HM COVID-19 Updates
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Hospitality news related to the COVID-19 outbreak. HospitalityMaine will post developments from the state and Federal government, members responses and industry best practices. In this time of social responsibility this is your hub for information.


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Top tags: #MaineHospitalityUnited  Coronavirus and Maine  Covid-19  Hospitality  Maine  Maine Legislature  Maine Restaurants  Takeout and Delivery Guidelines 


Posted By HM Staff, Wednesday, March 18, 2020
Gov. Mills Announces Restaurant Closure: All restaurants and bars shall close their dine-in facilities. Such businesses that offer carry-out, delivery, and drive-through food and beverage service may continue to do so but eating and drinking inside restaurants and bars is temporarily prohibited. Through March 31, 2020.

  * (if shutting downing entire operation)


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Posted By HM STAFF, Wednesday, March 18, 2020
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Small Businesses Steps to take during COVID-19

Posted By HM Staff , Wednesday, March 18, 2020
Updated: Tuesday, March 17, 2020

What do I do if my business is experiencing immediate financial distress?

1. Contact your financial institution: Your own financial institution may be your best resource and wants to hear from you. Banks and credit unions are given authority to defer required payments, waive fees and make accommodations. Your financial institution may also be able to quickly provide a line of credit or short-term loan based on your existing relationship. Finally, letting the institution know of financial distress early is the best course of action.

2. Check into US SBA Economic Injury Disaster Loans: Because Governor Mills acted quickly, Maine is now declared eligible for assistance. Businesses and individuals seeking assistance may apply on the SBA website:

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Economic Injury Disaster Loans approved for Maine

Posted By HM Staff, Tuesday, March 17, 2020

AUGUSTA, MAINE — The U.S. Small Business Administration approved Governor Mills ’application for SBA Economic Injury Disaster Loans to help Maine businesses overcome any temporary loss of revenue due to the novel coronavirus. Maine is one of the first states in the country to be approved, and Maine small business owners can now begin applying for these loans.

“This is good news for Maine small businesses who will need this capital to help weather the impact of the coronavirus,” said Governor Mills. “I thank the SBA for making these funds available and Maine’s congressional delegation for their support. I encourage Maine’s small business owners to take advantage of these loans during this time of economic uncertainty.”


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Employer guidelines for pandemic

Posted By HM Staff , Tuesday, March 17, 2020
Updated: Monday, March 16, 2020

Provided by Bernstein Shur 

What if, due to COVID-19, I can't afford to employ all employees?

During a temporary shutdown, employers do not have to pay employees who are not working. Employees who have earned PTO, sick or vacation time, may be permitted to use that during the period of the shutdown. Additionally, employees may be entitled to receive unemployment benefits for temporary layoffs. 

If employee self-reports exposure and contact with other employees or clients/customers? An employee who reports exposure must immediately be separated from other employees and sent home for quarantine period (currently 14 days). You should discuss with that person whom he or she came into contact with so that you can alert those individuals and, for individuals with whom the employee had sustained contact. 

Under OSHA law, employers have a duty to protect employees from known hazards. Take measures to protect others, including clients, until the risk is mitigated after an incubation period or the individual receives a negative test result. Do not identify the employee who self-reports by name and avoid giving information that may lead others to discern the employee’s identity.

Can we require employees to quarantine after return from travel? If so, what types of travel? For how long? Yes. The CDC, state and local public health officials recommend that people who have been to Warning Level 3 locations remain quarantined for 14 days or until they are symptom free without the use of medication (such as Advil or Tylenol). However, given the rapid spread of this disease and the ever-changing landscape, all employees returning from international travel or travel within the United States from areas where there are known outbreaks, or from cruises, should remain in quarantine for 14 days before reporting for work.

If an employee is quarantined, do we have to pay them? Can we require PTO? Is this FMLA? Employees can be required to use PTO, sick, vacation, or personal time while they are in a self-induced or an employer-required quarantine. If employees do not have any accrued time, the time out of work can be without pay. You may also consider creating a coronavirus leave bank for employees without paid leave who are impacted by the virus.

More here: Legal advice link 


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Resourceful links

Posted By HM Staff, Monday, March 16, 2020
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Posted By Maine Restaurant Association, Monday, March 16, 2020

Seven Mainers have tested positive for the new coronavirus, while another five are presumed to have the virus, according to the Bangor Daily News.

The global response to the coronavirus outbreak has snowballed over the weekend.

Here are the latest updates about the pandemic and its effect on Maine:

BANGOR DAILY NewsFull coverage

Press Herald:

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Gov. Mills Announces loans for small businesses

Posted By HM Staff , Sunday, March 15, 2020

AUGUSTA, Maine - Announced March 15, Governor Mills requested that the Small Business Administration (SBA) provide economic support loans to Maine small businesses to help overcome temporary loss of revenue due to COVID-19.

To protect Maine workers, Governor Mills submitted emergency legislation, sponsored by Senate President Troy Jackson and House Speaker Sara Gideon, that temporarily expands eligibility for unemployment insurance to individuals whose employment has been impacted by COVID-19.

“Maine’s small businesses and their workers are the backbone of our economy, and there is no question that the coronavirus is impacting them,” said Governor Janet Mills in a statement. “It is my hope that these actions will not only help them weather this difficult time by providing critical capital and financial support, but also provide them an important sense of relief amid the uncertainty.”

For official release  read more here

More helpful resources

If you have received SBA loans, you are eligible for a deferment. 

The SBA offers loan deferments under circumstances such as the COVID-19 outbreak. The best course of action is to call your lender bank and start the process. Check with Maine's SBA filed officies for asssitance. 

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Legislature Adjourns for Now

Posted By Greg Dugal, Sunday, March 15, 2020

The presiding officers of the Maine State Legislature will adjourn Tuesday, March 17 after dealing with last-minute legislation on supplemental budget and bills relating to coronavirus. 

There will invariably be a special session held sometime later in the year and prior to general election day, November 3, 2020. There is no way of knowing if local options tax or LD1254 will be on the agenda on Tuesday, but it is highly doubtful.

 Most issues left over on the legislative agenda would be addressed in the special session.

Items remaining include but are not limited to:

• Paid FMLA

• Salary Threshold

• Instituting local options taxes and lodging tax increases

Most other bills of interest have not been reported out of committee and committee work (except for Appropriations) has been suspended as of yesterday afternoon.


Tags:  Maine Legislature 

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Grubhub temporarily suspends commission fees

Posted By HM staff, Sunday, March 15, 2020

Popular mobile take-out service temporarily suspends commission fees for independent restaurants impacted by viral fallout. 

  • Restaurants can pay commission fees as high as 30% on orders delivered by third-party aggregators like Grubhub.
  •  Grubhub cited expectations that restaurant traffic could plunge by as much as 75% over the next few weeks.


More here  

Tags:  #MaineHospitalityUnited 

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