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.
- FUNDING 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.
Grow Maine: State Small Business Credit Initiative
Grow Maine, administered by FAME in conjunction with various statewide lending partners, will provide up to $62 million of State Small Business Credit Initiative (SSBCI) funding to eligible Maine businesses. Eligible businesses include for-profit and nonprofit companies with fewer than 500 employees. Funding will be available through FAME and its intermediary partners via loan guarantees, direct loans, and equity capital. Loans up to $5 million will be available (not to exceed $20 million per project) and interest rates will be set by the participating lending institution. Grow Maine is intended to provide broad access to capital to help Maine businesses grow and provide jobs for Maine people that will have long-term positive effects on Maine’s economy.
For more information, visit the program website: FAME Grow Maine.
To view the Governor’s Grow Maine press release, click here.
Thrive Maine: Pandemic Recovery Business Loan Program
Governor Janet Mills is dedicating $58 million through her Maine Jobs & Recovery Plan to provide forgivable loans to small businesses in Maine to support their continued economic recovery from the COVID-19 pandemic.
The new “Thrive Maine” program, administered by the Finance Authority of Maine, (FAME) will offer forgivable loans to eligible Maine small businesses who experienced losses, increased costs, or market interruptions as a result of the pandemic. Small businesses may apply for loans of up to $2 million. If businesses are approved and continue to meet program terms, loans may be fully forgiven over a four year period.
As of Noon, October 19, 2022, Thrive Maine program is no longer accepting applications for this application round. There is a second round planned for 2023. Please visit this site frequently for further updates and/or sign up to receive an email for program updates.
Full program information can be found at FAME Thrive Maine.
To view the Governor’s Thrive Maine press release, click here.
Child Care Infrastructure Grant Program
The Child Care Infrastructure Grant Program will provide funding to help start new child care businesses and expand the number of children served by existing child care providers. Grants are available through 2024 or until all funds are awarded, whichever comes first. This program is currently accepting applications. For more information and application instructions, visit: https://www.ceimaine.org/maine-grants/child-care-infrastructure-grant-program/
New Business Recovery Grants & Technical Assistance
With $8M in funding from the Maine Jobs and Recovery Plan, the New Business Recovery Grants program will offer one-time stabilization grants to early-stage companies started on or after January 1, 2020. In addition, the New Business Recovery Technical Assistance program will provide business counseling services to help these firms navigate their economic recovery and set a strong foundation for future growth. By delivering this counseling through local small business assistance programs and community organizations, the Department of Economic and Community Development will also strengthen the capacity of Maine's entrepreneurial support providers.
These programs will be delivered through Regional Economic Recovery Hubs alongside Business Technical Assistance & Entrepreneurial Training for Underrepresented Populations.
Business Technical Assistance & Entrepreneurial Training for Underrepresented Populations
The Department of Economic and Community Development is providing $1.5M in funding to technical assistance service providers to aid small businesses owned by individuals of Maine's racial, ethnic, and linguistic minorities whose industries or businesses experienced pandemic-related challenges. These providers will offer training on core business practices – such as setting up financial management systems, product marketing, and accessing growth capital – and connections to financial institutions and professional networks.
These programs will be delivered through Regional Economic Recovery Hubs alongside New Business Recovery Grants and Technical Assistance.
Separately, the Division of Procurement Services at the Department of Administrative and Financial Services will be developing new systems and processes to encourage a more diverse mix of businesses and organizations to participate in State grants and contracts.
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.
Technology R&D and Innovation Financing
The Pandemic Recovery for an Innovative Maine Economy Fund (PRIME) program will deploy $39M to support and leverage private investments in research, development, and innovation in Maine's seven targeted technology sectors: Biotechnology, Composites & Advanced Materials, Environmental Technologies, Forest Products & Agriculture, Information Technology, Marine Technology & Aquaculture, and Precision Manufacturing. These funds, which must be matched by the recipient, will be awarded to Maine small businesses through a competitive process administered by the Maine Technology Institute to increase revenues, create and preserve jobs, and grow market share. The program will also invest in sector-based partnerships and organizations to develop new solutions for industries and markets that have been damaged by the pandemic.
PRIME Funds will become available in two phases. The first phase of the PRIME Fund provided $23M of direct support to businesses across Maine. Phase 1 closed for applications on May 24, 2022. To view the Governor’s press release on program results, click here. Information about Phase 2 will be posted as it becomes available.
The PRIME Ecosystem Fund is approximately $5M to support projects that will address the impact of the pandemic and provide a catalyst for startup companies and small businesses as they scale and grow in the state. Applications for this program closed on November 15, 2022. For additional information, please visit the program website.
For more information on the PRIME Fund, visit https://www.mainetechnology.org/recovery-funding/prime-fund/
Forest Recovery Initiative Grants
MTI announced the opening of the second round of Forest Recovery Initiative grants (FRI-2). FRI-2 is a $14M competitive grant program specifically focused on either strategic projects within the state that address significant challenges and long-term threats to the industry, or projects at existing facilities which significantly improve the productivity and competitiveness of the facility. These strategic projects will tackle global market shifts in supply and demand, supply chain disruptions and new technologies that impact the growing, processing and use of natural resources from this key sector of Maine’s economy. This program closed for applications on October 18, 2022.
For further information on the FRI-2 program and application, visit the MTI website: https://www.mainetechnology.org/recovery-funding/forestry/
The first grants from the Forest Recovery Initiative (FRI-1) were awarded March 2022 to support Maine’s forest products industry by providing direct funding to Maine logging and trucking firms adversely affected by the COVID-19 pandemic.
