MAINE, USA — The Maine Tourism Association and Poland Spring® 100% Natural Spring Water, which is owned by Nestlé Waters North America, announced the official launch of “The Maine Tourism Relief Fund" on Thursday.
Thanks to a 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 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.
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 about seven days of the closing of the application process. Awards will be limited to one grant per household.
“Our mission is to keep the tourism businesses sustainable, which fits into our mission of why we are an association,” Tony Cameron, CEO of the Maine Tourism Association, said. “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 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,” Tara Carraro, Executive Vice President and Chief Corporate Affairs Officer for Nestlé Waters North America, said. “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,” Cameron said. “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, a portion of the proceeds of which will be donated to the fund. Links to these products can be found on the Maine Tourism Relief Fund website.
More details, including the application form and information on how to donate to the fund to help Maine tourism businesses can be found HERE.