On Thursday, March 11, the day before Maine marked the one-year anniversary of its first confirmed COVID-19 case, President Joe Biden signed into law the latest COVID-19 relief package, known as the American Rescue Plan. Various reports indicate Maine will receive approximately $6 billion in aid over two or more years from this sixth round of COVID-19 stimulus, with the bulk of aid coming in the first year.
Immediate funding resulting from the package include a third round of direct stimulus payments to most families, an extension of the weekly expanded unemployment insurance benefit (through September 4), new earned income and child tax credits, direct grants for restaurants, and more funding for forgivable business loans through the popular Paycheck Protection Program (PPP) co-authored by U.S. Senator Susan Collins.
Allocations of additional funds for state and local government and expanding broadband in Maine are expected to be significant. U.S. Senator Angus King participated in negotiations between the White House and Senate leaders to include billions of dollars for broadband funding in the American Rescue Plan – more than $100 million of those dollars likely coming to Maine. State government is expected to receive $1 billion in aid from this latest package.
The Maine State Chamber will continue to share updates and details as they are announced. More information is available in the following news articles: