Welcome to your daily
a valued member of the Maine State Chamber of Commerce, we plan to stay in
touch with you every afternoon, through emails like this one and on Facebook and Twitter, until the pandemic passes. We intend to
provide you with the latest state and federal information, as well as
highlighting the creativity and innovation that is occuring here in Maine
during this unpredictable and rapidly changing time. To assist you in
navigating the uncertainties ahead, we've created a diverse and comprehensive
collection of web-based resources to help you take care of yourself
and your family, your
business, and your
community. If there is anything
you need, please reach out.
We're here to help in any way we can!
Governor Mills Extends State Income Tax Payment Deadline to July 15, 2020
Governor Janet Mills and Commissioner of
the Department of Administrative and Financial Services Commissioner Kirsten
today that the State will extend the deadline for Maine income tax
payments from April 15, 2020 to July 15, 2020. The change aligns with the
Federal government's recent extension of the Federal tax filing deadline to
July 15, 2020.
The State extended the payment deadline
of April 15, 2020, to July 15, 2020. This includes any final and estimated
Maine income tax payments due by April 15, 2020. Any failure-to-pay penalties and interest
will be abated for the period of April 16, 2020, through July 15, 2020.
The extended filing deadline for Maine
income tax returns is automatically tied to any federal extension. Therefore,
the filing deadline of April 15, 2020, for 2019 Maine income tax returns, is
automatically extended to July 15, 2020. This includes Form 1040ME (Maine
Individual Income Tax Return), Form 1041ME (Maine Income Tax Return for
Estates and Trusts), and Form 1120ME (Maine Corporate Income Tax Return).
Sales tax and payroll payments will
continue as normal. For questions about Maine income tax, contact Maine
Revenue Services (MRS) at (207) 626-8475 or visit the MRS website at
Maine Department of Labor Releases Paid Time Off Rules And Schedules Remote Public Hearing For April 15
After months of gathering comments and
input from around the state, the Maine Department of Labor (DOL) last evening
rules that will help determine the implementation and operation of Maine's Paid Time Off (PTO) law, passed by the Legislature in 2019. The PTO law
sprung out of LD 369, An Act Authorizing Earned Employee Leave, which was
enacted after numerous negotiations between Gov. Mills' administration,
legislators, and the business community.
In the press statement released last evening, the department intends to conduct a virtual public hearing on the rules on April 15, 2020, from 5:00 to 7:00 p.m. Given the current need for social distancing as a result of the COVID-19 pandemic, this isn't a surprising development. Individuals will have up to three minutes to deliver comments at that time. Read more
Daily Briefing from the Maine CDC
Maine CDC Briefing, Maine now has 155 cases of COVID-19, of
which 22 are currently hospitalized. Of those 155 cases, 16 positive cases
among health care workers. There have also been 3,394 negatives recorded
statewide. Maine CDC officials are continuing to work with an outside
commercial laboratory to get results as quickly as possible. There are
individual travelers to the state that have been reported to the Maine CDC
from a unit of federal CDC. The Maine CDC has worked with 77 such individuals
and at present 49 such individuals are under monitoring.
Health Emergency Preparedness team has been working on distributing personal
protective equipment (PPE). Maine has now received two distributions from
national PPE stockpile. While this is a good start, it is not enough to serve
us and state officials are hoping to receive more distributions soon. The Maine CDC
is also hoping to tap into manufacturing resources here in the state of
Maine, to help with making of PPEs. Also At present, there are 86
available ICU beds out of a total of 151 units, and 88 respiratory therapists
across the state.
Federal Stimulus Package Passed by Congress
Since the U.S. Senate passed the $2.2 trillion relief package for the American people not even 24 hours ago, multiple sources have released details of the package. It is a lot to digest. Both U.S. Senator Susan Collins and U.S. Senator Angus King have put out statements that summarize what is in the package. In addition, the U.S. Chamber of Commerce has put together a detailed 12-page summary of what is included in the package that even includes links to the actual legislation Read more
Federal Reserve Announces Three New Programs
In support of its goals to promote
maximum employment and stable prices, along with its responsibilities to
promote the stability of the financial system, the Federal Reserve is
using its full range of authorities to provide powerful support for the flow
of credit to American families and businesses. The three new programs that
Federal Reserve Bank announced recently are:
* Main Street Business Lending Program:
This program is intended to support lending to eligible small and midsize
businesses. Such a program is likely to depend on additional money from the
Treasury Department. The FRB hasn't
yet provided program details.
* Term Asset-Backed Securities Loan
Facility (TALF): This facility
will mirror one the FRB used in 2008 to support consumer and business credit
markets. The FRB has stated that it will use this facility to lend money to
investors to buy securities backed by credit card loans and other consumer
* Support Financing for Corporate Debt
Obligations: The FRB announced a new facility to address the lack of new
financing in the roughly $6 trillion market for highly rated corporate debt
by offering bridge loans for up to four years, which includes limits on the
payment of dividends and stock buybacks for firms that defer interest
payments on their loans. A facility aimed at unblocking the market for
existing corporate debt, allowing the FRB to purchase bonds already issued by
highly rated companies and eligible exchange-traded funds, which have around
$147 billion in investment-grade corporate debt.
Applying For The U.S. SBA's Economic Injury Disaster Loan Program
The Maine Small Business Development Center
recently released two
video webinars on how to complete the SBA Economic Injury Disaster Loan
application. One is for Sole Proprietors, and the other is for LLC, Corp and
other business forms. The videos provide the answers to frequently asked
questions and walk business owners through each step of the application
process. Videos are free and can be accessed 24/7. Please note that the
application process is evolving as the SBA responds to the needs of
businesses across the country. Maine SBDC anticipates that some elements of
the application process may change, but the videos provide a good idea of
what to expect.
