Coronavirus (COVID-19) Business Resource Guide 

The City of Westbrook understands the severe impact many businesses are facing due to the COVID-19 pandemic. The list below offers some guidance, resources, and assistance that may be available for your business. We will do our best to keep the list up to date. If you have specific questions, contact Economic Development Director, Daniel Stevenson at dstevenson@westbrook.me.us

COVID-19 Business Resource Guide

Advice from the SBDC

WHAT YOU CAN DO NOW:

MANAGE CASH FLOW: 

Assess your cash position and future needs. Now is the time to conserve and reduce overhead. Plan to conserve your cash for the next 6-12 months.

Talk to your creditors, vendors and suppliers to discuss deferring payments. Do not ignore bills. Plan for your presumed inability to pay rather than waiting until payment is due and you are struggling to find the cash.

Do NOT cash out retirement accounts, rack up credit card debt, or take out high-interest payday loans. There are other, less costly alternatives.

ACCESS CURRENT DISASTER LOANS:

FAME’s Business Relief Loans are available to Maine businesses who experience hardships due to Coronavirus. https://www.famemaine.com/business/programs/covid-19-relief-loan-programs/

FAME’s Consumer Relief Loans are available for sole proprietors, contractors, 1099 workers, or employees who have been laid off and whose hours have been cut. They provide no-to-low-interest guarantee loan programs through Maine banks, credit unions and FAME. https://www.famemaine.com/business/programs/covid-19-relief-loan-programs/

SBA’s Disaster Loans are for businesses suffering economic injury as a result of Coronavirus. The SBA is experiencing high traffic and recently updated their application process. Applicants now need to download forms, fill them out, and submit them. https://www.sba.gov/funding-programs/disaster-assistance

Talk to your town or city and find out what they are doing for emergency response and relief efforts for small businesses. Inquire about any funds you can apply for at the municipal level.

DON’T FORGET TO COMMUNICATE:

With Employees: Communicate regularly with your employees. Be open and honest about your plans. Encourage self care for your employees. Be mindful of employee physical and mental health. Urge them to take breaks and get outside.

Unemployment: Maine’s unemployment resources have been expanded to people who are affected by COVID-19 but have not lost their jobs. Maine’s Department of Labor’s website has detailed instructions on how to apply. Here’s a helpful FAQ they put together.

With Customers: Stay connected with customers. Whether you are open or closed, make sure your customers know what you are up to. Share what you are doing to keep them and your employees safe.

Get creative – most innovation comes during times of hardship. Are there aspects of your business that can be done online? Consider virtual services, pick up, or delivery options where appropriate. Can you partner with other local businesses somehow? Are there other ways to connect with your customers in the short term?