Maine Offering Economic Recovery Grants to Support Small Businesses

Brian Whitney MTI President

Last week, Governor Janet Mills and Maine Department of Economic & Community Development Commissioner Heather Johnson announced that a new grant program has been created to assist Maine small businesses and non-profit entities that suffered business and revenue disruptions associated with the global pandemic.  $200 million of federal CARES Act Coronavirus Relief Funds are being made available to provide much needed financial relief to affected organizations across the State of Maine.

The launch of this new grant program is consistent with the ongoing work and recommendations of the Governor’s Economic Recovery Committee (ERC).  The ERC made direct financial relief to employers one of their urgent recommendations.  Additionally, since the beginning of the crisis, the Maine Department of Economic & Community Development (DECD) has been working closely with Maine organizations from all sectors to identify opportunities to address the economic challenges associated with the crisis.   Based on the recommendations of the ERC and the feedback received from affected Maine businesses and non-profits, DECD developed this crucial program to assist in the stabilization of Maine’s economy and to accelerate the transition from short-term relief to regaining our state’s focus on Maine’s 10-year Economic Development Strategy, anchored in talent and innovation.

Grants will be distributed based on an organization’s demonstrated losses as a pro-rated percentage of the total losses reported by qualified applicants. The grants are intended to assist in sustaining the viability of Maine businesses and non-profits, not to replace lost profits. The goal is to ensure that each dollar has at least a small, direct impact on supporting Maine businesses, Maine non-profit organizations, and Maine’s economy.

Your business could potentially qualify for up to $100,000 in grant funding.  Applications must be completed by 11:59 PM EST September 9, 2020.  Click here for more information.

Call 1-800-872-3838 and press 3 or email BizAwards.DECD@maine.gov for assistance.

New Micro-Enterprise Grant Program Also Launched

DECD, in partnership with the Maine Small Business Development Centers (SBDC), also launched a program in mid-August to provide grants of up to $5,000 to Maine Micro-Enterprises (businesses with 5 employees or fewer).  The state has made $2 million available for this program and is accepting applications on a first-come, first-served basis.  To determine eligibility, business owners need to meet with a Maine SBDC counselor to review the requirements and apply.  Please visit the SBDC website for more information.

The funding for the Micro-Enterprise Grant Program will be distributed through the Androscoggin Valley Council of Governments (AVCOG), Coastal Enterprises, Inc. (CEI), Northern Maine Development Commission (NMDC), and Southern Maine Planning & Development Commission (SMPDC).

Don’t miss out on these unique and timely funding opportunities.

Best,

Brian