Daily Brief: June 26, 2020
What the Hospitality, Tourism, Retail subcommittee proposes

Yesterday, a subcommittee of Gov. Janet Mills' Economic Recovery Committee proposed that the state align its strict entry requirements with other New England states. Though just a draft, the Portland Press Herald reports that financial support for hospitality, tourism and retail is also on the table.

The committee touted HospitalityMaine's $800 million relief plan  to help struggling hotels, inns, tourism and retail businesses.

Here are excerpts from the June 25th draft recommendations from the Hospitality, Tourism and Retail subcommittee:

“New Hampshire, Vermont and Massachusetts do not have the mandatory 14-day quarantine or testing requirement that Maine imposes.

We recognize that this recommendation strays into the public health decisions that are technically outside the scope of the Maine Economic Recovery Committee. However, we feel compelled to make this recommendation because the economic consequences are so massive for these sectors and Mainers more generally.”

Struggling businesses and workers in tourism and hospitality also should receive financial support from the state, the committee recommended.

Note, the subcommittee’s suggestions are not final and may be revised based on input from the full economic recovery panel.

The Takeaway: Relaxing the 14-day quarantine and testing rule will not be automatic. Health of guests and equally as important - employees - is paramount to our industry's success. HospitalityMaine has a host of free resources to keep Maine safe.

What happens if an employee tests COVID positive?
Download new guidance from the National Restaurant Association here.

Keep employees healthy

Get certified in health and safety

Post to your doors

Bookmark these and refer to often

Online portal TrustMe Hospitality is now live. This private Facebook Group is a clearinghouse for Maine hoteliers and restaurateurs to share ideas and take action towards recovery.

Join the group today and encourage your employees and colleagues in Maine's hospitality sector to do the same. Share ideas, stay informed, join local efforts and actions to salvage and support the industry.

Jean Ginn Marvin, owner of the Nonantum Resort, co-launched the platform with general manger Tina Hewett-Gordon.

"The mission of this group is for our hospitality voice to be heard by Governor Mills. The time has come for properties that can keep our staff and guests safe to be allowed to open their doors to people from out of state. Our economy is in disarray and if there is to be recovery we need to get started."

Join group here
Could WorkShare work for you?
Designed to help businesses retain their workforce during a temporary slowdown, Maine Dept. of Labor's WorkShare program may be a useful tool as employers ramp up staffing.

Help your workers find part-time employment and not lose unemployment benefits.

What are the details?

• If employees earn less than $5 over their weekly benefit amount they remain eligible for partial unemployment benefits.

• Anyone who is receiving at least $1 in unemployment benefits will also remain eligible for the additional $600 weekly federal unemployment benefit through July 25.

• Their weekly earnings may not exceed the current maximum UI state benefit; and my recommendation is to keep the employees' wages/hours under the $400 threshold because even if they make $450, they will lose the $600 PUA benefit.
• All claimants must report any earnings they make in their weekly certification. If they are making partial earnings, the Department has a video that explains how to report those earnings:  https://www.maine.gov/unemployment/covid19videos/index.shtml
Mental health break
Sometimes you can't walk it off. Fear, trauma, anxiety are the silent side effects of the pandemic. Every industry is affected. Don't think you are alone. HospitalityMaine wants our members undergoing stress to explore the state's helpful site 211maine.org

To support the $800 million recovery plan, contact your legislators today. Tell them Maine's hospitality sector needs this emergency funding fast tracked and voted on. Subject line: Urgent Funding Needed for Hospitality.

Find and contact your legislators here:

Hospitality Hot Links
Reach out to any HM staffer with questions or concerns:  Staff List
To add a colleague to the daily brief submit emails here