to employees after December 31, 2020, through June 30, 2021. Qualified wages are limited to $10,000 per employee per calendar quarter in 2021, thus the maximum ERC amount available is a total of $14,000 in 2021.
The U.S. Small Business Administration will re-open the Paycheck Protection Program (PPP) loan portal to small community banks for First and Second Draw applications on Friday, January 15, 2021 at 9 am ET. The portal will fully open on Tuesday, January 19, 2021 to all participating PPP lenders to submit First and Second Draw loan applications to SBA.
As a reminder, the online application portal for the Massachusetts State Funding closes tomorrow, Friday, January 15. More details on how to apply and eligibility requirements are available at www.empoweringsmallbusiness.org.
We appreciate the information and resources provided by many Cummings client firms to support businesses and individuals affected by COVID-19. Below are some of the latest updates.
Please visit the Cummings Client Directory for a full list of client firms available to assist you.
The U.S. Small Business Administration (SBA) announced that the Paycheck Protection Program (PPP) will re-open this week for new borrowers and certain existing PPP borrowers, providing an additional $284 billion in funding for forgivable loans.
Initially, only community financial institutions will participate. With these lenders, First Draw PPP Loans begin today, and Second Draw PPP Loans start Wednesday, January 13. The PPP program will open to all participating lenders shortly thereafter.
A borrower is generally eligible for a Second Draw PPP Loan if the borrower:
Learn more in this press release from the Small Business Administration.
A reminder that the Baker-Polito Administration has introduced a $668 million small business relief package to provide aid to businesses in sectors experiencing the most significant economic hardship and a loss of revenue due to the COVID-19 pandemic. This includes restaurants, indoor recreation/entertainment providers, gyms and fitness centers, personal service providers (e.g., nail salons, barber shops), event support companies, and independent retailers.
The program offers grants of up to $75,000, but not more than three months’ operating expenses, to be used for employee wage and benefits costs, space-related costs, and debt service obligations.
The online application portal for the new program will close Friday, January 15. More details on how to apply and eligibility requirements are available at www.empoweringsmallbusiness.org.
We are pleased to share that new relief programs are coming soon for businesses impacted by COVID-19. These programs, at the federal and state level, will provide qualifying businesses with grant and loan funding for operating expenses, employee wage and benefits costs, and more.
Last week, the Baker-Polito Administration announced a $668 million program to provide new financial assistance to Massachusetts restaurants, retailers, and other small businesses impacted by the COVID-19 pandemic. The new business relief program will offer grants of up to $75,000, but not more than three months’ operating expenses, to be used for employee wage and benefits costs, space-related costs, and debt service obligations.
The online application portal for the new program will open on Thursday, December 31, and will close Friday, January 15. More details on how to apply and eligibility requirements are available at www.empoweringsmallbusiness.org.
Last night, President Trump signed into law a bill expanding pandemic relief benefits and extending a number of benefits.
An additional $284 billion was allocated for disbursement from the Payroll Protection Program (PPP). With this latest bill, eligible businesses may apply for a second round of PPP funding. Eligibility was expanded to include all nonprofits, including 501(c)(6) organizations.
Read more on the federal relief program and changes in an overview from Cummings’ TradeCenter 128 client McLane Middleton.
More specific detail should be coming from the SBA. Meanwhile, consult your lender or advisor for guidance.
Client firms which have not participated in the Paycheck Protection Program (PPP) should be aware that, following the recent extension of the application deadline until August 8, 2020, substantial funds are still available through this resource. Approximately $130 billion reportedly remains in the program, which is intended to provide small businesses with funds to weather the COVID-19 storm, with the potential for a major portion or even all of the loan monies to be forgiven.
The program allows small businesses to use government subsidies, in the form of federal loans, for payroll, rent, and other costs. More than 350 businesses in Woburn alone have obtained loans ranging in amounts from $150,000 to $10,000,000, and many more organizations have qualified for smaller loans. Current regulations require that funds must be spent before the end of calendar year 2020.
More information on the PPP can be found on the U.S. Small Business Administration site, including answers to frequently asked questions. Client firms have reportedly found it most effective to work with their existing banking relationship when applying for PPP loans.
The poster below is courtesy of Middlesex County Superior Court, which is located at our TradeCenter 128 campus. We will be displaying this signage at many of our properties as a friendly reminder of the precautions we all must take to help keep the Commonwealth on its successful path to reopening.
Client firms may want to download and print this poster for their premises.
Please visit our website for additional COVID-19 resources, and contact your account manager with any questions.
As the global pandemic and the unrest related to social justice move inexorably around us, our Commonwealth has been badly shaken, but it certainly will not be broken. With Massachusetts' COVID-related metrics trending in a promising direction, we are ready to restore our lives and our businesses, and to help restore America and this entire planet as a better place for all.
I write today as founder of Cummings Properties to welcome back the client firms and colleagues who have been away from their usual locations. Thank you all for what, in so many cases, have been decades-long relationships. Most of my 70 years of business life have been based in and around Woburn, and I continue coming to the office each day because I am so pleased and honored to work with all of you.
