Our roundup of the latest Wellesley, Mass., business news:
More local businesses get state COVID-19 grants
Wellesley’s London Harness and Dance Republic are the latest Wellesley businesses to be awarded state COVID-19 Small Business Grants as part of a new round of $37 million to 638 businesses. London Harness scored $75K, while Dance Republic got $30K.
More than a dozen Wellesley small businesses have received such grants over the past month or so. More grants are expected to be announced in coming weeks, including those targeting industry sectors hit especially hard by the pandemic.
Meanwhile, Wellesley is about to get wild again. Gov. Baker has rescinded an order effective Jan. 25 that required restaurants, gyms, and other sorts of businesses to close by 9:30pm.
Colonial Automotive fined $1M for exploiting state unemployment system
Colonial Automotive, whose properties include Wellesley Volkswagen, has been required to pay $1M in penalties stemming from charges that it took advantage of state unemployment benefits during the COVID-19 pandemic According to a press release issued by the state’s attorney general’s office: “Following the state’s mandated closure of car dealership showrooms during the public health crisis, the company encouraged furloughed employees to apply for benefits through the state Department of Unemployment Assistance (DUA), and then requested that those employees continue to work without pay.”
According to a statement from Colonial published by WCVB-TV, the automotive company denied wrongdoing: “The COVID 19 pandemic created an existential business threat. We acted in good faith effort to survive as a business and save employees jobs while complying with the law. We did not require any employees to engage in sales activities while furloughed. We do not feel we are involved in any violation of law and settled with the Commonwealth to put the matter behind us.”
Regional business chamber touts Feb. 4 open house
On Thursday, Feb. 4 the Newton-Needham Regional Chamber will be holding an open house information session from 10-11 a.m. via zoom. Former Wellesley Chamber of Commerce members and all other businesses and nonprofits are welcome to take part to learn more.
Meet Chamber President Greg Reibman, Board Chair Linda Sloane Kay, the Newton-Needham Chamber staff, and members of the Wellesley Chamber transition team.
There will be a short presentation, but mostly this will be an opportunity to ask questions , such as: :So are you changing the name to the Wellesley Newton Needham Regional Chamber? The Wellesley Chamber recently announced it was folding itself into the farther-reaching regional chamber.
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