Grants of up to $50,000 from the Maine Department of Economic and Community Development will help small businesses with pandemic-related expenses
Governor Janet Mills today announced that her administration has awarded $5 million in grants to more than 380 Maine small businesses in 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 Ministry of Economic and Community Development notified 382 small businesses and non-profit organizations that they would receive prizes of up to $50,000 each. These expense-based grants, averaging $12,700, will help reimburse businesses for pandemic-related costs, ranging from supply chain disruptions to infrastructure improvements. The grants come from the Maine Governor’s Jobs and Recovery Plan, which is funded by the U.S. bailout and passed the Legislature.
“Maine’s small businesses are the backbone of our economy, providing livelihoods for hundreds of thousands of Maine residents. These new awards build on my administration’s unwavering commitment to support them through the highs and lows of the pandemic,” said Governor Janet Mills. “We hope these grants will help them deal with the financial losses associated with the pandemic and put them in a better position to not only keep their doors open and people employed, but to thrive in the long term. My administration will continue to work hard to support Maine’s small businesses as our economy makes a strong comeback.
“Overall, Maine’s economy is enjoying a strong recovery, but too many small businesses are still grappling with the lingering challenges of the pandemic,” said Heather Johnson, Commissioner of the Ministry of Economic and Community Development. “After carefully reviewing and verifying applications, we are thrilled to award this direct assistance to small businesses across the state.”
To be eligible for an award, companies with significant operations in Maine had to demonstrate a loss of revenue of at least 20% between March 2020 and June 30, 2021. Eligible expenses eligible for reimbursement from 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. See eligibility details.
The $5 million awarded today is the first part of a $20 million Maine Jobs & Recovery Plan initiative to support Maine small businesses and nonprofits. Details of the next round of this program will be announced in April.
Today’s announcement follows more than $273 million the Mills administration has given to Maine businesses and nonprofits to help ease the effects of the pandemic, in addition to programs to help small businesses to offer affordable health insurance to their employees, replenishing the state unemployment trust fund. to prevent tax increases on employers, provide 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 residents and families, help businesses, create well-paying jobs and build an economy. ready for future prosperity.
It draws heavily on the recommendations of the Governor’s Economic Recovery Committee and the state’s 10-year Economic Development Strategy, turning them into concrete actions to improve the lives of Maine residents 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.
To learn more about Maine Jobs & Recovery Plan, visit maine.gov/jobsplan.