A place your business can call home in Franklin County, Maine

3/20/20 COVID-19 Resource Update
Carrabassett River Bend - Kingfield - Photograph by John Orcutt - johnorcuttnaturephoto.com

3/20/20 COVID-19 Resource Update

March 20, 2020

COVID-19 Resource Update

GFDC plans to send weekly (potentially twice weekly) updates on relief resources relating to COVID-19 as long as we have updates to report. Please forward as you see fit, and refer anyone to sign up for our newsletters at the link below.

Click to sign up for our newsletter and COVID-19 Updates

 

Quick Links

SBA Economic Injury Disaster Loans for Small Businesses. Apply at https://disasterloan.sba.gov/ela/

U.S. Chamber of Commerce COVID-19 Resources & Guidelines for Businesses

Americans for the Arts COVID-19 Response and Resource Center

Governor Mills' Newsroom for updates from the Governor's office.

Congressman Golden's COVID-19 Update Page

Frequently Asked Questions – Layoffs and Unemployment Compensation in Maine

Frequently Asked Questions - Newly Enacted Federal Paid Leave Law: Families First Coronavirus Response Act

COVID-19 Relief Consumer and Sole Proprietor Loan Program

"The 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. $500,000 has been appropriated to support a total of approximately $5 million in total lending statewide by participating lenders. The program is voluntary on the part of Maine lenders. Interested borrowers should contact their local bank or credit union (not FAME) to see if the lender is offering this program and to apply."

Any Maine resident, including those who are self-employed, who have experienced a reduction in income since January 1, 2020 as a result of COVID-19 are eligible to apply.

Federal Student Loan Payments Suspended, Interest Waived

"All borrowers with federally held student loans will automatically have their interest rates set to 0% for a period of at least 60 days. In addition, each of these borrowers will have the option to suspend their payments for at least two months to allow them greater flexibility during the national emergency. This will allow borrowers to temporarily stop their payments without worrying about accruing interest.

Secretary DeVos has directed all federal student loan servicers to grant an administrative forbearance to any borrower with a federally held loan who requests one. The forbearance will be in effect for a period of at least 60 days, beginning on March 13, 2020. To request this forbearance, borrowers should contact their loan servicer online or by phone. The Secretary has also authorized an automatic suspension of payments for any borrower more than 31 days delinquent as of March 13, 2020, or who becomes more than 31 days delinquent, essentially giving borrowers a safety net during the national emergency."

IRS Filing and Payment Deadline Extended to July 15, 2020

UPDATE: Right as we were about to send this resource update out, the IRS announced that the filing deadline was being moved from April 15, 2020 to July 15, 2020. There has been no official IRS announcement yet on their website, but it is being reported by the Bangor Daily News here.

"Income tax payment deadlines for individual returns, with a due date of April 15, 2020, are being automatically extended until July 15, 2020, for up to $1 million of their 2019 tax due. This payment relief applies to all individual returns, including self-employed individuals, and all entities other than C-Corporations, such as trusts or estates. IRS will automatically provide this relief to taxpayers. Taxpayers do not need to file any additional forms or call the IRS to qualify for this relief.

For C Corporations, income tax payment deadlines are being automatically extended until July 15, 2020, for up to $10 million of their 2019 tax due."

COVID-19 Omnibus Bill Enacted by Maine Legislature

March 17, 2020

The Maine Legislature went into its final day of session on Tuesday, March 17, to enact emergency legislation pertaining to COVID-19, the supplemental budget, and other timely measures. The COVID-19 omnibus bill, LD 2167, was enacted and it has several sections relevant to businesses, including unemployment insurance updates (detailed below) and the COVID-19 Relief Consumer and Sole Proprietor Loan Program through FAME and financial institutions (mentioned above)

Unemployment Insurance Emergency Changes

Maine Department of Labor (Department) will begin to implement new flexible unemployment insurance (UI) measures that will benefit both workers and businesses thanks to emergency legislation from Governor Mills that was enacted by the Legislature Tuesday night. These temporary measures will help relieve the financial burden of temporary layoffs, isolation, and medically-necessary quarantine by making unemployment benefits available to individuals whose employment has been impacted by COVID-19.

Individuals who would otherwise be able and available to work and who maintain contact with their employer may now be eligible for UI. Anyone who has filed for unemployment benefits on or after March 15th will be reviewed under these new temporary measures. The legislation temporarily revises eligibility requirement to provide unemployment coverage in situations not typically covered, such as:

  • An employer temporarily ceases operation due to COVID-19
  • An individual is quarantined with the expectation of returning to work once the quarantine is over
  • An individual must take a leave of absence to care for a dependent who is affected

The legislation waives the work search requirement for individuals still connected to their employer and waives the one-week waiting period so that benefits will be available sooner. Important for businesses, any benefits paid under these provisions would not affect the employer’s experience rating record.

UI Claims can be filed online or by phone at:  https://reemployme.maine.gov/ or 1-800-593-7660. The Department provides unemployment filing free of charge; individuals should never be asked to pay a fee to file a claim.

Maine Arts Commission collecting data to assess impact of virus on artists and arts organizations

The Maine Arts Commission has released two surveys to assess the impact of the COVID-19 outbreak to Maine artists and arts and cultural organizations. They will be used as a means to collect data and aid policy makers who are on the front lines of arts advocacy networks and relief efforts at the federal, state, and local level.

SURVEY FOR ARTISTS

SURVEY FOR ORGANIZATIONS

« Back To Blog

Recent Blog Posts
March 30, 2020
3/30/20 COVID-19 Resource Update
March 24, 2020
COVID-19 DECD Fact Sheets
March 20, 2020
3/20/20 COVID-19 Resource Update
March 17, 2020
3/17/20 COVID-19 Resource Update