On Tuesday, Governor Mills announced new restrictions on non-essential businesses ordering the closure of public facing locations and businesses that are unable to provide employees enough space to work safely. These restrictions went into effect on March 25 and will be in place until April 8. The Governor could extend these restrictions beyond April 8.
The League is pleased that credit unions were explicitly named as an essential business in Governor Mills’ Executive Order. The Governor’s order follows recommendations that were made by the Department of Homeland Security to assist states and municipalities in identifying essential businesses.
The League and the Maine Bankers Association also have communicated with several Maine municipalities to ensure any potential municipal orders include credit unions and banks as essential businesses. To date, the League has not seen any evidence of financial institutions being excluded as an essential service in stay at home proclamations, including those enacted in the cities of Bangor, Brunswick, Portland, and South Portland.
The new restrictions have left many concerned that they may be stopped by law enforcement as they commute to and from work. The League has seen no evidence of that occurring. Given that many businesses including grocery stores, pharmacies, and hardware stores are also designated as essential, we do not believe that commuters should have any problems traveling to and from work.
What You Can Tell Your Members
Your members may have questions about how stay at home orders are impacting your credit union. We have added to the League’s website suggested language you can share with your members. While the message is state specific, it can be easily customized to address actions taken by your municipality, provided that credit unions/financial institutions are named as an essential service.
The League will continue to monitor the enactment of stay at home orders at both the state and local levels.