In April of this year, as the COVID-19 pandemic threatened the approaching Maine summer tourist season, the livelihoods of thousands of Maine businesses and over one hundred thousand workers came into sharp focus. Poland Spring and the Maine Tourism Association took action and co-founded the Maine Tourism Relief Fund to supply an emergency source of funding for small Maine tourism businesses and their employees.
Poland Spring contributed $100,000 to kick off the fund and, to date, grants have been awarded to 101 individuals and 50 businesses in Maine, including the following:
This not-for-profit business, located in Kingfield, Maine, is devoted to providing people with backcountry experiences, aiming to "inspire reverence" for the Maine outdoors.
"Maine Huts & Trails was built to bring people together but our old business model is incompatible in the age of COVID," said Wolfe Tone, Executive Director of Maine Huts & Trails. "We used our grant to help people safely continue to share outdoor experiences including maintaining the trails and installing new COVID-related signage."
This 12-room Poland, Maine bed & breakfast on Tripp Lake closed their doors during the quarantine in April and May. When they reopened in June, they had to contend not only with losses from decreased reservations but also the thousands of dollars in added costs related to essential cleaning and sanitation. The grant that The Wolf Cove Inn received from the Maine Tourism Relief Fund went directly to safeguarding the health of their guests.
"It's a core Maine value that we face tough times together," said Heather Printup, Community Relations Manager for Poland Spring. "175 years ago, Poland Spring started out as a small Maine business and tourist destination. We recognize that our longevity is built, in part, on the ties we've forged with other Maine businesses, entrepreneurs and their dedicated workers and we’re honored to be able to give back to help provide relief."
"The Maine Tourism Relief Fund is about being stronger together," said Printup. "We at Poland Spring are grateful and proud to be part of Maine's tourism community."
The need for the Maine Tourism Relief Fund continues, so its work does too. Visit the Maine Tourism Relief Fund website if you or your tourism-related business are interested in a grant. Or, if you want to be a part of the relief effort, you may donate here.