New program, through Governor’s Maine Jobs & Recovery Plan, aims to help businesses struggling with expenses
Augusta, MAINE – Governor Janet Mills announced today that the Maine Department of Economic and Community Development is now accepting applications for the Maine Small Business Employment and Recovery Grant program.
The governor last month announced the creation of a $ 20 million grant program as part of his Maine Jobs and Recovery plan. The Maine Department of Economic and Community Development is immediately offering $ 5 million of the $ 20 million for grants to support capital-intensive businesses that still need immediate, short-term help to maintain operations. .
This new program is in addition to the more than $ 273 million the administration has already provided in federal support to 5,224 businesses and nonprofits during the pandemic.
“Small businesses are the backbone of Maine’s economy, and my administration will continue to do everything possible to support their recovery,” Governor Janet Mills said. “These grants through the Maine Jobs & Recovery Plan will help pull businesses that are still on the brink and put them on a stronger financial footing as we fight the pandemic. I encourage all eligible businesses in Maine to take advantage of this opportunity.
“The Maine Jobs and Recovery Plan has given us the roadmap and the resources we need to continue our economic recovery. By helping businesses and organizations with this short-term funding, we hope to support their sustainability and long-term growth as the economy recovers from the impacts of the pandemic ”, said Heather Johnson, commissioner for the Maine Department of Economic and Community Development. “While we cannot repair all the losses suffered by businesses, our goal is to allocate available funds where they will have a direct impact on supporting the viability of businesses and nonprofits in Maine. “
Specifically, the Maine Jobs & Recovery Small Business Grant Program is intended to provide expense-based grant relief to businesses and nonprofits that face substantial expenses resulting from the impacts of COVID-19. Expenses may include:
- Interest on deferred loans (loans must be deferred as a direct consequence of the pandemic);
- Costs incurred as a result of reopening after a COVID-19 related closure (examples may include PPE, workforce safety training, and installation of physical public health and safety measures );
- Increased costs of doing business due to COVID-19 (examples may include infrastructure tools to improve remote access, such as check-in / check-out or contactless pick-up);
- HVAC upgrades, creation or addition of indoor or outdoor spaces for social distancing purposes, and increased costs due to supply chain disruptions or increased demand.
To be eligible, applicants must demonstrate a loss of revenue of at least 20 percent during the year 2021. To allow as many businesses as possible to reap the maximum benefits, the ministry expects an award limit of $ 50,000. However, this ceiling is subject to change depending on needs and the volume of requests. The minimum premium will be $ 250. If the amount of the eligible application exceeds the available funding, the ministry will allocate the scholarships on a pro rata basis.
Applications will be accepted until November 26, 2021 at 11:59 p.m.
The remaining $ 15 million will be made available in April 2022 so that businesses and nonprofits can easily use tax returns to demonstrate the financial impact of the pandemic on their businesses and their qualification for funding in. as needed. This approach – stabilizing the businesses that need it most now followed by larger subsidies later – was developed by the Department in collaboration with the business community.
“This small business grant program is another vital lifeline for businesses in Maine that continue to struggle with the pandemic,” said Dana Connors, President and CEO of the Maine State Chamber of Commerce. “We commend the Mills Administration for launching this important program and thank them for their continued work through the Maine Jobs and Recovery Plan to ensure businesses have the capital and support to keep their doors open during this time. hard.”
“Throughout the pandemic, Governor Mills and his administration have always asked how they can help Maine businesses recover, and they have stepped up time and again with support like this,” said Curtis Picard, President and CEO of the Retail Association of Maine. “Maine’s Small Business Jobs and Recovery program will help businesses that continue to struggle with the pandemic, but that are critical to Maine’s long-term economic success. “
“Many small businesses had unforeseen expenses during the pandemic as they tried to keep their employees and the public safe while continuing to do business. This grant program allows us to move in the right direction, including helping some who may not have been eligible for previous grants ”, said Kerrie Tripp, executive director of the Greater Bangor Convention and Visitors Bureau.
For more information and to access the grants portal, please visit the Maine Department of Economic and Community Development website.
The Maine Jobs and Recovery Small Business Grant Program continues the Mills Administration’s commitment to provide financial assistance to small businesses experiencing business disruptions and additional expenses due to the COVID-19 pandemic.
In August 2020, the Mills Administration launched Phase 1 of the Maine Economic Recovery Grant Program. During Phase 1, the Authority awarded 2,407 companies $ 120 million in prizes. Prizes averaged just over $ 49,000 per award, with recipients statewide. The hospitality sector, particularly accommodation and lodging, accounted for the largest percentage of recipients, attracting 35 percent of the awards.
In September 2020, the Mills Administration launched Phase 2 of the Maine Economic Recovery Grant Program. During Phase 2, the Authority awarded 1,244 business grants for a total of $ 53.9 million. Prizes averaged just over $ 43,000 per award with recipients spanning statewide. In total, the Maine Economic Recovery Grant Program provided $ 174. 1 million to 3,651 businesses and non-profit organizations.
In December 2020, the Mills Administration also launched the Tourism, Hospitality and Retail Grants Program. The administration provided 1,642 tourism, retail and hospitality businesses a total of $ 52.9 million in additional support. Prizes averaged just over $ 32,000 per award with recipients spanning statewide.
In August 2021, the Mills Administration launched the Transportation and Border Business Assistance Grant program. The administration has awarded more than $ 5.6 million in economic stimulus grants to 94 Maine charter companies and companies disrupted by the federal government’s prolonged Canada-U.S. Border closure.