Happy Friday- you made it!
This e-news offers up recaps of this week's key state and local information, links to help break down the COVID-19 business and employment resources available to you. Maybe my favorite section in today's message- You CAN Help ; 3 actions you or your business can take today (from home, of course) that support LA learners, families and businesses. We are also sending along enough links of positive reading to keep you smiling through the weekend.

On a serious note- today is the first day of potential access to the Payroll Protection Program, the third week of access to SBA Disaster Loans, and the second record setting week of unemployment claims processed. While legislation has been passed to set aside funding for economic and worker relief funds, the rule-making and processes that will distribute those funds are still being created, updated, and improved. Staff at financial institutions and in our government systems are working hard to learn the new forms and eligibility requirements. Internet and phone systems are overwhelmed by requests. Here is what you need to know-
  • You should fill out your applications (loans, employer and worker unemployment claims). Those links are below and at laadapts.com.
  • You should be prepared for waits, delays, and disruptions. Have patience, save your files to your computer at various save points.
  • You should aim for off-peak hours whenever possible. File online, and do it at night.
  • You should contact your HR attorney, trusted financial relationship (institution or adviser) or SBDC counselor to help you review the ever-changing landscape of options.

Remember, this isn't business as usual. Check on your employees and ask them how they are feeling, how they are really doing. Give yourself and them a break- the circumstances you are working in are different, harder, and require more of you than ever before. We will get through this, together. We will adapt, survive and move forward because we chose to pause, make strategic and informed decisions, and paced ourselves for the long-run.

Enjoy your weekend-
-Shanna
POSITIVE WEEKEND READING

  • For all of your communication needs, here are some other words you can use in lieu of "unprecedented".

  • Modsy reimagined + designed some iconic pop culture pads - as Zoom backgrounds. Check them out here.

  • Maine’s conservation community, natural resource agencies, and outdoor brands want everyone to enjoy the outdoors, safely. View the recommended steps before heading outside this weekend here.

  • Need a new game to play this weekend? Cards Against Humanity released a Family Edition for free. You can print it at home and play it now. Or, skip the printing + cutting - and play the original CAH online here.

  • NASA is bringing the universe into your home. View the tutorials, games, and e-books they are offering here.

  • A college student from KY invents masks for the deaf + hard of hearing. View her creations here.
YOU CAN HELP
3 Things You Can Do From Home




  • Sponsor a learner - for today, for our future. Five adult learners enrolled in the Lewiston Construction Cohort training have had to halt their learning during this crisis. With libraries closed, some adult learners don’t have the tech needed to continue their learning. The LA Metro Chamber is teaming up with The Computer Place and Lewiston Adult Ed to fund 5 laptops for 5 learners. These laptops will allow these learners to graduate from the program and join our essential construction workers on the jobsite. The computers will get reused in future cohorts and maintained by Lewiston Adult Ed. The Computer Place is discounting the 5 laptops for the Chamber, Adult Ed and these learners. 
Can you sponsor a learner for $200? Contact us
BUSINESS + EMPLOYMENT

  • What are the options for your business? View a simple breakdown of the latest policies and options for small businesses here.

  • Do you have questions regarding the Families First Coronavirus Response Act? View some frequently asked questions here. Still have questions? The U.S. Department of Labor is hosting a national online dialogue until April 10, 2020. Send in your questions, ideas and comments here.

  • File for changes to employment- as an employer or claimant here. Note that high online and call volumes are creating long wait times and occasional disruptions.

  • Learn more about how Maine enrolled  in a federal program to bolster unemployment benefits.

STATE
  • Governor Janet Mills issued an Executive Order extending the State’s property tax exemption deadline. View it here.

  • Some good news for those on fixed incomes. Social Security beneficiaries will receive coronavirus stimulus rebate checks automatically. View the press release here.

  • Protect yourself from Covid-19-related investment schemes. Read Maine Securities Administrator, Judith Shaw's, investor warning here.
LOCAL
  • Mayor Mark Cayer + staff provide an overview of the City of Lewiston's response to the COVID-19 public health emergency. Watch the briefing here.

  • Auburn Mayor Jason J. Levesque. issues a proclamation of emergency. View his message here.

  • Citylink, LA's own purple bus, changes the way it operates in LA. View the changes here. 

HOST & PROMOTE YOUR WEBINARS

We love how our members have adapted to hosting events + customer services online. Our traditional events calendar is still a great way to share and promote business and community events. We are committed to serving and supporting you during these ever-changing times and encourage you to use our online community event calendar as a platform to share your virtual events.

Our calendar is a handy local database where you can post your virtual event details (including links to webinars or conference call numbers) and direct interested remote attendees to. To list your event, please use our event listing request form and include detailed information necessary for remote participation. You can find the request form here.

UPCOMING WEBINARS

Business Law with Brann & Isaacson
Monday, April 6, 2020
2:00 PM - 3:00 PM EDT

Learn the latest from Brann & Isaacson business lawyers about navigating the many federal CARES Act programs intended to make it easier for small and medium-sized businesses to meet payroll, rent, debt service, and utility obligations. The webinar will focus on the Payroll Protection Program, a $349 billion low-interest, forgivable loan program, and will also address the multiple payroll tax credit programs.

Fast Forward Maine's Business Growth Virtual Summit
Tuesday, April 7 + Wednesday, April 8, 2020

What Is the Fast Forward Maine Virtual Summit?
A two-day, single track event that’s focused on your company’s success. We’ll be covering topics such as business growth, leadership, attracting the best employees, overcoming workforce shortages, why company culture is a game changer, and more.

Who Should Attend?
Business owners, leaders, and entrepreneurs who are charged with growing their company should grab their seat now. Whether you are focused on marketing, sales, or building the team that will win and keep customers, you’ll get the actionable tips you need to succeed.

Employment Law Webinar With Brann & Isaacson
Wednesday, April 8, 2020
1:00 PM - 2:00 PM EDT

Learn the very latest practical advice from Brann & Isaacson employment lawyers about managing employment law issues during this Pandemic. The focus will be on handling the new federal leave law and understanding how the brand new regulations apply to Maine employers, as well as a discussion of key issues such as furloughs, wage decreases and plant closing and mass layoff laws.
Did you miss any of our webinars last week? No worries! You can check them out here .

All events will be held through Zoom. You will receive Zoom information after registration.

Together we are stronger + together we will adapt.