Edition for Wednesday, May 20, 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 State Chamber
Launches "This Is ME Counting On You" Campaign Encouraging Mainers To Do
Their Part To Stop The Spread Of COVID-19
Acting safely and responsibly "is the best way we can support one another, our communities, and Maine businesses so we reopen successfully, and economic recovery can begin."
The Maine State Chamber of
Commerce has launched a public awareness campaign called "This is ME Counting
on You" encouraging Mainers to do their part to stop the spread of COVID-19.
Following recommended health and safety guidelines such as wearing a mask and
gloves and practicing social distancing, will help make sure Maine reopens
safely and successfully so Maine can get back to business, Maine people can
get back to work, and Maine's economic recovery can begin.
As part of the initiative, a television PSA will begin
airing on cable stations soon. The State Chamber also has launched a website,
resources and links to recommended health and safety guidance and protocols.
Printable posters are available for employers to place in their
establishments to help provide reminders for employees, customers, and
visitors to practice safe behavior. The initiative is also on Facebook with the
"Maine businesses take very seriously their role in keeping their employees and customers safe and preventing the spread or a resurgence of COVID-19," said Dana Connors, president and CEO of the Maine State Chamber of Commerce. "We hope 'This is ME Counting on You' serves as a reminder that every one of us also has an important role to play in defeating COVID-19. We are all in this together and are counting on each other to act safely and responsibly. That is the best way we can support one another, our communities, and Maine businesses so we reopen successfully, and economic recovery can begin."
The Maine State Chamber is
working with its members, local and regional chambers of commerce, and other
organizations throughout Maine to spread the "This is ME Counting on You" message.
"Now that Maine is gradually beginning to reopen, 'This is ME Counting on You' is an important reminder for employers and patrons across Maine that we need to continue heeding the recommended health and safety precautions to stop COVID-19 from spreading or resurging," said Jessie Perkins, executive director of the Bethel Area Chamber of Commerce and current president of the Maine Association of Chamber of Commerce Executives, (MACCE). "This initiative reinforces the message that we all have a responsibility to stay on course, so Maine can get back to work and the way life should be safely and swiftly."
Please visit www.MeCountingOnYou.org for more
A Virtual Update
Maine 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, so fill your cup and join the
conversation from the comfort of your home.
YOU TO OUR SERIES SPONSORS:
Systems, Inc.; Central Maine Power Company; Maine Department of Economic
& Community Development; Northeast Delta Dental; Versant Power; VHB
Thursday, May 21
9:00 to 10:00 a.m.
with the Bangor Region
Presque Isle Area
Thursday, May 28
9:00 to 10:00 a.m.
Wednesday, June 3
9:00 to 10:00 a.m.
This session is a
program of the Kennebec Valley Chamber
2020 Maine State Chamber Health Care Forum
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.
Students, Help State Officials Forecast Economic Fallout In Maine From COVID-19
A University of Maine researcher
and six graduate students are helping Maine state officials estimate the
economic fallout from the coronavirus pandemic. Andrew Crawley, an assistant
professor of regional economic development with the UMaine School of
Economics, and his students are working with the State Economist's Office to
develop forecasts for how much COVID-19 will affect Maine's economy. They
will create five models to evaluate the possible loss in tourism spending,
travel-related spending, cruise ship spending, state revenues and overall
sectoral output changes. The forecasts will also include prospects for
Crawley says his class tasks
students with performing analyses using "complex, often dirty, imperfect
data;" this replicates the challenges researchers face in most professional
settings. Creating models to predict the economic damage wrought by COVID-19
using current and dynamic information is a perfect case in point when data is
not perfect, Crawley says. It provides hands-on experience for his students,
better preparing them to tackle real-world problems.
The state will receive a
report from Crawley and his team at the end of May. He will also have it
published on the School of Economics website.
Millions Of People Lost
Their Jobs In Hard-Hit New England. Many Fear Their Homes Could Be Next.
