How to Support Local Maine Businesses During COVID-19
If you’ve read our latest blog, “Staying Safe While Visiting Midcoast Maine,” you’re on track to still enjoy all of the beauty and amenities of Maine this summer. As tourism makes up a large portion of the state’s economy, many restaurants and small businesses are doing their utmost to recover from COVID-19’s devastating impact. Here’s how you can help support these businesses while enjoying your next visit to Maine.
Patronize Local Restaurants and Order Take-out
Any restaurant that was already fortunate to have outdoor seating is poised to do better this summer, and there are plenty of options in the Midcoast. Other restaurants have integrated outdoor dining on the streets. And given that Maine has had the lowest amount of coronavirus cases in New England, it is safe to patronize dine-in restaurants as well. To comply with social distancing guidelines, many of those who can’t do outdoor dining have constructed take-out windows, which is another way to help restaurants while bringing home delicious Maine dishes.
Safely Visit Local Shops and Order From Them Online
Many locally owned businesses are having a tougher time with a deep drop in tourism combined with only a minimum of five people allowed inside at a time in the smaller shops. Please observe any rules they post outside the shop, including wearing masks and social distancing, and treat their staff with extra consideration this summer. Likewise, many of your favorite businesses you’ve always visited will thrive past October if you order online from them year-round.
Use Local Food Home Delivery Services
Although the rural nature of Maine doesn’t lend itself to DoorDash or other food delivery systems, some new local businesses have cropped up to meet that demand specifically with COVID-19 precautions in mind. Belfast Delivers is a custom delivery service with a new website that allows customers to shop from more than 20 local farms, food vendors, shops, and restaurants. Trillium, a Belfast catering company, has launched Trilly, a new division of the business that divers “fancy food” and “meals & sides for two” with pick-up option or contactless delivery. Craft Delivery Service provides food/restaurants, groceries, beer, wine, spirits, and prescriptions to the areas of Camden, Rockport, Rockland, Lincolnville and beyond.
Buy Lobster Directly From the Boat
This summer, Maine lobstermen were hit hard by COVID-19, and to recoup some of their losses, many lobstermen took to selling their product directly from the boat to crowds in parking lots. Using social distancing measures, one alliance, Maine’s Working Waterfront-Seafood Connect has been the lifeline to keep lobstermen financially afloat. With outrageously low prices for customers ($6 to $7 per pound) – less than what it costs for ground beef – many lobstermen are able to sell their product directly to the customer. Likewise, lobstermen who sell through co-ops still need support, so this summer is the time to patronize the hottest deal around whether buying local from lobstermen, ordering lobster at restaurants and take-out shacks, or ordering it online for delivery. See our past blogs for cooking tips and recipes.
For more information on ways to enjoy Maine on your visit here this summer, catch up with Maine Lobster Festival’s informative website. We hope to see you at the Festival in 2021!