Governor Mills Announces Approval of Federal Relief for Maine Businesses Impacted by Lewiston Tragedy

SBA Disaster Declaration requested by Governor Mills makes available low-interest loans to businesses and nonprofits impacted by shelter-in-place orders

Governor Janet Mills announced today that the U.S. Small Business Administration (SBA) has approved her request to make emergency financial assistance available to Maine businesses directly impacted by the October 25th tragedy in Lewiston.

Last week, the Mills Administration formally asked the SBA to issue an Economic Injury Disaster Loan Declaration for businesses in communities that closed in accordance with shelter-in-place orders in Lewiston, Lisbon, and Bowdoin last month as law enforcement searched for the Lewiston shooting suspect. 

The Disaster Declaration issued today will make available low interest Economic Injury Disaster Loans of up to $2 million to eligible small businesses, small agricultural cooperatives, small aquaculture businesses and private nonprofit organizations in Androscoggin and Sagadahoc counties, as well as the adjacent counties of Cumberland, Franklin, Kennebec, and Oxford.

“I thank the U.S. Small Business Administration for quickly approving my request to help impacted Maine businesses,” said Governor Janet Mills. “I encourage eligible Maine businesses to apply for this relief. My Administration will continue to look for additional non-loan support for businesses impacted by the tragedy in Lewiston.”

“SBA stands ready to help Maine’s small business owners impacted by the mass shooting in Lewiston, which tragically took lives and disrupted neighborhoods,” said Isabel Casillas Guzman, Administrator of the U.S. Small Business Administration. “With today’s announcement, we stand committed to providing on-the-ground assistance federal economic injury disaster loans to help businesses and communities get the financial support they might need to recover and rebuild their neighborhood businesses.”

Interest rates for loans made available by the declaration are 4 percent for businesses and 2.375 percent for nonprofit organizations, with terms up to 30 years. Loan amounts and terms are set by the SBA and are based on each applicant’s financial condition.

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 SBA determines eligibility based on the size of the applicant, type of activity and its financial resources. The loans are not intended to replace lost sales or profits. Applicants may apply online via SBA’s secure website at and should apply under SBA declaration #20075.

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 emailing

Applications will be accepted through August 6, 2024.

To assist businesses affected by the disaster, the SBA will open a Business Recovery Center (BRC) in Lewiston at 11 a.m. Wednesday, Nov. 8 at the Lewiston Auburn Metropolitan Chamber of Commerce at 415 Lisbon St., Suite 100 in Lewiston. The Center will be open from 9:00 a.m. to 6:00 p.m. Monday through Friday, and Saturdays from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. The BRC will be closed on Friday, November 10 in observance of Veterans Day and will permanently close on Tuesday, November 21, at 4:00 p.m.

Governor Mills’ request for an SBA Disaster Loan was prepared and submitted by the Maine Department of Economic & Community Development in partnership of the Lewiston-Auburn Metropolitan Chamber of Commerce and the City of Lewiston’s Department of Economic & Community Development.

In addition to requesting assistance from the SBA, in response to the Lewiston tragedy, the Mills Administration has:

  • Launched “Healing Together” – an online clearinghouse of information for Maine people looking for ways to help Lewiston victims and their families, as well as mental health supports for anyone affected by last week’s violence.
  • Created a dedicated webpage of behavioral health resources for Maine people, including how to talk to children about gun violence, available online at
  • Launched an online form that allows communities or organizations to request behavioral health help.

The Mills Administration also continues to work closely with Lewiston area schools to ensure students and staff returning to school have full access to services and support they may need.