How MGFPA has made it easier to do business during the COVID-19 Pandemic

We’re All in This Together

At every step of the way, we have injected our voice to help. We clarified who was considered essential in the early days, consistently provided industry best-practices and protocols, advocated for clear guidelines and policy adjustments to ensure everyone’s safety, diligently answered all your questions, and immersed ourselves in anything and everything COVID-19 to be your industry expert. The coronavirus has affected everyone and continues to place incredible demands on our industry.

MGFPA successfully advocated for an update to allow for an increased # of customers in your stores!
Without MGFPA’s persistence and advocacy, many of Maine’s small to mid-size independent grocers would have been on the verge of economic hardship with the reduction in customers and sales volume.

Delayed Maine’s plastic bag ban implementation date and revoked local bag ordinances.
Responding to the industry’s needs, MGFPA worked to ensure Maine’s plastic bag ban implementation date was extended until January 2021. We also worked with Maine’s DEP and Governor Mills to pass legislation so that the state supersedes all local plastic bag bans or policies, allowing retailers to use whatever bags they want now through next year. We continued to engage and prevent additional attempts to change this policy prior to 2021.

Temporary suspension of bottle redemption.
MGFPA actively worked with Maine’s DEP to allow stores to temporarily suspend their bottle redemption services to focus on other high priority tasks including stocking shelves, sanitization and social distancing practices without the need to intake and store possibly contaminated bottles.

Coordinated distribution of 75,000 free face-coverings.
To further protect the health and safety of our industry, MGFPA worked in collaboration with FEMA to coordinate statewide distribution to our local grocers, markets, and supermarkets as well as co-packers, dairy processors, and local food manufacturers.

Opposed mandated face-coverings enforcement expectations.
Worked firmly with the administration to oppose retail’s enforcement of customer face-coverings. We consistently opposed, expressed our grave concerns for putting retail staffers in harm’s way and negotiated that our businesses would not be the enforcement arm of customers’ face-coverings despite multiple attempts to incorporate this requirement.

Early alerts to stores regarding the influx of $11M in excess SNAP dollars and advocated for WIC substitutions.
Information was shared before the government-issued press releases allowing stores to prepare with additional inventory and staffing. Recognizing some basic items were in high-demand and hard to replenish MGFPA worked closely with the WIC office to allow for bread, milk, and cheese substitutions ensuring stores could still make these sales.

Launched a statewide Let’s Be Kind Campaign
In response to industry feedback and to prevent additional negativity, MGFPA helped launch a well-received, timely, Let’s Be Kind campaign featuring print and social media assets as well as a 2-month long televised PSA.