BUSINESS RESOURCES FOR COVID-19 IMPACTS
Saco's Planning & Economic Development Department is committed to helping our businesses during this unprecedented time. Below is a list of resources that may help your business and employees. Please contact Denise Clavette, Planning & Economic Development Director or Jessa Berna, Economic Development Specialist with any questions.
(last updated May 10, 2021)
Governor Mills Unveils Plan to Protect Public Health, Support Maine’s Economy During Upcoming Tourism Season
Under Moving Maine Forward, the state will:
1. Maintain the COVID-19 health and safety protocols implemented through the COVID-19 Prevention Checklists.
2. Establish straightforward and consistent capacity percentages for indoor and outdoor gatherings.
- Effective March 26: The capacity limit for indoor gatherings will increase to 50 percent, and outdoor gatherings to 75 percent.
- Effective May 24: The capacity limit for outdoor gatherings will increase to 75 percent, and outdoor gatherings to 100 percent.
To protect public health, if the Maine Center for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) determines hospital capacity is at risk or if a new COVID-19 variant poses a significant risk in Maine, these capacity limits can be dialed down.
Note: Businesses with more capacity under the current limits -- 50 people for indoor gatherings, 100 people for outdoor gatherings, or 5 people per 1,000 square feet -- are permitted to maintain that standard until May 24.
3. Update travel policies established last summer.
- Effective May 1: Shift Maine’s COVID-19 travel policy to automatically exempt all states, unless otherwise determined by the Maine CDC. If one or more states see a spike in cases of highly contagious COVID-19 variants, Maine will apply its test or quarantine requirement to travelers to and from that state.
Maine Department of Economic and Community Development
Maine DECD has developed industry-specific best-practice checklists that guide businesses on how to re-open safely. Businesses must commit to complying with the checklists to open.
- Covid-19 Prevention Checklists
- Face Covering Executive Order FAQs (PDF)
- Guidance on Enforcing Face Covering Rules in Public Settings (PDF)
- Restarting Maine's Economy FAQs
- Outdoor Gatherings
- Indoor Gatherings
- Connect to the Maine Resource Compass for COVID-19 - A living database of 60+ resources including loan programs, reopening resources, virtual events and more.
U.S. Small Business Administration (SBA)
Shuttered Venues Operator Grant Program: The Small Business Administration will open The Shuttered Venues Operator Grant Program for applications on Thursday, April 8th. This program was designed by Congress to provide financial relief to businesses including live venue operators, theatrical producers, live performing arts operators, museums, and movie theaters who have suffered financial losses due to COVID-19. These grants are available to eligible businesses who were in operation as of February 29, 2020. Grant amounts will equal either 45% of an entity's 2019 gross revenue, or $10 million, whichever is less.
Restaurant Revitalization Fund: The American Rescue Plan Act established the Restaurant Revitalization Fund (RRF) to provide funding to help restaurants and other eligible businesses keep their doors open. This program will provide restaurants with funding equal to their pandemic-related revenue loss up to $10 million per business and no more than $5 million per physical location. Recipients are not required to repay the funding as long as funds are used for eligible uses no later than March 11, 2023.
Covid-19 Micro-Enterprise Business Grant Program
The Maine Department of Economic & Community Development (DECD) in partnership with the Maine Small Business Development Centers (SBDC) will provide grants of up to $5,000 for businesses with five or fewer employees, with an owner whose income is in the low to moderate range as defined by the Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD).
Maine Center for Business and Economic Research
With funding from the US Economic Development Administration through the US CARES Act of 2020, CBER is providing a pool of resources, analysis, and technical assistance to Maine's businesses, communities, and policymakers supporting the response and recovery to the coronavirus pandemic (COVID-19). These resources are intended to compliment and not replace other economic and labor market data and analysis provided by state agencies and other outlets in Maine.
Biddeford + Saco Chamber of Commerce and Industry
The Chamber has many resources for local businesses, including information about local and federal business resources and up-to-date information about local restaurants.
U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention
The U.S. CDC has issued safety guidance for communities, school, workplaces and events. This guidance is based on what is currently known about the coronavirus disease 2019.
U.S. Chamber of Commerce
The U.S. Chamber is working closely with the White House, U.S. government agencies, and foreign government officials to inform and equip businesses with the most important and up-to-date information to prevent the spread of the virus and prepare businesses for the near and long-term impact. The $2 Trillion Federal Assistance bill - called the Coronavirus Aid, Relief and Economic Security Act (CARES) signed into law on Friday, March 27th has significant benefits for small businesses:
The U.S. Department of Labor
The U.S. Department of Labor has resources to help workers and employers prepare for the Covid-19 virus.
The Finance Authority of Maine (FAME)
Maine Association of Non-profits
Retail Association of Maine
Southern Maine Finance Agency
Maine Development Foundation
Maine Philanthropy Center
Financial institutions are working directly with businesses to help with Covid-19 resources and impacts. Financial institutions are available to help businesses navigate the numerous state and federal programs currently available:
- Saco & Biddeford Savings
- Biddeford Savings
- Bangor Savings Bank
- Norway Savings Bank
- PeoplesChoice Credit Union
- Saco Valley Credit Union
- Northeast Credit Union
- Town and Country Federal Credit Union
- Atlantic Federal Credit Union