March 31, 2020
BRUNSWICK, ME – U.S. Senator Angus King (I-Maine) today joined business leaders from across Maine in a tele-conference to discuss the federal government’s work to combat the economic challenges presented by the coronavirus and hear directly from Maine businesses on the largest obstacles they face in terms of sustaining themselves and providing for their workforce during the pandemic. The call was hosted by the Maine Chamber of Commerce (and can be heard by clicking here), and continues Senator King’s effort to engage with Maine people from all walks of life to address questions and identify remaining work to be done; yesterday, he spoke with Maine seniors in a call hosted by AARP Maine, and on Friday he spoke with 500 Maine employees of Sun Life.
“From the neighborhood sandwich spot to the manufacturing facility down the road to the hospitals that are on the front lines of these fights, Maine’s businesses are vital drivers of our state’s economy and key contributors to communities across our state,” said Senator King. “The coronavirus epidemic has created immense strain for these local entrepreneurs – but Maine people are tough, adaptable, and dedicated. Our state, our citizens, and our businesses will get through this, together.”
Senator King has fought to support Maine’s small businesses throughout this crisis, including advocating for the inclusion of $377 billion to help small businesses weather economic slowdown in the Senate’s coronavirus response package. Under this legislation, small businesses can obtain $10,000 loan advance grants within three days of requesting a loan from the Small Business Administration, providing them with the capital that they need to maintain operations or pay rent until their disaster loan application is approved. The legislation also includes the King-backed Small Business Debt Relief Act, which creates a six-month payment holiday for existing small business loans through the Small Business Administration. The provision will help 1,883 businesses in Maine navigate the obstacles created by coronavirus and look toward the future.