Edition for Tuesday, May 5, 2020
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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!
Maine Chambers Gathering
Business Input on Safely Reopening State's Economy
Mainebiz reported today that chambers of commerce
across Maine are seeking
input from members about the Mills' Administration's four-phase plan to
reopen the economy, with the aim of helping adjust the plan and guiding
specific industries on opening safely. The Governor's plan, announced last
week, has sparked questions and controversy as the effects of the nearly
two-month shutdown continue to be keenly felt.
Responses to the Restarting
Maine's Economy survey, organized by the Maine
Association of Chamber of Commerce Executives (MACCE), will be shared
with the Maine Department of Economic and Community Development to help as
the reopening plan evolves. It will also be used for industry-specific
guidance on reopening.
The poll asks business owners
if they're satisfied with how their business fits into the Governor's plan,
as well as what they think of the plan in general. By Tuesday morning, there
were 1,135 responses to the survey. Respondents have until Wednesday to complete
the 20 questions, and have been encouraged to familiarize themselves with the
Governor's reopening plan first. MACCE represents 61 chambers from Kittery to
Fort Kent, as well as HospitalityMaine, the Maine Tourism Association and the
Retail Association of Maine.
Maine State Chamber Presents Free Wednesday Webinar Series
SERIES SPONSORS: Bangor Savings Bank, Central
Maine Power Company,
Additional webinars will be
forthcoming, and sponsorship
opportunities are available. Registration or general questions can be
directed to Angela 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.
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; Christopher Guith,
senior vice president of the U.S. Chamber's Global Energy Institute; and,
Anthony W. Buxton, Esq., a partner at PretiFlaherty.
Register here | Sponsored by PretiFlaherty
May 13 | Starting at 11:00 a.m.
RECENT STATE AND FEDERAL TAX CHANGES
This 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.
Register here | Sponsored by Pierce Atwood and WIPFLi,
Helping Maine's struggling
child care providers as employees return to work
The Maine State Chamber's
partners at Educate Maine, Maine AEYC, and MaineSpark have come together to
provide support to an important industry, one that is more important now than
ever before. Many of Maine's childcare centers have remained open during the
pandemic to take care of the children of essential workers. Unfortunately,
they are struggling to find needed and essential cleaning supplies at local
stores due to the low supply. Their needs include disinfecting wipes, hand
sanitizer, paper products, gloves, thermometers, alcohol wipes, and related
We are hoping our members might
be able to help so that these centers can continue to provide safe care to
Maine's children. Do you have supplies that are not being used now that
employees are working from home? Are you able to order supplies through a
vendor? Items on the request list include disinfecting wipes (the most
requested item); hand sanitizer; hand soap; paper towels; toilet paper; rubber
gloves; bleach; disinfectant spray; non-contact thermometers; face masks
(cloth is ok); and, alcohol wipes.
Organizers have surveyed child
care providers and are tracking
their supply requests. If you are able to donate supplies, please send
them directly to the provider. In addition, please email Kate
Leveille with your donation so we can adequately track supplies or if you
have any questions. Thank you for any support you can offer. We are all in
Extends Deadline for Certain Maine Estimated and Final Fiscal-Year Tax
Payments to July 15, 2020
In a press release this
afternoon, Governor Mills and Department of Administrative and Financial
Services Commissioner Kirsten Figueroa extended
the deadline for second quarter estimated tax payments to July 15 to
provide Maine taxpayers financial relief during the novel coronavirus
(COVID-19) pandemic. This new change is in addition to the State extending
the payment deadline of state income tax payments from April 15, 2020 to July
15, 2020. That change included 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 payment due date
includes second quarter estimated payments, originally due June 15, 2020, for
the following Maine tax types: individual income tax, corporate income tax,
franchise tax, and fiduciary income tax for estates and trusts. The extended payment due date also includes
any estimated or final payments, originally due April 16, 2020, through June
15, 2020, for fiscal-year filers, for the taxes listed above. For qualifying taxpayers, any related
penalties and interest will be abated for the period of April 16, 2020,
through July 15, 2020.
Maine Delegation Champions Additional Federal Funding to
Support State and Local Governments
85 percent of Maine's state revenues are
from income and sales tax revenues, which have sharply decreased due to
COVID-19. The State of Maine has received $1.25 billion in direct assistance
so far through the CARES Act.
In a letter to President Donald Trump today highlighting the financial strain Maine's state and local governments are experiencing as a direct result of COVID-19, Maine's Congressional Delegation advocated for providing additional federal assistance to states and municipalities that have lost substantial revenue resulting from the current public health and economic crisis.
Senators Susan Collins and Angus King and
Representatives Chellie Pingree and Jared Golden
expressed their strong support for legislation to provide financial relief to
state and local governments and give governors the flexibility to distribute
this funding to meet communities' needs.
received $1.25 billion in direct assistance under the CARES Act; however,
Maine's 487 municipalities were not eligible for direct assistance because
the legislation prevented all but the largest U.S. cities from receiving
direct money. Additionally, no Maine
municipalities meet the county or city size threshold to be eligible for
loans from Treasury's Municipal Liquidity Facility.
