Local Relief for Maine Small Businesses

cash icon, local relief programsThere are many local relief programs across the state of Maine that are offering small grants, loans, and resources to help you and your small business stay afloat as you cope with the impacts of Coronavirus. There are municipalities, banks, and non-profit organizations offering small business assistance programs throughout the state. If you’re impacted by Coronavirus in any way, it’s likely you are eligible for most of your local programs. Every little bit helps – we encourage you to seek as many opportunities as possible.

Updated 11/30/2020. This directory is updated regularly to include available opportunities. Don’t see your town or county listed? Call your local economic development to ask about opportunities.

New:

NEW (11/30/20) Maine Economic Recovery Grant – This grant program has been reopened to support Maine’s tourism, hospitality, and retail small businesses. Program is focused specifically on supporting Maine’s service sector small businesses, such as restaurants, bars, tasting rooms, lodging and retail shops.

Department of Ag’s Grant for Farmers, Agriculture Producers who Invested in E-commerce
This program, which will be administered by Coastal Enterprises, Inc. (CEI), is open to farm businesses that have incurred new, unanticipated expenses directly related to e-commerce infrastructure purchase or subscription after March 1, 2020. Deadline is December 18, 2020. More info or apply here 

Micro-enterprise CDBG (Community Development Block) Grants The Maine Department of Economic & Community Development (DECD) is granting up to $5,000 for businesses with five or fewer employees if the owner’s income is in the low to moderate range. Eligible businesses must also show revenue loss as a direct consequence of COVID-19. This is federal CARES act money and is being disbursed through a partnership with the SBDC. Please contact us for more information and to apply.


AVCOG SBA Microloan ProgramOffering microloans for small businesses in Androscoggin, Franklin, and Oxford Counties. Up to $10,000 for 3 years at 3% interest rate. Funds can be used for working capital, equipment, or refinancing existing debt (not for real estate purchase).

Bangor Cultural Assistance Covid-19 Relief GrantsThe Bangor City Council and Commission on Cultural Development is offering emergency grant funds to arts and culture institutions impacted. Funds are intended for operational support. Maximum of $1,000. The deadline is July 31, stay tuned for more info on any additional support.

CEI’s Wicked Reboot Loan – Coastal Enterprises is offering a special loan product using SBA microloan funds supported by the CARES Act to help businesses across Maine gain access to the capital they need to rebuild from the devastating impact of COVID.

City of Rockland Recovery Loan Program – This program offers deferred-payment loans of up to $5,000 at 0% APR to eligible businesses affected by Covid-19. Loans can be either real estate secured or installment loans.

DECD’s Maine Economic Recovery Grant Program (MERG)  This second phase of the MERG program involves at least $95 million State-issued CARES Act dollars to be distributed to eligible businesses and non-profit organizations to provide financial relief for revenue loss and business disruptions due to the COVID-19 pandemic. More info here:  Click here to go straight to the application. 

 FAME (Finance Authority of Maine)Offering two direct loan programs for SBA borrowers as well as loans for businesses experiencing interruption and hardship. Contact FAME for updates to the program.

GPCOG’s Microenterprise Loan Program – The program provides funding for businesses most impacted by COVID-19 that are in danger of closing or have had to close temporarily. Applicants can request up to $5,000. The loan is forgivable for eligible purposes. 

Maine International Trade Center Grants – Eligible exporting businesses may receive up to $20,000 in reimbursements totaling up to $20,000 per year for costs associated with international business development, exporting skills, and export marketing. 

Maine Organic Farmers and Gardeners Financing – MOFGA has compiled a list of emergency grants and resources for farmers during Covid-19. 

Portland Covid-19 Loan and Grant Programs – The City of Portland Development Corporation is providing financial assistance to businesses impacted, including those who have remained open, have furloughed employees, closed temporarily, or are home-based. The assistance comes in the form of three different programs, which are in addition to federal assistance programs.

Revolving Loan Fund (RLF) If your business is in Hancock, Knox, Penobscot, Piscataquis, Waldo, or Washington County, you could be eligible for Eastern Maine Development Corporations new, low-interest (as low as 2%) Revolving Loan Fund programs.  If you still need funding and are in one of those Counties, this is a solid opportunity. For more information click here: 

USDA Coronavirus Food Assistance Program for FarmersThe Food Assistance Program provides direct relief for farmers and ranchers who face price declines and growing marketing costs. Applications accepted until August 28.

Waterville Region Small Business GrantCentral Maine Growth Council is providing direct grants of up to $2,000 to mid-Maine businesses and entrepreneurs. Applications are rolling until funding is exhausted. Applicants must complete the use of the funds by October 1, 2020.

Somerset County Covid-19 Relief Grants – The Somerset Economic Development Corporation and Somerset County Commissioners in West-Central Maine are offering relief grants of up to $5,000. Any for-profit business located in Somerset County is eligible. The first deadline is July 31 and there will be additional rounds pending funding. Funds can be used for immediate Covid-19 relief to assist with your payroll, utilities, rent, mortgage, insurance, inventory, production, and more.

South Portland: Covid-19 Relief Program – The South Portland Planning & Development Department is offering a Covid-19 relief program. You can apply for temporary outdoor services and operations for your business. If you own a restaurant, eatery, cafe, or brewery, make sure you reach out to the city to be listed in their “SoPo To-Go” initiative.

 To be added to this directory of opportunities, please contact mainesbdc@maine.edu. Special thanks to Maine SBDC Intern Madeleine Lutts who compiled these resources.