Maine Hospitality, Tourism & Retail Recovery Plan Reveal
Okay. Good morning thank, you all for coming we're. Here today because Maine small businesses, and make up nearly a hundred cent, of Maine's hospitality. Tourism and retail sectors are on the verge of collapse. Those. That are not already shutting the doors many permanently, are, trying to survive under the crushing weight of the state's restrictions, on their operations, and the, barriers installed in our border a little. Over three months ago when we all became aware of the pandemic most, everyone agreed that businesses, needed to shut down the. People should stay at home by. Mid-april hospitality. Maine was asked by the administration, to craft a four phased in restart, plan for. Restaurants, and hotels in. Maine decd, issued, its restaurant and lodging checklist, largely based on our plan, to. Support the administration hospitality. Maine in a full public-private. Partnership, with, eastern Maine Community Colleges, conceived. And built, two online, kovat, readiness courses. Certification. Courses in just ten days since. They launched Morrill Day weekend we've had over 1500, front-line hospitality. Workers who passed the exam and received their certification, badges with. More and more coming on every single day. We. Did not anticipate the, length of the time it would take to open restaurants, some, here in southern Maine are still unable to fully operate, nor. Do we expect the implementation. Of a 14 day quarantine now replaced. With an equally untenable, testing. Protocol. Our. Industry knows the importance, of safe operations. We. Understand, the first priority, is to keep our staff safe. We. Are committed to protecting and educating, customers and guests we cannot. Do this unless, we are fully open no we have the guest to serve, while. We continue to offer alternatives to, these measures we, also need to strongly act to save the industry and give small business owners operators employees, of future, so. Today we. Announced the Maine hospitality. Tourism, and retail recovery, plan, we. Have a big problem that requires a big solution and that's. What we're proposing today. Our. Plan is to apply an 800 million dollar allocation. Of Maine's, cares act federal funding, to the, hardest hit sectors, of Maine small business community, whose representatives. Had joined us here today. Details. Of the plan are now available on the hospitality main website. This. Is an ambitious plan with, phase one focusing, on emergency, action, grants directly for businesses, for rent relief payroll, most. Operating expenses, we. Have money for employees, to cover urgent, personal costs, like rent transportation. Child care as, their, jobs have impacted, and hours have been cut, our. Phase two invest, in the industry's recovery, including. Business and technical support Workforce, Development job. Retraining tourism, marketing and much more but. We cannot implement this plan, this. Is governor Mills responsibility. And we offer our support to her and to, the states government, leaders to partner with the industry on this. Our. Hope is that, this will receive with a serious, intent, with which it is being delivered here today because. The time has come at the turn of the tide for. Us to all work together and move, made forward, thank you very much. Now. I would, like to introduce mr., Tony Cameron the. President see over the main Tourism Association for his remarks. Thank. You Steve my. Name is Tony Cameron I am the CEO the main tourism association. Tourism. Is the backbone of Maine's economy it's, the heart and soul that makes me so special in, addition, to lodging restaurants, and retail. Tourism. Is so much more, it's. The attractions, the museums the fairs concerts. Sporting. Events, it's the camps and cottages, vacation. Rentals wedding. Event, planners, photographers. And caterers it's. The motor coaches the. Summer camps, golf courses and so, much more and it, touches all aspects, of our communities from, schools real. Estate support. Businesses, like hardware stores and car dealerships and most, importantly, our quality, of life, many. Of these businesses are fighting for their survival, some. Will, not open this year due to restrictions and some, unfortunate. We will, have to be closed for good, for. Every dollar invested in marketing tourism. Ameen the return is $24. To Maine's economy, that's. A 24 to 1 return on investment, that, is why, simply, put, restarting.
