March 16th, 2020[a]

Governor Janet Mills

2 State House Station

Augusta, Maine 04333-0002

Dear Governor Mills:

Thank you for everything you are doing to protect our state from the COVID-19 pandemic. All of us are incredibly grateful for the swift action that you and your administration have already taken to make sure that Maine is safe and prepared. These are troubling and uncertain times, and as members of Maine’s small business community, we would like to bring to your attention the very severe financial realities that we are facing in the coming days, weeks, and months.

This pandemic comes at the worst possible time; we should be ramping up production and services for our busy spring and summer seasons. Instead, some small businesses have been forced to close due to college closures and a complete drop in business. Many of us would like to close our doors to the general public and move to delivery or to-go options but are unsure if we can afford to make that move.

We, as small business owners, are concerned not only about keeping our employees and patrons safe and healthy, but also how we can just survive. We all have expenses that will continue whether we are open or not. Most of us have debt service, rent, and utilities that will continue to accrue unless there is state and federal action. Here are a few ideas that we urge your administration to consider:

  • A proclamation from the state encouraging lenders to consider loan deferment until three months after the national state of emergency is over. Loan deferments would enable us to focus our existing capital on retaining our employees. In an already tight labor market we are all very concerned about losing our existing staff. Additionally for small businesses that are manufacturers, we face an even longer road to becoming financially solvent. With orders disappearing we are all having to scale down--or cease--production, and when the national state of emergency is lifted it will take time for our production chains and wholesale relationships to return to normal.
  • If loan deferment is not possible, consider zero-interest loans for Maine’s small businesses. A crucial part of this will be when those loans will go into repayment, and we urge lenders to consider not requiring repayment until the national state of emergency is over. These loans would be used to help with lease payments, to ensure that our businesses are able to stay in our locations.

We were thrilled with your announcements yesterday concerning temporarily opening up Maine’s unemployment insurance. This action is extremely helpful for our employees and takes one concern off of our lists. Still, we have other financial responsibilities that could cause many of us to be unable to weather these closures. Unprecedented times like these call for creative solutions and we urge you to think outside the box for any initiatives that could provide relief for our businesses.

Thank you for your consideration of these suggestions. We also understand the organizations we are asking for assistance from may be faced with equally troubling times. We are in uncharted waters and understand this will impact everyone. We look forward to hearing from you. Please know we all stand as willing partners and hope to do all we can to prevent the spread of COVID-19 in our incredible state.

Sincerely,

Representative Mattie Daughtry

Senator Heather Sanborn

Representative Genevieve McDonald

Representative Bettyann Sheats

Representative Craig Hickman

Philip J. Welsh of Moderation Brewing, Brunswick, Maine

Sam Wilson of Black Pug Brewing, Brunswick, Maine

Nikaline Iacono of Vessel and Vine, Brunswick, Maine

Daniel Kleban of Maine Beer Company, Freeport, Maine

Matthew Swan and Meaghan Swan of Tumbledown Brewing, Farmington, Maine

Charlie Magne Melhus of Norway Brewing, Norway, Maine

Ian Dorsey & Kelly Dorsey of Mast Landing Brewing Company, Westbrook, Maine

Neil Fredrick of Mast Landing Brewing Company, Westbrook, Maine

Parker Olen of Mast Landing Brewing Company, Westbrook, Maine

Jacob Buck of Buck Farms/Maine Malt House, Mapleton, Maine

Becky and David Shepherd of Wild Oats Bakery & Café, Brunswick, Maine

Cara Stadler of Tao Yuan-Brunswick, Bao Bao Dumpling and LIO Restaurant, Portland, Maine

Joe Gervais of Northern Maine Brewing Company, Caribou, Maine

Brant Dadaleares owner of Gross Confection Bar, Portland, Maine

Marc Provencher of Taverna Khione, Brunswick, Maine

Nathan Sanborn of Rising Tide Brewing Company, Portland, Maine

Abby Sadauckas and Jake Galle of Apple Creek Farm, Bowdoinham, Maine

Orenda and Peter Hale, Owners of Maine & Loire and Drifters Wife, Portland, Maine