Maine Delegation Calls on VA Secretary to Prioritize
Testing, PPE for Maine VA Health System
Senators Susan Collins and Angus King and
Representatives Chellie Pingree and Jared Golden wrote
yesterday to Veterans Affairs (VA) Secretary Robert Wilkie, urging him to
continue to prioritize providing additional testing kits and personal
protective equipment (PPE) at the VA Maine Healthcare System and across the
entire Veterans Health Administration. The VA faces particular risks to its
patient population, as veterans using the VA health care system are often
older. VA operates more than 100
Community Living Centers, which, like other nursing homes, are especially
"The staff and leadership at Togus in Maine are committed to serving their patients during this crisis, fulfilling their mission to care for our veterans with skill, compassion, readiness, and perseverance. However, like many hospitals in Maine, there is an ongoing shortage of COVID-19 testing capabilities and adequate PPE," wrote the Maine Delegation. "As you acquire and distribute more testing capability, we urge you to prioritize tests that provide extremely rapid results, in a matter of minutes or hours rather than days or weeks, and ensure that such tests are distributed to VA Maine and other VA facilities in need."
King, Bipartisan Senate Colleagues Urge Investment in
Scientific Research Workforce
Senator Angus King and 32 of his Senate colleagues are making a bipartisan
push to support America"s entire scientific research community
during the coronavirus pandemic. Coronavirus-related research is currently a
top federal government priority, but most other research has slowed or
stopped due to closures of campuses and laboratories. The people who comprise
the research workforce - graduate students, postdocs, principal
investigators, and technical support staff - face financial and other
hardships from the disruption of their research activities that fund them,
not to mention the absolute halting of their valuable scientific pursuits.
The Senators are calling for $26 billion in emergency relief funding for the
research community in the next coronavirus relief package.
"Research universities, academic medical centers, and national labs are major employers in all 50 states, and protecting the research workforce is critical to state economies," write the Senators in their letter to Senate leadership. "Congress must act to preserve our current scientific workforce and ensure that the U.S. is prepared to continue our global scientific leadership once this crisis ends."
public universities have been on the frontlines in the fight against COVID-19
and its economic fallout" said Joan Ferrini-Mundy, president of the
University of Maine, the only public research university in the state and a
land, sea, and space grant institution. "While this disease has created great
uncertainty for us all, we know for sure that the research and development at
our nation's universities and laboratories is more important than ever not
only in combating the coronavirus and enabling us to manage future public
health outbreaks but inspiring the innovations necessary to rebuild our
economy. The investments proposed by Senator King and his colleagues will
restore our research enterprise more quickly - ensuring science doesn't slow
down at the time when it is needed most."
Use The Maine State Chamber's Blog And Daily
Impact to Tell Your Story!
Numerous Maine companies are 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'
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 firstname.lastname@example.org. For more information
or questions, please contact Mark Ellis by emailing email@example.com or by calling (207)
623-4568, ext. 109.
Check out the second post on our "Meeting the Challenge" blog!
As a nonprofit operating in central Maine, we,
like many others, are consistently challenged by our environment and how we
can operate and provide services. But since 1972, that's what we've been
doing - providing services for older and disabled adults, including Meals on
Wheels. Challenges have come and gone, some still remain, like sufficient
funding for Meals on Wheels that matches the need of those in our
communities. Some have been alleviated for now, thanks to funding approved by
the legislature to increase reimbursement rates for direct care workers,
providing in-home care and supports to homebound adults.
All of this was before COVID-19; everything
since has taught us lessons but also increased partnerships and support,
ultimately allowing us to serve more people. Prior to COVID-19 we were
serving approximately 800 people Meals on Wheels, both through our own
commercial kitchens and through our partner subcontractors. As of May 4, we are
serving 1,347 people - a 67% service increase. [Read more]
Anthem Blue Cross and Blue
Shield Commits More Than $350,000 to COVID-19 Relief Efforts in Maine
Funding will help address food insecurity and COVID-19
emergency response efforts in the state
In a recent press release,
Anthem Blue Cross and Blue Shield in Maine and its philanthropic arm, the
Anthem Blue Cross and Blue Shield Foundation, announced
new contributions to the Good Shepherd Food Bank, the South Portland Food
Cupboard, the Boys & Girls Club of Bangor, and several other
organizations to address food insecurity and emergency response efforts in
Maine in the wake of COVID-19. The grants are part of a $352,000 commitment
Anthem Blue Cross and Blue Shield and its Foundation have made in Maine to
support the nonprofit organizations on the front lines of the pandemic.
Common Ground Fair Will be
Held Virtually This Year Due to Coronavirus
The Bangor Daily News reported today that one of the state's largest agricultural fairs has joined the ranks of 2020 events canceled due to the new coronavirus. The Common Ground Country Fair, which was scheduled for Sept. 25-27, will instead be held virtually this year, according to the Maine Organic Farmers and Gardeners Association (MOFGA). The organization said it decided to make the move now to allow time for planning the change over to a virtual fair. Organizers expect to hold a fair again in 2021, when MOFGA celebrates its 50th anniversary.
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