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Business and Economy

Mills announces $20 million in federal funding to help forest industry

Maine Logging
Robert F. Bukaty
A Canadian log hauling truck travels north towards Canada on Rte. 201, Tuesday, Feb. 9, 2021, near The Forks, Maine.

Gov. Janet Mills today announced a $20 million grant program to help Maine’s forest industry offset losses due to the pandemic, improve infrastructure to supply products, and develop new products. Dana Doran, executive director of the Professional Logging Contractors of Maine, says the federal relief money will help contractors who've suffered revenue declines of up to 40%.

"For the contractors those funds can be used for interest payments for equipment they've had to defer because of lost revenue in last two year. If they need to make investments for the future, these grants can help offset some of those capital costs," Doran says.

The Forestry Recovery Initiative funding will be distributed in two phases. Phase 1, which begins Nov. 22 can be used to cover payroll and rent or mortgage payments for businesses. In Phase 2, which starts early next year, the remaining ten million dollars will help businesses working to improve market opportunities for Maine timber.