April 16, 2020
BRUNSWICK, ME – U.S. Senator Angus King (I-Maine) spoke with more than a hundred coastal Maine business leaders on a tele-conference to hear firsthand about the implementation of the CARES Act, the most pressing challenges facing the region’s businesses, and discuss the future economic impacts they are facing due to the ongoing coronavirus pandemic. The call was hosted by the Penobscot Bay Regional Chamber of Commerce (and can be heard by clicking here), and also featured Maine Department of Economic and Community Development Commissioner Heather Johnson.
“As the coronavirus crisis continues, it’s vital to make sure we are taking every possible opportunity to come together and discuss the challenges we face and possible solutions. Sometimes one person’s observation can be the seed idea that leads to a larger strategy; other times it just shows that we’re all going through this together – and will get through it together.,” said Senator King. “Today’s call let me hear firsthand from Maine businesses about the implementation of the programs designed to support our communities, and to connect with the businesses about their greatest concerns – particularly as we move into the summer months. I’m grateful to all who joined, and to the Penobscot Bay Regional Chamber for organizing the meeting– as this situation continues to evolve, we need to stay in touch with each other and keep the communications channels open.”
Senator King has fought to support Maine’s small businesses throughout this crisis, including voting for the inclusion of $377 billion to help small businesses weather economic slowdown in the Senate’s coronavirus response package. The legislation 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. Yesterday, Senator King sent a letter to the Small Business Administration urging the SBA to speedily release funds from the Emergency Economic Injury Disaster Loan (EIDL) Grant Program to support Maine businesses that are waiting on emergency grants.
This conversation 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. Since the crisis has begun, he has participated in a video conference call with civics and history teachers from schools across Maine, connected with members of the Maine State Chamber of Commerce, spoke with Maine seniors in a call hosted by AARP Maine, spoke with 500 Maine employees of Sun Life.