Maine's Path to Recovery
The $4.5 billion investment in Maine from the American Rescue Plan (ARP) is an unprecedented opportunity to support recovery from the COVID-19 pandemic, to improve the lives and livelihoods of Maine people, to make investments in solving Maine’s long-term challenges, to develop strategies for new opportunities, and to strengthen our state for years to come.
Of this $4.5 billion, Congress has dedicated nearly $3.5 billion to recovery efforts like bolstering public health, including COVID-19 testing and vaccinations, enhanced unemployment benefits, stimulus payments to families, business supports, and more.
The remaining $1.13 billion is allocated to the State to be used at the discretion of the Governor and Legislature to respond to the pandemic and support economic recovery.
Below are programs that will focus on the short-term recovery and long term growth of Maine’s economy. As updates to grant programs are available this site will be updated.
- GRANT PROGRAMS
The Maine Department of Economic and Community Development is managing several economic recovery grant programs using Federal relief funding. As additional funds become available, they will be added to this page, so check back often.
Economic Recovery Grants
This program provides funding for additional economic recovery grants for businesses and organizations struggling to recover from economic effects of the COVID-19 pandemic. This grant program is funded through a $20 million allocation by the federal government. Of this funding, $5 million was allocated for expense-based grant relief to help businesses and nonprofits with significant expenses related to COVID impacts. The grant round closed November 26, 2021. Links to view archived Maine Jobs and Recovery Small Business Grant Program information:
- The Maine Jobs and Recovery Small Business Grant Program application (PDF)
- Maine Jobs and Recovery Small Business Grant Program (PDF)
- Maine Jobs and Recovery Small Business Grant Program FAQ (PDF)
The remaining $15 million will be made available in April 2022 in order for businesses and non-profits to easily utilize tax returns to demonstrate financial impact of the pandemic on their businesses and, therefore, qualify for a funding based on need.
New Business Recovery Grants
This program provides one-time funding to support survival and recovery for new businesses and entrepreneurs who were unable to qualify for other programs due to the timing of their business start or acquisition. This program will award up to $5 Million total grants in FY22 and an additional $1 Million in FY23.
New Business Recovery Technical Assistance
This program supports organizations to provide technical assistance to new businesses and entrepreneurs in their recovery from the effects of the COVID-19 pandemic.
Diversity Technical Assistance Grants
This program will provide one-time funding for technical assistance grants to support business diversity initiatives.
Underrepresented Entrepreneurs Training
This program will provide one-time funding for entrepreneurial training for underrepresented populations.
Technology R&D and Innovation Financing
The MTI PRIME Fund (Pandemic Recovery for an Innovative Maine Economy) will deploy $25M in the first year and $14M in the second year. PRIME funding is designed for companies that are connected to one of Maine’s seven targeted technology sectors
Awards will be based on a competitive process and must be matched by the company on a 1:1 basis. Federal guidelines require funds be targeted to those companies adversely impacted by the pandemic. This program is still under development and expected to launch soon.
For more information, visit https://www.mainetechnology.org/recovery-funding/prime-fund/
Domestic Trade Grants
The Office of Business Development in the Department of Economic and Community Development, will provide one-time funding to support grants and contracts for project partners for state trade promotion opportunities for companies in the State. For more information on this program, contact the Office of Business Development at BizAwards.DECD@maine.gov.
Forest Products Industry Grants (Maine Technology Institute)
The Forestry Recovery Initiative was created to support Maine’s forest products industry and the people it employs, create and sustain jobs in rural Maine, and strengthen the state’s economy. This initiative, administered by the Maine Technology Institute, utilizes $20 million in federal funds through the Governor’s Maine Jobs & Recovery Plan for grants to Maine loggers, foresters, lumber yards, and other members of Maine’s forest products sector. These grants will be used to help these businesses recover financial loss caused by the pandemic, develop new wood products, and upgrade infrastructure to strengthen supply chain and sell products to new markets. Read the full press release here.
The multi-phase initiative will deploy $10 million of the total $20 million, with Phase 1 grants providing immediate financial relief to forest products industry businesses that have experienced negative impacts from the COVID-19 pandemic to help them sustain the viability of their business. MTI is accepting applications for Phase 1. The deadline to apply is January 31, 2022. Phase 2 will be a competitive grant program to improve market opportunities for Maine timber, which has suffered serious declines due to market disruptions from the pandemic. Phase 2 is expected to launch in early 2022 and the remaining $10 million of the total $20 million will be deployed in subsequent phases in late 2022 or early 2023.
For more information, visit https://www.mainetechnology.org/.
State Small Business Credit Initiative
Funds for small businesses as part of the State Small Business Credit Initiative (under America Rescue Plan) will not be available until 2022. Finance Authority of Maine (FAME) will be administering this program.
