Grants of up to $50,000 awarded by Maine Department of Economic and Community development will help small businesses with pandemic-related expenses
Governor Janet Mills announced today that her Administration has awarded $5 million in grants to more than 380 Maine small businesses across all 16 counties through the Maine Jobs & Recovery Small Business Grant Program. The program, launched by the Governor last November, provides assistance to small businesses still dealing with the financial toll of the COVID-19 pandemic.
The Department of Economic and Community Development notified 382 small businesses and non-profit organizations that they will receive awards of up to $50,000 each. These expense-based grants, which average $12,700, will help reimburse businesses for pandemic-related costs ranging from supply chain disruptions to infrastructure improvements. The grants stem from the Governor’s Maine Jobs and Recovery Plan, which is funded through the American Rescue Plan and was passed by the Legislature.
“Maine small businesses are the backbone of our economy, providing livelihoods for hundreds of thousands of Maine people. These new awards build on my Administration’s unwavering commitment to support them throughout the ups and downs of the pandemic,” said Governor Janet Mills. “We hope these grants will help them grapple with pandemic-related financial losses and put them in a better position not only to keep their doors open and people employed, but to thrive in the long-run. My Administration will continue to work hard to support Maine’s small businesses as our economy makes a strong comeback.”
“Across the board, Maine’s economy is experiencing a strong recovery, but too many small businesses are still struggling with lingering challenges from the pandemic,” said Heather Johnson, Commissioner of the Department of Economic and Community Development. “After carefully reviewing and verifying applications, we are thrilled to award this direct relief to small businesses across the state.”
To qualify for an award, businesses with significant operations in Maine were required to demonstrate at least a 20 percent revenue loss between March 2020 and June 30, 2021. Eligible expenses that may be reimbursed by grant funds include interest on deferred loans; costs associated with reopening after a pandemic-related closure; increased costs of doing business due to the pandemic; capital improvements related to social distancing; and increased costs due to supply chain disruptions. View details on eligibility.
The $5 million awarded today is the first part of a $20 million initiative of the Maine Jobs & Recovery Plan to support small Maine businesses and non-profits. Details on the next round of this program will be announced in April.
Today’s announcement follows more than $273 million that the Mills Administration has delivered to Maine businesses and non-profits to mitigate the impacts of the pandemic, in addition to programs to help small businesses offer affordable health insurance to their employees, replenishing the state’s unemployment trust fund to prevent tax increases on employers, delivering funds for relief and infrastructure investments in Maine’s heritage industries -- seafood, agriculture, and forestry -- and more.
The Maine Jobs & Recovery Plan is the Governor’s plan, approved by the Legislature, to invest nearly $1 billion in Federal American Rescue Plan funds to improve the lives of Maine people and families, help businesses, create good-paying jobs, and build an economy poised for future prosperity.
It draws heavily on recommendations from the Governor’s Economic Recovery Committee and the State’s 10-Year Economic Development Strategy, transforming them into real action to improve the lives of Maine people and strengthen the economy.
Funding for the Jobs Plan is through the Federal American Rescue Plan Act, which allocated $4.5 billion in stimulus funds to Maine in 2021. Coordination of the Jobs Plan is led by the Maine Department of Administrative and Financial Services and the Governor’s Office of Policy Innovation and the Future.
For more about Maine Jobs & Recovery Plan, visit maine.gov/jobsplan.