COVID-19 relief options and additional resources

Success Stories

By Norman Eng, Public Affairs Specialist


Cappella Clausura is a professional vocal ensemble based in Newton/Boston founded by Amelia LeClair, with the mission to highlight music of female composers from the 9th century to present-day. The group has brought together singers and players from the Greater Boston area for the past 16 years, keeping the name “Clausura (Cloister)” as a metaphor for the cultural obstacles faced by women composers throughout history.

Paycheck Protection Program plugs a setback
When COVID hit, it caused a major setback to their organizational progress made through the years.  Cappella Clausura has been run by a volunteer director up until 2016, when a half-time business manager was added.  That position later grew to their first-ever, full-time Executive Director in August of 2019 – a positive sign that the company was growing.

No live concerts planned; Cappella Clausura simply could not justify keeping on any staff,... Read More

By Norman Eng, Public Affairs Specalist


Dave Rattigan started Scamps Comedy Productions, Inc. over 15 years ago as a small business he could run out of his home.

He produced shows and contracted talent for events; the business also provided lights, sound, staging, and marketing services for partners.   Over the course of a year, Scamps Comedy would contract with roughly 80 freelancers, mostly comedians to put on shows at theaters and for charity events – with the goal to make you laugh!

As March was always a busy time of year, Rattigan remembered the pre-pandemic weekend of 2020 when he worked two great shows on Friday and Saturday.  

“The crowd for the first show was more than 300 and the crowd for the second 170, both sellouts,” recalls Dave.  “The next weekend, four of my five shows were cancelled and the one that wasn’t only drew 35 patrons.”


Entertainment industry hit hard
When the world shut down, the entertainment... Read More

How Wally’s Jazz Club is preparing for a comeback

By: Norman Eng

When the pandemic hit historic neighborhood jazz club Wally’s, it hit them harder than most, forcing them to close without a strategy or a backup plan.  With super thin margins, losing the revenue that sustains operations completely threw everything off.  

The threat of a generational family business going under and never making it back was real, an iconic symbol for the black community in Boston.  Thankfully for Elynor Walcott Poindexter, owner of Wally’s and daughter of founder Joseph “Wally” Walcott -- her sons Paul, Frank and Lloyd were actively managing the business to ensure they endured the crisis.

General Manager Frank Poindexter sought out help from the resource provider community and first took part in a program run by LISC (Local Initiatives Support Corporation), which helped Poindexter navigate around all the resources that supported Wally’s throughout the pandemic.  

“We... Read More

A passion for helping people, opening doors in government contracting  

By Norman Eng, Public Affairs Specialist

After working for several years as a human resources manager in home health care – Judith Joseph saw a growth opportunity in the industry and began exploring business ownership.

Without any experience running a business, Joseph invested in a franchise operation – allowing her to launch 21st Century Home Care Inc. in January of 2004.  After a few frustrating years of trying to establish the business focused solely on home care services – Joseph almost gave up.  Faced with business development limitations, the firm couldn’t sustain revenue, often hitting discriminatory roadblocks from prospective customers who would often request “non-black” visitors to their home.

Joseph was forced to put the business on hold due to lack of business, she even looked for a temporary full-time job; but Joseph never gave up. 


Getting Certified and... Read More