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$200 million Maine Economic Recovery Grant program available to Maine's small businesses

Governor Mills announced a $200 million Maine Economic Recovery Grant program available to Maine's small businesses directly impacted by the COVID-19 pandemic.

This program provides grants for businesses and non-profit organizations that demonstrate a need for financial relief based on lost revenues or expenses related to the disruption of business operations caused by the COVID-19 pandemic. grants will be distributed based on a business's demonstrated losses as a pro-rated percentage of the total losses reported by qualified applicants. It is not intended to replace lost profits but only to help businesses remain viable. This grant program will apply to Maine businesses with significant operations in Maine and a combined total of 50 or fewer employees.

Important notes:

Please see this document for additional details. Grants may be used to cover expenses, including but not limited to: payroll costs and expenses; rent or mortgage payments for business facilities; utilities payments; necessary operating expenses; expenses incurred to replenish inventory or other necessary re-opening expenses; purchase of personal protective equipment required by the business or business related equipment. Funds must be spent on operations that are strictly within Maine. Recipients are liable for any misuse of funds, and the grants are subject to audit. In order to avoid a competitive rush for awards, the grants will not be distributed on a first-come, first-served basis. Instead, businesses and nonprofit organizations can apply for a grant beginning tomorrow August 21, 2020 through September 9, 2020 with awards made in early October. The amount awarded will be based on demonstrated need as a pro-rated percentage of the total cost of business interruption reported by qualified applicants. “Small businesses across Maine - the neighborhood corner store, the bed and breakfast, the independent bookstore - have faced unprecedented challenges caused by this pandemic, from the heartbreak of temporarily closing their doors to the herculean task of reopening in new and innovative ways. Many have risen to the task, but with the global economy still reeling from the virus, and with people still wary of how and where to eat and shop, it is crucial that we provide what help we can to get businesses through,” said Governor Mills. “My Administration will do all we can to support Maine’s small businesses through these difficult times. While we know these grants cannot wholly replace or repair the economic damage this pandemic has caused, our mission is to ensure that each dollar has at least a small, direct impact on supporting these businesses and Maine’s economy. We continue to hope that Congress will step up to provide greater relief to the people and State of Maine.” “COVID-19 has created an unprecedented financial crisis for businesses and non-profit organizations in Maine and all across the country,” said Heather Johnson, Commissioner of the Department of Economic and Community Development. “In working with the recommendations of the Governor’s Economic Recovery Committee, we have created the Economic Recovery Grant Program. This grant program is the first step in supporting businesses and non-profits with a path forward until they are able to rebuild capacity.” The maximum grant amount will be $100,000. However, we are unclear what the minimum amount may be as it will be based on the number of applicants. Given that RAM, the Maine Tourism Association and Hospitality Maine advocated for an $800 million relief program for just our industries, we are concerned that this first disbursement will not be enough, but as the governor noted, we are all hopeful for additional federal relief to make sure Maine's small businesses remain viable into 2021. We will share the application link as soon as it is available.


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