March 16, 2020
Washington, D.C.—Following a letter written by the Maine Delegation, the Small Business Administration (SBA) approved a disaster declaration making the state eligible for the Economic Injury Disaster Loans (EIDL) program. U.S. Senators Susan Collins and Angus King and Representatives Chellie Pingree and Jared Golden expressed their strong support for the request made by Governor Janet Mills that the SBA provide relief to Maine small businesses that have experienced economic hardship due to the coronavirus.
In their letter, the Maine Delegation urged SBA Administrator Jovita Carranza to provide “quick, full, and fair consideration” of an application submitted by Governor Janet Mills to the SBA’s Economic Injury Disaster Loans (EIDL) program for vital assistance to each of Maine’s sixteen counties to address the impact of the coronavirus. These loans can provide up to $2 million to small businesses or private, non-profit organizations that suffer substantial economic injury as a result of the declared disaster.
“In 2018, the state hosted over 37 million tourists who, according to Hospitality Maine, contributed an estimated $6.9 billion to the state’s hotels, motels, restaurants and bars. These businesses account for about one of ten jobs in Maine. The coronavirus is already having an impact on these businesses and as people follow the CDC recommendations, it will only get worse,” Senators Collins and King and Representatives Pingree and Golden wrote. “Maine’s lobstermen are reporting greatly reduced demand and market prices are significantly lower than they were a year ago, straining the ability of these businesses to stay afloat…In addition to these industries, it is hard to imagine that any corner of our economy will not face challenges because of the coronavirus.”
“To these businesses and others, the SBA’s EIDL program would provide a needed lifeline to help bridge the coronavirus crisis by providing loans designed to help small businesses stay afloat,” the Maine Delegation continued. “Working together, we can prevail against the threats to both health and the economy posed by the coronavirus. To do so, we believe federal assistance from the SBA is necessary to help Mainers.”
Click HERE to read the signed letter.