Maine Jobs and Recovery Small Business Grant

(Applications due 11/26/21)

An under-the-radar grant program is ongoing for Maine-based small businesses, but its application window is closing soon.

The Maine Jobs and Recovery Small Business grant will provide $5 million of the state’s federally-funded pandemic relief to many small businesses impacted by Covid-19. Online applications are due by the end of day November 26, 2021 (the day after Thanksgiving), and an allocation of the total funds will be made based on a number of factors. Note that “first come, first served” is not one of those factors, so those who complete their applications close to the wire are on equal footing with those who acted first.

The program is administered by Maine’s Department of Economic & Community Development, and that agency’s website contains a comprehensive description of the program. Links to the application and more detail are provided below, followed by a brief overview of the program, with a focus on its criteria.

  1. Details/description of the grant program
  2. FAQ
  3. Application form (including a list of data needed for the application)

The program is available to “small businesses.” For this purpose, that includes those who employed 250 or fewer employees throughout 2020, but briefly exceeding this headcount may not necessarily disqualify an application. Guidelines are provided explaining how to address part-time employees. Contracted employees are included in the definition, and affiliated entities are limited to one application.

Businesses must be headquartered in Maine or at least 50% of their employees must be based in Maine. However, a number of types of businesses are ineligible, including accountants, attorneys, most schools, credit unions, hospitals, and country clubs. With some exceptions, non-profit entities may apply.

An applicant must demonstrate a 20% drop in revenue during the same period during which it incurred increased expenses attributable to the pandemic. The grant itself will be based on expenses incurred from March 2020 through June 2021, and is designed to reimburse a portion of them. Each amount awarded will be determined by the state, and it anticipates that no applicant will receive more than $50,000. Eligible expenses are defined somewhat broadly, and may include loan interest (for pandemic-related borrowings), and costs related to re-opening after closure or modifications related to the pandemic (safety supplies, remote access, HVAC improvements, and expenditures resulting from supply disruptions, for example). Certain expenses do not qualify, including depreciation.

The applicant must be in good standing with various state agencies, including the DOL and Maine Revenue Services; and cannot be in bankruptcy.

The state expects that any grant amount will be considered taxable income for the recipient.

The Maine Jobs and Recovery Small Business grant program may prove to be very useful for certain businesses impacted by the pandemic, and those who believe they may qualify should apply. As noted above, applications must successfully be submitted by end of day November 26, 2021. Note that some other state-related relief programs were haunted by computer-related issues that threatened timely completion of the applications, and applicants should consider applying prior to the waning hours of the window.

For more information, please contact your BNN tax service provider at 800.244.7444.

Disclaimer of Liability: This publication is intended to provide general information to our clients and friends. It does not constitute accounting, tax, investment, or legal advice; nor is it intended to convey a thorough treatment of the subject matter.