Maine distributes pandemic relief grants to businesses

Maine distributes pandemic relief grants to businesses

March 9, 2022 0 By Christian Wade

Maine is doling out $5 million in grants to hundreds of small businesses to help them recover from the lingering economic impacts of the COVID-19 pandemic.

Under the new program, the state Department of Economic and Community Development is providing one-time disbursements of up to $50,000 to at least 382 small businesses and nonprofit organizations. Funding for the program comes from the state’s share of the federal American Rescue Plan Act, a pandemic relief law.

Gov. Janet Mills said the program is meant to reimburse businesses for pandemic-related costs ranging from supply chain disruptions to purchasing protective gear and upgrading buildings.

“Maine small businesses are the backbone of our economy, providing livelihoods for hundreds of thousands of Maine people,” she said in a statement. “We hope these grants will help them grapple with pandemic-related financial losses and put them in a better position not only to keep their doors open and people employed, but to thrive in the long-run.”

To qualify, businesses were required to demonstrate that they suffered a revenue loss of at least 20% between March 2020 and June 30, 2021. The grants, which average $12,700, can be used to pay interest on loans, reopening costs, capital upgrades and cover costs due to supply chain disruptions, according to the Mills administration.

The new program is the latest round of pandemic-related disbursements from Mills’ $1 billion Maine Jobs & Recovery plan, which is funded with federal pandemic money.

Maine got more than $4.5 billion from the American Rescue Plan Act, including money for businesses and direct payments to residents and funding for local governments.

The Mills administration has rolled out similar relief programs targeting specific industries including health care, forestry products, seafood and the state’s agricultural sector.

“Across the board, Maine’s economy is experiencing a strong recovery, but too many small businesses are still struggling with lingering challenges from the pandemic,” Heather Johnson, commissioner of the Department of Economic and Community Development, said in a statement.

This article was originally posted on Maine distributes pandemic relief grants to businesses