slider border



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 July 1, 2020)

Restarting Maine's Economy
Maine's re-opening plans calls for a four-stage tiered re-opening with specific businesses in different stages. It calls for Stage 1 businesses to open May 1 which are the businesses that are currently open and a handful of others. Stage 2 is estimated to happen around June 1 with more industry sectors being open and Stage 3 is estimated to open around July 1 with a variety of more businesses and last through August. All other businesses are Stage 4 businesses and a timeline has not been set for their re-opening.   All dates for stage openings will rely on the health data (the spread of the virus) and are subject to change.
Public Health Considerations for Re-Opening Maine Presentation
Restarting Maine’s Economy Booklet 

Questions or comments about businesses re-opening in Saco? 
Please submit your inquiry below:






With Improving Public Health Metrics, Mills Administration Exempts Connecticut, New York, and New Jersey From Quarantine & Testing Requirement
The decision comes after the Administration reviewed public health data in other states to determine the appropriateness of additional exemptions, like those previously extended to New Hampshire and Vermont. In evaluating these exemptions, the Administration takes into consideration several data measurements, which include but are not limited to, the prevalence of the virus and the positivity rates in other states. In reviewing these metrics, Connecticut, New York, and New Jersey, for example, demonstrate a lower positive rate than Maine’s. Additionally, the prevalence of the virus in these states is similar and continues a downward trend.

“Keep Maine Healthy” Plan to Protect Maine People, Visitors & Support Small Businesses During Tourism Season
State officials continue to update our reopening plans in ongoing efforts to balance public health needs with the critical economic needs of our businesses and the important tourism industry in Maine. The most recent updates include:
- Visitors to Maine from July onward will NOT need to quarantine for 14 days here if they confirm they have recently tested negative for Covid-19 within 72 hours of coming here. Visitors will be required to sign a test certification form when they check into lodging facilities or utilize an AirBnB accommodation. If visitors do not confirm a recent negative test, they will need to arrange to have one in Maine and quarantine until negative results are received.
- Visitors to Maine from Vermont and New Hampshire do not have to quarantine at all, due to the similarly low rates of infection in those states as we have here in Maine, beginning this Friday.

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
Covid-19 Prevention Checklist General Guidance (Updated May 8, 2020)
Covid-19 Prevention Checklist FAQs
Resources for Maine Businesses Impacted by COVID-19 Pandemic (PDF)
U.S. CDC’s Resources for Businesses and Employers

Stage 1 Openings (May 1, All Counties)

Construction (PDF) (updated 5/27/20)


Graduation guidance from DOE (released 5/29/20)

Drive-in theaters (updated 6/10/20)

Health care
Health care guidance from DHHS (PDF) (updated 5/12/20)

Outdoor recreation
Golf Courses and Disc Golf Courses (updated 6/19/20)
Guidance from IFW on Fishing Events and Guided Outdoor Activities
Guidance from DMR on Marinas, Boatyards, and Marine Manufacturers 

Personal services
Barbering and Cosmetology – Hair (updated 6/10/20)
Dog Grooming (updated 6/10/20)
- Open as of May 11: Outdoor fitness classes of fewer than 10 people and 1-on-1 fitness instruction

Real Estate
Guidelines for Real Estate as an Essential Business (PDF) (released 5/27/20)

Religious Gatherings (updated 6/10/20)

Auto Dealerships (updated 6/17/20)
Car Washes (PDF) (updated 5/27/20)


Stage 2 Openings (June 1, All Counties)
Stage 2 contemplates a continued prohibition on gatherings of more than 50 people and the 14-day quarantine or the alternative set out in the Keep Maine Healthy plan on people entering Maine. All businesses that have been open may remain open. At-risk people should stay home when possible. Employees in legal and professional fields may return to offices, including State employees, as needed.

Public Gatherings
Large gatherings (released 6/17/20)
Public and Community Buildings (released 6/17/20)
Museums (updated 6/17/20)
Town Meetings

Restaurants (updated 6/19/20) Guidance in: Arabic (PDF)French (PDF)Somali (PDF), and Spanish (PDF)
Bars and Tasting Rooms (seated outdoor service only). Follow the guidance for Restaurants. (Open for all counties as of June 17)
- Lodging (Open to Maine, New Hampshire, and Vermont residents. Open to other out-of-state residents who meet the requirements of the Keep Maine Healthy plan.)  (updated 6/24/20)

Outdoor recreation
- Campgrounds/RV parks (Open to Maine, New Hampshire, and Vermont residents. Open to other out-of-state residents who meet the requirements of the Keep Maine Healthy plan.)  (updated 6/24/20)
Day Camps and Summer Recreation (updated 6/24/20)
Community Sports (updated 6/24/20)
Guidance from DMR on Charter Boats
Guidance from DACF on State Parks and Camping

Personal services 
Barbering and Cosmetology – Nails (updated 6/15/20) (Open for all counties as of June 17)
Tanning salons (updated 6/10/20)
Gyms and Fitness Centers (Open for all counties as of June 17) (updated 6/24/20)

Tattoo, Body Piercing, Electrolysis, and Micropigmentation Establishments (Open for all counties as of June 17)


