Stage Four businesses (those not yet allowed to reopen) have been forgotten and will not survive.

For 20-plus years, our business has produced trade shows, managed conferences and provided temporary power and lighting for events. Our business-to-business events help others grow their businesses and have significant economic impact. Since March, gatherings of more than 50 people haven’t been permitted and, as a result, more than 30 of our events have been canceled.

We have shut down our events as asked, with a resulting 95 percent drop in revenue. Not even the best-managed companies in Maine can sustain this type of loss, especially small businesses without deep pockets. The Paycheck Protection Program provided a lifeline to retain our people – the backbone of our business – but our Paycheck Protection funds have run out.

We have taken out six-figure Small Business Administration loans to continue our business. Without the ability to hold events safely, not only us, but venues, caterers, rental companies and others in our industry will soon be gone.

We watch Stage 1-3 companies (those now open) with support and hope as we await our turn to open. Federal funding remains in the Paycheck Protection Program, and those funds were meant to preserve jobs and small businesses. If we are to survive, the businesses that are required to stay closed for the safety of our community need those funds.

We need our representatives to show true leadership by fighting to make this remaining funding available to small businesses that need it most. Our survival depends on it.

Stefa Normantas

Green Tree Events/New England Made Shows

Saco

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