Local Relief for Maine Small Businesses

cash icon, local relief programsThere are many local relief programs across 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.

Updated 12/23/20. 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:

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.

KVCOG NEW Cares Act Revolving Loan Fund (RLF) – The Kennebec Valley Council of Governments through the Cares Act is now offering a NEW Revolving Loan Fund for Small Businesses to reduce the economic impact of the COVID-19 pandemic. KVCOG received $670,000 to disperse across proper applicants, which will have the availability of extremely favorable terms including interest rates as low as 0% and other waivers to typical RLF requirements. Small Businesses must be in Kennebec, Somerset, or western Waldo county to apply. 


AVCOG SBA Microloan Program – Offering 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 Grants – The 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 for this program has passed, but 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. Deadlines for this program has passed, stay tuned for more.

Department of Ag’s Grant for Agriculture and Food Processing Infrastructure – This program provides grants from $1,000 to $100,000 to reimburse farms and food producers and supply chain businesses that have recently invested in infrastructure projects due to market disruptions caused by COVID-19. Deadline was December 18, 2020.

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 was December 18, 2020. 

 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 Farmers – The Food Assistance Program provides direct relief for farmers and ranchers who face price declines and growing marketing costs. Deadline has passed for this program, stay tune for more.

Waterville Region Small Business Grant – Central 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. Deadline for this program has passed, stay tuned for more.

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. Funds can be used for immediate Covid-19 relief to assist with your payroll, utilities, rent, mortgage, insurance, inventory, production, and more. The first deadline has passed and there will be additional rounds pending funding.

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.