All retail businesses  (updated 6/19/20)
          Checklist in: Arabic (PDF)French (PDF)Somali (PDF)Spanish (PDF)

Education and Training
Motorcycle Safety Programs (BMV)
Summer Education Programming (DOE)
Guidance from DPFR on Barbering and Cosmetology Schools
Guidance from BMV on Driver’s Education (resumes operation on June 15)

Stage 3 Openings (July 1, All Counties)
Stage 3 maintains the prohibition on gatherings of more than 50 people and the 14-day quarantine or the alternative set out in the Keep Maine Healthy plan on people entering Maine. All businesses that have been open may remain open. At-risk people should stay home when possible. Employees in legal and professional fields may return to offices, including State employees, as needed.

Bars and Tasting Rooms (indoor service) (opening date has been postponed)

Outdoor recreation
- Overnight Summer Camps (updated 6/24/20)

Indoor Amusement (released 6/24/2020)
Movie Theaters (released 6/24/2020)
Outdoor Amusement (released 6/24/2020)
Performing Arts Venues (released 6/24/2020)
- Casinos (Pending checklist approval)


Guidance from SOS on In-Person Voting on Election Day

Personal services

Spas and Close-Contact Personal Services (updated 6/24/2020)

Maine Department of Labor
The Maine Department of Labor will begin accepting applications for the Pandemic Unemployment Assistance (PUA) federal program as of this Friday, May 1st. This program extends benefits to self-employed individuals, independent contractors, and others not covered by the traditional unemployment program. 
MDOL Pandemic Unemployment Assistance Informational webpage
A summary of Unemployment Programs

Local Financial Institutions
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

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 communties, 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. T
he $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:
Small Business Owner's Guide to the CARES Act

Paycheck Protection Program Loans via CARES Act
The U.S. Small Business Administration (SBA) and U.S. Treasury have announced that banks and credit unions may process PPP loans again beginning at 10:30 AM on Monday, April 27, 2020. Last week, Congress passed legislation that approved $321 billion in additional funds for the Paycheck Protection Program, a federal assistance program for businesses impacted by Covid-19. You can apply through any existing SBA 7(a) lender or through any federally insured depository institution, federally insured credit union, and Farm Credit System institution that is participating.
Find a Lender HERE
View the Updated PPP Borrower and Lender FAQs

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 Families First Coronavirus Response Act
On March 18, 2020, Congress passed, and the President signed, a revised version of The Families First Coronavirus Response Act. This new legislation created Covid-19-based Paid Sick Leave and Paid Family Leave benefits for most businesses. The act allows for businesses to get reimbursed for these benefits via future tax credits. The U.S. Department of Labor has provided information and
FAQs on federal leave laws as they relate to Covid-19
Summary of Maine leave laws that may apply to people affected by Covid-19

U.S. Small Business Administration (SBA)
The U.S. Small Business Administration is offering low-interest federal disaster loans for working capital to Maine small businesses suffering substantial economic injury as a result of the Coronavirus. 
Deferments on SBA 7a 504 and Microloans (PDF)
SBA Disaster Assistance Resources for Businesses (PDF)

Economic Injury Disaster Loans/Grants via CARES Act
In response to the Coronavirus pandemic, small business owners are eligible to apply for an Economic Injury Disaster Loan advance of up to $10,000. The SBA’s Economic Injury Disaster Loan program provides small businesses with working capital loans of up to $2 million that can provide vital economic support to small businesses to help overcome the temporary loss of revenue they are experiencing. The loan advance will provide economic relief to businesses that are currently experiencing a temporary loss of revenue. Funds will be made available within three days of a successful application, and this loan advance will not have to be repaid. 
SBA EIDL Page & Application Process

U.S Department of Agriculture
USDA Secretary Sonny Perdue announced the Coronavirus Food Assistance Program on April 17, 2020, which will provide $16 billion in direct support related to the coronavirus pandemic.  In addition to implementing the CARES Act, the Farm Service Agency, Natural Resources Conservation Service, and Risk Management Agency are working to provide additional flexibilities to help producers impacted by the coronavirus outbreak.
USDA Announces Coronavirus Food Assistance Program
The COVID-19 Federal Rural Resource Guide
USDA Rural Development COVID-19 Response

Additional Resources:
The Finance Authority of Maine (FAME) - The Finance Authority of Maine (FAME) is partnering with the U.S. Small Business Administration (SBA) and local Maine lenders to offer special, limited-time loans and loan insurance to eligible Maine businesses affected by Covid-19.
Maine Small Business Development Centers - Maine Small Business Development Centers are offering free confidential business advice on how to respond to Covid-19 challenges. Advising sessions are available virtually through email, phone and videoconferencing. 
Maine Association of Non-profits - Maine Association of Nonprofits is offering guidance on how nonprofits can prepare, respond, connect and contribute in impactful ways during this pandemic.
Retail Association of Maine - The Retail Association of Maine is maintaining a Covid-19 Resource Page for Retailers.
Southern Maine Finance Agency
Maine Development Foundation
Maine Philanthropy Center