The Merrimack Valley Chamber of Commerce is offering a Business Assistance webinar series to help business owners during the coronavirus pandemic.

Register online at under "Webinars."

Upcoming sessions include: April 28, "Selling in a Crisis"; April 30, webinar with State Sen. Diana DiZoglio, D-Methuen; and May 1, free virtual networking mixer.

Webinar series to replace healthcare convention

LAWRENCE — A series of webinars designed for healthcare educators and professionals exploring innovations in healthcare education and training will be offered through Northern Essex Community College for three consecutive Fridays. The first in the series was held April 24.

Funded by a Massachusetts Department of Higher Education Innovation Fund, it was originally designed as a one-day convention with a focus on new and emerging innovations in the education of nursing and allied health professionals.

Upcoming session include "Planning for the Future: Critical Healthcare Education Issues,” Friday, May 1, from noon to 1 p.m.; and “Designing New Credentials and Programs After the Pandemic,” Friday, May 8, from noon to 1 p.m.

Register for the remaining webinars at For more information, contact Burns at

Citizens Bank seeds small business grant program

ANDOVER — Local Initiatives Support Corporation (LISC) and Citizens Bank announced the LISC Small Business Recovery Grant Program for Massachusetts that will provide grants to hard-hit small businesses in Massachusetts to weather the immediate financial impact of closures and social distancing measures required to slow the spread of the coronavirus.

LISC will offer grants of up to $10,000 to address immediate financial peril, limit layoffs, avoid gaps in employee benefits or insurance, mitigate economic instability and increase the likelihood of business survival. Launched with seed funding provided by Citizens, the Small Business Recovery Grant Program is part of the LISC Rapid Relief & Resiliency Fund for Massachusetts. The fund also aims to provide critical technical assistance and longer-term funding to help vulnerable businesses and community-serving nonprofits weather the effects of the pandemic.

The link to the application is available online at

LISC is accepting applications online from Monday, April 20 to Friday, April 24 and guidance will be available in English, Spanish and several other languages through LISC Boston’s website.

To focus the grants where they will have the greatest impact, LISC will be inviting business support organizations, small business accelerators, and community networks across the state to encourage the at-risk small businesses in their communities to apply.

Archdiocese of Boston introduces online giving to parishes

The Archdiocese of Boston has created an online payment mechanism that donors can use to make a gift directly to the parish of their choice.

This 90-day program offers support now by providing a way to make a daily commitment in addition to regular weekly donations. To donate, visit online at and click on the “donate” button near the top of the page.

You can donate by making weekly payments, monthly payments or a one-time donation. This program is especially helpful for parishes that do not currently have the ability to accept online donations.

Parishioners who give online using the 90 Days Now – for Your Parish site should know that the funds they give will go directly into their parish’s savings account and will be promptly available for their parish’s needs. 

U.S. Attorney urges health care sector to report fraud 

As part of the comprehensive federal response to the COVID-19 outbreak, U.S. Attorney Andrew Lelling is urging leaders of Massachusetts hospitals to report individuals and companies that may be engaged in wrongdoing related to the COVID-19 pandemic.

In a letter to the hospitals, Lelling encouraged health care facilities to report to federal authorities individuals and companies that may have acquired vital medical supplies in excess of what they would reasonably use, or for the purpose of charging exorbitant prices.

This includes 15 categories of health and medical supplies designated by the secretary of health and human services as scarce, thus triggering civil and criminal enforcement that Lelling’s office will pursue. In addition, Lelling’s office will investigate any other fraudulent conduct designed to benefit from the pandemic, such as false treatments, tests, and/or vaccinations for COVID-19.

Massachusetts residents who believe they are victims of fraud or other criminal activity related to the pandemic should contact the U.S. Attorney’s Office at or call 1-888-221-6023 and leave a message. You can also contact the FBI’s Internet Crime Complaint Center at




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