Maine Outdoor Brands News

Coronavirus (COVID-19) Response Resources

By March 16, 2020May 31st, 2020No Comments

Maine Outdoor Brands advocacy & recommendations

Letter sent to Maine Dept. of Economic & Community Development – highlighting the importance of the outdoor recreation industry in reopening and recovery (May 4)

Member feedback and questions on plan to restart Maine’s economy

Initial COVID-19 impacts and recommendations (updated March 30)

General resources and links

Governor Mills Latest Updates on the Plan to Restart Maine’s Economy – 5/19 update from the Office of  Governor Janet Mills

Department of Economic & Community Development  – resources for Maine small businesses impacted and the latest announcements from the Governor’s office

COVID-19 Prevention Checklists for Businesses

Maine Center for Disease Control – the latest information about Maine’s response to COVID-19

OSHA Guidance on Preparing Workplaces – a comprehensive planning guide to help identify risk levels and appropriate control measures to implement in the workplace

Guidance for Businesses and Employers – put together by the Center for Disease Control this includes information for businesses and organizations to plan for and respond to the Coronavirus – most importantly is social distancing, thorough hand-washing and actively encouraging sick employees to stay home

Cleaning and Disinfecting – recommendations for properly disinfecting areas where those suspected or confirmed of having COVID-19 have visited put together by the Center for Disease Control

Emergency Loans and Grants

Paycheck Protection Program (updated 5/27):

The Paycheck Protection Program is a loan designed to provide a direct incentive for small businesses to keep their workers on the payroll. SBA will forgive loans if all employees are kept on the payroll for eight weeks and the money is used for payroll, rent, mortgage interest, or utilities.

MOB small business owners should reach out to your bank lender ASAP about applying. Here’s a link to the application. 

The SBA released Frequently Asked Questions for lenders and borrowers (5/27)

Additional resources:

Finance of Authority of Maine programs (updated 5/27):

COVID-19 Relief Consumer Loan Program provides no-to low-interest consumer loans through a loan guarantee program involving Maine’s banks, credit unions, and FAME. Interested borrowers should contact their local bank or credit union (not FAME) to see if the lender is offering this program and to apply. The program offers loans of up to $5,000 (minus any unemployment benefits received by borrower).

COVID-19 Relief Interim SBA Finance Loan 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 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. Important Notice Published (4/2)

Small Business Administration Disaster Relief Loans (updated 3/19):

Small business owners in Maine are now eligible to apply for SBA disaster-relief loans. Here’s information from MOB Treeline Supporter Machias Savings Bank on this process:

Generally, everyone should apply if they are a small business and will be impacted in any way.  Maine is one of the first states to declare and be eligible, so I would apply sooner than later. (You are not obligated to accept the loan offer presented)

Note the website goes down when they add new states to the Disaster declared list.  Maine was the first to be listed and so expect we will see more outages as we go. We encourage business owners to keep trying.  Here is a PowerPoint with information.  Starting at slide 16 are the instructions for applying.

You will need to provide the following as part of the application:

  1. Electronic Loan Application (Form 5 or Form 5c for sole props)
  2. Tax Authorization (Form 4506-T) for all 20%+ owners
  3. Most recent tax returns (up to 3 years if available, if in business for less than 3 years, provide what is available)
  4. Personal Financial Statement (Form 413)
  5. Schedule of Liabilities (Form 2202)

Apply directly at https://disasterloan.sba.gov/ela/

STEP Financial Assistance Award (updated 5/28):

The Maine International Trade Center (MITC) offers financial support to Maine companies working internationally. MITC administers the State Trade Expansion Program (STEP) grant initiative of the U.S. Small Business Administration. STEP provides funding to increase the number of businesses that export.

Eligible businesses may receive reimbursements totaling up to $20,000 per year for costs associated with activities in the following categories:

International Business Development – up to $6,000 per activity
business matching services or international trade shows, including online B2B matchmaking services and virtual events

Export Skills Development – up to $2,000 per activity
training or export compliance services, including online export skills training

Export Marketing Assistance – up to $6,000 per activity
consultants to improve marketing efforts, including website localization and optimization

For information on eligibility and requirements for reimbursement visit the MITC STEP page.

Outdoor Recreation Resources

Steps for Mainers to follow before heading outdoors – joint press release by MOB, Maine’s conservation groups and state agencies with tips on how to safely get outside in Maine during this time

Maine Outdoors Information – (5/27) Frequently Asked Questions – State Parks, Public Lands, & COVID-19

A guide to social distancing using Maine outdoor gear – illustrated by MOB member Bri Dostie with Confluence Collective

What outdoor recreation activities are allowed under Maine’s stay at home order – guidance from Maine Inland Fisheries and Wildlife

Webinars

The Economic Impact of the Coronavirus – hosted by Outdoor Industry Association focusing on supply chain

Preparing for Disruptions: Coronavirus and the Bicycle Industry – hosted by People for Bikes

Coronavirus: Legal and Practical Guidance for Business – hosted by MOB Summit Supporter Bernstein Shur

Maine Outdoor Brands Approach

Taking necessary steps to safeguard public health like cancelling events and temporarily closing will inevitably have financial implications for our members. MOB is committed to working with the Dept. of Economic and Community Development and other state and federal agencies to help provide more certainty, information, and support to impacted brands.

We also are here to support our members and highlight how brands are pivoting to help meet community needs through this time. MOB is member-driven, so if you have additional ideas or suggestions, please reach out. We are all in this together!