Watertown Planning for Opening of School; Looking at Masks, Testing & In-Person Classes

The beginning of the 2021-22 school year is just over a month away in Watertown, but some significant details remains uncertain due to the increased number of cases of COVID-19 in Massachusetts, particularly the Delta Variant. Superintendent Dede Galdston told the School Committee Monday night that she plans for in-person learning for all students, but there could be some virus-related requirements such as regular testing and wearing of masks. The final decision will come later this month. “I think it is too fluid, with what’s going on with the virus,” Galdston said. “As we get to mid- to later in August I will make a recommendation based on feedback — from the Health Department, from our teachers, from our families — to determine what is going to be the safest options for our students as we return to school on Sept.

Businesses Can Qualify for $1,000s in Credits from Federal Pandemic Relief

Charlie Breitrose

Watertown businesses may be able to qualify for thousands of dollars back from the Federal government through a credit against the employment taxes they paid during the pandemic. Businesses and non-profits may be eligible for the employee retention tax credit from the Federal government. The program started with the first COVID-19 Pandemic relief act and was expanded to give businesses the opportunity to claim more money back from wages they paid to employees in 2020 and 2021, according to an article on CNBC.com, which was highlighted the Newton Needham Regional Chamber. The program is aimed at small and midsized businesses, which are those with 500 or fewer employees. To qualify, the business must have seen a drop of at least 20 percent in a quarter in 2021 compared to the same quarter in 2019.

Watertown Community Foundation Gets Biggest Grant Ever, Using it to Support 3 Organizations

The Watertown Community Foundation will help three local organizations with grants over $100,000 after the foundation received the largest grant in its history. The money will go to Metro West Collaborative Development, Watertown Boys & Girls Club, and Wayside Youth and Family Support Network. The funds came to the Watertown Community Foundation in a grant from the Executive Office of Housing and Economic Development Community Foundations Grant Program for COVID-19 Relief. “This $400,000 grant is the largest single grant that our foundation has ever received,” said WCF co-president Darshna Varia. “We have been able to distribute the funds quickly and directly to where they are needed most.

Watertown Advertising Agency Works on Campaigns of Change, Including the State’s COVID-19 Efforts

MORE AdvertisingThe co-owners of MORE Advertising, Managing Partner and President Judi Haber, left, and Founder and CEO Donna Latson Gittens. A Watertown-based advertising agency with a different focus has been in business for nearly a quarter century. Unlike most agencies it does not market products, it works on campaigns of behavior change, including Massachusetts’ COVID-19 prevention and vaccination efforts. MORE Advertising is a full-service, integrated advertising agency, but there is a major difference from most agencies, said Managing Partner and President Judi Haber. “Traditional advertising agencies sell products.

Join the Watertown Business Coalition’s June Online Coffee Connect

Speak with people in the Watertown business community, non-profits and others about doing business during COVID and how to operate in the post-pandemic environment. The Watertown Business Coalition will be holding its monthly online networking event on Wednesday, June 16. The event runs from 8:30 a.m. to 9:30 a.m. and will be held remotely on Zoom. This month’s forum will be an opportunity for the business community to discuss the challenges of our COVID altered reality and a path back to some level of economic normalcy. “Our online forum is free to Watertown Residents and our Business Community and will include general networking and breakout rooms. Find a comfortable place in your home with a cup of coffee or tea! Let’s get through these times together, Watertown!”

Watertown Library Lifts Most COVID-19 Restrictions, Opens at Full Capacity

The following announcement was provided by the Watertown Free Public Library:

Starting on Saturday, May 29, most covid restrictions were rescinded inside the Watertown Free Public Library. With capacity and social distancing limitations removed, patrons were welcomed back to full use of the library. It didn’t take long to feel the buzz that was so common before COVID hit last March. For the past year, library services have been greatly reduced to primarily browsing the collection, checking out materials, and limited computer and equipment use. Now, patrons can walk in and use computers, study rooms, sit and read, work, and use the public meeting rooms. Library operating hours are near pre-covid with the final move to full hours on July 11 when the library will resume Sunday hours.