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.
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. Applications are expected to open on October 4, 2022.
Full eligibility details and other information can be found at www.famemaine.com/thrive.
To view the Governor’s Thrive Maine press release, click here.
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.
Applications are expected to be open on October 4, 2022.
For more information, visit the program website: FAME Grow Maine.
To view the Governor’s Grow Maine press release, click here.
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. Application are due by 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
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
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 the first round and an additional $1 Million in the second round.
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.
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.
Credit for Energy Costs
This program will provide direct credits to qualifying Maine small businesses to help defray increased electricity costs. This funding will provide direct relief through framework established in bipartisan legislation recently passed by the legislature and signed by governor Mills, LD 2010, Resolve, To Help Certain Businesses with Energy Costs. The Department of Economic and Community Development will provide a credit, amount based on usage, for medium commercial customers of Maine's investor-owned utilities (CMP and Versant). The credit will be based on the February 2022 invoice, when energy prices significantly increased. The Department is evaluating further assistance for customers of consumer-owned utilities. The credit will be applied directly to commercial customers' accounts through the utilities; no action by a qualifying business is necessary. Details on when the credit will be applied will be announced at a later date.
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. The first round of program closed for applications on Tuesday, May 24, 2022.
For more information, visit https://www.mainetechnology.org/recovery-funding/prime-fund/
Diversity, Equity Inclusion and Belonging Communities of Practice Grant
DECD released a grant program to identify and fund up to three (3) Communities of Practice (COP) in Maine to design and execute a meaningful, impactful and outcome-based regional or local action plan to support the economic recovery of at least one key industry through a diversity, equity, inclusion and belonging lens. Maine’s key industries include, but are not limited to: Health Care & Social Assistance; Construction, Trade, Logistics; Manufacturing; Education & Child Care; Agriculture, Fishing, & Forestry; Information and Clean Energy. Applications for this program closed on August 10, 2022. For more information, visit the RFA listing at: https://www.maine.gov/dafs/bbm/procurementservices/vendors/grants
- 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
- 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
- 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
- Meat and Poultry Processing Expansion Program: https://www.rd.usda.gov/programs-services/business-programs/meat-and-poultry-processing-expansion-program
Agricultural Marketing Service
- Meat and Poultry Inspection Readiness Grants: https://www.ams.usda.gov/services/grants/mpirg
- 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.