Maine's Economy, begins. With, restarting, travel. The. People working in these businesses, that make up the heart of tourism, is hurting, this. Plan will. Help them survive this, year so, they can recover next, year in, addition. To direct grants to businesses, this, plan also ensures, that the main office of tourism is marketing budget stays, hold in the future years, Maine. Needs to aggressively, market, to ensure our guests continue. To visit from from. Within our drive national. And international, markets without. Significant. Funds devoted, to this purpose, hospitality. Retail and, tourism, will, continue to suffer and, with. That I'll turn it over to Dan, O'Connor's president. Of the Maine State Chamber of Commerce. Thanks. Tony that was just as my phone went off that great, came to my rescue although I still here throw. It in the throw, it in the ocean. There Greg actually, good morning everyone my, name is Dana Connors and I. Represent. The Maine State Chamber of Commerce and. I am here today to voice. The, Chamber's, support, for, both the plan and the. Purpose. Technically. Chambers, are, not a part, of, the. Maine. Hospitality. And tourism Alliance, but. I can tell you this the. Chamber's, throughout the state including our own feel. The love of what, you bring to our state and the, last three and a half months, we. Feel the pain that you're, enduring. You. Know you when you think about it. Tourism. Retail. Hospitality. The. Impact, of what. You bring to our state in so many ways is immeasurable, the impact, that, you have on our lives and, our life hood is well, understood by many but, more need to come to understand, that the. Very. Value. And worth that. You bring, to our. Economy. Reaches. Every, corner of the state and touches. Every, one of us in one, way or another and when, you look at the statistics. They're. Astonishing. To, be quite frank when. You think that represented. Here are at least a hundred and fifty thousand, employees, I'll. Bet, the the, worth economic. Contributions. Exceed, ten billion, but. I also say I'll bet that's conservative, because, when you think of all that's. Impacted. By. What is before you today I think, you're going to find that. It that is conservative, and the, thing. That I think we all need to keep in mind that that impact that value. Is. Experienced. Two thirds of it in, our summer season and that. Has. Already. Begun. When. I think about what. Liza's before what lies before us today. I applaud, and really, appreciate, how, this. Alliance, has. Stepped, up to, respond. To the need at hand I also, want, because I think you bring to life not only the value, and the worth but. You also express, to us the, harm that's enduring, the impact, that it has in a negative way and it's something that we all need to be cognizant, of I want to take a sidestep for a moment here and to. Also thank the Alliance, for how you've recognized. 501. C 6 s, most, emphatically. The, local chambers, throughout our state, probably. Many of you don't know this but they are ambassadors, for, what, the Alliance and, what the tourism, and hospitality. Industry. Really, means, to the state they are ambassadors. That help you with your success, there. Are 95. Individuals. Employed that during this Cove in nineteen have been reduced to 33, that's two out of three out of three are not, employed and yet they continue to do the work provide, information, and resources, again. I thank, you for recognizing them, in this, 10 million dollar category, and I can assure you it's, a great investment. Yes. The plan is everything. That needs, to be done at this very time but I don't want. To leave here, without, acknowledging. That we cannot afford to. Forsake, or, to forget and to, continue, to work on opening. Up our state to. Tourism I. Like. Many of you commend, the governor for keeping Public Health front, and foremost, but.
During This time she, has also brought, us to a place that recognizes, that. Public health and. Economic, health are side-by-side. Partners. We, need them both we. Need a state that depends, on safety, but, depends, on, economic. Success, and when, you look around our state and you think about the way businesses, and individuals, have responded, we should be very reassured, because. Businesses, and people have taken very seriously their, responsibilities. They've been responsive, they followed guidelines, like it's being placed, right here today before us I think. And I hope that's been acknowledged. And when you think of the tourism hospitality industry. And all that's included for, those who are operating, and the limited basis they. Too are. Recognising, the, need the value of the guidelines, social, distancing, and those, types of criteria to. Protect us I hope. That they will be trusted, in the, same way because. We need them so very much let, me end by by, this comment by, looking at me you know I've been around for a while but. Let me let me say this I have learned in that, time that. Maine is unique, and very special for a lot of reasons one. Is their ability at times like this to, listen to each other to work. With each other and, I, think my, message today is that, as good as this plan is there's two, parts to it we, need to come together and, stay together and, work together to, open our state to, tourism. To welcome tourists, to our state to. Open our state back up to business there's too much at risk if we don't I thank. You for this opportunity and, as I said I support you in your effort as well. As our, need. To work together to. Get back to business I thank, you. Good. Morning I'm Curtis, Picard of the retail Association, of Maine I'm. Here to back clean up and be the bridge to members of the media to ask us questions but. First I want to hit on a couple brief points, according. To the Maine Department of Labor Maine. Lost 105 thousand, 600 jobs between February, and April this year of. Those, 100 and 500 5600, jobs. 42,000. 600 of them came from leisure and hospitality and. 12,000. Of them came from retail that. Means 51 percent of the jobs lost came, from our collective industries. As. Other speakers have pointed out and, it's a point I cannot emphasize enough Maine's. Tourism, economy is so much more than hotels bien Bea's restaurants. And retail shops we. Could not ignore the impact that this has had on our festivals, special. Events, concerts, cruise, ships wedding, industry, motorcoach industry, and cultural organizations. Maine, guides I could go on and on but. We cannot forget those folks as well and recognize. That they are an important component to Maine's tourism, economy, our. Plan proposes, 50 million an employee relief, that can be used for childcare rent. Health care costs transportation, and other essential, expenses with. The federal pandemic, unemployment, assistance set. To expire on July 25th, there, is a coming cliff for employees that will magnify the impact unless. It's addressed at. This point I would like to help facilitate any, questions from the media. You. Know it's it's it's for the entire industry but yes we've talked about different tiers of businesses, different sides of businesses and that's detailed, in the plan as well but.
As I learned this morning, the. Number the businesses. That took advantage or we're able to take advantage of the PPP, or the EIT L they're, they're reaching the point where they're gonna run out of that soon so. Regardless, of whether or not you were able to take advantage of that that, doesn't fix it for them when, those programs came out I think we're all anticipating that this. Whole thing maybe will take a month and then we turn a corner it's, clear that hasn't happened so, there. Needs to be more relief now. We're. Right in the middle of the tourism season it's, Friday it's a beautiful sunny day our, turnpike should be packed right now this dock should, be packed with cars and it's not so, we. Need action down I. Think. It's both it's it's the need that's there so it's going to cover both both, companies. We're. Rolling this out right here now today so we want to start this conversation as, Steve said we've. Continued, all of our industries, have, continued to work closely with the administration and. We'll continue to do that so. We're, putting forward a plan that will start a discussion the discussion that needs to happen and we're. Happy to have those those conversations. So. We looked at what. A lot of other states were doing as well, so. We, took. A look at other state plans that are already out there we. Also have had numerous, conversations with, a number of folks from our industry we're, trying, to understand, the impact of that industry. Between. Retail. Tourism, and leisure that's, about my. Math is correct about 14,000. Different establishments. And. We've been hearing from them for a solid three and a half months so we, put forward our our, best foot forward, we. Think this will will help address that I. Would. Curtis. Has got it correct but I would add a couple things is that we. Took a look at the need the numbers, of businesses that we can impact with this this money and, we're. Talking in excess of 10,000, businesses, in this state that fall into the category and, to offer meaningful, assistance. We, need that big number and we. Broke it up into several categories you'll see it in the in the plan, what. The largest piece applies. To the smallest businesses, 50. Employees or less who. Need the help the most so it's not even a question of PPP's as much, as it is the size of businesses, and their access to resources, so. The idea is to really to help the smallest businesses first, we have heard loud and clear that rent, relief is a huge factor for many businesses, that. Many conversations with restaurants, and hotels that are impacted. By that we, got the relief coming that's our plan and as, Curtis said we. Really hope that the governor works closely with us to implement this as we decide as we've defined it so that would be the answer that I would think she'll follow up Peter. Yes. As. I said in my remarks we, don't have the ability to implement this plan that's, the governor's responsibility.
It's The it's the governor's work to do we, stand ready though frankly, to assist as closely as we're invited to participate. To. Help that, and we, also would work with other members of leaders of the administration's, it's not just all the governor's. Responsibilities. It would be departments. Of government and others, that need to help. Deal. With the applications, as an example or or help, choose. The amounts of monies that people could could, receive under the program, and. Weekend we will work with the administration on that but we have to start now I mean this is why it's out today. Still. To be determined, you. Know the governor just extended, the executive. Emergency. Orders so. We can work within that timeframe over, the next couple of weeks and we're not talking something, that's six, months out we're talking something that is actionable. Beginning. At. Noon today. Yes. Yeah. I'm. Sure there are and I think most, of their several here today with us a number of with us so I think it would probably be worth spoke, to speaking with them afterwards, yeah absolutely, as, with all of us do by the way if you'd like to talk. Yes. The, idea. With this is to there's, a lot of money available under this plan nothing's been spent yet there were no we, know about so. This, is this is all earmarked, for the hardest-hit sectors, of Maine's economy as. Kurtis. Pointed out over. Half of the job losses so, far are through. The. Groups we are representing, today and, we're, concerned that those jobs are never going to come back or, they're going to come back in some reduce capacity, we need to as a state we need to prepare for that so. The. Task is monumental, in this sector alone, so, and. That's all we this is the lane we have to operate in this is the these are the people we represent and the businesses that we support but, I'm certain there could be a wider effort and we, welcome that opportunity as well. There. Are other states out there that, received, a several amount of money that have undertaken. Programs, like this, they're. Out there you. Can research them yourselves, we've, seen some not. We've done is not modeled after anything except the state of Maine and the, needs we know are exist here. Good. Afternoon. Did. You have a particular question, what. You just want to catch this. Well. As uh this operation. Behind me employs 150, people there's. Other businesses, on the property that my brother runs that has another 50. Employees all, these folks are struggling as our, business is my family business. We're. Without, the PPP, we would, probably be out of business at this point but, those funds are running low and, when. We don't think we're gonna make it if the governor doesn't open up dining. Inside that's our big big issue but these funds that are gonna be allocated to help businesses, large and small will. Keep keep, the staff employed. And keep, the, keep. The juices. Flowing in these operations. Any. Other business owner secured, I think temper doesn't cut he said she's got a. Good, afternoon this is my name is David Berg and I represent, all, of the, campground owners in the state of Maine both public. And private, it. Has made a big impact when. I talked to people in our industry who, are open, year-round running, their campgrounds, and, they asked me how can you make a living in five or six months and. I tell them we really make a living in ten, weeks, if. We lose that 10 weeks we're gonna lose a lot of camp runners I have. Had cancellations. From one end of the country to the other and, because I'm in southern Maine for my part but, it's no different across the state, I have. Probably, 98% for, me is out-of-state, people and, now we've got a little bit of relief with New Hampshire and Vermont and, I thank the governor for that but, it's time to let us all work. Together safely. And get people into the state so we can make a living people. Work year-round and. Lose two or three weeks, of pay are on. The edge, we. Are only open a maximum, of five or six months if we, lose the three summer months we're, more likely out of business, thank. You. Well. Again. Thank. You all for coming today, we're. Here to answer any further questions and we're, ready to roll up the sleeves and get to work immediately, so thank you all very much for coming thank you. You. You.