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The Kennebec Valley Chamber of Commerce will continue to update this page for resources and information for the Kennebec Valley region's residents and businesses regarding the spread of the novel coronavirus of 2019 (COVID-19). 

As your business prepares to reopen, it is important to know what steps need to be taken to ensure a safe reopening for your employees and customers. We have put together a comprehensive Back-to-Business Toolkit to help with this process. View the Back-to-Business Toolkit.

As the situation continues to evolve quickly, business services are constantly changing.  Join the KV Chamber's Facebook Group Kennebec Valley Restaurant & Business Support during COVID-19 for the latest updates from local  businesses. Please check with businesses to confirm these details.


Resources & Updates

Maine Centers for Disease Control and Prevention
Updates | Maine Fact Sheet

Governor's Office
Updates | Newsroom | Stay Safer at Home Executive Order | The Plan to Restart Maine's Economy

Maine Department of Labor
Updates | Workplace Health | Rapid Response Program | Unemployment Insurance FAQs Regarding COVID-19 | Unemployment Programs | Pandemic Unemployment Assistance

Maine Department of Economic & Community Development
Updates | List of Essential BusinessesEssential Service Designation Request | Resources for Maine Businesses Impacted by COVID-19 Pandemic | Submit Suggestions for Re-Opening Maine's Economy | COVID-19 Prevention Checklists for Businesses

U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention
Information

U.S. Chamber of Commerce
Employer Resources | Customizable Poster | Coronavirus Emergency Loans: Small Business Guide and Checklist

U.S. Department of the Treasury
Assistance for Small Businesses

U.S. Small Business Administration 
Guidance & Loan Resources | PPP Lender Application FormNewsroom | Maine District Office

Finance Authority of Maine
COVID-19 Loan Relief Programs

HospitalityMaine
Updates

Maine Association of Nonprofits
Updates | Business Continuity Plan | Fundraising Strategy | Nonprofit Resources for Remote Work

Retail Association of Maine
Resources

Better Business Bureau
Tips Small Business COVID-19 Forum

NAMI Maine
Mental Health Tips

World Health Organization
Information


Community Updates

City of Augusta
UpdatesProclamation Declaring Continued State of Emergency and Amending Prohibitions on Businesses | Fact Sheet

City of Gardiner
Updates

City of Hallowell
Updates | Emergency Declaration

Town of Winthrop
Updates


Legislation

S.3548S - Coronavirus Aid, Relief, and Economic Security Act” or the “CARES Act”

This bill addresses economic impacts of, and otherwise responds to, the COVID-19 (coronavirus) outbreak.

The bill authorizes emergency loans to distressed businesses, including air carriers, and suspends certain aviation excise taxes.

With respect to small businesses, the bill

  • establishes, and provides funding for, forgivable bridge loans; and
  • provides additional funding for grants and technical assistance.

The bill also provides funding for $1,200 tax rebates to individuals, with additional $500 payments per qualifying child. The rebate begins phasing out when incomes exceed $75,000 (or $150,000 for joint filers).

The bill establishes limits on requirements for employers to provide paid leave.

With respect to taxes, the bill

  • establishes special rules for certain tax-favored withdrawals from retirement plans;
  • delays due dates for employer payroll taxes and estimated tax payments for corporations; and
  • revises other provisions, including those related to losses, charitable deductions, and business interest.

With respect to health care, the bill

  • provides additional funding for the prevention, diagnosis, and treatment of COVID-19;
  • limits liability for volunteer health care professionals;
  • prioritizes Food and Drug Administration (FDA) review of certain drugs;
  • allows emergency use of certain diagnostic tests that are not approved by the FDA;
  • expands health-insurance coverage for diagnostic testing and requires coverage for preventative services and vaccines;
  • revises other provisions, including those regarding the medical supply chain, the national stockpile, the health care workforce, the Healthy Start program, telehealth services, nutrition services, Medicare, and Medicaid.

