Representatives from Hospitality Maine held a media conference on Friday, to reveal a recovery plan they hope will help the state's tourism industry survive the pandemic.

The proposal would direct $800 million of the federal funds, through the CARES Act, directly to small business owners:

  • Immediate Business Relief - for commercial rent, mortgage, enhanced safety and sanitation, inventory, and operating expense.
  • Technical Assistance - including financial counseling, grant writing support, accessing federal programs, and creating new business models.
  • Employee Support - including housing, healthcare, utilities, and food.
  • Reinvesting in Maine - through training and education, workforce development, and small business start-up loans.

Hospitality Maine officials say that 51% of the jobs that have been lost, due to the pandemic, are in the hospitality, tourism, and retail recovery plan. This includes the cancellation of events, like fairs and festivals, as well as the closures of hotels, restaurants, and others.

The full proposal is available online.

Mills on Friday did respond.

“I welcome proposals from all sectors of our economy regarding business losses and will be asking my Economic Recovery Committee to take them into consideration as we work to mitigate the damage to Maine’s economy caused by COVID-19 and as we consider ways to jumpstart economic recovery," Mills said in a statement. "The Legislature’s Appropriations and Financial Affairs Committee is also meeting and collaborating with my Administration on potential uses of the coronavirus relief funds, and I hope they will take these proposals into consideration as well."

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