Maine Tourism Relief Fund

Application FAQs

Through the Maine Tourism Relief Fund, we will provide grants to tourism-related small business owners  with less than 50 employees and their employees who have been adversely impacted by COVID-19, financially, whether through a decrease in wages or loss of employment. Answers to come commonly asked questions are below:

Where do I apply for aid?

Applications will be available for download starting May 4th, 2020. Because there are several questions on the application, we recommend completing the form on either a desktop or laptop computer using the Chrome, Safari, or Edge browser. Completed applications will be submitted via email to relieffund@mainetourism.com.

Who is eligible to receive a grant?

In order to receive a one-time grant from the Fund, you must meet all of the following requirements: 

Employees/Self-Employed are eligible for a $500 grant if they meet the following requirements:

  • Worked at a business with less than 50 employees based in the state of Maine in one of the following industries: restaurant/food service, retail, hotels and lodging, attractions/amusements, outdoor recreation, catering, destination marketing, travel/guide, event planning, or related industry. You must have worked at this business starting on or before February 10th, 2020 and have relied on that position as your primary source of income. Self-employed individuals are eligible for this program.
  • Have experienced a decrease in needed wages or loss of job on or after March 10th, 2020 which this grant funds will help offset; and 
  • Are a resident of the state of Maine.
  • Are over the age of 18 
  • Projected loss of income after April 30th, 2020 will not be considered for this round of grant funding.

Employers are eligible for a $1000 grant if they meet the following requirements: 

  • Own a small business with less than 50 employees based in the state of Maine in one of the following industries: restaurant/food service, retail, hotels and lodging, attractions/amusements, outdoor recreation, catering, destination marketing, travel/guide, event planning, or related industry.
  • Have been in operation since at least March 10th, 2019; and
  • Have experienced a decrease in needed income on or after March 10, 2020 which this grant funds will help offset.
  • Projected loss of income after April 30th, 2020 will not be considered for this round of grant funding.

 

When can I apply for a grant?

The application will be online at this link starting May 4th - May 8th. Applying early does not increase your chances of receiving a grant; if grant demand exceeds available funding, grants will be distributed via lottery. 100% of our funds will be distributed in the form of grants, but grants are dependent upon available funding. Therefore, submitting an application does not guarantee receipt of a grant. 

 

What documentation will I need to provide with my application?

Employees:

On the application, you will need to upload the following documentation of employment:

  • Demonstrate you were employed. You can do this using the following documentation:
    • A pay stub dated before February 10th, 2020 which shows:
      • Your name
      • Your employer’s name
      • Hours and/or Amount Year to Date (YTD)
    • If you are self-employed and cannot provide a pay-stub, please upload documentation that establishes what you would make in a 'normal' March-April. Any relevant documentation that establishes this amount is acceptable.

 

  • Demonstrate you have lost income. You can do so using the following documentation:
    • A pay stub dated after March 10, 2020 which shows:
      • Your name
      • Your employer’s name (must be the same employer as previous pay stub)
      • Hours and/or Amount Year to Date (YTD)
    • If you cannot provide a pay stub, you can also upload a notice or letter of termination or a claim for unemployment benefits dated after March 10, 2020. This notice must show:
      • Your name
      • Employer’s name
      • Date of termination
    • For self-employed individuals, you may upload any documentation that establishes that your level of income from your self-employed tourism related business is lower this year than it has been in previous years.

 

Employers:

On the application, you will need to upload the following documentation to establish your baseline income and loss of income after March 10th, 2020:

  • Business start date. You must have incorporated before March 10, 2019 to be eligible.
  • Documentation that establishes your income in a 'normal' March-April
  • Monthly payroll documentation that demonstrates you had less than 50 employees on your payroll for the entire year of 2019. 
  • Documentation demonstrating loss of income due to cancellations, closures, or other loss of business between March 10th, 2020 and April 30, 2020 as a result of cancellations, closures, or loss of business related to COVID-19. 
    • Note: projected loss of income due to future cancellations after April 30th, 2020 will not be considered for this round of grant funding. 

 

How will I know if I will receive a grant, and when should I expect to receive it?

You will be notified as quickly as possible after the application window has closed if you will receive a grant; grants will begin to be disbursed soon afterwards. We know how important it is to receive the money as quickly as possible, and we are working to make the process as efficient as we can!

 

How will funds be sent?

Fund checks will be mailed to the address provided in your application and made out directly to the applicant.

 

Are these payments considered taxable income?

Reporting requirements and taxation may differ between individuals and their specific situations. We strongly recommend checking in with a tax professional, e.g. a Certified Public Accountant (CPA), tax lawyer, or tax preparation service, for guidance on how to report a receipt of grant funds when filing taxes.

 

I have more questions, who can I reach out to?

If your question is not answered above, please email relieffund@mainetourism.com for more information.