Link to results of FRI-1 program: https://www.maine.gov/governor/mills/news/governor-mills-announces-6-million-maine-jobs-recovery-grants-support-maines-forest-industry
Credit for Energy Costs
Governor Janet Mills announced today that 2,919 Maine small businesses and nonprofit organizations will soon receive a one-time electric utility account credit of more than $2,000 to provide relief from increased energy costs. This relief is the product of legislation sponsored by Senate President Troy Jackson, D-Aroostook, and signed into law by Governor Mills.
The program, created by LD 2010, Resolve, to Help Certain Businesses with Electricity Costs offers tiered relief based on electricity usage, and aims to assist small businesses and nonprofits in Maine facing increased costs due to volatile global energy prices following the Russian invasion of Ukraine. Funding for the credit is provided through the Governor’s Maine Jobs & Recovery Plan, through funds allocated by the Legislature for small business relief.
To view the Governor’s press release, click here.
Tourism Marketing and Development Recovery Program
The Maine Office of Tourism is administering a $2 million Tourism Marketing & Development Recovery program funded through the US Economic Development Administration (EDA) American Rescue Plan Act (ARPA) Travel, Tourism, and Outdoor Recreation State Grant. This grant program provides funding to support the economic recovery of the travel and tourism industry in Maine from negative impacts of the pandemic through tourism marketing, product development, and education and training programs.
Eligible applicants are:
Other local government agencies engaged in economic development activities or a consortium of political subdivisions;
Non-profit organizations or associations within the travel and tourism industry, acting in cooperation with officials of a political subdivision of the State.
Sub-awards will be granted for a minimum amount of $100,000 and a maximum amount of $500,000. Applications will be accepted on a rolling basis until January 1, 2024, or until all program funds have been awarded. The application guidelines and online application portal are available at www.MOTPartners.com/recovery-program.
- 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 Health and Human Services
Child Care Infrastructure Grant Program
Department of Labor
Maine Industry Partnerships for Workforce Development Initiative Grant Funding
Maine Apprenticeship Program Grant Funding – Closed on February 23, 2022 https://www.maine.gov/labor/jobs_training/apprenticeship/
Department of Professional and Financial Regulation
Small Business Health Insurance Premium Relief Program
Department of Transportation
Maine Infrastructure Adaptation Fund
Maine Public Utilities Commission / Efficiency Maine
Commercial and Industrial Custom Program - Electrical Efficiency Projects
Commercial and Industrial Custom Program - Distributed Generation Projects
Commercial and Industrial Custom Program - Thermal Efficiency Projects
Hospitality Retrofits for heating, ventilation, air conditioning (HVAC), lighting and refrigeration projects
Governor's Energy Office
Clean Energy Partnership – Workforce Development - https://www.maine.gov/energy/opportunities
Clean Energy Partnership - Innovation Initiative - https://www.maine.gov/jobsplan/program/clean-energy-partnership-innovation-initiative
Department of Agriculture, Conservation and Forestry
Agricultural Infrastructure Investment Program – Closed February 25, 2022 https://www.maine.gov/dacf/ard/grants/agricultural-infrastructure-investment-program.shtml
Department of Marine Resources
Maine Seafood Dealer and Processor COVID-19 Response and Resilience Grant Program – Closed April 28, 2022
- FEDERAL GRANTS
U.S. Economic Development Administration
- Latest EDA Grants: https://www.eda.gov/grants
- American Rescue Plan Programs: https://www.eda.gov/funding/programs/american-rescue-plan
U.S. Small Business Administration
- SBA Funding Programs: https://www.sba.gov/funding-programs
- COVID-19 Relief Options: https://www.sba.gov/funding-programs/loans/covid-19-relief-options
United States Department of Commerce
National Institute of Standards & Technology
- CHIPS for America
- Commercial Fabrication Facilities – Rolling Applications
United States Department of Agriculture
- USDA RD Business Funding Programs
- Business & Industry Loan Guarantees – Rolling Applications
- Energy Programs
- Rural Energy for America Program Renewable Energy Systems & Energy Efficiency Improvement Guaranteed Loans & Grants – Applications due March 31, 2023
- Food Supply Chain Guaranteed Loan Program – Rolling Applications
- Meat & Poultry Intermediary Lending Program – Second Round Application window closed January 3, 2023
- Value Added Producer Grants – Applications due May 11, 2023
- American Rescue Plan Programs
Agricultural Marketing Service
- USDA AMS Funding Programs
- Local Food Promotion Program – Applications due May 2, 2023
- Regional Food System Partnerships – Applications due May 2, 2023
- Meat & Poultry Inspection Readiness Grant
- Wood Innovations Program – Last round closed March 23, 2023
- Wood Innovations Funding Opportunity
- Community Wood Grant Program
Northeast Dairy Business Innovation Center (NE-DBIC)
- On-Farm Milk Storage & Handling Grant for Dairy Farmers
- Dairy Food Safety and Certification Grant for Dairy Farmers and Dairy Processors
- Organic On-Farm Milk Storage & Handling Grant for Dairy Farmers
- Dairy Farm Innovation & Alternative Management Grant for Dairy Farmers
- Existing Dairy Processor Expansion Grant for Dairy Processors
- Dairy Processor Innovation Grant for Dairy Processors
- Dairy Marketing & Branding Services Grant for Dairy Processors and Trade Associations
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.