By Bernadette Starzee
Companies struggling to navigate the coronavirus crisis are turning to their attorneys and other business advisers with questions. To help provide answers, Campolo Middleton & McCormick set up a free hotline, where businesses – whether CMM clients or not – could ask questions via phone or email.
The law firm, which is based in Ronkonkoma and has offices in Bridgehampton, Riverhead, and Westbury, launched the hotline Saturday, first as a dedicated email address (firstname.lastname@example.org).
“The email address will be constantly monitored and routed to the appropriate CMM attorney, who will promptly follow up with guidance at no charge,” the company wrote in an e-blast announcing the service.
“The response since we launched earlier today has been tremendous,” Victoria Tringone, marketing director for the law firm, said Saturday evening.
As a result, the firm added a dedicated phone line (631-738-6781).
“The biggest topic is companies trying to understand the governor’s latest executive order – who is deemed critical and exempt, and how to get an exemption,” said Managing Partner Joseph Campolo. “Some of the things a business does might qualify it for an exemption and some of the things it does would not, so there is a lot of confusion.”
Company leaders are also trying to understand all the federal loan and relief packages available and how they impact their business, Campolo said. “There’s a lot of different information out there, and companies are finding it overwhelming and confusing,” he said.
In addition, there are questions about healthcare obligations in times of layoffs.
“Businesses are really trying to do the right thing, but they are also trying to stay alive,” Campolo said.
Other questions involve lease obligations, he said.
“It’s important that we get good information out there,” Campolo said. “People are very scared and they’re trying to understand what they need to do.”