“Our workers are getting through this because we have a Senator who is fighting for us.”
-Jean Ginn Marvin, Maine Business Owner
Bangor, ME – Like so many small business owners in Maine, Mike Tammaro’s plans were thrown into chaos at the outbreak of the COVID-19 pandemic. Tammaro is the owner of V.L. Tammaro Oil Company, a second-generation family business headquartered in Baileyville. He knew that as more and more Mainers became ill during this pandemic, and social distancing and stay-at-home orders were implemented, it was no longer going to be business as usual. He quickly developed a plan to keep half of his workers on the job for two weeks, while the rest stayed home. He would rotate workers every two weeks – but every worker would still receive their full pay, insurance, and 401(k) benefits.
“My employees, over 40 in number, are my family. Many have been here 15-20 years,” Tammaro told Senator Susan Collins. “This [plan] was what I felt was our only option. I was going to gamble, kick the can down the road and hope for the best!”
On April 3, Tammaro applied for a forgivable loan through the Paycheck Protection Program (PPP), a bipartisan law authored by Senator Collins. One week later, Tammaro and his workers received the funding they needed.
“Now, we at least have a fighting chance of protecting my people and surviving financially to fight another day,” says Tammaro. And, in a new ad released by the Collins for Senator campaign highlighting the overwhelming success of the PPP, Tammaro goes on to say, “only a leader like Susan Collins could get this done.”
Last week, Congress reached a bipartisan agreement, and the President signed into law, legislation that will provide an additional $320 billion to the original $350 billion – bringing total funding for this small business assistance program to $670 billion. Senator Collins first introduced a small business emergency economic relief plan on March 25. In less than a month, that legislation has gone from an idea to a massive federal assistance program that has already provided $2.24 billion to nearly 17,000 small employers in Maine and helping provide paychecks to some 180,000 workers who otherwise may not be being paid. In Maine, that works out to an average loan size of $134,000, supporting small businesses with an average of 12 employees. Nationwide, the average loan size was $206,000, which translates into approximately 18 employees.
“Our workers are getting through this because we have a Senator who is fighting for us,” small business owner Jean Ginn Marvin, who also appears in the ad, says.
(Anchor) Hope is on the horizon for small business owners to help huge financial hardships caused by the COVID-19 pandemic.
(Anchor) Susan Collins says she’s working to keep Mainers paid and employed.
(Anchor) Senator Susan Collins co-authored the $350 billion Paycheck Protection Program as part of the coronavirus economic recovery bill.
(Anchor) Senator Collins says the money would provide federally guaranteed emergency loans that would eventually be forgiven as long as those funds are used to pay workers and operating expenses.
(Mike Tammaro, Baileyville) Only a leader like Susan Collins could get this done.
(Jean Ginn Marvin, Kennebunkport) Our workers are getting through this because we have a senator who’s fighting for us.
(Mike Tammaro, Baileyville) This has certainly given us a fighting chance, for both us and our employees.
(Anchor) Close to 17,000 small businesses in Maine have received federal funding.
(Jean Ginn Marvin, Kennebunkport) This program is providing the stability that Maine families need.
(Joe and Stacey Guerin, Glenburn) Susan Collins, you are Maine's small business superhero.
(Mike Tammaro, Baileyville) Thank you Susan - you never stop working for Maine.