The Maine Pulp & Paper Recovery Grant Program
The State of Maine plans to use $4m of the Coronavirus Aid Relief and Economic Security Act (CARES) funds to provide stability to an important and heavily impacted industry in the state of Maine.
- FUNDS FOR MAINE TOWNS AND CITIES
The State of Maine has a fiscal recovery program to distribute $119.2 million in Federal funding from the American Rescue Plan Act of 2021 (ARPA) to local governments across Maine. The Local Fiscal Recovery Program is a State pathway to infuse Federal funds into Maine towns and cities to support a variety of their economic recovery priorities, such as addressing the economic or public health impacts of the COVID-19 pandemic, replacing lost public sector revenue, or investing in water, sewer, and broadband infrastructure. To access the grant portal, use this link:
- GRANTS FROM OTHER STATE AGENCIES
Department of Agriculture, Conservation and Forestry
The Mills Administration has invested approximately $20 million in federal funds to help Maine farmers and food processors improve critical infrastructure. This funding will enable farms and agricultural businesses to pursue upgrades that will mitigate the adverse effects of COVID-19, increase the supply of Maine-grown food, enhance supply chain resilience, and help grow and sustain one of Maine's heritage industries. Program information is available at https://www.maine.gov/dacf/ard/grants/agricultural-infrastructure-investment-program.shtml
Department of Marine Resources
- FEDERAL GRANTS
U.S. Economic Development Administration
- American Rescue Plan Programs: https://eda.gov/arpa/
- Build Back Better Regional Challenge Grant: https://eda.gov/arpa/build-back-better/
- Economic Adjustment Assistance Grants: https://eda.gov/arpa/economic-adjustment-assistance/
- Good Jobs Challenge: https://eda.gov/arpa/good-jobs-challenge/
- Indigenous Communities: https://eda.gov/arpa/indigenous/
- Travel, Tourism & Outdoor Recreation: https://eda.gov/arpa/travel-tourism/
- State Planning, Research & Networks: https://eda.gov/arpa/planning-grants/
U.S. Small Business Administration
- If you’re confused about which SBA programs might work for you, here is a helpful chart: https://www.sba.gov/funding-programs/loans/covid-19-relief-options/cross-program-eligibility-sba-covid-19-relief-options
- Paycheck Protection Program. https://www.sba.gov/funding-programs/loans/covid-19-relief-options/paycheck-protection-program
- COVID-19 Economic Injury Disaster Loan. https://www.sba.gov/funding-programs/loans/covid-19-relief-options/eidl
- SBA Debt Relief. https://www.sba.gov/funding-programs/loans/covid-19-relief-options/sba-debt-relief
- Drought-Relief Loans for Small Businesses. Eligible businesses may apply for Economic Injury Disaster Loans (EIDL) of up to $2 million with interest rates of 2.88 percent for small businesses and 2 percent for private nonprofit organizations of all sizes, with terms up to 30 years. The SBA determines eligibility based on the size of the applicant, type of activity and its financial resources. Loan amounts and terms are set by the SBA and are based on each applicant’s financial condition. These working capital loans may be used to pay fixed debts, payroll, accounts payable, and other bills that could have been paid had the disaster not occurred. The loans are not intended to replace lost sales or profits.
Disaster loan information and application forms may also be obtained by calling the SBA’s Customer Service Center at 800-659-2955 (800-877-8339 for the deaf and hard-of-hearing) or by sending an email to DisasterCustomerService@sba.gov. Loan applications can be downloaded from sba.gov/disaster. Completed applications should be mailed to: U.S. Small Business Administration, Processing and Disbursement Center, 14925 Kingsport Road, Fort Worth, TX 76155.
Eligible entities must submit completed loan applications to the SBA no later than April 13, 2022.
United States Department of Agriculture
- USDA Rural Development American Rescue Plan: https://www.usda.gov/arp
- USDA Build Back Better Program: https://www.usda.gov/media/press-releases/2021/06/08/usda-invest-more-4-billion-strengthen-food-system
- Meat and Poultry Inspection Readiness Grants: https://www.ams.usda.gov/services/grants/mpirg
- Farm and Food Workers Relief (FFWR) Grant Program: https://www.usda.gov/media/press-releases/2021/09/07/usda-invests-700-million-grants-provide-relief-farm-and-food
- USDA Forest Service Wood Innovations Program: https://www.fs.usda.gov/science-technology/energy-forest-products/wood-innovation
WE WELCOME YOUR FEEDBACK
If you have any questions about economic recovery resources, please email BizAwards.DECD@maine.gov.
Need business assistance, help navigating resources, or other business help? Email Business.Answers@maine.gov.
Want to talk with someone about your questions? Please call Business Answers at 1-800-872-3838.