Edition for Thursday, May 14, 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!
Connors joined Ric Tyler and George Hale on WVOM today
to discuss a recent business survey from the Maine Association of Chamber of
Commerce Executives (MACCE). Yesterday, MACCE released the findings of their recent survey of businesses
across the state on the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic and the Mills
Administration's four-stage plan to gradually reopen Maine's economy. A total
of 1,467 businesses responded to the "Re-starting Maine's Economy" survey,
conducted online the first week of May. The findings show the impact the
pandemic is having on Maine's economy and businesses, and provide an
important benchmark for measuring and evaluating Maine's comeback in the
Allows Lodging Reservations For Future Stays
Department of Economic and Community Development also posts
additional COVID-19 Prevention Checklists to help businesses prepare for
Stage 2 & FAQs to answer common questions
The Mills Administration announced
that, effective immediately, Maine lodging providers can begin accepting
future reservations for stays with an arrival date of June 1st and beyond
for Maine residents and for non-residents who comply with the State's 14-day
quarantine requirement. A previous Executive Order prohibited such
reservations. The change comes amid ongoing collaboration between the Mills
Administration and Maine's tourism and hospitality sectors to identify
innovative and practical solutions to welcome visitors while protecting the
health of Maine people and the health of Maine's economy.
With today's announcement,
lodging establishments may immediately begin accepting reservations from
Maine residents and non-residents for stays beginning on June 1st in line
with the parameters established under the Restarting Maine's Economy plan. However,
lodging establishments that accept reservations must be prepared to cancel
and fully refund reservations if these establishments cannot be reopened
under Stage 2 as tentatively planned.
Further, the Department of
Economic and Community Development today released additional
COVID-19 Prevention Checklists for Stage 2 businesses tentatively slated
to open in June under the Restarting Maine's Economy Plan. The checklists,
which provide health and safety guidance that businesses must commit to
complying with in order to reopen, for lodging,
salons have been posted. The Department plans to post the remaining
Checklists on large gatherings, religious gatherings, public/community
buildings, fitness centers/gyms, tanning salons, day camps, and overnight
camps, as well as links to guidance on non-professional sports on May 20.
The Department, in conjunction
with the Department of Health and Human Services, also released a Frequently
Asked Questions (FAQs) document in an effort to help provide answers to
some common questions.
U.S. Chamber of Commerce
Launches New Digital Resources Center to Help Businesses Reopen Safely and
Resources include employee screening questionnaire, small
business reopening playbook, sector-specific guidance, and state-specific
The U.S. Chamber of Commerce
today launched a new digital resources center with tools and guidance to help employers reopen
their businesses safely and sustainably while keeping their employees and
customers healthy and informed amid the coronavirus pandemic. Part of the
U.S. Chamber's Path
Forward initiative, the resources center includes several new resources
for business owners across America as they prepare to return to work,
Screening Questionnaire: The new six-question sample questionnaire
represents a consolidation of questions required or recommended by states'
employee screening guidance as well as input from member companies of all
sizes and sectors participating in the Chamber's Return to Work Task Force.
It includes questions to ask employees when they initially return to work as
well as questions to ask employees weekly and daily.
2 Small Business Reopening Playbook: The new four-page guide includes seven steps to help small business reopen as restrictions are lifted across the country and Americans prepare for a "new normal."
3 Compilation of
Industry-Specific Guides: The reopening process will vary by sector. From
restaurants and retailers to hair salons and gyms, the site includes eight
sector-specific guides from some of the nation's leading industry
associations and government sources. More will be added as they become
Health Guidelines: The resources center also features an interactive map
and state-specific information to help businesses navigate different public
health guidelines across state lines.
"Americans are eager to get back to work as soon as it's safe to do so - to earn a paycheck and continue to support their families," said Suzanne Clark, president, U.S. Chamber of Commerce. "Any return to work must prioritize the health and safety of employees and consumers, and business owners across America need clear guidance at the federal, state, and local level on how to reopen their businesses safely and sustainable. The Chamber's new resource center will help businesses as they prepare for a new normal, and how our nation's public and private sectors manage this transition will determine how quickly we can stage an economic comeback."
