Edition for Monday, April 27, 2020
To view this Daily Impact online, click here.
your Daily Impact newsletter!
As 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 have created a diverse and
comprehensive collection of web-based resources to help you take care of yourself and your family, your employees, your business, and your community.
Do you have a question? ASK THE EXPERTS.
We are here to
help in any way we can!
Paycheck Protection Program
Resumes Accepting Applications Today!
As you know, late last week
the U.S. Congress approved and President Trump signed into law a $310 billion
infusion in the Paycheck
Protection Program (PPP), as well as additional funding for other
emergency loan programs, hospitals, and COVID-19 testing.
The U.S. Small Business Administration has resumed
accepting applications for the PPP TODAY. If
you have not yet applied for a PPP loan, please contact your lender right
away to see how these loans can help and to start the application process.
The future of Maine's and the nation's economies depend on employers
accessing this aid.
The Paycheck Protection
Program provides loan amounts up to 250 percent of an employer's monthly
payroll expenses. These loans are forgivable if at least 75% of the loan is
spent on payroll. The intent is to help employers stay afloat and keep their
employees paid and employed through this crisis. Before the initial round of
funding for the PPP was exhausted, nearly 17,000 businesses across Maine were
approved for more than $2.2 billion in loans. They literally are a lifeline
for employers across Maine and the country. PPP loans are considered on a
first-come, first-served basis, so it is important to contact your lender
right away. A list of approved Maine lenders can be found here.
SBA also will resume
processing EIDL Loan and Advance applications that are already in the queue.
Those will be processed on a first-come, first-served basis, as well. We will
provide further information on the availability of the EIDL portal to receive
new applications (including those from agricultural enterprises) as soon as
possible. To learn more about the relief options available for your business,
Please let us know if you have
questions or would like more information. We are here to help you, our
members, now more than ever.
Governor Mills Indicates
Decisions, Announcements for Reopening Maine Coming Soon
During today's press briefing
at the Maine CDC, Governor Janet Mills indicated that she continues to
consult with the Maine CDC and the Coronavirus Response Team regarding an
extension of the stay-healthy-at-home order and plans to reopen the Maine
economy. At this time, some type of stay-at-home order seems likely.
"We still need to stay
the course," Governor Mills noted. "Last week, I announced the four
guiding principles and opened a communications portal at the Maine DECD to
begin collecting Mainers' ideas for the path forward."
Since last Thursday's
announcement, the Maine DECD has heard from 1600 employers and employees
across diverse industries. The Governor also underscored that restarting
certain businesses and activities will not be based on whether that business
or activity is listed as essential or nonessential, but rather that the
business or activity can reopen and operate safely by minimizing in person
interaction amongst customers and staff.
"If at any point, we
encounter a resurgence," she cautioned. "We will have to shut down
and start the process all over. Our efforts to beat this virus are working so
Employers' Input to Reopening Maine
As the Administration works to re-open the economy and continues to strive to have a transparent process, Maine employers are invited to share their thoughts and feedback. The Maine Department of Economic and Community Development will be reviewing all suggestions that are submitted, and will take everything under advisement, but may not be able to use every submission. Using the department's online comment form, please take a moment to share your thoughts on potential goals and initiatives or on issues that Maine should address in the planning process.
Governor Mills Announces
Consensus Economic Forecasting Commission, Revenue Forecasting Committee to
Convene Early to Assess Economic Ramifications of COVID-19 on State Revenues
Governor also freezes non-emergency spending & hiring
by State government and renews calls on Federal government to provide states
with flexibility to use Federal funding
Governor Janet Mills today
announced that the Consensus Economic Forecasting Commission (CEFC) and
the Revenue Forecasting Committee (RFC) will convene off cycle to examine the
economic ramifications of COVID-19 on State government's revenues. The CEFC
and RFC are responsible for projecting revenues that the Administration and
Legislature then use to determine the State's budget. The committee meetings in
July 2020 and August 2020 will allow for the CEFC and RFC to more accurately
understand the economic ramifications of COVID-19 on Maine's economy and the
State budget. Once that information is in hand, the Governor will work with
the Legislature to determine the best path forward.
Governor Mills has also instructed
all departments of State government to freeze all non-emergency spending and
hiring, and she is renewing her calls for the federal government to provide
flexibility for states to use federal funding for expected revenue
Additionally, Governor Mills
instructed all departments to apply an emergency basis scrutiny to spending
and hiring. This includes freezing unencumbered balances for Fiscal Year 2019
and certain reserves in Fiscal Year 2020, as well as reviewing contractual
obligations through the remainder of the Fiscal Year, which ends June 30th.
The Governor has also prohibited state employees from traveling out of state
on state business.
Legislative Strictly Social Virtual Coffee Hour
The Maine State Chamber
of Commerce and the Kennebec Valley Chamber of Commerce invite you to attend
our Legislative Strictly Social Virtual Coffee Hour. We invite you to grab a cup of coffee at 9:00 a.m. on Tuesday, April 28, and
hear from legislators about current issues.
