Bucksport, MAINE —During a visit to Bucksport today, Governor Janet Mills visited two local seafood processing businesses who received grants awarded through her Maine Jobs & Recovery Plan to upgrade their infrastructure.
“Maine’s seafood industry – from our fishermen and aquaculturists to our processors and our dealers – is a cornerstone of our economy, employing thousands of people up and down the coast and generating about two billion dollars every year,” said Governor Janet Mills. “I was thrilled to visit Pemaquid Mussel Farms and Greenhead Lobster in Bucksport today to see how funding from my Maine Jobs & Recovery Plan is supporting their success. Delivering funding to help businesses upgrade their infrastructure strengthens them in the long-term and helps insulate them from the impacts of inflation. My Administration will continue to work to ensure the strength and vitality of this industry for years to come.”
In June, Governor Mills awarded more than $15 million to 107 Maine seafood dealers and processors, including Pemaquid Mussel Farms and Greenhead Lobster, as part of her Seafood Dealer and Processor COVID-19 Response and Resilience Program (SDPP) to help increase the supply of Maine-harvested seafood, strengthen their ability to deliver to markets, and create and sustain jobs throughout Maine’s iconic seafood industry. Businesses in every coastal county received awards, with more than half of grants coming in at more than $115,000.
Pemaquid Mussel Farms of Bucksport grows its mussels on ropes suspended from floating rafts. With funding from Governor Mills’ Maine Jobs & Recovery Plan, Pemaquid will purchase a new processing line and new equipment for their processing plant.
“The Seafood Dealer and Processor Program was essential to keeping us moving forward and towards a bright future, providing the best quality mussels and mussel products to our customers and creating sustainable, high-quality jobs in Maine,” said Carter Newell, Managing Member of Pemaquid Mussel Farms LLC.
Greenhead Lobster is a family-owned business with facilities in Stonington and Bucksport. During the pandemic, falling wholesale demand meant that the business had to invest heavily in new online sales. With funding from Governor Mills’ Maine Jobs & Recovery Plan, Greenhead will make investments in innovation that will significantly increase the efficiency of their lobster processing.
“Greenhead Lobster appreciates the opportunity to partake in the SDPP program to supplement our investments in innovation and technology,” said Hugh Reynolds, Owner of Greenhead Lobster in Stonington. “Greenhead Lobster will use this grant to complete investments in innovation that will significantly increase the efficiency of our lobster processing. We are very proud to be part of the Maine Lobster Industry and we are excited to use this funding to continue to contribute to its future.”
“Maine’s seafood dealers and processors are a vital part of our coastal economy,” said Maine Department of Marine Resources Commissioner Patrick Keliher. “They have faced unprecedented challenges resulting from the pandemic. Thanks to Governor Mills’ leadership and commitment to this industry they have received a much needed life line that will help them not only withstand future economic challenges but also build a prosperous and profitable future.”
The SDPP program is one of three initiatives of the Governor’s Jobs Plan to support the economic recovery of Maine’s heritage fishing, forestry, and agricultural industries from impacts of the COVID-19 pandemic. This year, the Governor’s Jobs Plan has awarded approximately $41 million in economic recovery funds to 392 businesses in these heritage sectors across all 16 counties in Maine. A second round of grants offering $14 million for the forest products industry is now available.
The Mills Administration has delivered more than $288 million in Federal grant funding to Maine businesses and non-profits to mitigate the impacts of the pandemic.
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 people and families, help businesses, create good-paying jobs, and build an economy poised for future prosperity.
It draws heavily on recommendations from the Governor’s Economic Recovery Committee and the State’s 10-Year Economic Development Strategy, transforming them into real action to improve the lives of Maine people 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.
For more about Maine Jobs & Recovery Plan, visit maine.gov/jobsplan.