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What is the 'Maine Hospitality, Tourism & Retail Recovery Plan'?
24 June 2020

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Maine Tourism Industry

Maine tourism industry groups - Maine Tourism Association, HospitalityMaine, Maine Campground Owners Association, Retail Association of Maine and Ski Maine Association - have proposed a plan to help tourism recover from shutdowns due to COVID-19.

Investment the groups are seeking would total around $800M, to be provided out of the $1.25B Coronavirus Aid, Relief and Economic Security (CARES) Act funding authorized by Congress in March.

Gov. Janet Mills would have to cooperate in allotting the funds to the proposed program, which the State would administer.

Components of the industry plan include:

Phase I: Immediate and necessary business relief

  1. $710M in Emergency Action Grants to cover tourism operators' fixed expenses like rents, mortgage payments, utilities, safety and sanitation, marketing. Grants would be paid to operators in cash in amounts based on prior years' revenue, and to any new businesses established after 5 February 2020.

    • $700M to hospitality, tourism and retail businesses

    • $10M to 501C6 organizations that support tourism, such as trade associations and chambers of commerce

  2. $15M in grants to state and federal resource partners of the tourism industry (e.g., SBDC), for technical assistance with business management, debt restructuring and marketing

Phase II: Remarketing and reinvesting in Maine/employee relief

  1. $15M to support the Maine Office of Tourism through FY 2020 to aggressively market Maine and keep tourists coming

  2. $50M for tourism industry employees to help them cover household expenses

  3. $10M in reinvestment in Maine and its workforce

    • Low-interest, deferred-payment loans for startups

    • Workforce training programs

Per Maine Department of Labor, the state has lost more than 105,000 jobs in tourism, hospitality and retail because of the COVID-19 pandemic.

Up to 10,000 businesses would be expected to take advantage of the proposed program.

The tourism industry does about two-thirds of its $9B worth of business in summer, and summer 2020 begins in earnest this Friday 26 June, when commercial lodging establishments reopen to all out-of-state tourists - but with requirements that they either demonstrate a negative COVID-19 test, or quarantine for 2 weeks upon arrival.

Gov. Mills now clearly has the ball. How will this play out, and when? Stay tuned.

David Boggs President/CEO ACRO Global|Publisher Tourism Marketer
David H. Boggs
ACRO Global

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