The portal to accept applications for the PRIME Fund Phase 1 Program CLOSED at midnight on May 24, 2022 and award announcements were made during the last week of July, 2022. Please understand additional time will be required to process awards and distribute award payments.
Information about Phase 2 will be posted in this section of our website as it becomes available. Stay tuned!
Phase 1 is targeted to small businesses across Maine that work in, use, or leverage solutions connected to our state’s technology sectors. MTI’s PRIME Fund presents a unique opportunity to help businesses in Maine invest in new customers, new business lines, and other innovations that will strengthen their resilience and ability to thrive moving forward.
When Are Applications Due?
The application portal for Phase 1 CLOSED at midnight on May 24, 2022.
Who Should Apply?
Am I Eligible for PRIME Funding Phase 1?
Your business may be considered eligible for a PRIME Fund grant award if:
- Your business has a significant presence in Maine (50% of employees in Maine).
- Your business can demonstrate it has been operational since October 1, 2021 prior to submitting its PRIME Fund application.
- Your business is registered with the Maine Secretary of State’s corporate registry. If you are a Sole Proprietor and not registered with the Secretary of State, you can use alternate methods:
- You can upload a copy of last year’s 1040 and Schedule C for your federal income tax.
- Self-certification that you are an engaged proprietor of this business
- Your business is in one of the seven technology sectors as outlined by the state legislative mandate. For a list of these seven sectors, click here.
- Your business was negatively impacted by the Covid-19 pandemic.
- You can demonstrate a clear plan to utilize PRIME Funds to directly address the negative economic impacts of the Covid-19 pandemic, suffered by your Maine business.
- Your company has fewer than 250 full time employees.
- Your business has cash or other resources available to match your requested PRIME Funds.
- You are able and willing to comply with annual reporting requirements.
- Your company has a Unique Entity Identification (UEI) number. For more information about UEI numbers and how to obtain one for free, see our FAQs or click here.
How Much Funding Can I Request?
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 following:
- The total number of PRIME applicants in the application cycle.
- The assessed severity of negative economic impacts caused by the pandemic.
- Reported efforts to provide quality jobs.
- Reported efforts to create a diverse and inclusive work environment.
- The quality of your proposed plan to address the negative economic impacts caused by the pandemic.
Regardless of the grant amount requested, you will be required to provide a 1:1 match in either in-kind or cash contributions. Below is an estimated range of award sizes and the maximum amount of in-kind matching contributions allowed, determined by the number of Maine-based full-time employees.
|Company Size (FTEs)||Estimated Grant Award Ranges||Maximum Amount of In-Kind Allowed|
|1-5||up to $49k||85%|
|6-10||up to $200k||25%|
|11-25||up to $300k||0%|
|25-100+||up to $400k||0%|
PLEASE NOTE: Award size is subject to change based on the number of valid applications received, the total amount disbursed to date, and the severity of negative economic impacts caused by the pandemic. We expect qualified applicants will receive some award. The exact amount will be determined after all the applications have been received and evaluated.
What Can I Use PRIME Funds For?
Funds must be used to implement your plan and directly address the negative impacts of the Covid-19 pandemic.
Suggested expenses may include but are not limited to:
- Payroll costs and expenses for existing or new hires.
- Rent or mortgage payments for business facilities (unless otherwise waived by lessor/lender).
- Utilities payments.
- Purchase of personal protective equipment (PPE) required by the business.
- Business-related equipment purchases.
- Start-up costs for new programs and/or new markets which may require some initial investment.
- Replenishing inventory or other necessary re-opening and/or operating expenses.
These funds must be applied to operations that are strictly within Maine. These grant funds are subject to audit and are generally considered to be reportable income, therefore should be included with reportable income at tax time.
How Do I Apply For PRIME Funding Phase 1?
Step 1-Complete your paperwork
Use the Application Word Document to provide all the information requested. Download the Application Word Document, answer all the questions, then save the file.
If you cannot access the Application Word Document, here is a PDF version of the Application Document. You can complete your responses in your preferred file format, to be uploaded into the Online Application Portal.
You must also compile electronic files for all the required documents in our checklist below.
Before you access MTI’s Online Application Portal, you will need the following documents ready for upload.
- Completed Application Word Document
- Signed and dated W-9 Form (Access a blank W-9 Form HERE)
- Current Balance Sheet (Sole Proprietors may provide an alternative statement of available funds)
- Income Statement (or Profit and Loss Statement) for 2019, 2020, & 2021
- Sole Proprietors may provide federal tax filings for 2019, 2020 & 2021 as an alternative to Income Statements
- The federal government requires companies doing business with the government or receiving grants to have a Unique Entity Identification (UEI) number. To learn more about a UEID number and how to obtain one at no cost, click here.
- Signed and dated Agreement to comply with all federal and State funding requirements.
Helpful Hint: Combining Photos or Scanned Documents into Electronic Files
Before you upload documents to MTI’s Recovery Funding online application system, you may first need to scan the paper copy of your required document. If you can only scan one page at a time you will need to combine those pages into one electronic file.
For example, if you do not have an electronic version of your 2019 tax return, but you have a paper version instead, you can scan the paper version to create an electronic file to be uploaded to the online system. To merge multiple pages and create one pdf document, click on this tool.
Step 2-Submit your application and supporting documents online
Once you have completed your Application Word Document and compiled all required financial documents in the checklist above, you must submit your information through MTI’s online application portal, which requires you create an MTI online account with a valid email address.
MTI’s online application portal will require that you enter specific data regarding your business and your proposed pandemic response plan directly into MTI’s online application form, and then upload all required electronic files.
We estimate that you will need at least 30 minutes to complete the online application form, enter all required data, upload all required electronic files, sign the electronic disclosures, review your online form and complete your online application submission.
Remember, in addition to uploading your application and supporting documentation, you will also be required to enter basic information about your business.
Have you completed Step 1 and compiled your electronic documents? Click the button below to create your account and begin the online application process.
What If I Need Help With My Application?
MTI offers a number of resources to assist you with the application process.
Frequently Asked Questions
For answers to questions others have asked, click here to find our FAQs.
You can switch the language of this page by clicking the flag in the bottom right.
MTI will host weekly Zoom sessions to answer specific questions about the PRIME Fund application. Click here to access the weekly sessions schedule.
Click here to view and download a Word Document version of the Sample PRIME Application.
Connect with MTI
For further guidance please email us at [email protected].
What Happens After I Apply?
You should receive a confirmation email shortly after your application has been submitted.
If you receive an email notifying you that your application has been saved, it does not mean your application was submitted. Saving your application allows you to return to it later if you need to make changes. However, saving is not the same as submitting.
Please be sure to click the Submit Button after all the steps have been completed.
After the award announcements are made, you will be notified via email informing you whether or not you have qualified.
If you receive a PRIME award, MTI will verify that we have all the documentation needed to comply with state and federal guidelines. If we have any questions we will reach out via email for assistance. We anticipate payments will be made soon after the awards are announced.