Christopher Gardener and Joe Arena of Schoolhouse 1913, Harpswell, Maine

James O’Brien of Vacationland Distributors, Westbrook, Maine

Nick Bezanson of Vacationland Distributors, Westbrook, Maine

John Squadrito of Vacationland Distributors, Westbrook, Maine

William Fisher of Austin Street Brewery, Portland, Maine

Jake Austin of Austin Street Brewery, Portland, Maine

Paolo and Mercedes Laboa and Jesse Bania of Solo Italiano, Portland , ME

Joel Alex of Blue Ox Malthouse, Lisbon, Maine

Shahin Khojastehzad of Novare Res Bier Cafe, Portland, Maine

Eric Michaud of Liquid Riot Bottling Company, Portland, Maine

Pete and Cathy Karonis of Fairwinds Farm, Bowdoinham, Maine

Christian, Nicole, and Jacob Cuff of A Corked Fork, Vivo Italian Kitchen, Sweet Pea’s Cafe and The Cup

Matthew DeFio and Andrew Doolittle of Ishi Ishi Ramen, Portland, Maine

Austin Miller and Hana Tamaki of Mami, Portland, Maine

Jenn Lever of Baxter Brewing Co, Lewiston, Maine

Mike Therriault of Bath Brewing, Bath, Maine

Lucretia and Michael Woodruff of Milkweed Farm, Brunswick, Maine

Tobias Parkhurst of Cushnoc Brewing, Augusta, Maine

Michael Rankin of Definitive Brewing Company, Portland, Maine

Sarah Wiederkehr and Steve Burger of Winter Hill Farm, Freeport, Maine

Patrick Rowan of Woodland Farms Brewery, Kittery, Maine

John Bonney and Tina Bonney of Foundation Brewing Co, Portland, Maine

Christie Mahaffey and Joel Mahaffey of Foundation Brewing Co, Portland, Maine

Michelle Wissemann and Tim Wissemann of Mariner Beverages, Portland, Maine

Jeff and Pam Powers of Bigelow Brewing Company, Skowhegan, Maine

Shaun and Lisa Graham of Fluvial Brewing, LLC, Harrison, Maine

Dan Pease of Rock Harbor Brewing Co, Rockland, Maine

Jon Stein of Fogtown Brewing Company, Ellsworth ME

Kerry Hanley of Night Moves Bread, Biddeford, Maine

Nick Knowlton, Trevor Knell, Tom Langlois, Ryan Cote of Grateful Grain Brewing Co.  - Monmouth, ME

Danny McGovern, Elizabeth Johnston and Jeffrey Johnston of Lake St. George Brewing Co., Liberty, ME

Mary McGovern Weber and Matt Weber of Monhegan Brewing, Monhegan, Maine

Kyle DePietro and Angela Trombley of Sasanoa Brewing, Westport, Maine

Anne Rutherford, The Foreside Tavern, Falmouth, Maine

Russell Voss of NU Brewery LLC, New Gloucester, Maine

Richard and Sherri Varano of Hidden Cove Brewing Co., Wells, Maine

Tim & Birch Adams of Oxbow Brewing Co. Newcastle, Portland and Oxford, Maine.

Robert Trumbull and Matt Deschenes of the Borough Barbershop in Scarborough, Maine

The team at Threshers Brewing, Searsmont, Maine

Martin Connelly of Little Red Cup Tea Co., Brunswick, Maine

Chris Schofield and Matthew Mills of Barreled Souls Brewing Co. LLC, Saco

Greg Norton of Bier Cellar, Portland and Gorham, Maine

Stephen Genthner and Jessica Wentworth of Blank Canvas Brewery, Brewer ME

Christopher Bailey of Mac’s Deli & Catering, Scarborough, Maine

Richard Ruggiero and Karen Ruggiero of Liberator Brewing Company, Rockland, Maine

Brad Frost and Anna Frost, Waterman's Beach Brewery, South Thomaston

Michael and Heather Holland, Outland Farm Brewery, Pittsfield, Maine

Dave and David Rowland of Some Brewing Company LLC, York, Maine

Nathan O’Leary, Mainely SEO, LLC, Portland, Maine

James and Jody Denz of Island Dog Brewing, South Portland, Maine

Thomas M. Brems of Victorieux Champagne, Portland, Maine

Dustin and Alyssa Johnson of Gneiss Brewing Company, LLC., Limerick, Maine

David Evans, The Great Lost Bear, Portland, Maine

Ilma Lopez & Damian Sansonetti  of Chaval & Piccolo Restaurants, Portland Maine

Stephen Gorrill of Sheepscot Valley Brewing company, Whitefield, ME

Cory Gardner of The Common Loon Public House, Orono, Maine

Meghan Gardner of The Common Loon Public House, Orono, Maine

Jamie and Kelly Blood from Corner Point Brewing Company, LLC., Berwick, Maine

Jason Dodge, Owner of Momentum Barbershop, Portland, Maine.

