April 5 - APRIL 11, 2020
Greetings!

It's Monday and we are all venturing into a new week, slowly adjusting to new ways of working, shopping, and living. Over the weekend, we here at the Chamber noticed some positive signs- restaurants who closed their doors when dining room seating was shut down are now reopening with curbside options. Businesses are adapting, recognizing new ways to work within our new circumstances- picking adaptation over closing up shop. We love this- and if you have a story to share along these lines, tell us !

Over the weekend, I heard from small businesses, community financial institutions, and from other Chambers across the US. The on-the-ground reports are matching this Reuters article about the rollout of the SBA rescue loans (Payroll Protection Program and Disaster Loans, among them). As one could expect, a $350 Billion dollar program implemented in a week is having some implementation issues. Contact your own trusted financial institution to access funds, and be aware, be patient, and be persistent .
In service, 
BUSINESS SUPPORTS + WORKFORCE DEVELOPMENT
Five adult learners enrolled in the Lewiston Construction Cohort training have had to halt their learning during this crisis. With libraries closed, some adult learners don’t have the tech needed to continue their learning. The LA Metro Chamber is teaming up with The Computer Place and Lewiston Adult Ed to fund 5 laptops for 5 learners.

These laptops will allow these learners to graduate from the program and join our essential construction workers on the job site. The computers will get reused in future cohorts and maintained by Lewiston Adult Ed. The Computer Place is discounting the 5 laptops for the Chamber, Adult Ed, and these learners. Can you sponsor a learner for $200? There are 4 left!
The Coronavirus Aid, Relief, and Economic Security (CARES) Act Simplified
On Friday, March 27, Congress passed, and the President signed, a third relief package in response to the COVID-19 pandemic. The new law, called the CARES Act, includes a number of resources for small businesses. What are the options for your business? View the $2 trillion breakdown and the latest policies and options for small businesses   here .
 ECONOMIC DEVELOPMENT + GROWTH
Coordinating the Manufacturing + Supply Chains of Much Needed Medical Equipment
Maine MEP is actively looking for supply chain and manufacturing support for PPE: gloves, gowns, n95 masks, face shields, sanitizer and more. Contact Maine MEP if you can help manufacture any of the following items:
  • Improvised "Aerosol Box" - Such as these.
  • Face shields - Such as these.
  • Ventilators
  • Hand sanitizer
  • Mask sewing
An employee at L.L.Bean’s Brunswick manufacturing facility sews a protective face mask out of a dog bed liner.  Submitted photo
L.L.Bean stitchers sewing dog bed liners into hospital face masks
L.L.Bean CEO Stephen Smith described the dog bed liner masks as breathable and ‘very durable.’
COMMUNITY + QUALITY OF LIFE
Sheriff Eric Samson at his desk in the Androscoggin County Sheriff’s office in Auburn.  Andree Kehn/Sun Journal
Stay-at-home violations: Law enforcement to focus on education rather than arrests
Sheriffs and police in central and western Maine said they plan to educate the public about Gov. Janet Mills’ executive order to stay at home rather than arrest people who are in violation.
The Healing Community Food
Challenge
Your business can join LA Metro Chamber and The Healing Community MEDco to purchase groceries weekly for families in need - until the extended State of Emergency expires. Contact us to sponsor a family or fill out the form - and our partners will help match you to families who have lost their jobs, and even do the delivery if you want.
A LOOK AHEAD
Business Law Webinar with Brann & Isaacson
Monday Apr 6, 2020
2:00 PM - 3:00 PM EDT
Learn the latest from B&I business lawyers about navigating the many federal CARES Act programs intended to make it easier for small and medium-sized businesses to meet payroll, rent, debt service, and utility obligations. The webinar will focus on the Payroll Protection Program, a $349 billion low-interest, forgivable loan program, and will also address the multiple payroll tax credit programs.
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.

Employment Law Webinar With Brann & Isaacson
Wednesday Apr 8, 2020
1:00 PM - 2:00 PM EDT
Learn the very latest practical advice from B&I employment lawyers about managing employment law issues during this Pandemic. The focus will be on handling the new federal leave law and understanding how the brand new regulations apply to Maine employers, as well as a discussion of key issues such as furloughs, wage decreases and plant closing and mass layoff laws.
 LAST WEEK'S HIGHLIGHTS
Golden Girls Kitchen, Anyone?
Modsy reimagined + designed some iconic pop culture pads - as Zoom backgrounds. Check them out  here.
Masks for the Deaf + Hard of Hearing
A college student from KY invents masks for the deaf + hard of hearing. Read the article  here .

STAY CONNECTED