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This week’s edition!

Swearing-in day, and business grants are available

Guest Column

By Sen. Nate Libby

We’ve officially begun a new legislative term. Two weeks ago, state senators and house representatives were sworn in to the 130th Maine Legislature. I’m grateful for and humbled by the opportunity to again represent you in Augusta.

Normally, swearing-in day is held at the State House, and family and friends fill the Chamber and halls to support lawmakers as we take our oath of office. This year was different, of course, because of the COVID-19 pandemic. We gathered at the Augusta Civic Center to maintain physical distancing, and our family and friends had to tune in from home via livestream. Still, it was a solemn reminder of the importance of the work we all do for the people of Maine. I know many challenges are ahead of us, but I’m eager to get to work.

If you have any questions, concerns or ideas, please don’t hesitate to reach out to me at nathan.libby@legislature.maine.gov or 207-287-1515.

Business grants

On November 30, Governor Janet Mills announced an economic recovery grant program to support Maine’s tourism, hospitality and retail small businesses. Backed by $40 million in Federal CARES Act funds, the Tourism, Hospitality & Retail Recovery Grant Program is focused specifically on supporting Maine’s service sector small businesses, such as restaurants, bars, tasting rooms, lodging and retail shops, which have been hard hit by the COVID-19 pandemic and now face additional challenges with the coming winter months.

The Maine Department of Economic and Community Development will again partner with some of the Economic Development Districts to administer the program. Grants will be awarded on a first come, first serve basis that will allow for funding to be dispersed as applications are received and reviewed. The application portal opened Wednesday, Dec. 2, on DECD’s website and will remain open until funds are depleted. The application is expected to take about ten minutes to complete. Funds must be committed by Dec. 30, per guidance from the U.S. Treasury Department.

Public transportation survey

The Androscoggin Transportation Resource Center is conducting a survey about public transportation in the Lewiston/Auburn area. This study will help leaders in public transportation know what residents’ wants and needs are, as well as better understand conditions on the ground. The information gathered in the survey will allow officials to design the most effective, efficient transit system for the region. You don’t have to be a current CityLink customer to take the survey. You can take the survey online at  http://bitly.ws/aJBk

Sen. Nate Libby (D-Androscoggin) represents Maine Senate District 21, which comprises the City of Lewiston.

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