There is widespread recognition that our small businesses are the heart of our local economy, and local, state and federal officials are acting fast to provide relief. New information is coming into the Chamber regularly. We are coordinating with the Maine Office of Tourism, DECD, DOL, SBA, FAME, and local officials, and will update you when vital and verified information becomes available. We expect new information to be provided Wednesday, March 18th throughout the day as a result of coordinated calls. Here are the key things you should consider today:
Small Business Loans for Payroll, Fixed Debts and Accounts Payable
Small businesses, private non-profit organizations of any size, small agricultural cooperatives and small aquaculture enterprises
Relief made available March 13th will be available through December 2020. Begin your applications now, you will be able to update your losses and financials as the impact continues.
Applicants may apply online, receive additional disaster assistance information and download applications at
. Applicants may also call SBA’s Customer Service Center at (800) 659-2955 or email
for more information on SBA disaster assistance. Individuals who are deaf or hard‑of‑hearing may call (800) 877-8339. Completed applications should be mailed to U.S. Small Business Administration, Processing and Disbursement Center, 14925 Kingsport Road, Fort Worth, TX 76155.
Employees Layoffs and Force Reduction
Any business who has or is considering temporary or permanent layoffs as a result of the COVID-19 health emergency
Current legislation is being considered that would remove the one week wait period for your employees, allowing access to needed funds much sooner.
There are a few key actions.
If you are considering layoffs:
Contact the Maine DOL by
visiting their website
. Notify them of your upcoming decision to lay folks off. This advance notice will provide better coordination and support for your employees. Wait 1-3 days, watching DOL updates and emails from the Chamber on the status of this emergency legislation.
If you have already laid off employees:
Contact Maine DOL to let them know of your recent action, noting it was related to the COVID-19. Offer any instructions given by DOL to your employees to help them access benefits sooner.