Annual Chamber Awards, New PPP Program Details, Member News & More
January 2021
The Chamber held our Annual Meeting this week (virtually), and over the coming weeks we'll share more information about the various topics covered. One component of the meeting's agenda was the announcement of our 2020 Business Award winners. Every business and every member should get an award this year just for persevering through these challenging times, but as we do each year it's gratifying to single out specific members who have been nominated and then voted on to receive an award by our Executive Committee.

The Winners of this year's awards for each category are:

New Business of the Year Award: Gloss Hair Parlor

Non-Profit Organization of the Year Award (2 winners):
Seeds of Hope Neighborhood Center
York County Community Action Corp.

Small Business of the Year Award: Casco Bay Hemp

Large Business of the Year Award: Volk Packaging

Business Resilience Award: Oceanwood Camp & Conference Center

We worked with the talented team at Wizardly Media to produce a video featuring these award winners, showcasing leaders from these companies & non-profits sharing more information about their organization and their efforts over the last year. To learn more about this year's award winners, please watch this 7-minute video HERE that highlights each of these great members. Congratulations to all!

Transportation Survey

The cities of Biddeford and Saco are currently working with the region’s Metropolitan Planning Organization, PACTS, on a concept plan to identify opportunities to make it safer and easier to walk, bike, and take public transit on Saco Island and the mill area by the Saco River. If you live, work, visit, or play in this area, please help us by filling out this short survey and telling us your thoughts and ideas on a variety of potential improvements.

To take this survey, please CLICK HERE

Discounts for Chamber Members

Staples in Biddeford has made special partner discounts available for our Chamber members. You can save on an assortment of products every time you shop. Specifically, you can receive 20% off any in-store print or marketing services order, and 10% off in-store purchases of regularly priced items.

To enroll in this discount program, please CLICK HERE

Latest PPP Funds Now Available

The next round of the Paycheck Protection Program is now fully open for all applications, whether from first-time borrowers or as a second round of PPP funding. A major change in this round is that a business must show it's had a revenue loss of 25% or more in 2020. In addition, the cap on employees to qualify for a loan is 300, rather than the 500 in the previous round.

As a reminder, PPP Loans are attractive since the loan amount can convert to a grant if the proceeeds are used to pay for payroll, rent, or other allowable expenses. If you haven't submitted an application yet, the recommended next step is to reach out to your financial institution asap for more information about how to apply!

Mary's Walk on March 21st

In the interest of safety during this ongoing pandemic, the Mary's Walk Committee made the decision to transition to a virtual run and walk once again this year, the organization's 23rd annual year raising invaluable funds to fight cancer. This year's event takes place virtually on Sunday, March 21st. Organizers hope you will join in once again, recognizing that cancer has not stopped in the midst of the pandemic and the people of Maine need help more than ever. For more information about the event and how to register, please visit: 

Amtrak Downeaster Update

Amtrak Downeaster trains continue to operate for those who need to travel. The team has taken multiple steps to provide a safe traveling experience. To learn more about the ways they are working everyday to protect the health and safety of their passengers, please CLICK HERE

Grants & Info for US Businesses Selling Overseas

The SBA Office of International Trade recently held a webinar about available grants for U.S. small businesses to sell overseas. If you missed it there is a recording below. This is helpful information for current small business exporters and those looking to make that pivot to 95% of the world’s purchasing power. Your business could be eligible for grants as high as $10,000. The SBA’s State Trade Expansion Program (STEP) can help small businesses achieve their export goals. To view the recording of the session, please CLICK HERE

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