MaineStream Finance

Article Title: Maine & Beyond – Small Business Relief Grants Available in December 2020 / January 2021

Article Content

The Federal Government and Maine’s own congressional delegation, particularly Senator Collins and King and Representative Golden, are working on a relief aid bill that would include another SBA Paycheck Protection Program (PPP) round and other relief aid for small businesses.  The momentum looks strong, so be on the lookout for late December/early January. 

Until then, there are still a few relief grants for small businesses and their workers out there, especially for the hospitality/restaurant industry.  Below is a list of available or upcoming programs we know of.  If you have any questions for a client, friend, or neighbor, they can email us at and we’ll see what we can find together. 

Do note within the list below, competition for the national funds will especially be fierce and may run out quickly (and your chances of being funded are likely lower than the local grants).  The best advice is to apply immediately, as most of these programs are first come, first served until the funds run out.  Here are additional resources for local programs:

And also remember to buy local for your holiday shopping!!!

Chris Linder, CEO

December 9, 2020


Maine Department of Economic and Community Development (DECD) Grant for Tourism, Hospitality and Retail – APPLY NOW! (including Food Service/Breweries, and Entertainment)– there is a new grant available that must be sdisbursed by December 31 for the three industries above – this is first come, first serve and urgent to apply now.  The application is simple and quick.

Pandemic Relief Program (PRP) – Dept of Labor.  Governor Janet Mills and Commissioner of Labor Laura Fortman announced that the Administration will provide certain individuals who are unemployed due to COVID-19 with a one-time direct relief payment of $600 through the State’s newly-created Pandemic Relief Program (PRP). The relief payment is meant to assist unemployed Maine people at a time when they continue to face substantial economic hardship as a result of COVID-19 and are losing their Federal unemployment benefits at the end of the month unless Congress acts. This payment includes self-employed, sole proprietors, and other business owners who are unemployed and losing their Federal unemployment benefits this month.

Island Institute Small Business Resilience Grants Through the Tom Glenn Community Impact Fund, the Institute is offering grants of up to $1,500 to support island and coastal small businesses, artists and makers, and working waterfront businesses.

Department of Agriculture, Conservation and Forestry (DACF) and CEI [2 programs] – both due December 18

  1. Agriculture and Food Processing Infrastructure Reimbursement Program Reimbursements for infrastructure and e-commerce updates are available.  Guidelines are pretty broad, so if you have clients in these sectors, have them check it out even if they don’t think they have made such improvements.
  2. Farmer E-Commerce Reimbursement Program The DACF CARES Act E-Commerce Reimbursement Program is offering up to $5,000 in reimbursements to Maine farms that have recently purchased e-commerce infrastructure due to business interruptions caused by COVID-19 social distancing measures and in response to the public health emergency.


Native Small Business Grant-NCAI: With support from, the National Congress of American Indians (NCAI) is issuing business stabilization grants in the amount of $5,000 each to a total of 170 selected Native-owned small businesses that have been severely impacted by the curtailing of commercial activity caused by the COVID-19 pandemic.

LISC-Lowe’s Rural Relief Small Business Grants (Open December 29 – January 5) LISC is inviting small business owners in rural locations (of 50,000 or less residents) across the country to apply for the LISC-Lowe’s Rural Relief Small Business Grants program that range from $5,000 to $20,000.

James Beard Foundation Food & Beverage Industry Relief Fund for Black and Indigenous Americans (coming/not yet open – sign up for email updates) The Fund will provide financial resources up to $15,000 for food or beverage businesses that are majority-owned by Black or Indigenous individuals. These grants are part of the Open for Good campaign, launched in April to rebuild an independent restaurant industry that is stronger, more equitable, more sustainable, and more resilient when it re-opens post-COVID-19.

Another Round, Another Rally Fund for Hospitality Workers ($500) The Fund is offering $500 relief grants for hospitality workers who lost their jobs or had their hours slashed in the wake of the COVID-19 outbreak.

Restaurant Workers’ Community Foundation- Southern Smoke Emergency Relief Program for Bar & Restaurant Workers (average $2,000) Southern Smoke is a nonprofit 501c3 charitable foundation. Our Emergency Relief Program provides emergency funding to those employed by or own restaurants or bars or are employed by a restaurant or bar supplier that are faced unforeseen expenses that cannot or will not be covered by insurance.

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