MaineStream Finance

Article Title: AVAILABLE SMALL BUSINESS RELIEF GRANTS and LOANS for MAINE BUSINESSES (updated 4/12/21)

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Right now, there are several COVID-19 relief grant programs available for small businesses, including the self-employed and sole proprietors, through the US Government/SBA and State of Maine/DECD.  Penquis and MaineStream Finance, the Piscataquis County Economic Development Council (PCEDC), the Piscataquis Chamber of Commerce, the Katahdin Chamber of Commerce, Destination Moosehead Lake, and EMDC have partnered together to form the Piscataquis and Katahdin Region Economic Recovery Task Force to bring this information to the public, particularly for Piscataquis County and Northern Penobscot County, in an understandable way. This is a living document which will be updated as more information becomes available.

Economic Recovery Task Force Resources

We are here to help you, your friends, or neighbors through each step of the process – so please pass this on.  Please contact MaineStream Finance at MSFInfo@penquis.org for more information or if you have questions. 

SBA PAYCHECK PROTECTION PROGRAM (PPP)

DEADLINE IS EXTENDED TO MAY 31! Whether you took PPP in 2020 or not, this program is likely still for you as a business owner – especially if you are self-employed or a company with less than 20 employees.  There are many improvements and clarifications and the process should be much smoother.  There will not be a mad rush like last time.  If you felt like PPP was not for you last time, we urge you to look at it this time – it is much better and SBA wants you to apply for the self-employed, those who have been incarcerated, those with student loan issues, and for immigrant entrepreneurs.  US Residents with legal status are eligible. The calculation for Schedule C IRS tax filers who are self-employed is much, much better as well, calculating the PPP amount on Gross Income instead of Net Income.

Start with your bank or credit union first, and if they are not doing PPP, MaineStream Finance can give you 2-3 ideas on where to go.  There are also three nonprofit community lenders offering PPP in Maine:

More information can be found in the Grant Prep link on page 3 or on the SBA website for the PPP program

SBA ECONOMIC INJURY DISASTER LOAN (EIDL)

EIDL is open again – with a deadline of December 31, 2021.  EIDL loans have low interest rates of less than 4% and long-term loan terms of up to 30 years to be used for operating expenses.   More information can be found in the Grant Prep link on page 4 or on the SBA website for the EIDL program (where you can also apply directly to the SBA). 

SBA SHUTTERED VENUE OPERATORS GRANT (SVOG)/ SAVE OUR STAGES [NOW OPEN]

SVOG includes $15 billion in grants to shuttered venues, like museums, concert halls, etc. Eligible applicants may qualify for grants equal to 45% of their typical gross earned revenue, not to exceed $10 million. $2 billion is reserved for eligible applications with up to 50 full-time employees.  You do not have to rush for this grant. Please note, you can take a SVOG Grant and a new PPP loan – you must apply for PPP first, and it may be deducted from SVOG proceeds. For details, see page 5 in the Grant Prep packet link or click on the SBA SVOG site here. You can register to apply here.

STATE OF MAINE MICRO-ENTREPRISE GRANT

Microenterprise Grants from the State of Maine are up to $5,000 for businesses with five or fewer employees, with an owner whose income is in the low to moderate range as defined by the Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD). A meeting with a Maine SBDC business advisor is required to apply. For details, see page 4 in the Grant Prep packet link above or click on the SBDC site here.

AND DON”T FORGET EMPLOYEE RETENTION TAX CREDITS

Through the Employee Retention Credit, the IRS allows employers to claim up to $7,000 per employee per quarter for much of 2020 and 2021 through June 30, 2021. One can claim wages with the SBA Paycheck Protection Program and ERP at the same time now. If you are unsure how to do this, call your local accountant for help!

LIKELY SMALL BUSINESS RELIEF PROGRAMS COMING FROM MARCH FEDERAL RELIEF BILL

OTHER GRANTS AND RELIEF FOR BUSINESSES

GRANTS

LOANS

OTHER SITES TO MONITOR that are Maine-focused:

Nationally, check out the following for updates to government and private relief programs:

P.S. If you are a nonprofit, there is a great resource page and webinar on Federal Aid for you and how PPP and SVOG applies to you here on the Council of Nonprofits webpage, FMA/IFF, the Nonprofit Finance Fund (NFF). Maine Association of Nonprofits (MANP) also has a good resource page.

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