WHO CAN HELP YOU?
- Assistance navigating the new programs? – contact the Chamber at firstname.lastname@example.org / 207 338-5900 or contact the state Dept of Economic & Community Development (DECD) at Business.email@example.com
- Maine Department of Economic & Community Development (DECD) recently compiled this list of federal and state Resources for Maine Businesses Impacted by COVID-19 Pandemic.
- The U.S. Chamber of Commerce shared Workplace Tips for Employees
- City of Belfast has posted the plan for City departments and services on their website
- The Retail Assoc. of Maine has shared a specific page they assembled that pulled together the relevant resources that they gathered to date. They plan to update it every day and will date the new information so you can easily find it. Retail Assoc of Maine
- SCORE Mentor contacts will not be face-to-face, but can continue through other means. See the advisory from Belfast SCORE here. As always, you can request a SCORE initial discussion by going to our Belfast SCORE page.
- In addition, SCORE is offering live and recorded webinars (in-person workshops have been suspended until further notice). Whether you need help figuring out finances or managing staffing situations, SCORE mentors are here for you.
- Legal Guidance on COVID-19 Advice and FAQs are available online from Burnstein Shur
- Tips on effective working from home! – MaineBiz
- MaineBiz published an article on preparations you can take regarding contracts & loans
- Medical Guidance, visit:
RESOURCES FOR BUSINESSES’ ASSISTANCE
- CARES Act (passed March 27, 2020 & replenished April 24th)
- 1. Economic Injury Disaster Loans (EIDL) to help Maine businesses overcome any temporary loss of revenue due to the novel coronavirus, otherwise known as COVID-19. Maine is one of the first states in the country to be approved, and Maine small business owners can now begin applying for these loans. Less than $25,000 does not require collateral.
- 2. PPP – Paycheck Protection Program (part of the CARES Act 3/31/20) has created a large fund for forgivable loans if used to maintain Payroll and cover a few other allowed operating costs.
- The SBA toll-free line has been established to answer questions at 1-800-659-2955.
- Assistance filing applications is available at:
- 3. Staff Layoff Assistance / Unemployment Insurance – those employees who are being laid off due to the consequences of the public health crisis should file for Unemployment benefits online.
- A recent update on Unemployment, including for Self-Employed and employees with reduced hours – April 22, 2020
- Employers can find more information at www.maine.gov/reemployme. Employers are NOT obligated to contact ME Dept of Labor, but can definitely try to get though if you have any questions.
- Pandemic Unemployment Assistance (PUA) program for Self-Employed and previously Ineligible Mainers
- Link for Employees to file for Unemployment benefits LINK It is not advised to enter a return-to-work date when employees are filing, as nobody really knows.
- The Maine Department of Labor shared Resources for Workers and Businesses on COVID-19 See FAQ for employees here and here .
- Maine’s Workshare program provides benefits to employees who voluntarily reduce their hours to avoid layoffs.
- Or see this real-life guide through the process compiled by Belfast’s Mike Hurley.
- 4. Mainestream Finance’s Business Booster Loan supports Maine’s small businesses during COVID-19. They focus particularly on the sole-proprietors and the self-employed in Maine who may not have accessed other SBA programs, such as the PPP and EIDL loans. Up to $10,000 to cover up to two months of working capital/operating expenses.
- 5. Sole Proprietor Loan Program – $5,000 per award, up to three awards; apply through your bank (loan guaranteed by State)
- 6. City of Belfast “Keep the Faith” Fund Small Business Grant Program provides $500 grants as relief to businesses located in Belfast that have had to close or experienced a significant reduction in business since the beginning of the COVID-19 pandemic.
- 7. Internal Revenue Service (IRS) and the U.S. Department of Labor announced that small and midsize employers can begin taking advantage of two new refundable payroll tax credits, designed to immediately and fully reimburse them, dollar-for-dollar, for the cost of providing Coronavirus-related leave. See more HERE
- IRS announced on March 23rd that the federal income tax filing due date is automatically extended from April 15, 2020, to July 15, 2020. Taxpayers can also defer federal income tax payments due on April 15, 2020, to July 15, 2020, without penalties and interest, regardless of the amount owed. This deferment applies to all taxpayers, including individuals, trusts and estates, corporations and other non-corporate tax filers as well as those who pay self-employment tax. Read more here
- Maine Revenue Services – the State will extend the deadline for Maine income tax payments from April 15, 2020 to July 15, 2020. The change aligns with the Federal government’s recent extension of the Federal tax filing deadline to July 15, 2020. For questions about Maine income tax, contact Maine Revenue Services (MRS) at (207) 626-8475 or visit the MRS website at www.maine.gov/revenue.
- 8. For Non-Profits, United Midcoast Charities has established a Rapid Response Fund that will funnel 100% of all donations received as support to local nonprofits that are meeting the immediate needs of individuals seeking help in Knox and Waldo counties. The fund is intended to provide stopgap support and anticipates the likelihood that local nonprofits will find themselves under-resourced to serve a growing demand for their services. Donations are now being accepted toward this fund HERE.
Resources to help employers maintain a safe and efficient workplace, and stay up to date on the rules and regulations for Maine jobs today.
For any members looking for helpful information about potential business opportunities and exciting business possibilities.
Small Business Resources
The Maine office of the Small Business Administration offers many types of support for small businesses, whether established or new start-ups.
Useful information involving the operation, and member cooperation with, local government.
The need-to-know information about taxes (and tax cuts!) for members in Maine.
‘In Business’ Cable TV Segments
“In Business” is a video segment presented by the Belfast Area Chamber of Commerce as a regular feature on the “Good Morning Belfast” cable television show, seen on Belfast Community Television (http://www.belfastcommunitytv.org/ ) and at Good Morning Belfast (https://goodmorningbelfast.vistaprintdigital.com/).
Resources to assist members in being prepared for any danger they may encounter.
Social and networking gatherings for young professionals in the Belfast area.
SCORE, the nation’s largest volunteer business mentoring service, is a nonprofit association dedicated to provide mentoring to individuals in business, or to those thinking about starting a business. Founded in 1964, SCORE is a resource partner of the U.S. Small Business Administration. Our volunteers are real-world professionals, both actively employed as well as retired, with time-tested knowledge and perspective to help you succeed.