Edition for Wednesday, May 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!
Announces Update to Restarting Maine's Economy Plan
restricts reopening of restaurants in Androscoggin, Cumberland and York
Counties to outside service only
This afternoon, Governor Janet
Mills announced an update
to her Administration's plan to restart Maine's economy as the state
approaches the scheduled June 1 start date for Stage 2 of
the plan. The Mills Administration is postponing the full reopening of restaurants
for dine-in services in York, Cumberland, and Androscoggin counties.
Restaurants in these counties were tentatively scheduled to reopen to dine-in
services on June 1 (Stage 2) but are now restricted to reopening to outside
dining service only beginning on that date in addition to continuing to
provide take-away and delivery services. The decision to limit their
reopening comes amidst an increase in hospitalizations as well as an
increase in case counts in these three counties, both of which are
metrics monitored by the Maine Center for Disease Control and Prevention
(Maine CDC). A date for the reopening of dine-in services in these counties
is yet to be determined.
Additionally, on June 1,
retail businesses in York, Cumberland, Androscoggin, and Penobscot counties -
counties where these businesses have been closed to indoor shopping - will
also be permitted to voluntarily reopen, also with strict,
sector-specific health and safety precautions. These businesses now join
those in the other twelve counties permitted to reopen as part of the
Governor's rural reopening plan. The Administration continues to closely
review the status of gyms, fitness centers, and nail salons, the reopening of
which were paused last week as a result of concerns about the transmission of
the virus in these settings.
Maine Department of Labor
and Law Enforcement Investigating Fraud
As part of its effort to investigate,
prevent, and stop fraud perpetrated by criminals, the Maine Department of
Labor has received some 1,000
reports of potential unemployment imposter fraud that are now under
investigation. Maine, like many other states, is seeing an increase of
intentionally fraudulent unemployment claims over the past two months amid
the rise in overall unemployment insurance claims due to COVID-19. This
practice, known as impostor fraud, occurs when a person's Personally Identifiable
Information, or PII, is used illegally to apply for unemployment benefits.
The department is temporarily
pausing benefits for 48 hours this week and reinstating its normal 10-14 day
processing time for initial unemployment claims, which was expedited to seven
days in response to unprecedented demands of COVID-19, to investigate and
prevent fraud and further enhance security of the unemployment system.
1 If you believe that someone
else has used your information to file a fraudulent unemployment application,
please notify the Maine Department of Labor immediately at https://www.maine.gov/unemployment/idtheft/.
2 Suspected fraud can also be
reported to the National Center for Disaster Fraud Hotline at https://www.justice.gov/disaster-fraud/ncdf-disaster-complaint-form
or (866) 720-5721.
3 If you think someone is
using your personal information to open accounts, file taxes or make
purchases, visit https://www.identitytheft.gov
to report and recover from identity theft. Additional identity theft
resources can be found at: https://www.maine.gov/ag/privacy/identity_theft.shtml
4 MDOL Identity Theft and
Fraud information webpage: https://www.maine.gov/unemployment/fraud/
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.
JOIN US TOMORROW!
9:00 to 10:00 a.m.
Wednesday, June 3
from 9:00 to 10:00 a.m.
This session is a program of
the Kennebec Valley Chamber
PPP Math for the
Self-Employed: And, Yes, There is Still Time
The Small Business
Administration reports that as of May 23 it still had nearly $150 billion of
untapped Paycheck Protection Program funds. The Program has been
underutilized by self-employed business owners, in part due to complexity.
Those micro-businesses, however, make up a significant slice of the U.S.
economy and generally would be eligible for PPP funding.
from Verrill Dana illustrates potential PPP benefits for a self-employed
owner with no employees. If you are employed through your S corp or C corp,
this article is not for you. But if you have been doing business as a sole
proprietor or through a solely-owned LLC that is disregarded for tax
purposes, and if you report business income on Schedule C of your Form 1040
income tax return, then you may want to pay attention.
Maine Scores Near the Top in
National Ranking for COVID-19 Health Infrastructure
In a national
ranking of states with the best health infrastructure for responding to
the coronavirus crisis, Maine came it at No. 14, outshining all other New
England states except Vermont. WalletHub Researchers compared
the 50 states across 14 metrics including public health emergency
preparedness funding per capita, public hospital system quality and the the
number of hospital beds, emergency centers and services, intensive care unit
beds and state and local public health laboratories per capita.
