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 

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Posted By HM Staff, Monday, March 16, 2020
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STATE OF EMERGENCY DECLARED

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: https://www.pressherald.com/coronavirus/?rel=related

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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 https://tinyurl.com/https-www-cnbc-com-2020-03-1  

Tags:  #MaineHospitalityUnited 

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Small business disaster relief news

Posted By HospitalityMaine , Saturday, March 14, 2020

Breaking news out of WASHINGTON —  The President took action Thursday to make the 30 million small businesses in the US more resilient to Coronavirus-related economic disruptions. "Small businesses are vital economic engines in every community and state, and they have helped make our economy the strongest in the world," according to a Friday release from the Small Business Administration.  

The SBA is working directly with state Governors to provide targeted, low-interest disaster recovery loans to small businesses that have been severely impacted by the situation.

SBA’s Economic Injury Disaster Loans offer up to $2 million in assistance for a small business. These loans can provide vital economic support to small businesses to help overcome the temporary loss of revenue they are experiencing.

Process for Accessing SBA’s Coronavirus (COVID-19) Disaster Relief Lending

  • The U.S. Small Business Administration is offering designated states and territories low-interest federal disaster loans for working capital to small businesses suffering substantial economic injury as a result of the Coronavirus (COVID-19). Upon a request received from a state’s or territory’s Governor, SBA will issue under its own authority, as provided by the Coronavirus Preparedness and Response Supplemental Appropriations Act that was recently signed by the President, an Economic Injury Disaster Loan declaration.
  • Any such Economic Injury Disaster Loan assistance declaration issued by the SBA makes loans available to small businesses and private, non-profit organizations in designated areas of a state or territory to help alleviate economic injury caused by the Coronavirus (COVID-19).
  • SBA’s Office of Disaster Assistance will coordinate with the state’s or territory’s Governor to submit the request for Economic Injury Disaster Loan assistance.
  • Once a declaration is made for designated areas within a state, the information on the application process for Economic Injury Disaster Loan assistance will be made available to all affected communities.
  • These loans may be used to pay fixed debts, payroll, accounts payable and other bills that can’t be paid because of the disaster’s impact. The interest rate is 3.75% for small businesses without credit available elsewhere; businesses with credit available elsewhere are not eligible. The interest rate for non-profits is 2.75%.
  • SBA offers loans with long-term repayments in order to keep payments affordable, up to a maximum of 30 years. Terms are determined on a case-by-case basis, based upon each borrower’s ability to repay.
  • SBA’s Economic Injury Disaster Loans are just one piece of the expanded focus of the federal government’s coordinated response, and the SBA is strongly committed to providing the most effective and customer-focused response possible.

For additional information, please contact the SBA disaster assistance customer service center. Call 1-800-659-2955 (TTY: 1-800-877-8339) or e-mail disastercustomerservice@sba.gov

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FACTS on Coronavirus for Hotels and Restaurants

Posted By HospitalityMaine , Friday, March 13, 2020

There are confirmed cases in Maine. Review the safety protocols and best practices to safeguard your hotel, restaurant or inn.

Here are the most current resources from the National Restaurant Association and the American Hotel and Lodging Association.
  
Industry Guidelines for Restaurant Owners  
 

 

Are you a hotelier or restaurateur that's come up your own Covid-19 plan?  Share in the comment section below.  

Tags:  Covid-19  Hospitality  Maine 

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Response from HM President

Posted By Steve Hewins, Friday, March 13, 2020

Dear Valued Members,

At an emergency meeting of the HospitalityMaine board of directors Thursday, we discussed the current state of the Covid-19 virus, and the association’s response on behalf of our members. 

As you know, the situation has greatly accelerated in the past few days, and clearly Maine is not immune to the impact being felt globally, regardless of how many of our citizens have been infected. Our lodging members are reporting reservations and group meeting cancelations or postponements, and many restaurants have experienced significantly reduced traffic. Unfortunately, this situation is likely to continue until the virus crisis subsides. 

We are closely following developments and are in continual consultation with our national association partners, the Maine Congressional delegation and state officials. Here are the immediate steps HospitalityMaine is taking:
 
  • Governor Mills announced March 12 that all public gatherings of over 250 people should be canceled or postponed at least through April 12This affects our two upcoming events – the HospitalityMaine Awards Gala on March 31 and the Maine Restaurant and Lodging Expo on April 1. Therefore we are postponing, not canceling, these important events. Look for new dates and information soon.
 
  • We are exploring ways to mitigate the financial impact on members. I met this week with the Finance Authority of Maine. Our Gov. Affairs Director Greg Dugal is communicating with the delegation in Washington. I also spoke with DECD Commissioner Heather Johnson today about this.   

  • Our goal is special short term financing to bridge the downturn. This could include low interest SBA disaster relief loans, the terms of which are yet to be confirmed. I have personal experience with this when my travel business secured such a loan during the post 9/11 period when virtually no one traveled for months. It helped me to retain my staff and ultimately was a factor in the business’ survival.
 
  • We are attending a special meeting March 13 with the DECD and Office of Tourism, along with members from the tourism alliance. We will be talking about ways to support the industry from a marketing perspective with the objective of driving more visitors in the short term. On a related note: Director Steve Lyons has canceled the Governor’s Conference on Tourism next month and will be doing a ‘virtual’ conference instead.
 
  • We will provide coronavirus updates and are planning a series of online seminars to educate members on best practices and strategies to implement - both virus and business related. 
 
Finally, it is important to keep in mind that the health and safety of ourselves, our employees and guests are crucial, and that circumstances beyond our control are just that. 
 
We should not panic, but be realistic and understanding in our approach. The key is to respond to the crisis effectively and decisively in the short term, while preparing our businesses for the long term because we know this will eventually pass. This is guiding the association’s strategy and efforts during these unprecedented times.
 
Contact me with questions, thoughts or suggestions. I welcome your input.
 
Together we will get through this,
 
Steve Hewins,
President and CEO

Steve@HospitalityMaine.com 

 

Tags:  Coronavirus and Maine 

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