In the past week, two new grant programs have opened for applications. You may be wondering if you qualify and which program is right for you.
Micro-Enterprise Grant Program (5 or fewer employees)
Grant Size: Grants up to $5,000 available to small businesses affected by COVID-19
Program Sponsor/Distributor(s): Androscoggin Valley Council of Governments (AVCOG), Coastal Enterprises, Inc. (CEI), Northern Maine Development Commission (NMDC), and Southern Maine Planning & Development Commission (SMPDC). To access a grant, you must contact a SBDC advisor via your existing relationship with one or request advising through https://www.mainesbdc.org/cdbg/
Eligible Grantees: For-profit businesses
Business Size: Five or fewer employees, including the owner(s).
Use of Funds: Businesses may use the grant money for working capital which includes fixed debts, payroll, accounts payable, and other bills that can’t be paid as a result of COVID-19.
Eligibility criteria includes:
- Must be a Maine business [businesses located in the following areas have their own programs and are ineligible for this state-wide program: Portland, Biddeford, Auburn, Lewiston, Bangor, Cumberland County (excluding Brunswick)]
- Must demonstrate a revenue loss as a direct consequence of COVID-19. Funds cannot duplicate those received from other federal, state or local programs (including other CDBG funds).
- Must have five or fewer employees including the owner(s).
- Must have a DUNS Number, which can be obtained
- Owner’s household income must be low/moderate as defined by HUD as verified by 2019 tax return. Please see income eligibility by county. Total annual household income must not exceed these limits.
- One grant per household, regardless of the number of businesses owned by the household.
To Apply: Business owners must meet with a Maine SBDC business advisor to determine eligibility and submit an application. These grant funds are available on a first-come, first-serve basis .
Total Funding Available: Approximately $2 MM as part of the $11 million that the State of Maine received from the federal CARES Act for its Community Development Block Grant (CDBG) program.
SBDC will provide appropriate auxiliary aids to persons with disabilities and translations to persons with Limited-English Proficiency where necessary to afford such persons an equal opportunity to apply. If you need such aid please contact email@example.com or 1-800-679-7232.
State of Maine Economic Recovery Grant Program (50 or fewer employees)
Grant Size: Up to $100,000 available, based on demonstrated January – June 2020 losses due to COVID-19. Grant awards will be distributed to all qualified applicants on a pro-rated percentage of those total losses.
Program Sponsor/Distributor(s): Grants shall be distributed by the seven regional Economic Development Districts (EDDs)
Eligible Grantees: For Profit businesses or Not for Profit organizations.
Business Size: Fifty or fewer employees, including contractors.
Use of Funds: Suggested business/organization expenses may include but are not limited to: Payroll costs and expenses; Rent or mortgage payments for business facilities (unless otherwise waived by lessor/lender); Utilities payments; Purchase of personal protective equipment required by the business/organization; Business related equipment.
Eligibility criteria includes:
- Demonstrate a need for financial relief based on lost revenues minus expenses incurred since March 1, 2020 due to COVID-19 impacts or related public health response;
- Demonstrate an expected 20% loss in revenue minus expenses for 2020;
- Have significant operations in Maine (business/organization headquartered in Maine or have a minimum of 50% of employees and contract employees based in Maine);
- Be current and in good standing with all Maine State payroll taxes, sales taxes, and state income taxes (as applicable) through July 31, 2020;
- Have been in operation for at least one year before August 1, 2020;
- Be in good standing with the Maine Department of Labor;
- Employ a combined total of 50 or fewer employees and contract employees throughout 2020.
To Apply: Online application available via Maine DECD at https://appengine.egov.com/apps/me/economicrecoverygrant . Applications must be submitted by 11:59 PM EST on September 9, 2020.
Total Funding Available: $200 million made available to Maine under the federal CARES Act Coronavirus Relief Fund to provide economic relief due to the COVID-19 pandemic.