Originally published in the Portland Press Herald / Times Record Opinion
BY DANA CONNORS, QUINCY HENTZEL AND DEB NEUMAN / GUEST COLUMN
The Coronavirus, or COVID-19 pandemic has caused tremendous disruption for every Mainer. Shops and businesses are closed or not operating as usual, many people are not working, many are working remotely while also looking after their children who are normally in school or childcare. Much of Maine’s workforce — health care workers, first responders, and other essential-services workers — are going above and beyond their regular duties, some risking their own health to take care of Mainers in need.
Adding to our worries about the health of our families, friends, co-workers and ourselves, many are profoundly concerned about how the businesses they own or work for are going to endure the pandemic. The immediate and long-term needs of Maine businesses, especially small businesses, are of utmost importance right now. Every Mainer relies on them. Not only for the services and goods they provide, but the jobs they create and the numerous contributions they, their employees and their families make to Maine’s economy and communities.
Maine’s state, regional and local chambers of commerce are working together to do everything we can to mitigate the pandemic’s economic impact. Assistance is coming together to help employers and workers weather the pandemic.
As part of our efforts, we are continually updating our websites and sharing resources available to help businesses stay afloat in the coming weeks. To date, resources include: