Business and Economy

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Good Shepherd Food Bank

The newest COVID-19 stimulus plan that Senate Republicans released Monday would cut supplemental unemployment benefits from $600 to $200 a week. That would impact about 182,000 Mainers, including 46,000 children.

The labor markets in Maine's three major urban areas recovered in June, according to data released Wednesday by the federal Bureau of Labor Statistics.

The $1 trillion pandemic relief package Senate Republicans rolled out Monday includes a provision that would cut the current $600-per-week enhanced unemployment benefit down to $200. And then, in October, it would switch to 70 percent of a worker’s prior earnings.

Rebecca Conley / Maine Public file

Republican leaders in Augusta today called for an easing of restrictions on out-of-state visitors from Massachusetts and Rhode Island, and other changes they say are needed to salvage what’s left of the summer tourism season. But Democratic Gov. Janet Mills quickly blasted the proposal.

Robert F. Bukaty / AP File

Activists have gathered enough signatures to place a citizens' initiative on Portland's November ballot that would remove a cap imposed by the city on the number of marijuana retailers in Portland.

State regulators have taken a central Maine dairy farm off line after discovering levels of a contaminant as high as 10,000 times the actionable limit.

Jennifer Mitchell / Maine Public

With harvest on the horizon and the summer slipping away, COVID-19 continues to wreak new havoc on Maine farms in diverse ways. Some farmers say the pandemic is dealing blows to their business plans and complicating an already complex labor market — even driving some to the brink of disaster.

Starting this week, people receiving unemployment benefits may get more money as the state adjusts payments to reflect previous incomes.

There is a new online short-form questionnaire that is designed to help Mainers who have not been able to start an unemployment claim, for any number of reasons.

The union representing 4,300 striking shipbuilders at Bath Iron Works has requested through a federal mediator that both sides meet next week.

Both the union and company have been meeting separately with a mediator, but there have been no formal talks since the Machinists Local S6 went on strike June 22 after overwhelmingly rejecting the company's final offer.

There was no immediate comment Thursday from the company on the union's request for face-to-face meetings.

Freeport will no longer close the town’s Main Street following business-owners’ complaints.

Fred Bever / Maine Public

The pandemic has taken a bite out of Maine's seasonal rental and hotel markets, but it is not hurting real estate prices at all. There is growing anecdotal evidence that, as happened after the 9/11 terror attacks, urban dwellers from out of state are snapping up properties in Maine. That is not yet showing up in the latest data, but prices are on the rise, and industry experts expect that that will continue as more people decide to move to Maine.

Willis Ryder Arnold / Maine Public

For the past few weeks, as the places where homeless people often receive services have been closed, some have been spending their days — and in some cases, their nights — at Portland’s Deering Oaks Park. Preble Street in Portland has had to close its day center as part of its effort to curb the spread of COVID-19 and had been providing meals for people at several locations, including Deering Oaks.

Robbie Feinberg / Maine Public

The COVID-19 pandemic has challenged all of Maine's congregate settings, including homeless shelters, which have had to reduce capacity.

East Millinocket Purchases Former Great Northern Paper Mill Site

Jul 22, 2020
Nick Sambides Jr. / Bangor Daily News

East Millinocket closed on a deal on Tuesday to purchase the former Great Northern Paper Co. LLC mill site, for generations the home of the town’s single largest employer, on Main Street for $1.4 million in grant funds.