With respect to education, the bill

  • temporarily suspends payments for federal student loans; and 
  • otherwise revises provisions related to campus-based aid, supplemental educational-opportunity grants, federal work-study, subsidized loans, Pell grants, and foreign institutions.

The bill also authorizes the Department of the Treasury to temporarily guarantee money-market funds.

 

LD 2167 - An Act To Implement Provisions Necessary to the Health, Welfare and Safety of the Citizens of Maine in Response to the COVID-19 Public Health Emergency

UNEMPLOYMENT INSURANCE (Part B)

Certain unemployment insurance eligibility and benefit charging provisions are revised to allow an individual who takes a temporary leave of absence due to COVID-19 to qualify for unemployment benefits:

  • If an individual is dislocated or temporarily laid off as a result of the state of emergency, benefits paid to that individual under this subchapter may not be charged against the experience rating record of any employer.
  • An individual is deemed to have met the eligibility requirements as long as the individual remains able and available to work for, and maintains contact with, the relevant employer and the individual is: under a temporary medical quarantine or isolation restriction to ensure that the individual has not been affected by the subject condition of the state of emergency and is expected to return to work; or temporarily laid off due to a partial or full closure of the individual's place of employment as a result of the state of emergency and is expected to return to work once the emergency closure is lifted.
  • The waiting period requirement is waived for an individual who is dislocated or temporarily laid off as a result of the state of emergency.
  • During the state of emergency, an individual who is on a temporary leave of absence due to a medical quarantine or isolation restriction, a demonstrated risk of exposure or infection or a need to care for a dependent family member as a result of COVID-19 is not disqualified from receiving benefits during this absence as long as the individual continues to remain able and available to work for, and maintains contact with, the relevant employer.

This is applicable for the duration of a state of emergency declared by the Governor due to the outbreak of COVID-19, and for 30 days following the termination of that state of emergency.

LOAN GUARANTEE PROGRAM (Part I)

  • The program, administered by the Finance Authority of Maine, provides easier access to no-interest loans for residents of this State, including self-employed residents, who experience a reduction in income due to the state of emergency arising from COVID-19.
  • Affected employees are eligible for up to 3 loans, each equal to their monthly after-tax pay, up to $5,000, less unemployment benefits.
  • Repayment is due starting 90 days after the end of the state of emergency and during the subsequent 6 months; during that period, interest may not be charged or accrue on the loan.
  • Following the end of the 270 days, a credit union or financial institution that made a loan under the program, after a good faith effort to collect the principal amount of the loan, may apply to the authority for repayment of the uncollected amount of the loan in default.

PLASTIC BAGS (Part J)

  • The requirement that a retail establishment charge a fee of at least 5¢ per recycled paper or reusable plastic bag used at the point of sale is delayed from April 22, 2020 to January 15, 2021.
  • The date on which the State occupies the whole field of regulation of single-use carry-out bags at retail establishments is moved up from April 22, 2020 to March 17, 2020.
  • The voiding of any municipal ordinance in conflict with state law is delayed until January 15, 2021.


LICENSING & REGISTRATIONS (Part F)

  • Licenses and registrations, such as for motor vehicles, all-terrain vehicles, watercraft and dogs, issued by a municipality issued by that municipality that expire during the state of emergency are extended until 30 days after the end of the state of emergency.
  • A municipality, without conducting a hearing, may grant a request for a renewal of a license to sell alcohol. This does not affect the ability of a municipality to deny a request for renewal for specified cause and is valid only during the state of emergency and the 30 days following the end of the state of emergency.
  • The Bureau of Motor Vehicles and the Department of Inland Fisheries and Wildlife must allow a resident of this State to renew the registration of a motor vehicle, trailer, all-terrain vehicle or watercraft, regardless of whether the municipality in which that resident resides participates in the online registration service for the duration of the state of emergency and 30 days following the end of the state of emergency.