U.S. SBA loans through your financial institution: If you require or are
seeking financial assistance through the SBA loan program or other disaster
relief programs, the first call you
should make is to your financial institution. Your financial institutions
are there to help navigate programs becoming available, helping to ensure
your business remains strong despite current economic uncertainty. Remember,
working together, we will be stronger than trying to navigate this by
In addition, the Maine Department of Economic & Community Development recently compiled this list of federal and state Resources for Maine Businesses Impacted by COVID-19 Pandemic.
Mainers Recently Unemployed Should Consider Their Health Insurance Coverage Options As Soon As Possible, Says Superintendent
"Mainers who have recently lost
their employment should consider
their health insurance coverage options as soon as possible, to protect
themselves and their families," stated Maine Insurance Superintendent
On March 25, the
Superintendent reminded Mainers that individuals and families have 60 days
from the day they lose their coverage to apply for a new policy.
The best place to start is at
www.healthcare.gov, which may provide more affordable options than an
employer's COBRA plan Cioppa stated. Depending on household size and
household income, individuals and families may qualify for subsidized private
insurance or free or low-cost coverage through MaineCare. Completing a
Marketplace application will provide individuals and family with the
information about what type of coverage they qualify for.
Mainers can get help applying for
coverage by contacting Consumers for Affordable Health Care at 800-965-7476.
More information is available at www.mainecahc.org/covid-19-coronavirus/.
Consumers with questions about insurance matters can obtain information and
assistance from the Maine Bureau of Insurance by visiting
www.maine.gov/insurance, calling 800-300-5000 (TTY call Maine Relay 711), or
e-mailing Insurance.PFR@maine.gov. Mainers can learn more about MaineCare by
Resources and Updates
It has come to our attention that the
list of Essential
and Non-Essential Businesses and Operations has been updated since we
shared it with you yesterday.
The Maine CDC has a Coronavirus
Self Checker among its arsenal of resources. Reported illnesses have
ranged from mild symptoms to severe illness and death for confirmed
coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) cases.
Governor Mills Acts to Promote Access to Health Care During COVID-19
On March 25, the Administration of
Governor Janet Mills has taken two
actions to promote Maine people's access to health care in response to
COVID-19, which bolster the health care work force and facilitate the
expansion of telehealth. First, Governor Mills has signed an Executive Order
(PDF) allowing licensed physicians, physician assistants, and nurses greater
flexibility to contribute to Maine's response during the civil state of
emergency. Additionally, all physicians, physician assistants and nurses
licensed in Maine and those authorized under the order may provide services
through all methods of telehealth, including video, audio and other
electronic technologies to treat Maine people for all medical needs.
DHHS has also reconstituted a statewide
Telehealth Advisory Committee in 2019 to promote consistent practices across
health care payers, use of tele-psychiatry in emergency departments, and use
of telehealth for new workforce models.
Calling All Health Care Workers to Register to Volunteer on MaineResponds.Org
Maine is encouraging certified health care providers to consider volunteering. Maine CDC Director Nirav Shah said yesterday, "I'd like to ask today for any healthcare provider who is watching especially if you happen to be a pulmonologist, a critical care intensivist, or an anesthesiologist, I ask you to go to MaineResponds.org to register to be a volunteer. We don't know what the future will hold with respect to COVID-19 but what I do know is that I would like our healthcare workforce to be as ready as possible."
Public reported that Gov. Janet Mills has issued an executive order that
allows physicians licensed out-of-state to obtain an emergency license to
provide health care in Maine, both in-person or via telemedicine. The order
also suspends the fee for retired physicians to reactivate their licenses.
Maine Securities Administrator Issues Order Providing Temporary Regulatory Relief For Financial Industry
On March 25, Maine Securities
Administrator Judith Shaw issued
an Order to help eliminate regulatory obstacles and barriers some in the
financial services industry may be currently facing as a result of the
current coronavirus (COVID-19) situation. The Order includes provisions that:
out of state financial professionals who are displaced due to the pandemic to
operate in Maine temporarily to service existing clients if they meet certain
an investment adviser that may no longer be able to service a client to
transfer or reassign the client to another firm with the client's verbal
* Suspend onsite training requirements for new licensees and the
requirement that broker-dealer firms conduct on-site audits of branch offices
located in Maine; and,
late fees for issuers of securities who miss a filing deadline because of the
pandemic and permits filing by email.
Connecting Through The Airwaves
If you missed the livestream
this morning, the The Bottom Line
podcast for March 26 is archived on our
website. This week, co-hosts Dana Connors of the Maine State Chamber of
Commerce and John Williams of Williams Broadcasting are joined by Bruce
Wagner, CEO of the Finance Authority of Maine. The show discussed the loan programs available to eligible Maine
businesses and individuals during the COVID-19 pandemic. Tune in each Thursday at 10:00 a.m. for The Bottom Line.
From Maine Public's Headlines: Maine Chamber Supports Mills New Restrictions on Maine Businesses As COVID-19 Spreads
Calling Gov. Janet Mills' response to
the coronavirus measured and responsible, the head of the Maine State Chamber
of Commerce says the organization supports Mills' executive order placing
further restrictions on businesses and operations in Maine to curb the spread
of COVID-19. The governor's order mandates that all non-essential businesses
that allow in-person contact between customers, vendors and others close
their physical locations until April 8. Chamber
President Dana Connors says what he's been hearing most often from the
business community are concerns about the distinction between essential and
non-essential businesses, as well as questions about working from home.
"I give the public and businesses in Maine a lot credit for
recognizing the challenge that we face and playing their respective role in
trying to get our arms around this issue and come out the other side and get
back to normal as quickly as we can," Connors says.
Notice: In an ongoing effort
to thwart the activities of online hackers, the Maine State Chamber