Eleven Maine companies to receive a split of $1.6 billion in federal COVID-19 relief dollars

(The Center Square) – Eleven Maine bus, motor coach and passenger vessel companies are poised to receive a portion of $1.6 billion in federal relief money.

To receive money, companies needed to prove they lost 25% or more of their annual revenue because of the COVID-19 pandemic. According to a news release, the companies will receive roughly 23% of their annual lost revenue.

The money is part of the Coronavirus Economic Relief for Transportation Services (CERTS) grant program, which U.S. Sen. Susan Collins, R-Maine, introduced with U.S. Sen. Jack Reed, D-R.I.

“Bus and motor coach companies, ferries, and tour boats sustain good-paying jobs and provide critical transportation services,” Collins, the ranking member of the Transportation Appropriations Subcommittee, said in a statement. “The COVID-19 pandemic took an enormous toll on these businesses, many of which are small and family owned.”

Maine companies receiving grants include Allen Associates, BayCycle, Chebeague Transportation Company, Downeast Windjammer Cruise Lines, Isherwood Enterprises, John T. Cyr & Sons, Monhegan Thomaston Boat Line, National Park Tours and Transport, Northeast Charter & Tour Company, Portland Pilots and VIP Tour & Charter Bus Company.

Companies can use the money for a variety of costs, including payroll, operations and maintenance. They can also use the funds for Personal Protective Equipment (PPE) and COVID-19 protection measures for workers and customers.

A total of 1,300 mostly small and family-owned companies nationwide are eligible for the funds. To date, officials have awarded roughly 80% of the grants to companies.

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