LA Metro Chamber Operations During COVID-19

As of: March 16, 2020

Read or share this post in PDF form here.

To our members and the communities of the LA Region,

As we find ourselves in unprecedented times, we are adapting our operations and organizational focus to reflect the public health reality of our communities, and the real and pressing needs of our members. During the coming weeks, you can count on the LA Metro Chamber as a source of information and support.

We will be sharing information regarding business supports and emerging policies or changes to health insurance, taxes, human resources and economic development strategies. We will be reaching out to our members to find ways to promote your businesses and public messages. We will be tracking and communicating changes to key workforce supports, including childcare and transportation.

To ensure our ability to prioritize and deliver these key services and communications, we will be instituting our own social distancing practices through April 6th. All of our in-person events or meetings will be rescheduled, and our staff will be abstaining from in-person meetings. We are still open by appointment for your notary of certificate of origin needs, please call our offices to schedule ahead. Our team will remain responsive by both phone and email, and we encourage you to reach out for assistance and support.

Our region, our businesses, and our Chamber are strong. We will support each other through these uncertain times, and be here to support the restarting of LA’s economic engine, together.

I invite you to reach out directly with questions or comments about these operational shifts by emailing shanna@lametrochamber.com.

 

Stay well,

Shanna Cox
President + CEO
Lewiston-Auburn Metropolitan Chamber

Up-to-Date Coronavirus (COVID-19) Update from Your Chamber

ADDITIONAL RESOURCES

Maine CDC and 211 Maine have launched a new option for Mainers to get answers to questions about COVID-19 at any time. This service is available by dialing 211 (or 1-866-811-5695), texting your ZIP code to 898-211, or emailing info@211maine.org.

A NOTE FROM PRESIDENT + CEO, SHANNA COX

Like many of you, we are watching the news and paying attention to our President and Governor. We recognize that limits on travel and events have real financial implications for many of our members, and planning for scaled remote workforce solutions have real human resource and capacity implications. With the first presumptive positive occurring in Androscoggin County, we are also aware of the potential implications stemming from negative perceptions of the LA Region.

We are a strong, resilient region of committed businesses and community-minded organizations.

We encourage each of you to follow the preventions below, while supporting each other and the local economy during this time. We will be offering updates when changes occur, or new guidance is issued. We are watching for additional information about the President’s economic relief measures and employee impact mitigation measures- and will offer updates for you and your employees as new information become available. We are committed to keeping you informed, offering stable services and member benefits, and modeling commitment to business, community, and the local economy.

Thanks for all you do and contribute to the LA Region,
Shanna Cox

PREVENTION

As of March 12, 2020, Governor Mills offered updated guidelines from those we shared with you earlier in the week. The most notable change- postponement of all non-essential indoor gatherings with 250 or more attendees for the next 30 days- does not effect the LA Metro Chamber’s schedule of activity. We will be conducting business as usual while following CDC and Maine CDC guidelines

These guidelines include:

  • Postponement of all non-essential large, indoor group gatherings in Maine of 250 or more attendees for the next 30 days
  • Wash your hands often for 20 seconds or use hand sanitizer when you are unable to wash your hands.
  • Cover coughs and sneezes
  • Stay home if you are sick or have been with those who are sick
Content Source: Maine CDC

THE BASICS: CORONAVIRUS (COVID-19)

As of March 12, 2020, Governor Mills offered updated guidelines from those we shared with you earlier in the week. The most notable change- postponement of all non-essential indoor gatherings with 250 or more attendees for the next 30 days- does not effect the LA Metro Chamber’s schedule of activity. We will be conducting business as usual while following CDC and Maine CDC guidelines.

These guidelines include:

  • Postponement of all non-essential large, indoor group gatherings in Maine of 250 or more attendees for the next 30 days
  • Wash your hands often for 20 seconds or use hand sanitizer when you are unable to wash your hands.
  • Cover coughs and sneezes
  • Stay home if you are sick or have been with those who are sick
Content Source: CDC.gov

HOW DOES IT SPREAD?

The virus appears to spread in similar ways to influenza (flu) and the common cold. This may include spreading through:
  • The air by coughing and sneezing
  • Close personal contact, such as touching or shaking hands
  • Touching an object or surface with the virus on it, then touching your mouth, nose, or eyes
Content Source: Maine CDC

PROCLAIMING AN INSURANCE EMERGENCY

Proclaiming An Insurance Emergency: Under Maine law, Governor Mills has the authority to proclaim an insurance emergency in order to respond to “an existing or imminent likelihood of need for a significant increase in health care services or insurance benefit payments due to injuries or sickness.” The proclamation, which Governor Mills signed March 12, 2020, allows the Superintendent of the Maine Bureau of Insurance to require health insurance carriers providing health care coverage in Maine’s commercial market to cover costs related to coronavirus testing and increases access to care.

While this proclamation affects only private insurance sold in the commercial market, the Department of Health and Human Services is also issuing emergency rules to ensure MaineCare provides comprehensive coverage for lab testing and medical treatment. The Maine Bureau of Insurance has determined the extent of the coverage required and issued its own proclamation today. Taking this action will help ensure that Maine people are not burdened by costs or deterred from seeking testing or important medical care related to the coronavirus.

2020 LA Metro Chamber Annual Awards Dinner!

Join Androscoggin Bank in celebrating the 2020 Lewiston Auburn Metropolitan Chamber of Commerce’s Annual Awards. An elegant affair complete with a cocktail hour, live music, live auction, and three course dinner.

The LA Metro Chamber Annual Awards Dinner honors members of the region who have significantly contributed to the success of the area.

Join in the celebration by sponsoring a table or purchasing your tickets today! Click here to register online!

Stuff the Bus: Brightening the Holidays for Families

As December arrives, so do the cold nights and gift giving holidays- both often cause stress for families in need in our region. Stuff the Bus- one of the Chamber’s most loved events- is working with over 10 members to host “Bus Stop” drop-off locations. Help us meet our goal of a donated gift a member.
We will celebrate and help distribute these wonderful donations to our nonprofit businesses at Business After Hours on Tuesday, December 17th.