MaineStream Finance

Article Title: Mission & History

Article Content

We are twenty-years old! As a wholly-owned subsidiary of Penquis, MaineStream Finance is a non-profit organization dedicated to economic development by providing credit, capital, and financial services that are often unavailable from traditional financial institutions. Since 1999, MaineStream, a nonprofit community development financial  institution (CDFI) certified by the US Treasury, has served Maine homeowners, homebuyers, consumers, and entrepreneurs in securing the needed advice and financing they need to grow and thrive. We deliver these services through lending, savings products, classes, and 1:1 advisory support. MaineStream works closely with federal and state agencies, foundations, and local financial institutions, including banks, to help them meet Community Reinvestment Act (CRA) goals through financial education programs, loan capital, and volunteering opportunities for homeowners and small businesses.

Services

Business/Entrepreneur Support

Homebuying and Retention Support

Financial Coaching & Savings

  • Financial goal setting classes
  • Matched savings
  • 1:1 Financial Coaching and Counseling
  • Student Financial Aid Advising
  • MaineStream Finance Timeline and Milestones

    1960-1969

    • Penquis Community Action Program is founded, serving Penobscot County to help reduce poverty among Mainers. (1967) Penquis is one of nearly 1,100 community action agencies across the United States and one of ten in Maine. Community action agencies were established under the Economic Opportunity Act of 1964 to fight America’s War on Poverty.

    1970-1979

    • Penquis CAP merged with Piscataquis Community Action to serve Piscataquis County. (1971)

    1990-1999 Penquis begins many of the precursor activities to the creation of MaineStream Finance, such as the creation of a small business loan fund and business plan support program, the creation of the Family Development Account (FDA) matched savings program, and the beginning of housing counseling.  Sister departments begin home repair & replacement and constructing low-income housing rental units – all in partnership with agencies such as MaineHousing, USDA, and local community banks.

    • Penquis begins its Housing Counseling program for foreclosure diversion and home purchase and provides forgivable down payment assistance loans.
    • Penquis begins to offer a new microenterprise revolving loan fund and technical assistance for small businesses. (1995)
    • Penquis along with other CAPs and partners helps Maine become one of the first five states to offer Individual Development Accounts (IDAs – Family Development Accounts-FDAs in Maine) for matched savings. (1999)

    2000-2009 Penquis creates MaineStream as a separate but wholly-owned subsidiary and receiving its CDFI designation from the US Treasury.  The decade saw the standing up and growth of our business assistance and home loan programs, in partnership with several banks.  In the latter years of the decade, Penquis/MaineStream helped several hundred families through the financial and home foreclosure crisis.

    • MaineStream Finance is incorporated as a nonprofit and a wholly-owned subsidiary of Penquis. (2000)
    • MaineStream becomes a US-Treasury certified Community Development Financial Institution (CDFI) and receives its first round of funding from the CDFI Fund/US Treasury. (2001)
    • Penquis merges with Coastal Community Action Program (CCAP) for Knox county, and MaineStream takes on servicing loans within CCAP in partnership with Penquis Housing and Energy Services. (2005)
    • MaineStream Finance launches the award-winning Incubator Without Walls (IWW) program in collaboration with several other service providers for small business start-ups in Eastern Maine. (2008)
    • MaineStream/Penquis’ housing counseling team serves many Maine homeowners through the financial crisis in assisting foreclosure prevention.
    • MaineStream shifts its focus from down payment assistance loans to fully amortizing home mortgage loans in partnership with TD Bank.

    2010-2019 MaineStream and Penquis continue to grow our services in small business, housing, and personal finance, particularly piloting a new financial coaching program for low-income Mainers who struggle with managing their finances or have a financial goal they need help in achieving.

    • MaineStream places a staff member in Rockland office for the first time. (2010)
    • Penquis and its affiliates, including MaineStream, become a member of NeighborWorks America. (2013)
    • MaineStream Finance becomes an SBA microlender for small business lending. (2015)
    • MaineStream starts its small business Hatchery program and begins to host the Mid-Coast Top Gun program. (2015)
    • Family Development Account (FDA or IDA) program is re-assigned within Penquis to be administered by the MaineStream Finance team. (2015)
    • MaineStream launches a new pilot to provide financial coaching to Housing Authority tenants and Head Start families within Penquis with support from NeighborWorks. (2017)
    • MaineStream opens its new space on the ground floor of Harlow Street and Cumberland Street with a new logo and website. (2018)
    • MaineStream receives the SBA Maine Regional Director’s award for its work in helping and financing an employee cooperative take over after the founder of a coffee business retired. (2018)
    • MaineStream is one of six founding members of the Business Resource Partners of Greater Bangor to better serve our region’s businesses and also becomes a member of UpStart Maine. (2019)

    2020-Current Day MaineStream poises itself for growth and serving more Mainers who want to own their own home for the first time and launches a new manufactured home loan program.  The team also adapts and ramps up services to help Maine families and small businesses weather the COVID-19 crisis.

    • Penquis and affiliates, including MaineStream Finance, join the Housing Partnership Network (HPN) and the Homeownership Alliance. (2020)
    • MaineStream celebrates its 20th anniversary! (2020)
    • MaineStream shifts all online homebuyer education and small business workshops online due to COVID-19 and helps many small businesses navigate funding programs and adapt to new business realities. (2020)
    • MaineStream launches its new manufactured housing loan product and a new rental and eviction counseling service. (2020)