Paul Pelletier owner of Back Street Sanford restaurant . Sanford,  Maine

Thomas Madden - Lone Pine Brewing Company, Portland, ME

John R. Paul - Lone Pine Brewing Company, Portland, ME

Alex Ward - This Thing of Ours Barber Company, Portland, ME

Phillip Innis - This Thing of Ours Barber Company, Portland, ME

Cory and Nok-Noi Ricker from 2 Feet Brewing, Bangor, Maine

Raquel and Jake Stevens of Leeward Maine LLC, Portland, Maine

Henry Jost of Brunswick Hotel and Noble Kitchen + Bar, Brunswick, Maine

Jacqueline Dole of The Parlor Ice Cream Co., Biddeford, Maine

David and Denae Mallari of The Sinful Kitchen, Portland, ME

Ginger Cote and entire team of Big Babe's Tavern, Knightville, South Portland ME

Isaac MacDougal of Cocktail Mary in Portland, ME

Vien Dobui and Jessica Sheahan of Cong Tu Bot, Portland, ME

Zoran Trajanoski of Defined Lines Barbershop -  Old Orchard Beach, ME

Clayton Norris and Jenna Friedman of Baharat, Portland, Maine

Lyle & Holly Aker Broken Arrow Portland ME

Erica Archer of Wine Wise, Maine

Pete Leavitt of Leavitt and Sons, Falmouth and Portland, Maine

Laura Argitis of Old Port Sea Grill & Raw Bar and North 43 Bistro, Maine

Vanessa Santarelli of Your Maine Concierge, Maine

Susan Barnes of Dots, Maine

Melissa Kelly of Primo Restaurant and Farm, Rockland, Maine

Karl Schatz of Ten Apple Farm, Gray, Maine

Margaret Hathaway of Ten Apple Farm, Gray, Maine

Matt Bolinder of Speckled Ax Wood Roasted Coffee, Portland, Maine

Michael Gilroy of Frontier, Brunswick, Maine

Melody Wolfertz of In Good Company, and the Wine Seller Rockland, Maine

Kelly & Mark LaCasse of The Maine Meal, Skowhegan, ME

Ken Bell of Portland House of Music and Events

Elisha Irland of The Oak Table and Bar, Augusta, Maine

Michael Boland and Deirdre Swords of Havana , Islesford Dock Restaurant and Gallery, Choco-late, and Artemis Gallery

Jennifer Rockwell of Ada’s Portland Main Street Markets, and Ada’s Kitchen

Siddharta Rumma, Ada’s Portland

 Paul Lorrain and Abraham Lorrain from Funky Bow Brewery, Lyman, Maine

Ian Malin of Little Giant, Portland, Maine

Barbara MacLeod, CrossCurrent Communications, Kittery, Maine

Garry Bowcott of Local 188, Salvage BBQ and Black Cow. Portland, Maine

Toby Tarpinian, Susan Tarpinian and Craig Urquhart of Morning Glory Natural Foods, Brunswick, Maine

Matt Moran, Jason Loring, Tobey Moulton Nosh Kitchen Bar. Portland, Maine

Emily Kingsbury.  Slab Sicilian Street Food. Portland, Maine

Michelle and Steve Corry of Five Fifty-Five and Petite Jacqueline, Portland, Maine

Kristina Moran. Salon KLM. Portland, Maine

Jonathan & Natalie Spak, The Oxford House Inn &Restaurant, Fryeburg, Main

Katie & Josh Potocki of The Bread + Butter Catering Company, Southside Productions Bakery, One Fifty Ate, Inc., South Portland, Maine

Christian Hayes of The Garrison and Dandelion Catering, Yarmouth, Maine

Dick & Anya Reid of The Thistle Inn & Restaurant, Boothbay Harbor, Maine

Nancy Pugh & Rob Evans, Duckfat, Portland, Maine and Frites Shack, Portland, Maine

