Business Resources – COVID-19
With all of the information coming your way on an hourly basis, you may feel like you are drinking guidance from a fire hose.
Here at SEDCO, we certainly feel that way. We’ve curated a collection of useful Fact sheets, summaries and lists that we thought were particularly useful:
While the above fact sheets and summaries are helpful, this is NOT an exhaustive list. Maine CDC is clearly the best place to find medical guidance. The Portland Regional Chamber is doing an excellent job of compiling resources. Everyone, member or not, is invited to go to their COVID-19 updates.
The Portland Regional Chamber worked with Bernstein Shur to develop some general guidance for employers. It’s a fantastic resource.
Along with the docs below, here are a few highlights that we think are key to understand:
- We’ve talked to lenders over the last two weeks – they stand ready and willing to help their clients understand options – not just official programs, but options that might be unique to your business. Talk to your lender – ask for what you need.
- Maine is the first state to have all of our counties included in the declaration of disaster, making employers throughout the state eligible for the SBA disaster loans. The significance of this declaration is that our employers may be first in line for the loans, perhaps receiving quicker approvals. Note that these loans have no repayments for the first few months. Please note that the form has changed since last week. It is considerably shorter, with less info required upfront.
- The State is working on additional loan programs through the Finance Authority of Maine (FAME). The newest program is one for sole proprietors and individual consumers. These loans are no interest to low interest and could help your employees.
- New guidance has been issued on the Maine Department of Labor site regarding eligibility and benefits of the unemployment insurance program (often referred to as UI).
- The Families First Corona Virus Response Act has a number of provisions regarding mandatory emergency paid sick leave. The Bernstein Shur legal update of March 19 has some detailed information, which will be available soon. We will post as soon as it’s available.
- Bernstein Shur has provided 4 free legal briefings to date, one of the many suggestions in the briefings is that employers document the steps that they have taken to ensure the safety of their workers. Documenting your COVID-19 Plan and documenting its implementation is important if you are called upon in the future to prove that you took adequate precautions. Their Webinars are available on the Portland region
- Please figure out ways to help your local businesses. The Portland Regional Chamber started a list of ideas, which we’ve posted here. Send us more ideas!
- We are sending out a newsletter where we update and add to relevant links. Here are the links to the news letters – always look for the “More Information” headline to link to the latest list of resources for that date. BUS #1 BUS #2
Partial List of Resource Links
- Resources for Workers and Businesses on COVID-19, Source: Maine Department of Labor
- Unemployment Insurance FAQs Regarding COVID-19, Source: Maine Department of Labor
- How Employment in Seasonal Industries Affects Unemployment Insurance Benefits, Source: Maine Department of Labor
- Unemployment Insurance Guidance for Employers, SOURCE: Greater Portland Chamber
- New COVID (Consumer) Loan Guaranty Program, Source: FAME
- SBA Offers Disaster Assistance to Maine Small Businesses Economically Impacted by the Coronavirus (COVID-19), Source: U.S. Small Business Administration