Designated by the Commonwealth as an "essential business," the Cummings organization has necessarily remained open and functioning throughout the State of Emergency, and we shall continue providing services to the many hundreds of businesses within Cummings Properties' workplaces. Keeping all of them safe, clean, and well maintained will remain our top priority. Personally, I have been pleased to be a direct part of that effort from my Cummings Park office every weekday since the start of the public health emergency.
At this time, most client firms are open and operating, or they are rapidly approaching that point. All but a handful of our colleagues are now back at work in our Woburn and Beverly offices too, with generous spacing and other appropriate precautions in place. I look forward to working with all of you to move our communities forward in the coming months.
Bill Cummings, Founder
Cummings Properties, LLC
P.S. If any reader has not received a copy of my self-written autobiography, Starting Small and Making It Big, I shall be very pleased to have a complimentary copy delivered to you.
With the school year over and many camps and childcare options limited or cancelled due to COVID-19 regulations and related challenges, clients and their staff may be seeking alternative options for their children. As a helpful resource, Cummings Properties is pleased to offer the following list of childcare centers and camp programs within our client portfolio.
During the next several weeks, our field staff will be replacing air filters in building standard HVAC units with higher performance filters.
This maintenance work will require brief access to your space during normal business hours, and should cause minimal disruption. No action is required on your part for this service to be performed.
We have also increased building exhaust fan run times and fresh air intakes to the maximum levels allowable for effective and sustainable operation. You can also increase the amount of fresh air in your suite by running HVAC fans more frequently.
If your space has been unoccupied for some time, below are a few helpful tips as you re-populate your space:
- Run HVAC unit
- Run hot and cold water (water may appear rusty at first due to non-use, but should clear)
- Pour water in floor drains to eliminate possible odor caused by a dry trap
- Open windows, if operable
Health and safety protocols for our staff
The health and safety of our clients and colleagues is our highest priority. As we have previously communicated, our staff wears face coverings within Cummings Properties buildings as currently advised or required by state or local authorities. Our staff has been trained in CDC safety guidelines including maintaining social distance, washing hands frequently, and avoiding coming to work when sick.If you have any questions, please reach out to your account manager.
We look forward to welcoming additional client firms back to our buildings in the coming weeks as we all progress through the Commonwealth’s plan for a phased reopening. Recognizing that COVID-19 remains a threat, safely and successfully reinvigorating our local economy will require the cooperation of the entire business community—from firms like Cummings Properties to business owners to individual employees. We ask you and your colleagues to join us in carefully adhering to the protocols recommended by governing authorities, as they are designed to create a safer environment for all of us.
Please review the information and resources below, and reach out to your account manager with any questions.
BUILDING OWNER PRECAUTIONS
Given the variety of sizes and types of properties within the Cummings portfolio, the items below will not apply to every building. If you have questions about your specific building or leased premises, your account manager will be pleased to assist you.
Flow of foot traffic
In a recent article published in ASHRAE Journal (American Society of Heating, Refrigerating and Air-Conditioning Engineers), it was reported that HVAC systems play only a small role in the transmission of infectious diseases such as COVID-19, and that the basic principles of social distancing and good hygiene (e.g. handwashing and disinfecting surfaces) “are far more important than anything related to the HVAC system.” Notwithstanding this statement, we are taking the following actions to increase the flow of fresh air within our buildings:
Cleaning and disinfecting
Common area seating
BUSINESS OWNER PRECAUTIONS
Sector-specific protocols and best practices
Occupancy for office uses
Following Governor Baker's release yesterday of a phased plan to gradually reopen additional industries within the Commonwealth, we are looking forward to welcoming more clients back to our properties.
We expect to communicate additional detailed information shortly about Cummings Properties' COVID-19 operational protocols for the buildings we manage—in particular, the common areas. In the interim, the resources below may be helpful as each client makes its own return-to-work plans.
As always, your account manager is readily available should you have any questions.
Dear valued client,
With the Governor’s current mandate limiting business operations within the Commonwealth expected to expire on Monday, May 18, we understand that you may be wondering what changes you might expect at our properties as we enter the Commonwealth’s planned “phased reopening” stages.
As we have communicated, our properties have remained open for essential businesses, including all parking areas, building entrances, loading docks, and common areas. While we await further guidance and direction on Monday from the Baker Administration and the Commonwealth’s Reopening Advisory Board, we have already taken a number of steps toward minimizing the risk of COVID-19 at our properties, including:
We anticipate providing further communication to inform you of any new guidelines or changes you may expect at our properties as a result of additional guidance from the state. In the meantime, you may wish to review the Baker Administration’s May 11 press release for preliminary information about the phased reopening.
Each client will be responsible for determining its own protocols and procedures within its space as a result of state guidance.
We have created a list of products and services offered by Cummings Properties clients that may be useful as you adapt your space and operations to meet the new guidelines. These services include tools to encourage social distancing, personal protective equipment, cleaning services, and more.
We thank you for your partnership as we navigate this time of considerable change and challenge together. As always, your account manager is readily available if you have any questions specific to your needs.