Rosa Noreen, Bright Star World Dance, Portland, Maine

Patrick Hackleman, Casco Bay Sports, Portland Maine

Carson James and Erin Sheehan of Lorne Wine, Biddeford, Maine

John Naylor and Scott Anderson Rosemont Market and Bakery

Michael Roylos, SideWalk Buttler, Portland, Maine

Mary Alice Scott, Executive Director, Portland Buy Local, Portland, Maine

Ryan McCaskey, Owner/ Chef, Acadia House Provisions, Stonington, Maine

Nathaniel Meiklejohn, owner of The Jewel Box, Portland, Maine

Jonathan Denton and Jacqueline DeFranca of Sweetcream Dairy, Biddeford, Maine

Terez Fraser of Blue, Portland, Maine

Mike Mastronardi of North Beacon Oyster, Rockland, Maine

Melissa Young, Cape Neddick Lobster Pound, Cape Neddick, ME        

Douglas Fuss, Owner, Bull Feeney’s, Portland, ME

Ben Conniff, Luke’s Lobster, Portland, Saco, & Tenants Harbor, ME

Kai Adams, Co-Founder, Sebago Brewing Co. Gorham, Scarborough, Portland, Kennebunk, ME

Krista Kern Desjarlais, Chef /Owner, The Purple House, North Yarmouth, ME and Bresca & the Honeybee, New Gloucester, ME

Pam Jackson, Director/Owner, WholeHeart Yoga Center, Portland, ME

Tom Gangewer, Principal, Local Economy Payroll, Portland Maine

Derek Bissonnette, Owner, DB Maine Photography

Zack Anchors, Owner, Portland Paddle

Steve Corman, co-owner Vena’s Fizz House

Bryce & Sarah Hach, Maine Food for Thought Tours, Portland, ME

Matthew DuBois, Owner, The Bankery & Skowhegan Fleuriste, Skowhegan, ME

Adam Powers and Jeremy Rush, Owners of Elsmere BBQ & Wood Grill, South Portland and Portland, Maine

Tristan Gallagher, Owner of  Coast City Comics, Portland Maine

Paul Drinan, Friends of Fort Gorges

Greg Mitchell of Flood’s Portland and Palace Diner, Biddeford, Maine

Brent Sawyer and Lisa Guerette of Portside Real Estate Group

Jesse Weyl of Bath Natural Market, Bath, Maine

Nancy Lawrence of Portmanteau, Portland, Maine

Edward Swain of Devenish Wines Inc, Portland

Robin Ray of Maples, Brunswick

Mary Chapman & Will Sissle of The Cheese Shop of Portland

Alex and Rachel Nevens of the Newcastle Publick House in Newcastle, and the Oysterhead Pizza Company in Damariscotta

Matt Chappell of Gather Restaurant, Yarmouth, Maine

Jeff Beam of One Longfellow Square, Portland

Josephs Redman of Josephs of Portland

Darren Finnegan Co-owner/ brewer Lost Valley Brewing Co. Auburn Me

Gale White and McGinley Jones from Lubec Brewing Company, Lubec

Ben Low and Matt Johannes from Side By Each Brewing in Auburn

Erin Kiley and Nathaniel Baldwin, Portland Flea-for-All, and Hammond Heirs Property Management

Ryan Vincent and Mason Irish from Saco River Brewing, Maine

Elise DeSalvo from Elise Marie DeSigns

Kate Beever, Maine Music & Health, Falmouth ME

Mary Zarate Z Fabrics, Portland

Craig and Julia Dilger, Foulmouthed Brewing, South Portland, ME

Al & Mia Strong, Strong Brewing Co., Sedgwick, Maine


Daron Goldstein of Provender Kitchen & Bar and Chefs of Maine.com

Jane Liedtke of Bayleaf Cottages & Bistro, Lincolnville and Belfast Breeze Inn, Belfast, Maine

Brett Johnson of Maine Street Design Co, Portland and Bath, Maine

Rowan Wagner of Maine Street Design Co, Portland and Bath, Maine

Mike Mastronardi of North Beacon Oyster, Rockland, Maine

Courtney Miller Sanders of Daily Soup, Belfast, Maine

David Turnin of David’s Restaurants, Portland and South Portland, Maine

Maria Vettese & Christpher Ryan, More & Co., Yarmouth, Maine

Yulia Stolkner, Sip of Europe, Portland, Me

Rick and Molly Wood, Rick’s Lobby Cafe, Portland, Maine

Tod and Galen Mott, Tributary Brewing Co., Kittery

Sarah and John McNeil, Odd Alewives Farm Brewery, Waldoboro, ME

Ned Wight and Tim Fisher, New England Distilling, Portland, ME

Rylee Rawcliffe, The Lobster Pound Restaurant, Lincolnville, ME

Moses and Alec Sabina, Hot Suppa, Portland, ME

Elaine Alden and Thomas Cooke, Izakaya Minato, Portland, ME

Sarah Hansen, Greater Portland Landmarks, Portland, ME

Linda Parker, Mount Desert Island Ice Cream, Bar Harbor, ME

Bob Johnson, Allison Reid, Sonja Swanberg, Scratch Baking Co. South Portland, ME

Joshua Charette, XOTA Brewing Co. Waterboro, ME

Melanie & Pliny Reynolds, Terlingua, Portland, ME

Hester Bissell, Bissell Brothers & Bissell Brothers Three Rivers, Portland & Milo, ME

