Stage 4 of Maine's Reopening Plan, Maine's Earned Paid Leave Law, Member Spotlight, and more!
October 2020

Stage 4 Maine Reopening Plans Announced

Governor Mills recently announced that Stage 4 of Maine's reopening plans will go into effect on Tuesday, October 13th.

The two major changes are:

  • Increased limits on indoor seating to 50 percent capacity of permitted occupancy, or 100 people (whichever is less) and an expansion of the face covering mandate statewide.

  • Bars and tasting rooms may be able to open for indoor service on November 2 if proper guidelines are followed.

While we are clearly not out of the woods from a health standpoint yet, compared to other states, Maine continues to perform relatively well on all safety measures. With the above changes, all of our local businesses and members should soon be able to pursue their business livelihoods while safely conducting their operations. Please support all those members who are making above-and-beyond efforts to keep serving their customers and keep our regional economy moving forward. To view the full Stage 4 plan CLICK HERE

Also, as a reminder, businesses interested in receiving grant money from the state as part of the Maine Economic Recovery Program have until October 23rd to apply. If you haven't done so yet, you can learn more about eligibility and the application process by CLICKING HERE

New Chamber Members

Mill Studio Arts - Local teacher and artist Amy Goodness has opened Mill Studio Arts in her space at North Dam Mill, offering art enrichment programs for children and adults.

Freedom Air HVAC/R - This veteran-owned and operated local heating and air conditioning business provides HVAC controls, preventative maintenance, service and installation.

Common Roots Studio - This new business is a collaborative art studio where artists can work and display their pieces. Located at 165 Main Street in Biddeford, Common Roots has a mission to connect artists, while building a network of roots and a sense of community.

River Views - River Views is a monthly magazine & website covering the development of the Biddeford-Saco area with content focused on dining, arts, entertainment, area news, business updates and more.

Hancock Lumber - Hancock’s newest location at 941 Portland Road in Saco is home to their state-of-the-art lumberyard, drive-thru warehouse, hardware store, and kitchen design showroom.

Monthly Member Spotlight:
Groups Recover Together

Last month was National Recovery Month, and while the news in 2020 has been dominated by the pandemic and the resulting economic challenges, the opioid crisis that has been ravaging so many of our fellow community members in recent years is still a major challenge as well. 

One of our Chamber members is Groups Recover Together, an organization committed to fighting the problem of opioid addiction one person at a time. Recently we had the opportunity to catch up with Kelly McKenna, the Maine State Director for Groups Recover Together, to learn more about their organization and treatment approach.
The Biddeford location on Main Street is one of ten offices in Maine, and they all feature a comprehensive team approach in fighting opioid addiction. Following best practices in recovery therapy, the effort starts at a clinical level, with physicians prescribing medicine that can help alleviate cravings. At the heart of the model are the community-based group sessions, in which members attend weekly group therapy where they find a safe space to be honest with other people going through the same thing, and a community that fights for each other to succeed. The team-based approach is buttressed by a peer counselor, someone who has struggled with opioids in the past but has successfully overcome the addiction. Having a role model and cheerleader fight for them helps those currently struggling with addiction to see that recovery can happen, based on insights from someone who has been in their same position.
The COVID-19 crisis we've all been persevering through has made it even more challenging for people trying to fight opioid addiction. Job losses and increased time alone due to the need for social distancing has exacerbated the problem for many of those suffering from addiction, making the work that Groups Recover Together all the more important. Since March, the groups have met virtually, keeping people safe but also keeping those important ties and bonds between group members intact.
Kelly indicated that being able to help people get back to living healthy and productive lives is a privilege and a reward in its own right, and she loves working every day with the passionate team of caregivers that comprise the Groups team. She also said the local Biddeford office, located at 265 Main Street Suite 201, is excited about being part of this growing community and would love to meet other local business and organization leaders, so please reach out to introduce yourself if you get a chance. Learn more HERE

Maine's Earned Paid Leave Law Update

Maine’s Earned Paid Leave law goes into effect on January 1st, 2021. This new law will ensure up to 40 hours of unrestricted paid leave for approximately 85% of Maine’s workers.

The Maine Department of Labor Wage & Hour Division is hosting two webinar sessions to inform the public about this law. The first webinar will be on Monday, October 19th at 2pm and the second on Friday, October 23rd at 10am.
The webinar sessions will:
  • Summarize the new law, including who will be covered
  • Review FAQs and best practices for employer compliance
  • Provide time for attendee questions.
Monday, October 19th at 2pm- Register for this meeting

Friday, October 23rd at 10am- Register for this meeting

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