This has been a week of rapid change and new information, and we want to cut through the noise. You will see below the key info about the new Stay Healthy at Home Mandate, changes to local transportation, and resources for your business and employees.

A few quick notes- to both validate your experience and to set reasonable expectations.

  • The SBA and Unemployment applications systems are experiencing high volumes, which can cause delays, long hold times, or website instability. Keep trying, and aim for non-peak hours (7pm-7am).

  • The CARE act introduced preferable options for small businesses, including forgivable loans. Even if you are underway with an SBA disaster loan application, review all your options (below are links), connect directly with your financial institution, and consult a lawyer or HR professional before finalizing anything.

Truthfully, some of the hardest times are still ahead- so seek support now, prepare for a longer duration of disruption than anyone would prefer to prepare for, and stay strong. You aren't in this alone, we are here to help you navigate all of the options, and are bringing back our friends from Brann & Isaacson for more webinars to break it all down for you. Stay tuned.

In service,
Key Midweek Information

Important This Week:

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

  • Forgivable loans for keeping your workforce employed during the COVID-19 crisis were introduced with the SBA Payroll Protection Program. Please note: The SBA will forgive loans if all employees are kept on the payroll for eight weeks and the money is used for payroll, rent, mortgage interest, or utilities.

Navigating your business options:

  • Review all options and key ways to learn more of the many programs and eligibility requirements with the US Chamber Small Business Guide
  • Check the state of Maine options available to you with the Maine DECD resources.
  • One location for all of the SBA Resources, including information for small businesses in the newest CARE act.
  • 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.

Take Action: 

  • Buy a shirt with your favorite LA business logo, and they get $10! Rogue Wear is helping out our local community. Find out how here. Want a shirt for your business and some help staying afloat, contact them.

Upcoming Virtual Events

Tips and Tricks for Working from Home with Shanna Cox
Thursday, April 2, 2020
10:00 AM - 11:00 AM EDT

As our workforce shifts to working remotely, many are trying to navigate how to make that successful. Beyond the tech solutions, this webinar will focus on time management, creating a work environment that sets you up for success, and ways to support you and your family in having balance, while remaining productive.

About the Presenter
Led by LA Metro Chamber President + CEO, Shanna will pull on her 6 years of experience running her business office and conference room from her home, balancing a successful business with parenting 3 children. Using tips she garnered and lessons learned, she will share stories of success and failures that can help you thrive in your new work environment. 

Virtual Social Hour: Connecting Past Bedtime
Thursday, April 2, 2020
8:00 PM - 9:30 PM EDT

Plan ahead by getting a growler delivered, grabbing a 6-pack curbside, or some take-out wine. Settle the house, bathe the kids, and meet us for a virtual, drop-in happy hour. Let's raise our glasses to signing off for the day and the little ones finally asleep. Because while personal distancing is responsible, our virtual social hour doesn't have to be.

Families First Coronavirus Relief Act + CARES Act for Maine Retailers and Grocers
Presented by Maine Grocers and Food Producers Association + the Retail Association of Maine
Friday, April 3, 2020
9:00 AM - 10:00 AM EDT

This important webinar will review the programs within the CARES Act and the Families First Coronavirus Relief Act, but more importantly, we will look to get your questions answered.
Benjamin Ford, attorney and partner with Verrill Law and Heather Johnson, Commissioner of the Maine Department of Economic and Community Development will discuss the resources available to help you and the assistance, financial and otherwise, that you can access.
This is a joint presentation of the Maine Grocers and Food Producers Association and the Retail Association of Maine and the second installment of our Food for Thought Series.

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.
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.