- Associated Press - Tuesday, April 20, 2021

PORTLAND, Maine (AP) - Maine’s U.S. senators want the Paycheck Protection Program to provide more help to seasonal small businesses.

Republican U.S. Sen. Susan Collins and independent U.S. Sen. Angus King said Monday they are proposing a law change because some small seasonal businesses were unable to take full advantage of the program.

The senators said their proposal “modifies a provision in the Paycheck Protection Program to provide additional funds to some seasonal businesses who applied in the early days of the PPP, helping to equalize their treatment with that of other seasonal small businesses.”

Collins, one of the co-authors of the Paycheck Protection Program, said the program has helped tens of thousands of small businesses in the state. She said the proposed law change would help businesses whose first loans have already been forgiven.

That will help with the busy summer season on the way, Collins said.



In other pandemic news in Maine:

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THE NUMBERS

The daily averages of new cases and deaths related to coronavirus are both trending upward.

The seven-day rolling average of daily new cases in Maine has risen over the past two weeks from 279.43 new cases per day on April 4 to 469.86 new cases per day on April 18. The seven-day rolling average of daily deaths in Maine has risen over the past two weeks from 1.43 deaths per day on April 4 to 2.29 deaths per day on April 18.

The AP is using data collected by Johns Hopkins University Center for Systems Science and Engineering to measure outbreak caseloads and deaths across the United States.

The Maine Center for Disease Control and Prevention said Tuesday that more than 57,000 people have tested positive for the coronavirus in the state since the start of the pandemic. There have also been 767 deaths.

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VACCINE PROGRESS

The office of Maine Gov. Janet Mills said Tuesday the state has passed the milestone of more than one million doses of coronavirus vaccine administered. Half the state has received at least a first dose.

“That’s strong, resounding and remarkable progress,” said Dr. Nirav Shah, director of the Maine CDC. “We, of course, have more work to do - namely that other 50% of the state.”

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