COVID-19 Pandemic Resources
Resources, Updates, and Initiatives
Last updated: 7/17/20
Please find below a selection of resources to help keep our downtowns viable and vibrant during and beyond the immediate crisis. Email email@example.com with any questions, or to share additional resources.
Financial Resources for Downtowns & Small Businesses
- Main Street America‘s COVID-19 Main Street Resources page lists several national funding sources including a mix of grants and loans HERE.
- The Institute for Local Self-Reliance is also compiling an ongoing list of grant and loan programs that can help small, locally owned businesses weather the COVID-19 pandemic. Scroll all the way to the bottom of the page for national grant opportunities HERE.
- Information about the various loans and programs being offered by the U.S. Small Business Administration (SBA) is available HERE. You can sign up to receive regular updates from the SBA HERE.
- The U.S. House Committee on Small Business published a visual comparison of the SBA’s Economic Injury Disaster Loans (EIDLs) and the Paycheck Protection Program (PPP) HERE.
- The National Council of Nonprofits is gathering information about the experiences nonprofits and other small businesses are having applying for PPP or SBA 7(a) loans. They will use the aggregated data to look for patterns of common problems that require system fixes or collective action. More information HERE.
- Information about loan programs available to eligible Maine businesses and individuals/employees through the Finance Authority of Maine (FAME) can be found HERE.
- Black Owned Maine’s 2020 Black-Owned Business Grant will provide micro-grants of $700 to independent, local, Black-owned businesses (non- or for- profit) that are at least 50% owned by people of African diaspora, and doing business primarily or exclusively in Maine. Black Owned Maine will choose one local business winner each month on the 7th of the month. The grant will continue for as many months as funding allows, subject to change. The first deadline to apply is Saturday, August 1. Details HERE.
- Coastal Enterprises, Inc. (CEI) is offering fast track microloans up to $25K for existing and start-up businesses. Decisions will typically be made within three business days. The initial requirement is a 2-page application and impact data survey from all owners with a 20% or greater share of the business. Details HERE.
- Mainestream Finance, an SBA Microlender, has launched a business booster loan to support Maine’s small businesses during COVID-19. They are focused particularly on sole-proprietors and the self-employed in Maine who may not have accessed other SBA programs, such as the Paycheck Protection Program and Economic Injury Disaster Loans. Learn more HERE.
Legislative & Regulatory Updates
- The Governor’s Economic Recovery Committee (ERC) was created to develop “recommendations to mitigate the damage to Maine’s economy caused by the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic and to jump start a long-term economic recovery for Maine people, businesses, and organizations.”
The weekly Committee meetings and frequent subcommittee meetings are open to the public as observers and are being recorded. The meeting schedule and registration information is located HERE.
The public is also encouraged to comment via an online portal. Submissions can be targeted by topic area and will be sent to the relevant subcommittees. You can access the portal HERE.
Resources for Reopening
- Maine’s Department of Economic and Community Development (DECD) is continuing to release new and updated COVID-19 Prevention Checklists. You can find the latest checklists and more information HERE.
- Effective June 5, places of business accessible to the public are required to post readily visible signs notifying customers of the requirement to wear cloth face coverings where physical distancing is not possible and allows them to deny entry or service to a person not wearing a covering or who is exempt from doing so. MDC has collected some sample signage from around the state and the country, which is available HERE.
- HospitalityMaine and Eastern Maine Community College have put together an online training program for restaurant workers in response to the DECD’s checklists. It provides the fundamental information needed to help keep employees safe, and empower them to mentor and inform guests so they also follow best practices. More information and registration HERE.
- The National Association of City Transportation Officials (NACTO) has released Streets for Pandemic Response and Recovery, providing detailed strategies for redesigning and adapting streets, including pop-up bike lanes, shared streets, and streets for outdoor dining. Read more and download the guide HERE.
- Streetsense‘s Pandemic Relaunch Toolkit for Restaurants + Bars contains capital management tactics, operational guidance to relaunch, and resources to help future-proof your restaurant. More information HERE.
- Nonprofits and community agencies needing volunteers to provide essential services during the current crisis can post their needs on MaineReady.org. More information can be found HERE.
- Main Street America has been compiling reopening guidelines for a variety of industries, as well as reopening plans from each state. You can find them HERE.
- Our friends over at Michigan Main Street have launched Reopen Main Street, a compilation of potential reopening strategies, ideas, hints and tips for businesses, business districts and organizations as we enter the COVID-19 recovery phase. Visit their website HERE.
- Matthew Wagner, Vice President of Revitalization Programs at the National Main Street Center, has written about the psychological aspects of reopening and provided links to helpful resources, including a local resident survey. Read the article HERE.
Small Business Initiatives
- Pay It Forward Maine is a statewide effort that encourages individuals, businesses and organizations to continue supporting local businesses and their employees in our new world of closed storefronts and social distancing. More information HERE.
- Stay Home Maine is a campaign from Dirigo Collective, connecting Mainers from across the state with local businesses to get what they need during the outbreak of COVID-19. Link HERE.
Virtual Meetings & Webinars
- The social media company Hootsuite has shared information on How to Host a Successful Virtual Event: Tips and Best Practices. Link to their article HERE.
- On June 2, Main Street America, Streetsense, and Urban Main , provided an in-depth look at concerns for restaurants from cash flow to messaging to social distancing guidelines. Link to the webinar recording HERE.
- On May 14, Main Street America hosted Design in COVID-19 Response and Recovery. Link to slides HERE and a recording of the webinar HERE.
- Please check the MDF events page for information about upcoming virtual meetings and webinars hosted by us, and our trusted partners. Link HERE.