Fed. Aid for Mass. Nonprofits; Businesses Offer Direct Funding

March 16, 2020 — State officials are working with the U.S. Small Business Administration to activate a federal program to provide assistance to eligible Massachusetts nonprofits impacted by the coronavirus epidemic, while several businesses announced they will donate funds to Bay State nonprofits affected by the crisis.

Massachusetts Nonprofits May Be Eligible for Federal Assistance

The Baker administration has announced that it and the Massachusetts Emergency Management Agency are working closely with the U.S. Small Business Administration (SBA) to activate the Economic Injury Disaster Loan (EIDL) program that would provide assistance to eligible businesses and nonprofits impacted by COVID-19.

MEMA said that the response "has been overwhelming" from affected organizations, which have provided the information needed to trigger a request for federal funds from the EIDL program to be submitted by Gov. Charlie Baker to the SBA.

Once the EIDL program is activated for Massachusetts, all small businesses and nonprofits within affected counties will become eligible to apply directly through SBA. Read more.

Partners HealthCare Receives $500K to Help People Impacted by Coronavirus

Partners HealthCare, a nonprofit hospital and physician network based in Boston, received a $500,000 gift to bolster preparedness and response to the coronavirus,

Boston-based Vertex Pharmaceuticals said the Vertex Foundation yesterday announced it is donating $500,000 to Partners HealthCare to support patients and health care providers and boost preparedness and response to COVID-19 outbreak through enhanced testing capacity.

COVID-19 is the disease caused by a novel coronavirus, of which 197 cases were identified in Massachusetts as of today.

“As a health care company and a member of the Boston and Massachusetts communities, we are committed to doing our part to respond to the COVID-19 outbreak. Expanding testing capacity is vital to limiting the spread of this virus and helping protect the health of our community. This is why the Vertex Foundation has made a $500,000 gift to Partners HealthCare, one of the largest providers of health care services in the Boston area, to facilitate coronavirus testing,” said Jeffrey Leiden, chairman, president and chief executive officer of Vertex.

Partners HealthCare President and CEO Anne Klibanski, acknowledging the gift, said, the funding will enable her organization to target resources "directly at patient care efforts as we respond to the COVID-19 outbreak.”

Berkshire Bank Foundation to Bolster Donations to Massachusetts Nonprofits

A Berkshire Bank executive today said the Berkshire Bank Foundation will provide funds beyond its planned level of philanthropic giving in 2020 for Massachusetts nonprofits adversely affected by the coronavirus.

While an exact amount of additional funding has not yet been set, Malia Lazu, executive vice president and chief experience and culture officer at Berkshire Bank, suggested it could be "a few hundred thousand dollars."

The foundation last year donated $3 million to nonprofits in Massachusetts, New York, and Connecticut.

Lazu said the Berkshire Bank Foundation is working with The Boston Foundation and the Berkshire-Taconic Community Foundation to administer and disburse the new funds to Massachusetts nonprofits.

Biogen Commits Funding to Support COVID-19 Relief Efforts in Massachusetts

Cambridge-based Biogen, the biotech giant that has been linked to coronavirus cases in Massachusetts, today announced it will commit $10 million to support response efforts around the world, including to nonprofits in Massachusetts, impacted by the COVID-19 pandemic.

The funds will be used to help expand testing options, ease the strain on medical systems, provide training for front line health workers, and support access to necessities like food, the company said.

Biogen did not break out how the amount going directly to Massachusetts nonprofits.

The company said it also has provided medical equipment and supplies to Partners HealthCare to help diagnose COVID-19 in a greater number of people and will be directly supporting Massachusetts General Hospital and Brigham and Women’s Hospital, both located in Boston, to help treat and contain the virus.