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Press Release

U.S. Department of Commerce Invests $13 Million in CARES Act Funding to Capitalize Revolving Loan Funds to Help Small Businesses Across Maine Respond to Coronavirus

WASHINGTON – Today, U.S. Secretary of Commerce Wilbur Ross announced that the Department’s Economic Development Administration (EDA) is awarding $13 million in CARES Act Recovery Assistance grants to capitalize and administer Revolving Loan Funds (RLFs) that will provide critical gap financing to small businesses and entrepreneurs adversely affected by the coronavirus pandemic across Maine.

“President Trump is working diligently every day to support our nation’s economy following the impacts of COVID-19 through the CARES Act,” said Secretary of Commerce Wilbur Ross. “These investments will provide small businesses across Maine with the necessary capital to rebound from the coronavirus pandemic and, in turn, create a stronger and more resilient state economy for the future.”

“These investments come at a crucial time to help Maine’s and our nation’s economy come roaring back and provide hard-working Americans with new opportunities,” said Dana Gartzke, Performing the Delegated Duties of the Assistant Secretary of Commerce for Economic Development. “Small businesses are the lifeblood of our communities, and EDA is pleased to invest these CARES Act funds so that Maine businesses have access to capital to respond to and recover from the coronavirus pandemic.”

“COVID-19 has deeply affected our small-town economies,” said Senators Susan Collins and Angus King and Representatives Chellie Pingree and Jared Golden. “Across Maine, businesses have had to quickly adapt to new public health guidance, often at great expense to their bottom lines. The CARES Act included ample gap financing and loans for small businesses, which are an important financial lifeline to businesses during times of economic uncertainty. This geographically diverse set of grants will help local businesses across our state to mitigate the impact of the coronavirus—we are proud of the steps that Maine businesses and their employees are taking to keep their communities healthy.”

The EDA investments announced today are:

  • Northern Maine Development Commission, Caribou, Maine, will receive a $3.7 million EDA CARES Act Recovery Assistance grant to capitalize and administer an RLF to provide loans to coronavirus-impacted businesses in Aroostook and Washington counties.
  • Coastal Enterprises, Brunswick, Maine, will receive a $3.3 million EDA CARES Act Recovery Assistance grant to capitalize and administer an RLF that will provide gap financing and loans to coronavirus-impacted businesses in York, Cumberland, Sagadahoc, Lincoln, Knox, Waldo, Hancock, and Washington counties.
  • Eastern Maine Development Corporation, Bangor, Maine, will receive a $2.9 million EDA CARES Act Recovery Assistance grant to capitalize and administer an RLF to provide loans to coronavirus-impacted small businesses in Hancock, Penobscot, Piscataquis, Waldo, Knox, and Washington counties.
  • Southern Maine Regional Planning Commission, Saco, Maine, will receive a $1.4 million EDA CARES Act Recovery Assistance grant to capitalize and administer an RLF to provide loans to coronavirus-impacted businesses in York and Southern Oxford counties.
  • Androscoggin Valley Council of Governments, Auburn, Maine, will receive a $1 million EDA CARES Act Recovery Assistance grant to capitalize and administer an RLF to provide loans to coronavirus-impacted small businesses in Androscoggin, Franklin, and Northern Oxford counties.
  • Kennebec Valley Council of Governments, Fairfield, Maine, will receive a $737,000 EDA CARES Act Recovery Assistance grant to capitalize and administer an RLF to provide loans to coronavirus-impacted businesses in Kennebec, Somerset, and western Waldo counties, as well as the towns of Burnham, Freedom, Palermo, Thorndike, Troy, and Unity.

These current EDA RLF grantees are some of the more than 850 existing, high-performing EDA RLF, Economic Development District, University Center, and Tribal grant recipients invited to apply for supplemental funding under the Coronavirus Aid, Relief, and Economic Security (CARES) Act.

The CARES Act, signed into law by President Donald J. Trump, provides EDA with $1.5 billion for economic development assistance programs to help communities prevent, prepare for, and respond to the coronavirus pandemic.

On May 7, Secretary Ross announced that EDA is accepting applications for CARES Act Recovery Assistance funding opportunities.

EDA CARES Act Recovery Assistance, which is being administered under the authority of the bureau’s flexible Economic Adjustment Assistance (EAA) (PDF) program, provides a wide-range of financial assistance to eligible communities and regions as they respond to and recover from the impacts of the coronavirus pandemic. For complete information, please visit our recently updated EDA CARES Act Recovery Assistance page.

About the U.S. Economic Development Administration (www.eda.gov)
The mission of the U.S. Economic Development Administration (EDA) is to lead the federal economic development agenda by promoting competitiveness and preparing the nation's regions for growth and success in the worldwide economy. An agency within the U.S. Department of Commerce, EDA makes investments in economically distressed communities in order to create jobs for U.S. workers, promote American innovation, and accelerate long-term sustainable economic growth.

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