Joe Walsh, Green Clean Maine, Portland, ME

Maine Narrow Gauge Railroad & Industrial Heritage Trust, Portland, Maine

Paige and Chris Gould, Central Provisions and Tipo Restaurant

Catherine Wiersema of Chocolats Passion. Portland ME

Phillip Crispo and Susan Walser, The Norumbega Inn, Camden, Maine

Tony Lynch, Banded Brewing Co., Biddeford, ME

Adria Moynihan Rusk, Still Life Studio, Portland, ME

Norman Patry Owner Summer Feet Cycling and Walking

Jessica Nolette of Flask Lounge, Portland, ME

Michele Stapleton of Michele Stapleton Photography, Brunswick, Maine

Curtis Picard, Retail Association of Maine, AugustaME

John & Rachel Dobbs, Paddy Murphy’s, Bangor, Maine

Island Dreamweaver Flowers and Officiating, Swan's Island, ME

Tom & Jen Esty, Human Nature, New Gloucester, Maine

Tom & Jen Esty, LocalCentric, Gray, Maine

Topher Mallory & Matt Page, Split Rock Distilling, Newcastle, Maine

Topher Mallory & Matt Page, Royal Rose Syrups, Newcastle, Maine

Topher Mallory, Peter Erskine & Kim Erskine, Mexicali Blues Inc., Maine

Renae Roy & Mark Roy, 1912 Cafe, Freeport, Maine

Ellen Boucher, Boynton’s Greenhouses, Inc., Skowhegan, Maine

Michele Burkey and Jesse Lamon, Wanderlust Juicery, Freeport, Maine

Kelleigh Dulany, Brewster House Bed & Breakfast, Freeport, Main

Colette Wold of Bella Boutique, Freeport ME

Heidi V. Neal, owner, Loyal Biscuit Co., Rockland,  ME

Connie Lay, Candlebay Inn, Freeport, Maine

Clare Marron, Monkitree, Gardiner

Emily Kirkton, GearME, Freeport, ME

Joseph Hardy and Adam Moore, owners, Howies Pub, Portland, ME

Tom and Anna Largay owners Old Port Card Works and Old Port Candy., Portland ME

Eugene & Aimee Day, owners, Countryside Restaurant & Bakery, Corinth Me.

Ken and Debby Keiran Owners of Union Farm Equipment, Union, Maine

Kate Nuki, owner, Beachdashery, Portland, ME

Susan Shannon, co owner, Seaglass Jewelry Studio, Kennebunkport, Maine

Sarah Pernoski, owner,  Rustic Arrow LLC, Freeport, ME

Tina Dinsmore, owner, Tina Dinsmore Fine Jewelry, South Portland, Maine

Amy Bouchard, owner, Isamax Snacks Inc. dba, Wicked Whoopies, Freeport,Farmingdale, Gardiner, Maine.

RickSnow, owner, Maine Indoor Karting, Scarborough, Maine

James Harder, Amy Harder and staff - Float Harder Relaxation Center and New England Float Partners, Portland, Maine

Sherwin Young, owner, and the rest of us at Starbird Music & Piano Gallery, Portland Maine.

[a]Hey Everyone! Thank you for signing on and for the overwhelming amount of support for these actions. I've sent one draft to the Governor but have heard from many businesses who would like to still sign on. I've opened it back up to allow others to sign the letter. My goal is to send this to our federal delegation as well in the next day or so. Remember we're all in this together and I feel stronger knowing there are some many of us by each others sides. I'm trying to figure out a way to collect contact information to keep everyone informed of any actions. If anyone has any ideas please let me know at +mattie@moderationbeer.com or 207-522-0913. Also for more information on the pandemic in Maine, don't forget to check out the Maine CDC site at: https://www.maine.gov/dhhs/mecdc/infectious-disease/epi/airborne/coronavirus.shtml

_Assigned to mattie@moderationbeer.com_