Phase 2 of economic recovery program launched Sept. 23



AUGUSTA— Gov. Janet Mills announced the launch of a second phase of the Maine Economic Recovery Grant Program that began Wednesday, Sept. 23.

Phase 2 will make available approximately $95 million in remaining funds from Phase 1 and expand access to the program by increasing the number of eligible businesses and nonprofits. Under Phase 2, businesses and nonprofits that employ up to 250 people will be eligible for grant rewards. Previously, small businesses and nonprofits with up to 50 people were eligible. Additionally, licensed childcare and behavioral health organizations will be eligible in this round. The Department of Economic and Community Development estimates that nearly 3,000 more businesses and nonprofit organizations will be eligible for grants as a result of the program’s expansion.

Additionally, the Governor announced that up to $5 million of the $95 million will be dedicated to support the viability of businesses less than a year old, which were not previously eligible. The Maine Technology Institute (MTI), which offers grants, loans, equity investments and services to support Maine’s innovation economy, will lead the application review and financial disbursement of awards in their seven sectors.

The Maine Economic Recovery Grant Program is intended to help sustain the viability of Maine’s small businesses and nonprofits – not to replace lost profits – by providing short-term financial relief for businesses and nonprofit organizations that incurred business disruptions as a result of the COVID-19 pandemic. Expanding the size of businesses also expands its scope since some types of businesses typically have more than 50 workers. Applications for Phase 2 will be accepted Wednesday, Sept. 23 through Friday, Oct.  23, with grants expected to be awarded in late November.

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 and the 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.

For additional information about the program, visit maine.gov/decd/economic-recovery-grants.

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