As we all prepare to move forward again as circumstances permit, please know that all of us at Cummings Properties value our partnership and greatly appreciate your business. In addition, the safety and well-being of you and your staff, as well as our colleagues, is our top priority.
Our buildings remain open for essential businesses, and we are grateful to those aiding in the fight against COVID-19 and providing needed services for their clients and the community. For our clients who are working remotely, or have temporarily suspended operations, we look forward to welcoming you back—hopefully, in the near future.
Rest assured that our team is available to serve you—from the custodians who continue to diligently clean and disinfect common areas of our buildings, to the tradespeople maintaining our properties and answering service calls, to the account managers and administrators who remain accessible via phone and email.
Whether you are currently operating from your leased space, or planning ahead for the return to on-site work, we are happy to serve as a resource.
The Baker-Polito Administration has ordered the closure of all non-essential businesses in the Commonwealth in an effort to curb the spread of COVID-19. This order will be in effect from noon on March 24 through noon on April 7, 2020. A list of businesses deemed essential is available here.
Because the continuity of building functions is among the services deemed essential—and because so many of our leasing clients provide essential health care, biomedical, research, food-related, and other services—Cummings Properties' buildings will remain open, and we will continue to fulfill critical functions such as trash removal, cleaning and disinfection of frequently touched surfaces in building common areas, and maintenance for urgent issues.
Although we are temporarily operating with a reduced staff, your account manager is readily available to answer any questions. You may also call our main offices at 781-935-8000 (Woburn) or 978-922-9000 (Beverly). To the extent possible, keeping everyone's best interests in mind, we ask that you communicate with us by phone or electronically.
For the fastest response to service call requests, please submit them through the usual channels: Beverly and all other communities. Non-urgent requests will be addressed after the order has been lifted.
It is up to each client to determine, based on the Governor's order, whether its leased premises will close or remain open. We will, however, continue to lock and unlock the external doors of multi-tenanted buildings per the usual schedule. Accordingly, your employees who are considered essential, as well as mail carriers and other delivery personnel, will be able to access these buildings. If you have concerns about deliveries while your office is closed, please contact the local post office or delivery service directly.
Construction and buildouts
Because construction is included on the Commonwealth's list of essential business functions, we expect to proceed with all current and upcoming projects within clients' suites. Construction activity at our Dunham Ridge campus in Beverly will also continue.
Please contact us if you have questions. Otherwise, we wish you and your colleagues good health during this challenging time.
Cummings Properties is closely monitoring the situation regarding COVID-19 and staying up to date on guidance from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), Massachusetts Department of Public Health (DPH), and Baker-Polito administration.
As always, we are committed to helping clients maintain the continuity of their businesses. Our buildings remain open, and clients and visitors will continue to have access to our properties, unless otherwise directed by governing authorities. As previously communicated, we will continue cleaning and disinfection of common area surfaces with increased frequency.
We wish you good health and hope interruption to your business is minimal during this challenging time.
As always, your account manager is available to answer any questions.
Cummings Properties continues to monitor the situation related to coronavirus (COVID-19) and—in the best interest of clients and staff—to pay close attention to the guidance and recommendations from Centers for Disease Control, Massachusetts Department of Public Health, and Governor Baker. We have also consulted directly with Woburn Board of Health and a leading community health professional. We encourage clients to review CDC’s interim guidance for businesses and employers, which includes preventive measures and planning considerations for businesses.
Cummings Properties has reviewed the environmental cleaning and disinfection recommendations from CDC and provided additional training to our custodial staff. CDC currently advises routine environmental cleaning of frequently touched surfaces, and we have opted to increase the frequency of common area cleaning. Our custodial staff disinfects common area surfaces, including exterior door handles, railings, elevator buttons and handrails, and restroom counters, faucets, toilets, and doors.
As always, we are committed to helping clients maintain the continuity of their business. Our facilities will remain open, and we will ensure that clients and visitors have access to our properties, unless otherwise directed by governing authorities.
We remind clients that many of the things you do to help prevent colds and the flu can help protect you against other respiratory viruses, including COVID-19. Massachusetts DPH offers the following guidance:
If you or a member of your staff is suspected of having coronavirus, DPH advises contacting your local board of health, your health care provider, or the Massachusetts State Epidemiology line (617-983-6800), which is staffed 24/7.
With the recent detection of the novel coronavirus in the United States, Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) and Massachusetts Department of Public Health (DPH) have provided helpful guidelines for the public and the workplace.
According to DPH, the risk of the novel coronavirus (also known as COVID-19) to residents in Massachusetts remains low. The risk for influenza, however, is currently high. DPH advises that many of the measures one takes to help prevent colds and the flu can help protect against other respiratory viruses such as COVID-19:
A helpful guide including these and other tips is available at the DPH website. Please consider posting the information in your common workplace areas.
Cummings Properties’ custodial staff will continue its daily efforts of cleaning common areas, including frequently touched surfaces such as door handles, elevator panels, and bathroom surfaces. According to CDC, no additional disinfection beyond routine cleaning is recommended at this time. We will continue to stay apprised of information and recommendations made by CDC and DPH.
As always, please contact your account manager with any questions.