Governor Mill’s issues Executive Order regarding “essential/non-essential” business operations:

Under the authority granted to her during a State of Civil Emergency, on March 24 th Governor Janet Mills issued an Executive Order mandating that all non-essential businesses and operations in Maine close their physical locations that are public facing, meaning those that allow customer, vendor or other in-person contact. The Order is effective tomorrow, March 25, 2020 at 12:01 a.m. and extends for a period of 14 days through April 8, 2020 at 12:00 a.m. It solidifies as a mandate her previous recommendation to close non-essential business sites. NOTE: the Executive Order excludes businesses that provide essential services including, but not limited to: food processing, agriculture, industrial manufacturing, construction , trash collection, grocery and household goods (including convenience stores), home repair and hardware and auto repair, pharmacy and other medical facilities, biomedical, behavioral health and health care providers, child care, post offices and shipping outlets, insurance, banks, gas stations, laundromats, veterinary clinics and animal feed and supply stores, shipping stores, public transportation, and hotel and commercial lodging. Please don’t hesitate to reach contact us with any questions regarding the Governor’s Order.

Coronavirus Aid, Relief, and Economic Security Act

The Federal “Coronavirus Aid, Relief, and Economic Security Act’’ or the ‘‘CARES Act” passed the U.S. Senate late last evening. The U.S. House has yet to vote on this, but, they are expected to by tomorrow. Assuming it passes the House, it will move to the President’s desk for signature. The file of the bill is far too large to convey via email. That said, following are bullets highlighting some key items in the bill:

• A $350 billion forgivable loan program designed to ensure that small businesses do not lay off employees

• A 50% refundable payroll tax credit on worker wages will further incentivize businesses, including ones with fewer than 500 employees, to retain workers

• Looser net operating loss-reduction rules that will allow businesses to offset more

• A delay in employer-side payroll taxes for Social Security until 2021 and 2022

• Sole proprietors and other self-employed workers could be eligible for the expanded unemployment-insurance benefits the bill provides

• A portion of the $425 billion in funds appropriated for the Federal Reserve’s credit facilities will target small businesses