The Washington Post reported
today that as the coronavirus pandemic threatens to lapse late into the year,
many families in New Hampshire and across the six-state New England region
are coming to a similar, scary realization: It's never been easy to afford a
home or apartment here, and it's about to become even more difficult.
With unemployment skyrocketing - and some federal financial aid weeks away from running dry - millions of local
residents newly find
themselves at risk of prolonged financial hardship, perhaps even staring
down the once-unfathomable prospect of homelessness. Despite the U.S.
government's efforts to halt evictions and extend $3 trillion in aid, many
say they fear falling behind on their rent or mortgage and lack the means to
put off some of those payments until their bank accounts - and the broader
economy - are in better shape.
The financial burdens have
troubled not only local families but economists and lawmakers, who see in the
making a potential crisis more than a decade after a wave of foreclosures
swept millions of Americans out of their homes. In New England alone, roughly
380,000 area homeowners and renters are at risk of falling behind about $540
million in payments each month, according to the Federal Reserve Bank of
Boston, which found the region is one of the hardest hit by the coronavirus
The Boston Fed cautioned its
numbers hinge on the availability of state and federal financial support,
including the enhanced unemployment benefits and one-time stimulus checks
Congress authorized in March. Economists said the data offer a cautionary tale - for New England and the rest of the country - about the financial
devastation on the horizon if the pandemic outpaces the U.S. government's
Mainebiz Presents: "What does 'open' look like? Part
One: Preparation and Accountability"
Mainebiz on Zoom tomorrow, May 21, from 11:00 a.m. to 12:00 p.m. for the
start of their free webcast series, What does "open" look like? Part
One: Preparation and Accountability. Panelists Jim Erwin of Pierce Atwood,
Catherine Lamson of MEMIC, and Heather Paquette of Hannaford Supermarkets
will share what employers need to have in place prior to bringing back
employees and inviting customers into their place of business. Topics will
and monitoring rules;
do you need/what are the costs;
employees ready to go back;
First COVID Sick Act;
safety rules; and,
Click here to
register and to leave your questions for the panelists.
Resources From Our Partners At The American Chamber Of Commerce
American Chamber of Commerce Resources (ACCR) recently shared some helpful
resources with us. Check them out below.
Am I doing this right? You know that as the doors reopen to your
business, you are going to have to take some extra business precautions, and
play it extra safe - but when it comes down to it, do you know what playing
it safe means? Time to bring in the safety pros at the Occupational Safety
and Health Administration (OSHA) - They have a whole
page dedicated to the nuts and bolts of safety
in the COVID era, and it is worth a read.
Not my fault! Obviously, you want to make sure your
staff is safe because you care about them, and you also want to keep them
safe to protect yourself. Attorneys at Fredrikson & Byron, P.A.,
answer the burning question: Can you require your employees to sign a waiver
before they return to work?
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
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.
Amid Pandemic, Maine Farmers
Markets Are Busier Than Ever
Mainebiz reported today that
with new business likely spurred by the pandemic, farmers
markets throughout Maine are busier than they've ever been. The
information is anecdotal, but Jimmy DeBiasi, director of programs at the
Maine Federation of Farmers' Markets, said most markets are reporting
that, for this time of year, they're seeing an increase in shopper traffic. There's
also an increased incidence of new shoppers, which seems to be demonstrated
in online pre-orders. DeBiasi said he heard from one farm that last month
sold out of greens within 30 minutes when it launched its e-commerce
Overall, he said, vendors and
shoppers are becoming accustomed to the new normal at the markets. They're
now being set up under guidelines
issued in late March by the Maine Department of Agriculture, Conservation
and Forestry for farmers across the state marketing directly to consumers.
The guidelines strongly encourage markets to adjust physical layouts to
promote social distancing, including one-way pedestrian traffic, special
shopping times for seniors and people with compromised health, use of
paperless payment options and an online pre-order and pick-up system, sending
only one shopper per household, face masks and hand washing or sanitizing,
and signage and staff to alert shoppers to safety measures.
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