Rep. Arata's News from the Legislature

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Town of New Gloucester

385 Intervale Road, New Gloucester, ME 04260

(207) 926-4126 (phone) / (207) 926-4136 (fax)

Town of Poland

1231 Maine Street, Poland, ME 04274

(207) 998-4601 (phone) / (207) 998-2002 (fax)


Coronavirus (COVID-19):  Small Business Guidance & Loan Resources

Health and government officials are working together to maintain the safety, security, and health of the American people.  Small businesses are encouraged to do their part to keep their employees, customers, and themselves healthy.  The Small Business Administration provides a number of loan resources for small businesses to utilize when operating their business.  For more information on loans or how to connect with a lender, click here.

  • 7(a) Program offers loan amounts up to $5,000,000 and is an all-inclusive loan program deployed by lending partners for eligible small businesses within the United States and its territories.  The uses of proceeds include working capital; expansion/renovation; new construction; purchase of land or buildings; purchase of equipment, fixtures; leasehold improvements; refinancing debt for compelling reasons; seasonal line of credit; inventory; or starting a business.
  • Express Loan program provides loans up to $350,000 for no more than seven years with an option to revolve.  There is a turnaround time of 36 hours for approval or denial of a completed application.  The uses of proceeds are the same as the standard 7(a) loan.
  • Community Advantage Loan pilot program allows mission-based lenders to assist small businesses in underserved markets with a maximum loan size of $250,000. The uses of proceeds are the same as the standard 7(a) loan.
  • 504 Loan program is designed to foster economic development and job creation and/or retention.  The eligible use of proceeds is limited to the acquisition or eligible refinance of fixed assets.
  • Microloan Program involves making loans through nonprofit lending organizations to underserved markets.  Authorized use of loan proceeds includes working capital, supplies, machinery & equipment, and fixtures (does not include real estate).  The maximum loan amount is $50,000, with the average loan size of $14,000.


The PPP Loan Forgiveness Process Just Got Easier

If doing the paperwork to have your Paycheck Protection Program (PPP) loan forgiven seems intimidating, help has arrived.  A new online tool can simplify the process—and it will not cost you a cent.

You can find the new PPP forgiveness platform at  Any business that took out a PPP loan can use the tool for free, regardless of whether they worked with a bank or a non-bank lender.  The American Institute of CPAs (AICPA) and released the platform this week, which is powered by software from small business lender Biz2Credit.

An Easy Way to Get Started on PPP Loan Forgiveness

Business owners or their accountants can access a suite of loan aids on the platform, including the AICPA’s PPP forgiveness calculator, the PPP loan forgiveness application, and all of the required government forms mandated when you submit your loan forgiveness application.

You can even submit your application on the platform using an electronic signature; although, the site recommends holding off on filing the application until the federal government offers additional guidance on calculating PPP loan forgiveness.

If you have been hesitant to apply for a PPP loan, this new tool could make the forgiveness application part of the process easier.

The PPP forgiveness tool also will incorporate the latest guidelines surrounding forgiveness as they are released by the U.S. Small Business Administration (SBA) and the Treasury Department.  Once additional guidance is released, will be updated to reflect the new rules, and borrowers who have started applications on the tool will be contacted.  Until that occurs, the site recommends you do not submit your completed application.

PPP Loan Money Still Available

Lenders have issued over $517 billion in PPP loans to date to help small businesses struggling to stay solvent during the COVID-19 pandemic.  According to data from the SBA, more than 51 million jobs were supported by PPP funds.  While the initial $349 billion round of funding ran out in less than two weeks, fewer businesses rushed to claim a second round of $310 billion

The complexity surrounding the requirements for PPP loan forgiveness, plus the extensive paperwork documenting eligibility, may have deterred some small-business owners from applying.  Even as the government relaxed forgiveness rules, over $100 billion in PPP funds remains unclaimed. 

