Maine’s Tourism, Hospitality and Retail Recovery Grant Program

Yesterday, Governor Mills announced the creation of the Tourism, Hospitality and Retail Recovery Grant Program. This program is designed specifically to support Maine’s service sector small businesses that have been devastated by the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic.

The program will utilize $40 million of CARES Act funding to make grants to eligible businesses. Grant applications must be submitted through the Maine Department of Economic and Community Development (DECD) website beginning at 9:30 a.m. on Wednesday, December 2. The grants to qualifying applicants will be made available on a first come, first served basis, and the application portal will remain open until the funds are depleted. The DECD website can be found here.

The eligibility requirements are provided in the FAQs related to the program, which can be found here, and include the following:

  • The business must be headquartered in Maine (as registered with the Secretary of State), and be current and in good standing with all Maine State payroll, sales and state income taxes through September 30, 2020.
  • It must have a North American Industry Classification System (NAICS) code in one of the following industry classifications:
    • Accommodation and Food Services
    • Retail Trade
    • Arts, Entertainment and Recreation

Information about the NAICS codes can be found at the US Census Bureau website here.

  • It must be a customer facing service business or organization, including restaurants, bars and taverns, tasting rooms, lodging, and/or retail establishments.
  • The business must have experienced a 20% or greater loss in gross sales as reported to Maine Revenue Services on sales tax returns filed, comparing March 2019 through September 2019 to March 2020 through September 2020 for those filing monthly sales tax returns, and April 2019 through September 2019 to April 2020 through September 2020 for quarterly filers.
  • The business’s gross sales must have been between $24,000 and $12MM in 2019.
  • The business cannot have ceased all operations or be in bankruptcy.

Grant funds may be used to cover business expenses, including but not limited to:  payroll costs, rent or mortgage payments for business facilities, utilities, the purchase of personal protective equipment, and other necessary operating expenses. All of the funds must be spent on the business’s operations that are within Maine. The grants are subject to audit, and grant recipients will be liable to repay any misused funds.

If you think that your business may be eligible to receive a grant under this program, we strongly encourage you to apply.

To discuss this program, please contact your BNN 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.