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Letter to Governor Mills

Updated: May. 7, 2021 at 11:55 AM EDT
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Aroostook County, Maine (WAGM) - Its been more than a year since the Canadian-U.S border has been closed to all but essential traffic during the pandemic. It has impacted many businesses here in Aroostook County. Legislators in the County are trying to bring awareness to this matter. Adriana Sanchez has the story.

The Aroostook County State Legislative Delegation has taken steps to advocate for businesses who have been impacted by the border closure.  They have sent a letter to Governor Mills. In the letter it states, “We are writing to request special consideration be given to Aroostook business when determining the allocation of funding to be received under the recent American Rescue Plan.”

“We wanted to make sure as a delegation, that as the discussion that is happening with what to do with the money coming from the feds in the next round of funding - that Aroostook county is particularly looked at as an area that had to suffer probably more than any other part of the state because of the additional factor that’s compounding all the other challenges that have come from coronavirus over the last year. But certainly the border closure being the major one for companies and business that do business international with Canada,” said Maine State Senator, Trey Stewart.

“I think it’s more a call to say can you provide additional financial support businesses most impacted because of their proximity to the border and their loss of Canadian revenue,” added Paul Towle, President and CEO of Aroostook Partnership.

Towle says they have also reached out to Senators King and Collins and Congressman Jared Golden.

Before the pandemic, Canadians would cross the border daily to purchase milk, bread and gas. With the border closure, it has caused those businesses to decline in sales, and it isn’t just grocery stores and gas stations that are feeling the effects, the entertainment business is also struggling.

“Like I said, advertisements for all those business before that had Canadian companies advertising well there’s no need to do that now because people can’t go over there and vice versa so that just completely stopped because it was useless- why would you advertise with channel X,” said Senate President Troy Jackson.

The border closure has now been extended to May 21st of 2021.

Here is the full letter:

Letter sent by The Aroostook County State Legislative Delegation
Letter sent by The Aroostook County State Legislative Delegation(Aroostook County State Legislative Delegation)
The Aroostook County State Legislative Delegation
The Aroostook County State Legislative Delegation(N/A)

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