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Maine loggers eligible for $200M in relief

Published: Jul. 20, 2021 at 1:12 PM EDT
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AUGUSTA, Maine (WABI) - What state officials felt was a forgotten profession is forgotten no more.

The federal government is making $200 million available for logging businesses that have been hurt by the pandemic.

Sen. Susan Collins, R-Maine, and Congressman Jared Golden, D-Maine, were co-authors of the Loggers Relief Act.

They say they pressed for the funding to be expedited by the U.S. Department of Agriculture.

Paper mills drastically slashed output or shut down their operations during the pandemic, adding to the pressures on loggers and log hauler.

But no relief came in the initial rounds of funding.

During a virtual press conference this morning, Golden talked about the importance of this first of it’s kind program.

“If you object to logging try using plastic toilet paper. That’s an iconic bumper sticker in the state of Maine and one that I have and show off here in my office in D.C. so people understand what’s at stake, but also a reminder I think to folks that there are a lot of important workers in the logging industry working in places like Maine that they rely on even if they don’t know it,” Golden said.

In order to qualify a business must demonstrate a 10% loss in revenue from 2019 to 2020.

The most one entity can receive is $125,000.

Officials estimate this will impact around 9,000 Maine workers spread across around 600 logging and trucking businesses.

You can learn about qualifying by emailing MELoggerSupportTeam@mail.house.gov

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