Augusta, MAINE – Governor Janet Mills immediately introduced the Maine Financial Restoration Grant Program to help Maine companies and nonprofits as they proceed to grapple with financial hardships brought on by COVID-19.
This system, backed by $200 million in Federal CARES Act Coronavirus Reduction Funds (CRF), will present monetary reduction for companies and non-profit organizations that incurred enterprise disruptions on account of the COVID-19 pandemic. The grants are supposed to assist maintain the viability of Maine’s small companies and nonprofits – to not exchange misplaced income – and can present short-term reduction to assist stabilize Maine’s economic system whereas nonetheless specializing in the state’s long-term targets described within the state’s 10-year strategic financial growth plan. This system attracts on a advice from the Governor’s Financial Restoration Committee.
“Small companies throughout Maine – the neighborhood nook retailer, the mattress and breakfast, the unbiased bookstore – have confronted unprecedented challenges brought on by this pandemic, from the heartbreak of quickly closing their doorways to the herculean activity of reopening in new and progressive methods. Many have risen to the duty, however with the worldwide economic system nonetheless reeling from the virus, and with folks nonetheless cautious of how and the place to eat and store, it’s essential that we offer what assist we are able to to get companies by means of,” stated Governor Mills. “My Administration will do all we are able to to help Maine’s small companies by means of these troublesome occasions. Whereas we all know these grants can’t wholly exchange or restore the financial injury this pandemic has brought about, our mission is to make sure that every greenback has no less than a small, direct impression on supporting these companies and Maine’s economic system. We proceed to hope that Congress will step as much as present better reduction to the folks and State of Maine.”
“COVID-19 has created an unprecedented monetary disaster for companies and non-profit organizations in Maine and all throughout the nation,” stated Heather Johnson, Commissioner of the Division of Financial and Neighborhood Improvement. “In working with the suggestions of the Governor’s Financial Restoration Committee, we have now created the Financial Restoration Grant Program. This grant program is step one in supporting companies and non-profits with a path ahead till they can rebuild capability.”
“Direct monetary help for Maine employers to climate the disruption of COVID-19 is an pressing advice of the Governor’s Financial Restoration Committee,” stated Joshua Broder and Laurie Lachance, Co-Chairs of the Committee. “We applaud Governor Mills and DECD for transferring rapidly to launch this necessary program primarily based on our work and urge our federal delegation to advocate for additional employer reduction by means of Congress.”
Along with the risk to public well being, the COVID-19 pandemic has basically modified the worldwide enterprise atmosphere, inflicting extreme supply-chain disruptions, lowered client spending, and unprecedented losses which can be felt throughout all sectors. U.S. industries are not any exception, with hospitality, tourism, retail, eating places and bars, leisure, manufacturing and numerous others dealing with a bunch of latest challenges and limitations that disrupt operations and impede progress. Right here in Maine, the closure of the Canadian border, the stoppage of cruise ships, and reluctance of individuals to journey have impacted our economic system, from agriculture to fisheries, to retail, recreation and hospitality sectors.
So as to qualify for a grant, a enterprise or nonprofit should show a necessity for monetary reduction primarily based on misplaced revenues minus bills incurred since March 1, 2020 attributable to COVID-19 impacts or associated public well being response. The enterprise or group should additionally: 1) have important operations in Maine, which means it’s headquartered within the state or has a minimal of half its staff in Maine; 2) make use of lower than a mixed whole of fifty staff and contract staff; 3) have been in operation for no less than one yr earlier than August 1, 2020; not at present be in chapter and never completely have ceased operations; 4) be present and in good standing with all Maine State payroll taxes, gross sales taxes, and state revenue taxes by means of July 31, 2020 and be in good standing with the Maine Division of Labor; and 5) be in constant compliance and never topic to any enforcement motion with COVID-19 Prevention Guidelines necessities.
Grants could also be used to cowl bills, together with however not restricted to: payroll prices and bills; lease or mortgage funds for enterprise services; utilities funds; mandatory working bills; bills incurred to replenish stock or different mandatory re-opening bills; buy of non-public protecting gear required by the enterprise or enterprise associated gear. Funds have to be spent on operations which can be strictly inside Maine. Recipients are answerable for any misuse of funds, and the grants are topic to audit.
So as to keep away from a aggressive rush for awards, the grants is not going to be distributed on a first-come, first served foundation. As a substitute, companies and nonprofit organizations can apply for a grant starting tomorrow August 21, 2020 by means of September 9, 2020 with awards made in early October. The quantity awarded will probably be primarily based on demonstrated want as a pro-rated proportion of the full value of enterprise interruption reported by certified candidates.
The Administration will distribute grant awards by means of Financial Improvement Districts (EDD) as a way to meet allocation standards established by the U.S. Treasury Division. The Administration is offering as much as $3 million in CRF monies to help EDDs as they administer this system. The Administration has additionally briefed the Chairs and Leads of the Legislature’s Committee on Appropriations and Monetary Affairs on using the CRF monies. With immediately’s dedication, the State of Maine has dedicated $807 million of Maine’s $1.25 billion in Federal CARES Act CRF monies. To see the total dedication of funds, click on HERE.
The Administration considers the $200 million an preliminary funding with the potential for extra funding sooner or later relying on further help from the Federal authorities, for which Governor Mills continues to advocate.
The Maine Financial Restoration Grant Program builds on the Mills Administration’s help for Maine companies and staff, which features a dedication of $270 million to backfill Maine’s Unemployment Belief Fund to help Maine companies amidst the elevated demand for unemployment advantages, in addition to $8.5 million to help childcare companies so Maine folks can return to work. Earlier this yr, on the request of Governor Mills, the Small Enterprise Administration allowed Maine companies to use for financial help loans. Moreover, the Governor and the Legislature labored collectively in a bipartisan method to determine a client mortgage assure program by means of FAME, in partnership with monetary establishments, to supply low- or no- curiosity loans for eligible folks in Maine.
To learn extra in regards to the distribution standards for funding, together with the formulation and an instance, see the hooked up doc.
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