Speaker Gideon, Senate President Jackson and members of the legislature issued this letter to Maine’s federal delegation regarding added support from the federal government and small businesses. Full letter available here, excerpt below:

We come to you as a delegation during this time of pandemic crisis to ask you to do everything within your power to help vital Maine small businesses remain viable. COVID- 19 is not only rampaging through our healthcare system, it is ravaging our economic security as well. It is true that Maine is well known for its sense of independence and entrepreneurial spirit, yet during these uncertain times our sole proprietors, which represent a large percentage of Maine’s workforce, need more assistance than short-term loans if they are to survive and continue to be a driver of the state’s economy.

It is with this in mind, that we ask you to propose a federal waiver within the Unemployment Insurance Benefits program to allow sole proprietors to collect benefits while the state and the nation are reeling from the insecurity accompanying the Coronavirus pandemic.