Vermont led the New England
pack at No. 11, followed by Maine at No. 14. That put them both ahead of
Massachusetts (No. 38), Rhode Island (No. 43), New Hampshire (No. 44) and Connecticut,
which came in dead last at No. 50. Massachusetts was found to have the
largest percentage of population without insurance, followed by Hawaii and
JOIN US NEXT WEEK
How to Support The New
Thursday, June 4 | 10:00 to 11:00 a.m.
employers support the new work from home model while maintaining business
continuity with a work-from-home workforce? How will employers use this new
paradigm to Maine's advantage in the future? What happens when most or all of
the workforce starts working from home? How can we use this as a positive
spin in the future for employees and future employees?
panel of presenters includes:
Mitchell, Assitant Vive President of Global Wellbeing and Health Management
McGrath, President and CEO of Systems Engineering;
Wildes, Executive Director of Live and Work in Maine; and,
Shorey, Director of Engagement for Live and Work in Maine.
Register today and plan to join us Thursday, June 4 at
10:00 a.m. for this important webinar presentation.
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.
Flowfold Steps Up to
Supply Maine CDC with 500,000 Face Shields
with local manufacturers, Flowfold ramps up its PPE production to meet the
needs of Maine CDC, hospitals, and opening businesses
Flowfold, an independent Maine-based
manufacturer of high-quality travel and everyday gear, has been contracted by
the State of Maine to supply
the Maine CDC with personal protective equipment (PPE). Flowfold, which
officially pivoted to make protective face shields for hospitals on March 24,
will provide the CDC with 500,000 face shields. Due to its sophisticated
production capabilities and key partnerships with local manufacturers such as
L.L. Bean, Flowfold has so far been able to scale up its PPE production from
1,000 shields per week to 50,000 per week.
To date, Flowfold has shipped
face shields to hospitals and health care facilities battling COVID-19 all
over the region, including the Dana-Farber Cancer Institute in Boston. With
increased involvement from L.L. Bean, Flowfold aims to double its current
weekly output. By ramping up to 100,000 face shields a week, Flowfold will be
able to supply the Maine CDC and hospitals with large quantities of PPE,
while meeting the increase in demand from smaller businesses looking to
For more information on Flowfold Face Shields, please fill
out a request to receive them for your local business.
BioME to Host Webinar Thursday on "The Science of COVID-19"
The Bioscience Association of
Maine (BioME) is bringing together representatives of businesses in Maine
that have taken the lead in the medical
aspect of fighting the COVID-19 virus in free
webinar on Thursday, May 28 from 3:00 p.m. to 4:30 p.m. that is open to
According to a recent Mainebiz article, "The Science of
COVID-19," panel includes Edison Liu, president and CEO of Jackson
Laboratory; Norman Moore, director of scientific affairs at Abbott
Diagnostics, of Scarborough; Dora Anne Mills, the chief health improvement
officer for MaineHealth; and Melissa Maginnis, an assistant professor of
microbiology at the University of Maine. Douglas Sawyer, of the Maine Medical
Center Research Institute, is the moderator.
The panelists represent many
of the businesses and entities in Maine that have responded to the virus
outbreak with research, testing, supply chain, manufacturing and therapeutic
JAX Ramps Up "Humanized"
Mouse Production For Pandemic Fight
Mainebiz reported today that Jackson
Laboratory, headquartered in Bar Harbor, is scaling up production of research
mice designed to help scientists
around the world develop vaccines and treatments for COVID-19. On a
parallel track, the lab is ramping up its test capacity for COVID-19
infection from 550 tests per day to 20,000 tests per day by early July, for
residents of Connecticut, where the lab has a second facility.
Abbott Laboratories Plans
Expansion into Westbrook to Boost Production of Virus Test Kits
According to the Portland Press Herald, Abbott
Laboratories, which makes rapid-result COVID-19 test kits in Scarborough, is
planning to expand
and ramp up production in Westbrook. The company is renovating and
expanding a building on Bradley Drive, the former Olympia Sports distribution
center, to convert it into a manufacturing facility for COVID-19 test kits. The
Westbrook site would be expanded by nearly 38,000 square feet and would
accommodate an estimated 1,000 new employees. In papers filed with the city,
Abbott said it hopes to ramp up to full production in September, with a peak
employment of 470 workers.
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