In the coming weeks the Chamber will work with government officials and other organizations to share information and connect people with resources, answers, and member updates as needed. Here are specific questions we've received today, and answers (as we know them today). Stay strong everyone, we will get through this together! Reach out if we can help in any way.

How can I help local businesses during this period of social distancing?
Here are ways to support local businesses in the short-term:
* Buy online or over the phone
* Buy gift certificates to use later
* Order via pick-up or delivery
* Adhere to social distancing to help get us all through this crisis as quickly as we can

What’s happening at the state and local government level to help businesses and people impacted by Covid-19?
The state legislature is meeting tomorrow (Tuesday) in Augusta to address the Coronavirus crisis. Stay tuned for more details later this week on state assistance initiatives. Also, the local City Councils will be discussing ways that the cities can help in the coming days. As local municipal resources are shared and/or become available we will pass that information along.

How do workers apply for the new federal sick leave program?
The recently proposed federal legislation, called the Families First Coronavirus Response Act, passed the House last week and is supported by the President. The Senate is taking the bill up this week. Details will be shared as they become available and enacted into law. The current House Act details a number of benefits that will help; it is summarized well in this attached PDF.

What are other ways I can help community members during the crisis?
One challenge recently identified is childcare service for healthcare workers who need to go to work every day. MaineHealth is creating a directory of individuals willing to provide in-home supervision of children for health care workers. MaineHealth will soon have a portal on their website to connect people who can help. Please visit their website at to learn more later this week.

How can I apply for an SBA Disaster Loan?

How do I apply for unemployment insurance?
The Maine state unemployment department manages these benefits. Go to: for more information. It is likely that special Coronavirus legislation will expand or enhance these benefit programs in the short-term, we’ll know more about that later this week.

If I am sick or want to get tested, what steps should I take?
Call your family doctor if you develop a fever, cough or difficulty breathing, or have been in close contact with a person known to have COVID-19. If you don’t have a primary care physician, call the local emergency room or the Maine CDC for further information. Phone screening and guidance is being offered and they will know how to best direct you.

What is the status of Chamber events like the B.I.G. Event scheduled for April 6th or the bi-weekly Business After Hours get-togethers at member locations?
For the time being, all in-person events sponsored by the Chamber are cancelled or postponed until a later date TBD when the crisis is over. When events resume, we will happily let you know!

Is the Chamber of Commerce Welcome Center at 28 Water St. in Biddeford open?
Yes, we are currently open for now. We have a small number of separate office spaces here that provide some level of social distancing if you need a place to go during work hours with wireless internet service. Call ahead to check on availability: (207) 282-1567.

Additional Resources: