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Updated: November 13, 2023 Letter from the Editor

From the Editor: The paid leave law will test small businesses in Maine

Maine's recently enacted paid leave law is designed to offer comfort to employees who are dealing with the illness of family members or people close to them. Under the law, which will take effect in 2026, employees can take up to three months paid leave. It’s been called one of the country’s broadest and most generous paid family and medical leave programs.

While well-intended, the law is sending small businesses into panic mode, as Senior Writer Renee Cordes reports. “If we don’t produce, we don’t get paid,” says one small business owner. “And how can you produce with no help? We need people now.” See her story, “Feuding over family leave,” which starts on Page 14.

Elsewhere in the issue, Senior Writer Laurie Schreiber looks at Maine Law’s rural lawyers program, which places lawyers in key places around the state. It’s clear there’s a need. In Piscataquis County, with 17,165 people covering an area nearly the size of Connecticut, there are only eight lawyers. See her story, “Lawyering up,” which starts on Page 19.


Like other Mainers, the Mainebiz team was devastated to hear of the events in Lewiston on Oct. 25 — with 18 people killed and another 13 injured in the state’s worst mass shooting. We often say Maine is like a small town. Our hearts are with the people of Lewiston and the entire Maine community. We are heartened by the response to the tragedy and efforts to help the victims’ families, community members, first responders and medical personnel.

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