Covid-19 Business Resources
The CARE Act
ASSISTANCE FOR SMALL BUSINESSES UNDER THE CARE ACT
The Paycheck Protection Program prioritizes millions of Americans employed by small businesses by authorizing up to $349 billion toward job retention and certain other expenses. The program, administered by the U.S. Small Business Administration (SBA), is a loan program designed by Congress to help businesses keep their workforce employed during the novel coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic. The SBA will forgive loans through the program for eligible small businesses if all employees are kept on the payroll for eight weeks and the money is used for payroll, rent, mortgage interest, or utilities.
According to U.S. Senator Susan Collins, who co-authored the legislation creating the program, a total of 1,816 Maine employers have been approved for $510.9 million in Paycheck Protection Plan loans. Lenders began processing loan applications April 3, 2020 and the program is available through June 30, 2020.
Small businesses and eligible nonprofit organizations, Veterans organizations, and Tribal businesses described in the Small Business Act, as well as individuals who are self-employed or are independent contractors, are eligible if they also meet program size standards.
- For a top-line overview of the program CLICK HERE
- If you’re a lender, more information can be found HERE
- If you’re a borrower, more information can be found HERE
- The application for borrowers can be found HERE
Per the U.S. Chamber of CommerceFor more information on the aid CARES will provide to small businesses, view the complete document HERE.
Other US Small Business Administration (SBA) Resources
SBA provides low-interest economic injury disaster loans to small businesses, Small agricultural cooperative and most private non-profit organizations. If you are in a declared disaster area (all of Maine has been declared) and have suffered economic injury regardless of physical damage, you may qualify for an Economic Injury Disaster Loan (EIDL).
- Up to $2 million in assistance
- Can be used to pay fixed debts, payroll, accounts payable and other bills that can’t be paid because of the disaster’s impact
- Long-term repayments in order to keep payments affordable, up to a maximum of 30 years
Maine State Department of Labor Resources
WorkShare is an unemployment option that helps businesses retain their workforce during a temporary slowdown in work. The program allows employers to voluntarily reduce the hours of staff in lieu of layoffs. Employees of the business are allowed to collect a partial unemployment benefit to help them offset the loss of income. The WorkShare program helps businesses keep trained workers during a temporary downturn, and it helps workers stay connected to jobs and maintain their skills.
Applications for Workshare must be filed by the employer. Employers should call (207) 623-6783 for more information.
On March 17, Governor Mills and the Legislature enacted bipartisan legislation to increase flexibility in Maine’s unemployment benefits program. It expands eligibility for benefits to people who are affected by COVID-19 but have not lost their job. As well as, waiving the one week waiting period and job search requirements.
Finance Authority of Maine Resources
While SBA disaster relief loans take 3 to 4 weeks to fund, FAME could essentially prefund their loan to get funds to Maine businesses sooner. This program provides FAME Direct Loans of up to $100,000 with special terms available to eligible borrowers who provide proof of commitment for SBA financing. The FAME loan would be originated for use to the business owner until the SBA loan is funded. The SBA loan would then pay-off the FAME loan.
For use when borrower cannot obtain loan from a lending partner, a direct loan offers a decreased interest rate and decreased fee schedule. This program provides FAME Direct Loans of up to $50,000 with special terms available to Maine-based businesses experiencing interruption or hardship due to COVID-19.
As part of its response to the COVID-19 pandemic, the Legislature recently passed emergency legislation to assist Mainers with no-to low-interest consumer loans through Maine’s banks, credit unions, and FAME. For more details on this new program and how to apply, please see the Consumer Loan Guaranty Program for COVID fact sheet.
- Phone: 1-207-623-3263 or 1-800-228-3734 (TTY: 207-626-2717)
- Website: https://www.famemaine.com/
State of Maine Loan Guarantee Fund
- Funded through Emergency Legislation
- Financial Authority of Maine (FAME), backed by the State of Maine, will guarantee loans to individuals made by banks and credit unions
- For Maine resident who is an employee, self-employed person, sole proprietor, "1099" worker, or other individual who has experienced a loss of income due to circumstances related to the novel corona virus known as COVID-19
- Allows bank or credit union to process loan requests more quickly, provides for no-interest loans, and means lending institution cannot turn down request based on the creditworthiness of individual applicant
- Phone: 1-800-872-3838 or 1-800-541-5872 (outside of Maine)
- Email: email@example.com
Maine Small Business Development Center Resources
Small Business Resiliency Guide & Templates
The Washington SBDC has developed and shared some resources for small business emergency and disaster planning. With permission, these resources have been adapted to help Maine’s business owners. The tools are comprehensive, and we recommend reaching out to a Maine SBDC business advisor for assistance developing a plan to minimize the impact on your business.
MaineStream Business Resources
We are open for business to help your Maine business. We are staying in touch with officials at the Maine Department of Economic Development (DECD), Finance Authority of Maine (FAME), and Small Business Administration (SBA) as well as local officials in towns and cities and your local chambers of commerce. When there is an update or new resources available, we will update it here.
Please contact the following MaineStream team members for more information or if your business needs help:
- Statewide: Matthew Lewis; firstname.lastname@example.org, 207-973-3509
Call for help to work through crisis issues and access resources. We can help you fill-out emergency loan applications with the SBA and FAME.
- Penobscot County: Matthew Lewis email@example.com, 207-973-3509
- Knox, Waldo, Lincoln Counties: Ken Greenleaf, firstname.lastname@example.org, (207) 974-2437
- Piscataquis, Washington, Hancock Counties: James Macomber, email@example.com, (207) 974-2476
- Want a quick question answered or link to the right resource? Message us on Facebook at MaineStream Finance. We will be monitoring comments, chat, and the message inbox on our page here M-F 8 AM – 4:30 PM each week!
Have a question about personal finances or housing during this time? See our resource pages on those topics here:
Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) Resources
- CDC Guidance Page for Businesses
- Business Pandemic Planning Checklist
- Preventing Stigma Related to Covid-19
- Key Facts About Covid-19
Internal Revenue Service (IRS) Resources
Department of Health and Human Services (DHHS) Resources
US Chamber of Commerce Resources