Maine Jobs and Recovery Small Business Grant

The Maine Department of Economic & Community Development (DECD) has launched the Maine Jobs and Recovery Small Business Grant. This funding is available to businesses who were open before the COVID-19 pandemic began AND to new businesses who were in business as of January 1st, 2021. 

The full grant description is available on the DECD Maine Economic Recovery Grants page and the grant application is here.

The application opened Wednesday, November 3rd. The application deadline is 11:59 PM November 26, which is the Friday after Thanksgiving.

  • This program is NOT a first-come-first-serve program.  Applications are being accepted through November 26th. At which point, all applications will be evaluated, and the total awards calculated based on need and volume of applications.

We recommend you do not wait until the last minute to apply! This will provide a buffer for technical difficulties or if the State requests additional information about your application, as businesses have to upload PDF or screenshot documentation to back up their cost increases, purchases, or deferral interest.

Q&A Webinar

View our recent webinar where Maine SBDC Business Advisors presented information about the Maine Jobs and Recovery Small Business Grant. They answered questions and provided clarity on the program in this short 13-minute video! Watch here.

Eligibility Criteria

Eligible businesses must meet all of the following criteria:

  • Have been in business as of January 1st, 2021.
  • Must be an ongoing operating business and not have permanently ceased operation. Must demonstrate a 20% revenue loss.
  • Must demonstrate increased expenses because of COVID-19. These expenses must have been incurred between March 2020 and June 30, 2021.
  • Must have all business operations within Maine.

See additional eligibility criteria here.

Eligible Expenses

Eligible expenses are based on 4 categories. You must show new or increased expenses in one or more categories.

  • Interest on deferred business/commercial loans as a direct result of the pandemic.
  • Costs that occurred after reopening. These might include PPE, workforce training, physical safety measures (Plexi-glass), etc.
  • Increased cost of doing business as a result of COVID-19. This might include expenses incurred to improve remote access, implementation of contactless check-in/out/payment for takeout, etc.
  • Expenses associated with space improvement. This might include creating outdoor space for social distancing, adding or reconfiguring space to create social distancing needed, HVAC improvements, adding pods, etc.

FAQ’s

How is DECD measuring 20% revenue loss?  Revenue from the year the expense was incurred is compared to the year prior. 

  • If you are including an eligible expense from 2020, your 2020 revenue must have been down 20% from 2019. 
  • If you are including an eligible expense from January to June 2021, your 2021 revenue must have been down 20% as compared to January to June 2019.

What if my business was not open in 2019? How do I compare a loss? For businesses that opened between 2019 and January 1, 2021, loss will be assessed on a case-by-case basis and DECD will reach out for additional documentation.

What is the time period for eligible expenses? Expenses need to have occurred between March 2020 and June 30, 2021.

What is the maximum award amount?  $50,000. This is subject to change based on need and volume of applications.

What is the minimum award amount? $250

Can I submit expenses in more than one of the four expense categories you listed? Yes.

The eligible expenses mention loan deferrals. Does the loan need to be in deferral currently or at the time of the award?  Even if you are out of loan deferral and you are caught up on your loan payments, interest payments incurred during deferral were a significant expense incurred primarily due to COVID-19. You can claim these interest payments as an eligible expense. 

See the full list of FAQ’s here.

Business Advisors are Here to Help

If you have any additional questions about this program or are seeking more clarity in specific areas please reach out to Request Advising Here!