CEI Expands Wicked Fast Loans with Financial Assistance Award from CDFI Fund of the U.S Treasury

September 24, 2020 (Brunswick, ME)—The Community Development Financial Institutions (CDFI) Fund of the U.S. Treasury today awarded $600,000 in financial assistance to Coastal Enterprises, Inc. (CEI) for its lending and development services for small businesses. Specifically, $500,000 will be used to expand CEI’s Wicked Fast loans and complementary business advice, financial counseling and workforce development in Maine. An additional $100,000 is restricted for lending in federally designated “persistent poverty” areas that have had poverty rates of 20 percent or more for the past 30 years, none of which are located in Maine. To deploy the latter funds, CEI will partner with peer organizations that serve these places. In 2019, 78 percent of the people and places receiving loans or business advice from CEI had low or very low incomes.

CEI Secures Award to Advance Catalyst Fund for Early-Stage Food Businesses

September 23, 2020 (Brunswick, ME) – A new $300,000 grant award from the U.S. Department of Commerce’s Economic Development Administration (EDA) Office of Innovation and Entrepreneurship will support Coastal Enterprises, Inc. (CEI) in developing its Catalyst Fund, a pool of capital for equity investments to be deployed by CEI’s lending and investment team in collaboration with its food systems program. The fund is designed to grow Maine’s food economy by offering early-stage, patient equity investments paired with business advice and technical support. CEI was selected as one of 52 award recipients out of a nationwide pool of 600 applicants.

CEI Welcomes New Colleagues in Accounting, Lending & Small Business Development

September 2, 2020 (Brunswick, ME) – CEI recently hired six new professionals to join their accounting, lending and business advice teams. They include: Molly Gerencer, loan and investment officer; Mary Cay Harrington, fund accountant; Grace Mo-Phillips, business advisor; John Michael Nadeau, senior accountant; Nikki Yanok, associate loan and investment officer; and Jenn Stein, business advisor & food systems specialist with our Small Business Development advising team.

Maine SBDC & Maine DECD Announce New Micro-Enterprise Grant Program

August 17, 2020 – The Maine Department of Economic & Community Development (DECD) in partnership with the Maine Small Business Development Centers (SBDC) will provide grants of up to $5,000 for businesses with five or fewer employees, with an owner whose income is in the low to moderate range as defined by the Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD).The money is part of the $11 million Maine received from the federal CARES Act for its Community Development Block Grant (CDBG) program. Approximately $2 million of the allocation is being made available through the Micro-Enterprise Grant Program in partnership with the Maine Small Business Development Center. The funds for the program are being distributed through Androscoggin Valley Council of Governments (AVCOG), Coastal Enterprises, Inc. (CEI), Northern Maine Development Commission (NMDC), and Southern Maine Planning & Development Commission (SMPDC).

Due to the COVID-19 Pandemic CEI offices are closed to the public. CEI staff will be working remotely and want to hear from you! Please reach out to your CEI contact regarding scheduled meetings and/or any questions/concerns. Click here for a list of COVID-19 Business Resources.