The U.S. Chamber will
routinely update these resources as additional guidance and information
become available. Visit https://www.uschamber.com/reopening-business
for the latest information.
Unemployment Benefits Not
Charged to Employers' Experience Rating If Direct Result of COVID-19
The Maine Department of Labor
wants to remind Maine employers that under legislation enacted in response to
the civil emergency declaration by Governor Janet Mills on March 15, 2020,
temporary modifications of unemployment insurance provisions were put in
place that included the non-charging of individual employer experience rates
for COVID-related benefit charges between March 15, 2020, through 30 days
beyond the end of the civil emergency declaration.
This is currently in place
through June 30, 2020, unless the civil emergency declaration in Maine is
extended. In the Department's efforts to quickly implement the new, federal
unemployment benefit programs, not all agency forms (including those which
reference potential charge information) have been updated yet to reflect the
emergency non-charging of experience rating provision. However, employers'
individual experience ratings will not be affected by benefit charges during
Kurt W. Adams, President & CEO
of Summit Utilities, Inc., was this week's special guest on The Bottom Line
podcast on Thursday, May 14. Mr. Adams joined The Bottom Line co-hosts Dana Connors of
the Maine State Chamber of Commerce and John Williams of Williams
Broadcasting to discuss how an essential Maine business is operating safely during
the COVID-19 environment.
To listen to The Bottom Line, catch
up with the archived shows on our website.
Final Virtual National
Small Business Town Hall | Friday, May 15 at Noon
As the COVID-19 pandemic
continues, small businesses are looking for the strategies and lifelines they
need to survive and succeed. What programs are still available to struggling
businesses? How can entrepreneurs adjust their models to continue operating
through this economic pause? And what should business owners do now to
prepare for the eventual reopening of the economy?
Tomorrow, May 15 at noon, a panel of experts
will join U.S. Chamber Chief Policy Officer Neil Bradley and Inc.
Editor-At-Large Kimberly Weisul to answer your questions and offer advice as
your navigate this pandemic, stay afloat, and plan your safe return to work. Register here.
A Virtual Update
State Chamber of Commerce, together with local and regional chambers of
commerce, invites you to our Regional Breakfast Meetings, held virtually on
Zoom. As a local business leader, your valuable insight is instrumental to
this open dialogue about issues that affect your business, your community and
your state. We need your expertise and input to make recommendations and to
identify opportunities for moving Maine's economic future in a positive
attending one of our annual statewide breakfast series meetings 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 from 9:00 a.m. to 10:00 a.m. - so
grab a cup of coffee and join the conversation from the relaxation of your
Monday, May 18
Tuesday, May 19
Thursday, May 21
with the Bangor Region
Chamber of Commerce
Thursday, May 28
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' needs.
blog entry should be 300 to 500 words. Join
us in creating a written history of the business communitys 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.
SAVE THE DATE!
2020 Maine State Chamber Health Care Reform
Wednesday, May 27 | 10:00 to 11:15 a.m.
A confirmation of event details will be available shortly. The 2020 Maine State Chamber Health Care Forum will focus on the changing nature of coverage in Maine; both through legislation and through innovation. The program will be virtual, and roughly an hour in length. We will begin with a presentation by Denise McDonough, President of Anthem Blue Cross and Blue Shield in Maine. Her presentation will focus on innovation in the marketplace, and cost saving initiatives being undertaken by Anthem. After that, there will be a panel discussion that includes Kristine Ossenfort, Senior Government Relations Director at Anthem Blue Cross and Blue Shield in Maine, and the Maine Superintendent of Insurance Eric Cioppa, to discuss the legislative events of this past session, and the policy changes that were enacted by lawmakers that are likely to impact the individual and small group markets, both in terms of policies, coverage and price. Join us for what promises to be an interesting and informative session.
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