Covid-19 Business Resources

Maine State Department of Labor Resources

Maine State Department of Labor WorkShare Program

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. 

Maine WorkShare Law

Maine State Department of Labor - The Bureau of Unemployment Compensation

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.

Unemployment Insurance FAQs Regarding COVID-19

US Small Business Administration Resources

SBA Economic Injury Disaster Loan

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

SBA Guidance & Resource Page

More Information

Finance Authority of Maine Resources

COVID-19 Relief Interim SBA Finance Loan Program

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.

COVID-19 Relief Business Direct Loan Program 

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.

Self Employed/Consumer Loan Guaranty Program for COVID

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.

More Information

State of Maine Loan Guarantee Fund

Details

  • 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

More Information

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:

MaineStream Business Lending

MaineStream Business Advising

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 mlewis@penquis.org, 207-973-3509
  • Knox, Waldo, Lincoln Counties: Ken Greenleaf, kgreenleaf@penquis.org, (207) 974-2437
  • Piscataquis, Washington, Hancock Counties: James Macomber, jamcomber@penquis.org, (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:

Still not sure where to go or who to turn to? Visit Maine Business Answers/Maine Department of Economic Development (DECD), call 1-800-872-3838 or email business.answers@maine.gov.

Information about the CARE Act

The CARE Act that passed late March 27 as law cover loans to small businesses that are forgivable if you do not lay-off employees plus additional loan availability through SBA 7a. Here is a summary – again all is preliminary. Most but not all includes incorporated businesses and self-employed from what we can tell. (Source: Coleman Report, Sen. Collins office, Retail Assoc. of Maine)

  • $349 billion in additional SBA 7(a) loan authorityIncreases SBA 7(a) maximum loan size to $10 million loan and $1 million maximum for SBA Express.
  • A 100% government guaranty on the full balance
  • Faster approval – approval done only by lender (not SBA)
  • Eligibility includes business and/or nonprofit which employ less than 500 employees.
  • Funds may be used for payroll support, employee salaries, mortgage payments, rent, utilities, and debt obligations incurred before the covered period. 
  • Some can be forgiven for 2.5 months of payroll (if no layoffs) – compared to prior to crisis. If not forgiven, can be deferred for a year.
  • $265 million for Entrepreneurial Development Programs (SBDC, etc).
  • $10 billion more for Emergency Disaster Grants
  • $17 billion more for Business Loans Account (New CARES Loan Program)
  • $300 million for assistance to tribal, subsistence, commercial, and charter fishery participants affected by COVID-19, which may include direct relief payments.
  • $9.5 billion for agriculture producers
  • Allows for Pandemic Unemployment Assistance through December 31 for the self-employed.
  • Employee Retention Tax Credit to companies that retain employees on payroll and cover 50% of workers’ paychecks.
  • Can defer paying into social security – half ’til 12/31/20 and the other half til 12/31/22.

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Additional Resources

Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) Resources

Internal Revenue Service (IRS) Resources

Department of Labor (DOL) Resources

Department of Health and Human Services (DHHS) Resources

US Chamber of Commerce Resources

The US Chamber of Commerce also Recommends the Following Links: