Supporting Maine’s business community during the COVID-19 pandemic — Contributors — Bangor Daily News — BDN Maine

Supporting Maine’s business community during the COVID-19 pandemic — Contributors — Bangor Daily News — BDN Maine

March 25, 2020 Off By administrator
Linda Coan O’Kresik | BDN

Linda Coan O’Kresik | BDN

Paddy Murphys posted this sign on their door. Activity along Main Street in downtown Bangor has slowed down since the coronavirus hit Maine.

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The Coronavirus, or COVID-19 pandemic has caused tremendous disruption for every Mainer. Shops and businesses are closed or not operating as usual, many people are not working, many are working remotely while also looking after their children who are normally in school or childcare. Much of Maine’s workforce — health care workers, first responders, and other essential-services workers — are going above and beyond their regular duties, some risking their own health to take care of Mainers in need.

Adding to our worries about the health of our families, friends, co-workers and ourselves, many are profoundly concerned about how the businesses they own or work for are going to endure the pandemic. The immediate and long-term needs of Maine businesses, especially small businesses, are of utmost importance right now. Every Mainer relies on them. Not only for the services and goods they provide, but the jobs they create and the numerous contributions they, their employees and their families make to Maine’s economy and communities.

Maine’s state, regional and local chambers of commerce are working together to do everything we can to mitigate the pandemic’s economic impact. Assistance is coming together to help employers and workers weather the pandemic.

As part of our efforts, we are continually updating our websites and sharing resources available to help businesses stay afloat in the coming weeks. To date, resources include:

U.S. Small Business Administration (SBA) disaster assistance for Maine small businesses. The deadline to apply for assistance is December 16, 2020. Information is available at https://disasterloan.sba.gov/ela, or applicants can call SBA (800) 659-2955 or email disastercustomerservice@sba.gov.

Gov. Janet Mills has signed emergency legislation establishing a consumer loan guarantee program through the Finance Authority of Maine (FAME). FAME is partnering with SBA and Maine lenders to offer special, limited-time loans and loan insurance to eligible Maine businesses and sole proprietors affected by COVID-19. Interested borrowers should first contact their financial institution. They are advised to start the conversation now and not delay. More details are available at www.FAMEmaine.com.

State legislation was passed to make the unemployment insurance system more flexible. For employees, the…

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