HM COVID-19 Updates
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Hospitality news related to the COVID-19 outbreak. HospitalityMaine will post developments from the state and Federal government, members responses and industry best practices. In this time of social responsibility this is your hub for information.


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Top tags: #MaineHospitalityUnited  Coronavirus and Maine  Covid-19  Hospitality  Maine  Maine Legislature  Maine Restaurants  Takeout and Delivery Guidelines 

New $800 mm economic recovery proposed for hospitality & tourism

Posted By Kathleen Pierce, Monday, June 15, 2020
Hospitality and Tourism officials reveal $800 million economic recovery plan 

PORTLAND, Maine —  Saddled with financial devastation from the coronavirus coupled with cumbersome reopening restrictions, Maine’s hospitality, tourism and retail organizations have banded together to ask Gov. Mills to allocate $800,000,000 to rehabilitate small businesses in Maine’s chief sectors. 


On Friday June 12, the Maine Hospitality and Tourism Alliance launched the Maine Hospitality, Tourism & Retail Recovery Plan. 


This multi-phased relief proposal allots Emergency Action Grants to affected small businesses across the state so they can keep their doors open and pay basic operating costs including rent, mortgage and payroll.


The plan, created by HospitalityMaine, Maine Tourism Association and the Retail Association of Maine, provides employee support for childcare and transportation. It also increases funding for tourism promotion, workforce development and disadvantaged business startups and offers technical assistance for hotels and restaurants to rebuild and retool in the new COVID economy. 


“Due to the devastation the state’s restrictions are causing, this emergency funding is crucial for business survival,” said Steve Hewins, CEO of HospitalityMaine. "Maine's hospitality industry is stepping up and acting quickly to help our inns and restaurants in this emergency so they can thrive in the future."


The funding, the Alliance proposes, should come from the $1.25 billion Federal CARES Act funding that was disbursed to Maine

"Maine's retail, tourism and hospitality sector employ nearly 150,000 Mainers. According to the Maine Department of Labor, retail dropped 12,000 jobs between February and April and Leisure and Hospitality lost 42,600 jobs. Sadly, more than half of the jobs lost in Maine have come from our industries. We need bold action to make sure these industries are around in 2021," said Curtis Picard, CEO of the Retail Association of Maine. 


The plan invests $400 million to businesses with 50 current full-time employees or less. These businesses struggled with accessing federal programs such as the Paycheck Protection Program (PPP) and the Economic Injury Disaster Loan (EIDL). Hospitality, retail, and tourism businesses with more than 50 full-time employees would divvy up $300 million, and $10 million in grants would be reserved for 501C-6 organizations which service the hospitality, tourism, and retail sectors.


"Tourism touches all aspects of our communities, from schools, real estate, support businesses like hardware stores and car dealerships, and most importantly our quality of life. Restarting Maine’s economy begins with restarting travel," said Tony Cameron, Chief Executive Officer of the Maine Tourism Association. "This plan will help businesses survive this year so they can recover next year."

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Free COVID-19 hospitality training launches

Posted By Kathleen Pierce , Tuesday, June 9, 2020

AUGUSTA, Maine — What are the foundations of running an inn, cafe or bistro during a pandemic?


A crash course in COVID-19 prevention is now available to anyone in the lodging or restaurant industries in Maine.


On Tuesday, HospitalityMaine launched a free, online training program for today’s hotel workforce. The COVID19 Lodging Readiness Program is a direct response to the state's Department of Economic & Community Development's reopening checklists.


Last month, the non-profit trade group released its Restaurant Readiness Program. This program, mirroring the restaurant checklist, was met with an overwhelming response. More than 1,000 Maine restaurant workers took the course are now certified in the state’s checklist. 


The resource is a partnership with Maine Quality Centers, the Maine Community College System and is administered by Eastern Maine Community College. Three in-depth digital modules, covering sanitation, cleanliness and distance procedures — from check in to check out — train employees, managers and owners to execute the new rules so they can open safely. 


"The program will help give our staff the confidence that we are up to date on all the latest cleaning and sanitizing techniques we need to keep our guests safe,” said Jean Ginn Marvin, owner of The Nonantum Resort in Kennebunkport. “In this challenging time of swirling information it is great to know that we can count on Maine Community College System and HospitalityMaine to create a program at the speed of business that is ready to take now, when we need the support."


"There was an urgency to educate an entire industry workforce on new ways of operating safely and consistently," said HM's CEO Steve Hewins. "We wasted no time in this execution. It's a perfect partnership that is helping our industry move forward.” 


Successful completion of Food Service Foundations and Lodging Foundations include a badge and certificate. They are designed to be shared online to inform the public an establishment has taken all precautions to keep COVID-19 at bay. 

