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November 11, 2020

CEI Receives $3.3 Million EDA Award for Revolving Loan Fund to Meet the Immediate and Long-Term Economic Development Needs of Small Businesses in Maine’s Coastal Counties


November 10, 2020 (Brunswick, ME)—The U.S. Department of Commerce’s Economic Development Administration (EDA) announced a $3,278,000 award to Coastal Enterprises, Inc. (CEI) including nearly $3 million to capitalize a revolving loan fund (RLF) for small businesses in Maine’s coastal counties. The RLF, made possible through the Coronavirus Aid, Relief and Economic Security (CARES) Act of the U.S. Congress, is intended to alleviate economic distress caused by the COVID-19 pandemic, support economic resilience and further the long-term economic objectives of the region. The EDA also provided $298,000 for CEI to administer the RLF.

“This award from the EDA comes at a time when business owners are struggling from eight months of disruption and uncertainty caused by the global pandemic,” said CEI’s President, Keith Bisson. “My colleagues and I are honored to deploy and manage this capital on behalf of the EDA to benefit communities in York, Cumberland, Sagadahoc, Lincoln, Knox, Waldo, Hancock and Washington Counties. CEI is here with financing and advice to help Maine’s entrepreneurs rebuild and get our economy back on track.”

A RLF is a “revolving” pool of money that uses interest and principal payments on loans to issue new ones in order to launch and grow small businesses. Often, RLF loans serve as a bridge between the amount of money the borrower can obtain from a bank and the amount needed to start or sustain a business. RLFs provide access to capital for entrepreneurs, while lowering overall risk for traditional institutional lenders that may also have a financing role in a business.

“The EDA values its relationships with nonprofit community development financial institutions like CEI, which serve as intermediaries between federal agencies and communities, helping to drive regional economic development goals,” said Linda Cruz-Carnall, Philadelphia Regional Director, EDA. “I look forward to working with CEI to advance the impact of this investment and meet the economic development needs of Maine communities.”

RLF funds are typically used by borrowers for day-to-day expenses (operating capital), purchasing land and/or buildings, new construction, renovations, property improvements, machinery and equipment. CEI welcomes applications from child care enterprises, manufacturing, tourism-based businesses and other industries especially impacted by the COVID pandemic and anticipates making loans ranging from $50,000 to $250,000 with a fixed interest rate of 5%, subject to underwriting criteria.

Entrepreneurs in Maine’s coastal communities can access CEI’s business advice and inquire about loan applications by phone, (207) 504-5900, or email, More information is available at

About the EDA

The U.S. Department of Commerce’s Economic Development Administration’s (EDA’s) mission is to lead the federal economic development agenda by promoting innovation and competitiveness, preparing American regions for growth and success in the worldwide economy. EDA implements this mission by making strategic investments in the nation’s most economically distressed communities that encourage private sector collaboration and creation of higher-skill, higher wage jobs. EDA investments are results driven, embracing the principles of technological innovation, entrepreneurship and regional development.

About CEI

Coastal Enterprises, Inc. (CEI) helps to grow good jobs, environmentally sustainable enterprises and shared prosperity in Maine and in rural regions across the country by integrating financing, business and industry expertise, and policy solutions. CEI envisions a world in which communities are economically and environmentally healthy, enabling all people, especially those with low incomes, to reach their full potential. More at

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