SDPP Specific Questions
How much funding is available and when can awardees expect funding?
For this state fiscal year ending in June of 2022, $10M in funding has been allocated by the Maine State Legislature under Governor Mills’ Maine Jobs and Recovery Plan. An additional $5M is being allocated from funds specifically targeting the seafood sector’s recovery from the Consolidated Appropriations Act based on language in the CARES Act, and $850,000 is also available through a USDA block grant.
This is a competitive grant program to help businesses recover the costs they incurred in responding to the immediate impacts of the pandemic to address workplace safety and remain operational, as well as to improve market opportunities and resilience in the sector going forward. Funding will support forward-looking projects that address new market demands, provide new sustainable products, or otherwise advance the long-term stability of the industry, helping to create and sustain jobs in rural Maine and strengthen Maine’s economy.
What are some examples of unallowable expenses?
Funds must be used to implement your plan and directly address negative impacts of the Covid-19 pandemic. Types of expenses which would NOT be allowed include but are not limited to the following:
- Depreciation expense
- Goods and Services for Personal Use
- Fines, Penalties, Damages and other Settlements
What qualifies as a “negative impact of the pandemic”?
A company’s “negative impact” can be defined in multiple ways. The easiest way is to show a revenue decline in 2020 vs. 2019 or YTD 2021 vs. the same period in 2019. Some other ways include:
- Supply chain disruptions that caused a reduction in production or revenue
- Worker unavailability
- Distribution disruptions
- Other resource limitations
Companies should think broadly about the damage the pandemic caused their business. That damage should be fully explained in the application.
Will prior MTI awards impact eligibility?
This program is a stand-alone initiative and prior MTI award(s) or declines will not impact eligibility for an SDPP award. SDPP funds are federal funds supplied by the state and administered by MTI.
If I have Excel spreadsheets and Word documents already created to support my plan, can they be uploaded to the MTI online system as part of my application?
If plans have already been created using Word or Excel, those files can be uploaded and referenced in your application. Your plan should be brief but contain the goals you expect to achieve (new hires, revenue growth, etc.) as you will be asked to report on those goals and progress in a brief survey sent semi-annually.
Companies are asked to think broadly about steps they could take in their businesses that would cause transformative change and resiliency. If the program you envision creates real stability and an opportunity for growth of your firm, it may be a good candidate for SDPP funding.
How much detail is necessary to include in the SDPP funding application?
The purpose of this funding is focused on recovery and growth for the wholesale seafood and processing sector. The plan you submit with your application should provide the details of how the funds will be used to achieve those goals for your company/organization. If plans have already been created using Word or Excel, those files can be uploaded and referenced in your application. Your plan should be brief but contain the goals you expect to achieve (new hires, revenue growth, etc.) as you will be asked to report on those goals and progress in a brief survey sent semi-annually.
We have also created a Sample Application which you can find here. It provides a good indication of the amount of detail that is acceptable.
What are the reporting requirements from MTI?
The funds awarded from this program are funded from the federal government and the American Rescue Plan Act (ARPA). Maine has specific reporting requirements back to the federal government on a quarterly basis and we will use the information in the application and the amount of award paid for our reporting. There may be a need for some follow-up on the funds distributed and the status of your project. If necessary, those will be short surveys with an online response tool.
How will my project be evaluated?
The evaluation will be based on three things: the negative economic impact of the pandemic on your business, how your project proposes to respond to that impact, and the broader economic impact for Maine of your project. For negative economic impact, your application will be evaluated on the clarity of your explanation of impacts, the size of those impacts, and the alignment of your financials to the impacts you’ve described. With regard to how your project responds to those impacts, we are looking for a clear plan to utilize the funds in a way that will strengthen the business, and whether the plan is likely to improve resiliency of the business to market disruptions or other challenges in the future. Finally, as regards broader economic impact, we are looking at the number of FTEs you employ, your gross revenues, growth potential, and benefit to the community.
How much money can I request and expect to receive?
Applicants can request up to $500,000 in total for both reimbursable expenses and future investments, but most awards will be substantially less than $500,000. We expect a large number of applications, and the total funding requested is likely to exceed the funds available for SDPP. Not all applicants will receive funding for future investments. Wherever possible, applicants should provide detail about the cost for phases or portions of a future investment, so that partial funding could be aligned with what is needed to execute a meaningful phase of the project.
How do I get or find my UEID number and is there any cost to me to obtain a UEID number?
If you don’t have a UEID number, you can get one here at no cost.
On April 4, 2022, the unique entity identifier used across the federal government changed from the DUNS Number to the Unique Entity ID (UEID) number generated by SAM.gov. The UEID number is required as we will need to report all awards to the federal government and include the UEID number for that account.
- The Unique Entity ID number is a 12-character alphanumeric ID assigned to an entity by SAM.gov.
- As part of this transition, the DUNS Number has been removed from SAM.gov.
- Entity registration, searching, and data entry in SAM.gov now require use of the new Unique Entity ID number.
- Existing registered entities can find their Unique Entity ID number by following the steps here.
- New entities can get their Unique Entity ID number at SAM.gov and, if required, complete an entity registration.
- The SAM.gov website has a video and a list of FAQs. (Videos can be found halfway down the SAM.gov page.)
- Please note — the registration process allows you to obtain just a Unique Entity ID (UEID) number or also to register your business so that you can bid on government contracts. The video indicates that you need to register your entity to get federal awards. The award you are applying for through SDPP is NOT a direct federal award. Unless you plan to bid on government contracts, most applicants for the SDPP program only need to sign up for the UEID number. (Easier and faster.)
- If you have attempted to register your UEID number with SAM.gov but have received a message stating your request requires further review, you can still proceed with MTI’s online application for the Seafood Dealer & Processor Program. Click here to learn more.
How can I apply if I don’t have Microsoft Word to open the application?
Word files can be opened with Google Docs or Drive. Read more about using these alternatives here: https://support.google.com/a/users/answer/9308757.