PPP loan forgiveness terms state that at least 60% of the funds must be used for eligible payroll costs and must be used over a span of 24 weeks.  Although repayment of PPP loans for those not seeking or who are ineligible for forgiveness was extended to five years at an interest rate of 1%, and additional rules were released allowing for partial loan forgiveness, the possibility of taking on any more debt is unlikely to appeal to anyone struggling to keep their business running.


Maine Veterans Offered Free Lifetime State Park and Museum Pass

The Department of Defense, Veterans, and Emergency Management issues a free day use pass to State parks, historic sites, and museums to eligible Maine veterans.  Eligibility is based on an examination of an individual's discharge certificate from active duty services, also known as the DD214, when the person is a resident of Maine and has received an honorable discharge or general discharge under honorable conditions.  A pass issued under this section does not expire and is valid for the lifetime of the holder.

If you are a veteran that meets the above criteria and would like to apply for a park pass, please click the link below for an application, which you must print, complete, and return to the following address along with a copy of your DD214.

Veteran Park Pass Application (PDF)

Mail completed application to:

Maine Bureau of Veterans' Services, 117 State House Station Augusta, ME, 04333-0117.

Application processing time once received is approximately two to three weeks.

Please note that Maine veterans age 65 years or older will not be issued a park pass, as they are automatically entitled to free admission as a Maine senior citizen.

The park pass is valid for the veteran only and is limited to State parks and historic sites operated by the Maine Department of Agriculture, Conservation, and Forestry.  Proper identification is required.  Passes are non-transferrable and may not be used by anyone other than the veteran.  Failure to abide by this will result in a loss of privileges.

This pass is not valid for the following locations:

  • Acadia National Park;
  • Baxter State Park;
  • Allagash Wilderness Waterway;
  • Penobscot Corridor;
  • Penobscot Narrows Observatory; and
  • Maine Wildlife Park.

You must have your park pass and proper identification to gain entrance at a State park or historic site.

Complete List of Rules at Maine State Parks and Historical Sites

Please contact Maine Veterans' Services for any related questions by calling (207) 430-6035 or e-mail


Maine CDC Shares Tips to Avoid Getting Sick from Mosquitoes

The Maine Center for Disease Control and Prevention (Maine CDC) urges residents and visitors to take precautions against mosquitoes to minimize the risk of exposure to diseases from mosquito bites.  Mosquitoes can spread three viruses in Maine -- Eastern Equine Encephalitis virus (EEE), Jamestown Canyon virus (JCV), and West Nile virus (WNV).

Many infected people show no symptoms.  Others experience fever and flu-like illness.  There is no specific treatment available for these diseases.  If you experience these symptoms, especially severe symptoms, call your healthcare provider immediately.

In extreme cases, bites from infected mosquitoes can cause encephalitis, meningitis, and death.

The best protection against all mosquito-borne diseases is to prevent mosquito bites.  To protect yourself from mosquito bites:

  • wear long sleeves and long pants;
  • use an EPA-approved repellent on skin and clothes;
  • take extra precautions at dusk and dawn when mosquitoes are most active;
  • use screens on windows and doors;
  • drain artificial sources of standing water where mosquitoes lay eggs; and
  • vaccinate horses against EEE and WNV.

The Maine CDC tests mosquitoes for EEE and WNV throughout the summer months, starting in July.  Find weekly mosquito surveillance reports here.

The risk of mosquito-transmitted diseases such as EEE and WNV usually increases through the late summer and early fall.  Mosquitoes are active until the second heavy frost.


Lottery Claims Now by Appointment

The Maine State Lottery is pleased to announce its lobby is now reopened by appointment only for winners of $600 and above.  ONLY THE WINNER is ALLOWED TO ENTER THE LOTTERY LOBBY -- NO GUESTS.  Face coverings ARE REQUIRED to enter the building.  If you are unable or unwilling to follow these requirements, you can mail your ticket or deposit into the drop box just inside the public entrance at 19 Union Street, Augusta, and a check will be mailed to you.

Please call (207) 287-9721 to schedule an appointment.