MTI has established the Forestry Recovery Initiative (FRI) to distribute $10M in federal funding approved through the American Rescue Plan Act of 2021 (ARPA). This initiative provides grant funding to help Maine’s Forestry businesses recover from the harm caused by the COVID-19 pandemic. The FRI program will become available in two phases. Phase 1 will provide pandemic relief for companies across the forestry industry in Maine. Phase 2 eligibility criteria and program details will be announced in the near future. Our immediate goal is to make Phase 1 awards available as soon as possible.
Am I Eligible for Phase 1 of the Forestry Recovery Initiative?
Your business may be considered for a FRI Phase 1 grant award if:
- Your business has a significant presence in Maine (25% of employees in Maine or headquarters (HQ) in Maine).
- You conduct business involving the harvest, transportation (>50% of revenue from forestry operations), or processing of forest products utilizing Maine timber
- Your business was negatively impacted by the COVID-19 pandemic
- You can demonstrate a clear plan to utilize FRI Funds to directly address the negative economic impacts of the COVID-19 pandemic, suffered by your business here in Maine
- Your company has fewer than 250 full time employees
- You are able and willing to comply with bi-annual reporting required by State and Federal law
- Your business is registered with Maine Secretary of State’s corporate registry – NOTE: If you are a sole proprietor, you will need to provide documentation of a valid municipal business registry if it has been filed to protect the name of your business. If you have not filed with the municipality, we will need to see a copy of your most recent federal tax return including Schedule C. After we have validated your business in the review process, we will then DELETE the tax information from our system so that we will NOT store any tax information from your operation.
- To receive any federal recovery funds, you must also register a DUNS identification number (for more info on DUNS numbers, see our FAQ or click here)
How Do I Apply For Phase 1 Forestry Recovery Initiative Funding?
Step 1-Complete your paperwork
Use the Application Template for FRI Phase 1 to compose your application. Download the Word doc, answer the questions then save the file. If you cannot access the Word doc, here is a PDF version of the Application Template.
You will also need other supporting documents, see checklist below.
Step 2-Submit your application and supporting documents online
You must submit your finalized application and supporting documents via the Recovery Funding Online Application Portal. The link can be found within the Application Template.
The Recovery Funding Online Application Portal will also require you to enter basic contact information for your business.
Before you access MTI’s Online Application Portal, you will need the following documents ready for upload:
- Completed Application Template
- Signed and dated W-9 Form (Access a blank W-9 Form HERE)
- Income Statement (or Profit and Loss Statement) for 2019, 2020, & 2021(YTD)
- Current Balance Sheet
- Sole proprietors may provide federal tax filings for 2019 & 2020 (instead of P&L and Balance Sheet)
- Verification of municipal business registry (if not registered with Maine Secretary of State)
- DUNS number (identifier required to receive federal funding)
When Are Applications Due?
The application deadline for Phase 1 is JANUARY 31st, 2022.
What If I Need Help With My Application?
MTI offers the following documents and resources to assist you in the application process:
Read our Frequently asked questions
Read our Program Overview document. This PDF is available in other languages prominent in Maine via the links below.
Attend a Zoom call
MTI will host weekly Zoom sessions to answer your specific questions about the FRI application. See session dates and register here.
For basic questions about the program, call 1-800-872-3838 and press 3
Email your question to: BizAwards.DECD@maine.gov
What Can I Use The Phase 1 Forestry Recovery Initiative For?
Funds must be used to implement your plan and directly address negative impacts of the pandemic.
Suggested expenses may include but are not limited to:
- Payroll costs and expenses
- Rent or mortgage payments for business facilities (unless otherwise waived by
- Utilities payments
- Purchase of personal protective equipment (PPE) required by the business
- Business-related equipment purchases
- Investments to strengthen your business’ ability to mitigate pandemic-related market disruptions
- Expenses incurred to replenish inventory or other necessary re-opening expenses and other necessary operating expenses.
Examples of unallowable expenses include (list is not all-inclusive):
- Depreciation expense
- Goods and Services for Personal Use
- Fines, Penalties, Damages and other Settlements
These funds must be spent on operations that are strictly within Maine; however, Maine-based businesses doing work in neighboring states is allowable. These grant funds are subject to audit and are generally considered to be reportable income, and so should be included with reportable income at tax time.
How Much Can I Apply For And What Happens After I Apply?
After the application deadline, your application will be evaluated against state and federal funding guidelines to assess eligibility, and award amounts will be based upon:
- The total number of FRI applicants
- The assessed severity of negative economic impacts caused by the pandemic
- The quality of your proposed plan to address the negative economic impacts caused by the pandemic
Below is an estimated range of award sizes, based on the number of Maine-based full-time employees:
- Fewer than 10 Maine-based FTE: estimated range of award size is $10K – $25K
- 10 – 50 Maine-based FTE: estimated range of award size is $25K – $100K
- 51 – 250 Maine-based FTE: estimated range of $100K – $250K (possibly paid out in multiple installments)
PLEASE NOTE: Award size is subject to change based on the number of valid applications received and the severity of negative economic impacts caused by the pandemic. We expect that ALL qualified applications will receive some award. The exact amount will be determined after all the applications have been received and evaluated.
MTI plans to make FRI award announcements by March 1, 2022.
If you receive an FRI award, MTI will work with you to execute an award contract that outlines conditions of funding, including federal and state reporting requirements, which require you to report back to MTI on your progress every six (6) months through 2027. The reporting will be completed via online questionnaires.
MTI’s Forestry Recovery Initiative presents a unique opportunity to help businesses in Maine’s Forest Products industry recover and strengthen the industry’s pandemic resilience moving forward.