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Economic Recovery Grant Program

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August 21, 2020

Governor Mills $200 million Maine Economic Recovery Grant program will be available to Maine’s small businesses directly impacted by the Covid 19 pandemic.


This program provides grants for businesses and non-profit organizations that demonstrate a need for financial relief based on lost revenues or expenses related to the disruption of business operations caused by the COVID-19 pandemic. grants will be distributed based on a business's demonstrated losses as a pro-rated percentage of the total losses reported by qualified applicants. It is not intended to replace lost profits but only to help businesses remain viable.

This grant program will apply to Maine businesses with significant operations in Maine and a combined total of 50 or fewer FTE employees.

Grants may be used to cover expenses, including but not limited to: payroll costs and expenses; rent or mortgage payments for business facilities; utilities payments; necessary operating expenses; expenses incurred to replenish inventory or other necessary re-opening expenses; purchase of personal protective equipment required by the business or business related equipment. Funds must be spent on operations that are strictly within Maine. Recipients are liable for any misuse of funds, and the grants are subject to audit.
 
In order to avoid a competitive rush for awards, the grants will not be distributed on a first-come, first served basis. Instead, businesses and nonprofit organizations can apply for a grant beginning August 21, 2020 through September 9, 2020 with awards made in early October. The amount awarded will be based on demonstrated need as a pro-rated percentage of the total cost of business interruption reported by qualified applicants.

“Small businesses across Maine - the neighborhood corner store, the bed and breakfast, the independent bookstore - have faced unprecedented challenges caused by this pandemic, from the heartbreak of temporarily closing their doors to the herculean task of reopening in new and innovative ways. Many have risen to the task, but with the global economy still reeling from the virus, and with people still wary of how and where to eat and shop, it is crucial that we provide what help we can to get businesses through,” said Governor Mills. “My Administration will do all we can to support Maine’s small businesses through these difficult times. While we know these grants cannot wholly replace or repair the economic damage this pandemic has caused, our mission is to ensure that each dollar has at least a small, direct impact on supporting these businesses and Maine’s economy. We continue to hope that Congress will step up to provide greater relief to the people and State of Maine.”
 
“COVID-19 has created an unprecedented financial crisis for businesses and non-profit organizations in Maine and all across the country,” said Heather Johnson, Commissioner of the Department of Economic and Community Development. “In working with the recommendations of the Governor’s Economic Recovery Committee, we have created the Economic Recovery Grant Program. This grant program is the first step in supporting businesses and non-profits with a path forward until they are able to rebuild capacity.”

The maximum grant amount will be $100,000. Given that RAM, the Maine Tourism Association, Hospitality Maine and the Maine State Chamber of Commerce advocated for an $800 million relief program for just our industries, we are concerned that this first disbursement will not be enough, but as the governor noted, we are all hopeful for additional federal relief to make sure Maine's small businesses remain viable into 2021.
 

Informational Webinar


DECD held an informational webinar this morning (Friday). If you missed it, there is another one Tuesday, August 25 at 11:00 AM. You can register by going to: https://zoom.us/webinar/register/WN_Fsf2Xe5FTaqV2nneSeEAzQ
 

Grant Information Website (DECD)


To register for upcoming webinars, view this morning’s recorded webinar, get more information on the program (FAQs), or apply for a grant (later today), go to DECD’s website

Businesses and nonprofit organizations can apply for a grant beginning today, August 21, 2020, through September 9, 2020, with awards made in early October. The grants will NOT be distributed on a first-come, first served basis so you can apply anytime during the application period.
 

Program Summary


To qualify for a grant, a business or nonprofit must demonstrate a need for financial relief based on lost revenues minus expenses incurred since March 1, 2020 due to COVID-19 impacts or related public health response. More detailed information beyond this summary can be found on the website and FAQs pages listed above.

The business or organization must also:
  1. have significant operations in Maine, meaning it is headquartered in the state or has a minimum of half its employees in Maine;
  2. employ less than a combined total of 50 employees and contract employees (NOTE: if a business exceeds 50 FTEs at any point in the year, the business is ineligible; businesses that have more than one location or are considered “affiliated” as defined in the application criteria must count all employees of those locations/businesses towards the 50-employee limit; self-employed individuals can apply);3.
  3. have been in operation for at least one year before August 1, 2020; not currently be in bankruptcy and not permanently have ceased operations;
  4. be current and in good standing with all Maine State payroll taxes, sales taxes, and state income taxes through July 31, 2020 and be in good standing with the Maine Department of Labor; and
  5. be in consistent compliance and not subject to any enforcement action with COVID-19 Restrictions

 Uses for the grants include, but are not limited to:
  1. payroll costs and expenses;
  2. rent or mortgage payments for business facilities;
  3. utilities payments;
  4. necessary operating expenses;
  5. expenses incurred to replenish inventory or other necessary re-opening expenses;
  6. purchase of personal protective equipment required by the business- or business-related equipment.
CONTACT INFORMATION
For any questions not addressed in the program description or FAQs please call 1-800-872-3838 and press 3, or email: BizAwards.DECD@maine.gov.

Oxford Hills Chamber of Commerce

4 Western Avenue South Paris, ME 04281
207.743.2281
info@oxfordhillsmaine.com

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