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).

The program will begin accepting applications starting on Monday, August 17, 2020. Business owners must meet with a Maine SBDC business advisor to determine eligibility and submit an application. Funds are available on a first-come, first-serve basis. 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 include:

  • Must be a Maine business
  • Must demonstrate a revenue loss as a direct consequence of COVID-19. Funds cannot duplicate those received from other federal, state or local programs.
  • Must have five or fewer employees including the owner(s)
  • Must have a DUNS Number, which can be obtained here http://fedgov.dnb.com/webform
  • Owner’s household income must be low/moderate as defined by HUD as verified by 2019 tax return.
    • Please see income eligibility by county below. Total annual household income must not exceed those limits.
    • Important Note: Portland, Biddeford, Auburn, Lewiston, Bangor, Cumberland County (excluding Brunswick) are ineligible.

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 mainesbdc@maine.edu or 1-800-679-7232.



These funds are made possible 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. 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.
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