U.S. Department of Commerce Invests $2 Million in CARES Act Recovery Assistance to Capitalize a Revolving Loan Fund to Serve Small Businesses in Aroostook and Washington Counties, Maine
WASHINGTON – Today, U.S. Secretary of Commerce Gina M. Raimondo announced that the Department’s Economic Development Administration (EDA) is awarding a $2 million CARES Act Recovery Assistance grant to the Northern Maine Development Commission, Caribou, Maine, to capitalize and administer a Revolving Loan Fund, providing gap financing to small, local businesses in Aroostook and Washington counties. This EDA grant, to be matched with $500,000 in local funds, is expected to create 106 jobs, retain 124 jobs, and generate $3.3 million in private investment.
“President Biden is committed to ensuring that local businesses are provided with the resources they need to recover and build back stronger from the economic impacts of the coronavirus pandemic,” said Secretary of Commerce Gina M. Raimondo. “This EDA investment in the Northern Maine Development Commission will support a Revolving Loan Fund that will provide local businesses with financial assistance to rebuild and expand, creating more jobs and a stronger regional economy.”
“The Economic Development Administration supports locally-driven strategies to help communities rebuild from the economic challenges created by the coronavirus pandemic,” said Assistant Secretary of Commerce for Economic Development Alejandra Y. Castillo. “This EDA investment will build economic resilience to, and long-term recovery from, the economic shock of the pandemic by strengthening the local economy and supporting job growth.”
“These funds will stand up a revolving loan program that will provide critical financial support to small businesses in Aroostook and Washington counties as they recover from the pandemic,” said Governor Janet Mills. “Supporting our small businesses – which are the backbone of our economy and our state – is a priority of my administration, and I welcome the Biden Administration’s continued help in that effort.”
“The public health threat and economic fallout caused by COVID-19 have taken a toll on communities and businesses across our state,” said Senators Susan Collins and Angus King. “This grant will help our small businesses weather tough times, bounce back from the uncertainty, and continue to provide good-paying jobs in their communities. We applaud this investment in Northern and Downeast Maine, which demonstrates that the CARES Act is continuing to meet the needs of Maine people during this historic crisis.”
“Small businesses are the backbone of our local communities and economies, but too often are shut out of opportunities by big banks and investors. This Revolving Loan Fund will give local businesses the boost they need to get started, grow, and create jobs in Washington and Aroostook Counties,” said Congressman Jared Golden (ME-02). “I was proud to support this program as part of the bipartisan CARES Act, and am glad that the Commerce Department recognized the potential of small businesses in northern Maine.”
This project is funded under the Coronavirus Aid, Relief, and Economic Security (CARES) Act (Public Law 116-136 PDF), which provided EDA with $1.5 billion for economic assistance programs to help communities prevent, prepare for, and respond to coronavirus. 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.
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 invests in communities and supports regional collaboration in order to create jobs for U.S. workers, promote American innovation, and accelerate long-term sustainable economic growth.