Normally, our annual series of statewide receptions is an ideal way for you, the Maine business leader, to interact with business associates, new and prospective Maine State Chamber members, and state representatives in a relaxed setting. This year, due to the COVID-19 situation, we will be hosting this event online as a coffee hour with Sen. Eloise Vitelli, Sen. Jeff Timberlake, Rep. Ryan Fecteau, and, Rep. Trey Stewart. Our panel of legislators will open the hour, and there will be an opportunity for questions through the Zoom chat feature. Please join us for this presentation. A participation link will be sent to you after you have completed registration. Learn more or register here.
can be directed to Angela S. Arno, director of programs and events for the
Maine State Chamber of Commerce, by emailing email@example.com or calling (207) 623-4568, ext. 104.
SERIES SPONSORS: Bangor Savings Bank,
Central Maine Power Company
webinars will be forthcoming, and sponsorship opportunities are available. Questions can be directed
to Angela S. Arno, director of programs and events for the Maine State
Chamber of Commerce, by emailing firstname.lastname@example.org or calling (207) 623-4568, ext. 104.
Wednesday, April 29 | Starting at 11:00
WEBINAR FOR SOLE PROPRIETOR
webinar will focus on the short- and long-term issues arising from the
pandemic for sole proprietors - with suggested solutions. Topics covered will
include a review of up-to-date federal and state legislative opportunities,
tax issues to discuss with your accountant, insurance liability, health
insurance options, credit protection, and steps for sole proprietors to take
with customers. There will also be a brief review of pertinent estate
planning options during the pandemic.
here | Sponsored by Lambert Coffin
May 6 | Starting at 11:00 a.m.
CHALLENGES FOR MANUFACTURING,
This webinar will focus on challenges for
manufacturing due to the impacts of Covid-19 on international trade and
energy. Guest speakers are John Murphy, senior vice president for international
policy at the U.S. Chamber of Commerce, and Christopher Guith, senior vice president
of the U.S. Chamber's Global Energy Institute.
Wednesday, May 13 | Starting at 11:00 a.m.
RECENT STATE AND FEDERAL TAX
webinar will focus on federal tax changes contained in the CARES Act and
changes made at the state level that provide support for businesses during
this pandemic. Additional topics also include a look at the ever-changing
landscape at the federal level for additional stimulus funds and what those
changes might look like.
here | Sponsored by Pierce Atwood and WIPFLi,
Wednesday, April 29 | Dana Connors Joins Congressman Jared
Golden for a Special Listening Session Focused on Business Concerns and Experiences
the Paycheck Protection Program (PPP) resuming this week, Congressman Golden is holding an
additional small business listening session this Wednesday evening, April 29
with Maine Chamber of Commerce President Dana Connors. The congressman
wants to hear from small businesses about their challenges during the
coronavirus crisis, how federal relief programs like PPP are working for them
and how they can be improved, and answer your questions.
The listening session will take place at
6:30 p.m. on Wednesday, April 29. If you would like to participate, please register online
at golden.house.gov/live and
dial 855-962-1151 when the event starts. In the meantime, check out the
congressman's Small Business Resource Guide for
more information on the small business loans, grants, and other federal
programs available during these challenging times.
Use the Maine State Chamber's blog and Daily
Impact to tell your story!
Numerous Maine companies stepping up or pivoting nimbly, as
Maine people resourcefully address the challenges of this pandemic. Share
your perspective and experience with us and with the rest of the business
community. How are you facing and overcoming the challenges posed by this
pandemic? What are you and your employees doing in this dramatically
different economy? Tell us about the innovations your company or employees
are making or ways you have adapted your company to meet your customers' needs.
Each blog entry should
be 300 to 500 words. Join us in creating a written history of the business
community's resilience and innovation during this extraordinary time. Please submit your entries to email@example.com. For more information
or questions, please contact Mark Ellis by emailing firstname.lastname@example.org or by calling (207)
623-4568, ext. 109.
How Do The New Federal Unemployment
Insurance Programs Work?
The CARES Act significantly
expanded access to the unemployment insurance (UI) system for American
workers who suffer job losses or reduced hours through no fault of their own.
Last week the U.S. Chamber issued a
new infographic describing how the new Unemployment Insurance programs
Updates to the Definition
of Beverage and Cocktails-to-go
On April 27, the Bureau of
Alcoholic Beverages and Lottery Operations updated the definition of
"beverage" from Governor Mills' March 18 Order and Cocktails-to-go.
Additionally, as the department communicated in its March 18th memo,
"beverage" in the context of the Order was intended to permit the sale by
bars and restaurants to include beer and wine in the original manufacturers'
sealed containers. Beverages will NOT include spirits products. The sale of
beverages by bars and restaurants must be accompanied by a food order. The
food requirement is based upon the type of liquor license issued by the
Bureau. Therefore, effective immediately, the definition of beverage will
include spirits-based "cocktails to go." Updated guidelines were also outlined
department's April 27th memo.
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