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Maine.gov> PFR Home > Securities Home > All Press Releases > Maines Office of Securities Announces First Fund-ME Crowdfunding Offering in Maine -- Fund-ME Provides New and Existing Businesses with Opportunity to Obtain Investments Needed to Start or Expand Operations

 

August 22, 2016

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

 

Contact: Doug Dunbar

 

Maines Office of Securities Announces First Fund-ME Crowdfunding Offering in Maine -- Fund-ME Provides New and Existing Businesses with Opportunity to Obtain Investments Needed to Start or Expand Operations

 

Maine Securities Administrator Judith Shaw has announced the first crowdfunding offering made under Maines crowdfunding law, known as Fund-ME. Blue Hill Co-op, a cooperative business that operates a natural food market and caf in Blue Hill, Maine, seeks to raise money from equity investors to fund the construction of a new store.

Blue Hill Co-op is just the type of small business seeking to grow that Fund-ME is intended to assist. Fund-ME provides Maines small businesses a new tool to raise capital, and uses the basic concept of social funding to allow everyday investors to participate directly in the development of a Maine business. I am very pleased Blue Hill Co-op has decided to use Fund-ME, Administrator Shaw said.

Fund-ME provides a streamlined process for small businesses to raise capital while still providing protections for investors. The law allows Maine businesses to raise up to $1 million, and generally permits individuals to invest up to $5,000 in each business during a 12-month period. Small businesses and entrepreneurs taking advantage of this new method for raising capital provide offering documents to potential investors, including a subscription agreement and a completed Fund-ME offering circular.

The Blue Hill Co-op is excited to be able to offer investment opportunities to all our Maine-resident owners using Fund-ME, said Tom Reeves, Relocation Manager. As a Cooperative business, one of our core principles is owner economic participation. Fund-ME will allow our 1,500 owners to have the chance to help the Co-op grow as a business, bettering the economy of the Blue Hill Peninsula.

Crowdfunding legislation has also been enacted at the federal level. The JOBS Act was signed into law in April of 2012 and authorized the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) to write federal rules for crowdfunding. Those rules were recently finalized, but Maine and other states moved forward in the interim. Maine's rule should provide a viable alternative for businesses that might not be interested in the federal approach.

Shaw noted that Maines crowdfunding opportunity works differently than the approach taken by many other states, as it allows businesses to raise money from investors outside of Maine. The new crowdfunding rule, and the documents Maine businesses will need to file with the Office, can be found at www.investors.maine.gov.

Small businesses and consumers are encouraged to contact the Maine Office of Securities with questions regarding Fund-ME at 1-877-624-8551 (toll free in Maine) or (207) 624-8551. Shaw also reminded consumers that the Office of Securities staff is eager to assist investors before they make any investment decisions. The Office can provide general information about investment professionals and products, including online investment opportunities. More information is available at www.investors.maine.gov.

Maines Office of Securities is one of five agencies within the Department of Professional and Financial Regulation, located in Gardiner, Maine. More information about the Department can be found at www.maine.gov/pfr.

Last Updated: April 5, 2019 1:01 PM