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Tents and large gatherings

Posted By HM Staff, Tuesday, June 2, 2020
New guidance from the DECD just in. 
Tents are OK, but they cannot be completely enclosed. They need to be open-air tents. If the tent is completely enclosed it would be considered indoor dining.
Tents with air conditioning are considered enclosed spaces with the same restrictions as indoor spaces. Keep sides up to keep air flow circulating and do not operate with sides down even in inclement weather.

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Lodging and Travel FAQS under COVID-19

Posted By HM Staff , Thursday, April 16, 2020

Maine's travel restrictions are set to expire at the end of the month. The Maine Office of Tourism's new Frequently Asked Question primer breaks down commonly asked Maine travel restriction questions. Get your general lodging, travel and campground questions answered here: Lodging and travel restriction FAQs

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Hotel reservations for May? Now open

Posted By HM staff, Monday, April 6, 2020

The gubernatorial clampdown on out-of-state visitors put into place Sunday has been defined for hotel reservations. 


Commissioner Heather Johnson, Department of Economic and Community Development, announced Monday that hotel owners can take online and phone reservations for May and beyond starting now. BUT April reservations can only be done by phone and only for essential workers. View that list here.


To underscore, per Maine's executive order, no leisure or transient guests can stay in hotels or inns this month. This update is subject to change along with COVID-19 cases in hotspots and in Maine. 



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Essential Operations now include Takeout!

Posted By HM Staff, Friday, April 3, 2020
TAKE OUT REMINDER The State of Maine allows for the sale of beer and wine in the manufacturers original package. Unfortunately that does not include liquor or beer on tap. That means growlers and cocktails to go, or the sale of full bottles of spirits are prohibited.

Review rules here: Liquor Licensing

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Restaurant Employee Relief Fund launches Thursday

Posted By HM Staff , Monday, March 30, 2020


Starting April 2, impacted restaurant workers will be able to apply online at RERF.US for a one-time, $500 check to use towards housing, transportation, utilities, child-care, groceries, medical bills and/or student loans. These grants will be administered by the National Restaurant Association Education Foundation and offered on a first-come, first-served basis. 

Industry icon Guy Fieri is helping the Foundation launch the nationwide fundraising campaign to raise money for the initiative.  There are both application and donation opportunities.

Who should apply for funds?  Click here

 Donate here

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Free food safety training

Posted By HM Staff , Wednesday, March 25, 2020

Free Courses, Resources for Restaurant and Foodservice Workers

Because of the challenges presented by COVID-19, ServSafe has developed a number of free online resources aimed at keeping restaurant workers and the dining public safe. As a service to the industry, HospitalityMaine shares these on-demand training modules that address COVID-19 precautions for takeout and delivery. Available in English and Spanish. 


ServSafe Takeout/Delivery: COVID-19 Precautions: LEARN MORE 


ServSafe Food Handler - Essential training every restaurant and foodservice worker needs to keep guests and themselves safe for FREE! This offer includes both the online training and assessment: LEARN MORE


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Takeout and Delivery OK in new gov. mandate

Posted By HM Staff , Tuesday, March 24, 2020
At midnight tonight, all non-essential businesses and operations in Maine are ordered to close their physical locations that are public facing. Today Governor Janet Mills issued an Executive Order mandating that shopping malls, gyms. hair salons, etc. that allow customer, vendor or other in-person contact shutter for 14 days.
The order does not include businesses that are essential, such as restaurants. TAKEOUT and Delivery is Still Allowed! 
The order also closes non-essential business sites that require more than 10 workers to convene in a space where physical distancing is not possible. These businesses may continue activities that do not involve in-person contact and convenings, and should facilitate the maximum number of employees working remotely.


Non-essential businesses and operations subject to the order include, but are not limited to, shopping malls, fitness and exercise gyms, spas, barber shops, hair salons, tattoo and piercing parlors, massage facilities, nail technicians, cosmetologists and estheticians, electrolysis services, laser hair removal services, and similar personal care and treatment facilities and services. Restaurant TAKEOUT and Delivery is Still Allowed! 

Order is in place for 14 days until April 8.

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National Campaign Launched

Posted By HM Staff, Tuesday, March 24, 2020


On March 24, we’re asking everyone in America to show their support for the restaurant industry and its incredible employees by joining #TheGreatAmericanTakeout and eating at least one delivery or pick-up meal.


Here’s how you can help:

1 Hype it up. Post to social media encouraging your followers to participate in #thegreatamericantakeout on 3/24 (we’ve included an official graphic for your use, downloadable here).

2 Rally the troops. Reach out to your community: friends, investors, vendors, clients, media, and brand ambassadors. Share this one-sheet and encourage them to participate.

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