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May 1, 2020

Poland Spring, trade group launch $100K relief fund for small tourism businesses

The Maine Tourism Association and Poland Spring Water Co. have launched a $100,000 fund that will award small grants to the state’s tourism businesses and employees affected by the COVID-19 crisis.

The Maine Tourism Relief Fund will provide one-time grants of $500 for individuals and $1,000 for businesses with fewer than 50 employees, the association said in a news release Thursday. Grant decisions will be made within roughly one week of application.

Poland Spring has contributed the initial money for the fund. Travel concierge startup Experience Maine and Portland-based Bissell Brothers Brewing Co. are donating portions of their sale proceeds from Maine-made products.

All of the contributed funding will go directly to grant recipients, according to the release.

Maine’s tourism industry has been threatened by the pandemic, the resulting economic downturn, and state business restrictions and stay-at-home mandates, the association said. The industry supports over 110,000 jobs in Maine.

“Tourism is the backbone of Maine’s economy, and that is why the industry needs to be supported in this difficult time,” said the association’s CEO, Tony Cameron, in the release. “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.”

Courtesy / Maine Tourism Association
Tony Cameron is the CEO of the Maine Tourism Association, which is launching the relief fund with Poland Spring.

Tara Carraro, chief corporate affairs officer for Poland Spring parent company 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.”

More information, including about how to apply or to make a contribution, is available here.

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