This grant program will assist Maine tourism businesses and employees in need of support during shutdown.
The Maine Tourism Association and Poland Spring® 100% Natural Spring Water, part of the Nestlé Waters family, today announced the official launch of “The Maine Tourism Relief Fund, Founded by Poland Spring and the Maine Tourism Association.” Thanks to a generous donation of $100,000 by Poland Spring and the work of the Maine Tourism Association, one-time grants will be made available to Maine’s tourism businesses and employees who have been impacted by a loss of business, or decrease in income, due to the COVID-19 crisis.
Stay-at-home orders mandated by the state have closed restaurants, retail outlets, and attractions, and left small motels and B&Bs empty. Camps, cottages, and outdoor attractions have been forced to delay their season opening — significantly reducing their opportunity to earn income. These delays also prevent many Mainers from the seasonal employment that so many depend upon. Tourism supports over 110,000 employees in Maine. Around one in three of Maine’s private sector wage and salary employees work for businesses with fewer than 50 employees.
“Our mission is to keep the tourism businesses sustainable, which fits into our mission of why we are an association,” said Tony Cameron, CEO of the Maine Tourism Association. “Tourism is the backbone of Maine’s economy, and that is why the industry needs to be supported in this difficult time. These small businesses are what makes Maine a unique and special place to live - and visit! They give us great food, excellent service, and give us experiences that make memories that last a lifetime. We hope that by creating this fund, we can help protect the industries that Mainers and visitors alike will enjoy for many years to come.”
100% of the money donated to the Maine Tourism Relief Fund Founded by Poland Spring and the Maine Tourism Associate will be given directly to fund recipients.
“175 years ago, Poland Spring started out as a small Maine business and tourist destination, and we are proud to team up with the Maine Tourism Association to help support today’s small businesses in the tourism industry,” said Tara Carraro, Executive Vice President and Chief Corporate Affairs Officer for Nestlé Waters North America, which owns the Poland Spring brand. “We believe in the power of coming together as a community during difficult times, and hope that this fund will provide some relief to those whose work makes Maine so special.”
“We are thrilled to be joining forces with Poland Spring to create this fund,” said Cameron. “They have always been supportive neighbors and an important part of Maine’s history. We greatly appreciate their generous support.”
In addition to Poland Spring, contributors to the fund include Experience Maine and Bissell Brothers Brewing. The latter two companies are selling Maine-made products, the proceeds of which will be donated to the fund. Links to these products can be found on the Maine Tourism Relief Fund website.
Subject to the availability of funds, a one-time grant of $500 for individuals or $1,000 for businesses with fewer than 50 employees will be disbursed directly to the applicant following the review and confirmation of eligibility, within approximately seven (7) days of the closing of the application process. Awards will be limited to one grant per household.
More details, including the application form and information on how to donate to the fund to help Maine tourism businesses can be found on our website at: https://www.mainetourism.com/maine-tourism-relief-fund/.