Campaign encourages all who are able to support local businesses and organizations in need as our state responds to the COVID-19 pandemic
As Maine businesses and their employees weather unprecedented challenges posed by the COVID-19 pandemic, the Portland Regional Chamber of Commerce, Maine Department of Economic and Community Development (DECD), Maine State Chamber of Commerce, and the Retail Association of Maine are partnering with several organizations in our state to launch a campaign to support our community: #PayItForwardMaine.
“In this unprecedented time, we know everyone is feeling the financial impact, especially our small businesses – who make up 99% of our business community in the state.” stated Quincy Hentzel, CEO of the Portland Regional Chamber of Commerce. “We want to make sure that when we get to the other side of this pandemic, our local businesses are still there for us. So, we need to be there for them now. This campaign will allow our community to rally, as they always do in times of crises and hardship, and to discover ways they can still support their favorite establishments over the next few months.”
The #PayItForwardMaine campaign asks individuals, businesses, and organizations to continue supporting local businesses and their employees in our new world of closed storefronts and social distancing. Your favorite local businesses have been there for you through thick and thin. Now it’s time for all of us to come together and return their service and support, with a new twist.
This effort is supported by several Chambers of Commerce and community partners. Some of those partners offered their perspective on the need for #PayItForwardMaine:
“Maine people count on small businesses every day, not just for goods and services, but for the contributions they make to our economy and our communities,” said Dana Connors, president and CEO of the Maine State Chamber of Commerce. “Our local businesses and their employees and families need our support now more than ever. Think of the impact if we all take action to #PayItForwardMaine.”
“The Department of Economic and Community Development and the entire Administration are continually working to ensure Maine businesses and employees have the resources they need as we all respond to the unprecedented challenges posed by the COVID-19 Pandemic,” said Maine Department of Economic and Community Development Commissioner Heather Johnson. “I am pleased to see the work being done by several partner organizations with the launch of the #PayItForwardMaine campaign – an effort that looks to Maine’s collaborative spirit to help your neighbor, friend, and local business owner. I hope to see Mainers participate in this effort and help to see our economy through this challenging time.”
“Maine’s retailers, restaurants, and other small businesses have been hit with a once in a century economic storm,” said Curtis Picard, president of the Retail Association of Maine. “But we are standing together with chambers and business associations to help our local businesses survive. Let’s ‘Pay It Forward, Maine.’”
#PayItForwardMaine is encouraging everyone to consider these ways to show your support (including through simply spending your time and effort), and to share posts, photos, and actions with the hashtag #PayItForwardMaine. The campaign is also encouraging people to tag family, friends, and followers and challenge them to do the same. Among the suggested ways to contribute are:
While we anticipate others to join once campaign is launched, our initial partners include the Portland Regional Chamber of Commerce; the Maine Department of Economic & Community Development; the Maine State Chamber of Commerce; the Retail Association of Maine; the Bangor Chamber of Commerce; the Bar Harbor Region Chamber of Commerce; the Bethel Area Chamber of Commerce; the Biddeford + Saco Chamber of Commerce and Industry; the City of Portland; the Damariscotta Region Chamber of Commerce; the Ellsworth Area Chamber of Commerce; the Fort Kent Area Chamber of Commerce; the Franklin County Chamber of Commerce; the Greater Bangor Convention and Visitors Bureau; the Greater Freeport Chamber of Commerce; the Greater Portland Council of Governments; HospitalityMaine; the Institute for Family Owned Business; the Katahdin Area Chamber of Commerce; the Kennebec Valley Chamber of Commerce; the Kennebunk, Kennebunkport and Arundel Chamber of Commerce; the Lewiston Auburn Metropolitan Chamber of Commerce; the Machias Bay Area Chamber of Commerce; the Maine Association of Chamber of Commerce Executives; the Maine Grocers and Food Producers Association; the Mount Desert chamber of Commerce; the Ogunquit Chamber of Commerce; the Old Orchard Beach Chamber of Commerce; the Penobscot Bay Regional Chamber of Commerce; the Piscataquis Chamber of Commerce; Portland Buy Local; Portland Downtown; the River Valley Chamber of Commerce; Scarborough Buy Local; the Sebago Lakes Region Chamber of Commerce; the Skowhegan Regional Chamber of Commerce; the Southern Midcoast Maine Chamber; and, Visit Portland.
Learn more about Pay It Forward Maine by visiting PayItForwardMaine.com or PortlandRegion.com/ payitforwardmaine.html. For specific questions, please contact Quincy Hentzel at the Portland Regional Chamber of Commerce by calling (207) 233-9151; Kate Foye at the Maine Department of Economic and Community Development by calling (207) 441-1597; Jen Webber representing the Maine State Chamber of Commerce by calling (207) 939-0213, and Curtis Picard of the Retail Association of Maine by calling (207) 240-7377.