Aroostook County, MAINE – After joining Maine residents to watch the Can-Am International Sled Dog Race, Governor Janet Mills today personally presented a Fort Kent business owner with a Maine Jobs and Recovery Grant and toured a Almost Isle business that also received an economic recovery grant from him. Administration to support their redevelopment efforts.
“I grew up spending a lot of time with my grandparents who grew potatoes in Ashland. They worked hard every day to support themselves and their community. Now every time I visit I think of them and how much I love the county. I want to make sure that every family has the opportunity to put down roots here, to have a well-paying job and to be able to live a safe and comfortable life,” said Governor Janet Mills. “That’s why I’m so focused on strengthening the county’s economy and supporting businesses like Dinah’s Laundromat and entrepreneurs like Ignite PI. I am glad to know that the grants my administration has provided are helping them cope with the impacts of the pandemic, putting them in a better position to not only keep their doors open, but to thrive in the long term. I will work as hard as I can to support Maine’s small businesses as our economy makes a strong comeback.
Accompanied by Fort Kent City Council President Jake Robichaud, Governor Mills personally presented a grant of approximately $2,000 to Dinah Gagnon, owner of Dinah’s Laundromat in Fort Kent. The governor announced this week that his administration is giving more than 382 small businesses and nonprofits across the state grants under his Maine Jobs and Recovery Plan to help them cope with the financial cost of the COVID-19 pandemic. Dinah’s Laundromat won one of these awards. Dinah’s also celebrated its 30th anniversary in 2020.
“I’ve operated Dinah’s Laundromat Laundromat in Fort Kent for over three decades – and the last two years have been the toughest,” said Dinah Gagnon, owner of Dinah’s Laundromat. “This assistance is a huge help. I thank the governor for making this support available to businesses like mine.”
The Governor then joined Ignite PI for a tour of the Northeastland Hotel in Près Isle and a briefing on how Ignite PI is working to promote economic growth in the region through entrepreneurship and innovation. Last year, Ignite PI received a $100,000 economic stimulus grant through the Governor’s Border Business Relief and Charter Transportation Grant Program.
Photos, clockwise from top left: Clint Deschene of Ignite PI briefs Governor Mills on Northeastland Hotel renovations made possible by a previous grant from her administration; Governor Mills joins Maine residents to watch the Can-Am International Sled Dog Race; Governor Mills personally presents Dinah Gagnon of Dinah’s Laundromat with a Maine Jobs & Recovery Grant Award
The Mills administration has provided more than $273 million in federal grants to Maine businesses and nonprofits to mitigate the effects of the pandemic.
“The past few years have been particularly difficult for businesses in rural Maine communities. That’s why we’ve prioritized meaningful help for small businesses in Fort Kent, Almost Isle, and across our state,” said Heather Johnson, Commissioner of the Ministry of Economic and Community Development. “These investments will allow Aroostook County businesses such as Dinah’s Laundromat and Ignite PI to not only catch up, but also benefit from Maine’s strong economic recovery.”
The Maine Jobs & Recovery Plan is the Governor’s plan, approved by the Legislature, to invest nearly $1 billion in Federal American Rescue Plan funds to improve the lives of Maine residents and families, help businesses, create well-paying jobs and build an economy. ready for future prosperity.
It draws heavily on the recommendations of the Governor’s Economic Recovery Committee and the state’s 10-year Economic Development Strategy, turning them into concrete actions to improve the lives of Maine residents and strengthen the economy.
Funding for the Jobs Plan is through the Federal American Rescue Plan Act, which allocated $4.5 billion in stimulus funds to Maine in 2021. Coordination of the Jobs Plan is led by the Maine Department of Administrative and Financial Services and the Governor’s Office of Policy Innovation and the Future.
To learn more about Maine Jobs & Recovery Plan, visit maine.gov/jobsplan.