Maine leads the nation in the number of applicants, and $252,000 has been disbursed to Maine loggers so far
Application deadline is October 15th
Washington, D.C. — U.S. Senator Susan Collins and Congressman Jared Golden are strongly encouraging Maine timber harvesting and hauling businesses that have been seriously impacted by the pandemic to apply for $200 million in COVID-19 relief before the deadline on October 15th.
Last year, Senator Collins and Representative Golden introduced the Loggers Relief Act to establish a new USDA program to provide direct payments to loggers who have been seriously impacted by the pandemic. Their bill was co-sponsored by Senator Angus King and Representative Chellie Pingree. Senator Collins, a lead negotiator of the COVID-19 relief bill that was signed into law in December, successfully secured the inclusion of the Loggers Relief Act and $200 million in funding in the final package. Following a push led by Senator Collins and Congressman Golden, the U.S. Department of Agriculture opened the application process in July.
Maine leads the nation in the number of logging and log hauling businesses that have applied for the Pandemic Assistance to Timber Harvesters and Haulers (PATHH) program, and $252,000 has been disbursed to Maine loggers to date. Maine loggers and log haulers can APPLY HERE through October 15, 2021.
“Maine’s forest products industry supports good-paying jobs, drives local economies, and strengthens rural communities,” said Senator Collins. “In addition to a changing 21st century economy, unfair trade practices, the explosion at the Jay mill, and the shutdown of the #9 paper machine and biomass boiler at Sappi in Westbrook, the pandemic made 2020 a difficult year for our forest products industry. That is why I secured $200 million for loggers and timber haulers in the COVID-19 relief package late last year. I am pleased that, following our advocacy, this much-needed support is finally being disbursed, and I encourage eligible Maine family logging and log hauling businesses to apply.”
“With the October 15th deadline for the logger relief program fast approaching, I encourage any Maine logging businesses who suffered losses last year to apply,” said Congressman Golden. “My staff has already helped loggers in our state get their applications in and we’re ready to help more.”
“Maine timber harvesters and haulers finally have an opportunity to quickly and easily access pandemic relief funds designated specifically for their industry, and it is important that they do so as soon as possible to avoid missing their chance,” Dana Doran, Executive Director of the Professional Logging Contractors of Maine, said. “These funds can provide aid at a time when it is sorely needed by many hard-working small family businesses here in Maine. We have been assured that there will be enough funding available for all those who apply and the application process is quick and relatively pain free. We are grateful to U.S. Senator Susan Collins and U.S. Representative Jared Golden for leading the effort to secure this opportunity, and to Senator Angus King and U.S. Representative Chellie Pingree for their steadfast support along the way.”
Paper mills drastically slashed output or shut down their operations altogether during the pandemic – which the American Loggers Council estimates caused a reduction of $1.83 billion (or 13 percent) in the value of logger-delivered wood.
Timber harvesting and hauling businesses are eligible to apply for the $200 million available in relief funding through the PATHH program if they experienced at least a 10 percent loss in revenue from January 1, 2020, through December 2020, as compared to the same timeframe in 2019. These direct payments will be equal to 10 percent of their gross revenue from 2019, with the funds to be used for operating expenses, including payroll.
Maine’s logging industry is a linchpin of the state’s economy, generating an estimated $619 million in economic output, and providing $342 million in income to around 9,000 Mainers, most of whom live in rural communities.