New Pandemic Relief for Maine Businesses and Nonprofits

An update on this topic, containing additional information, is available in a new article published September 29, 2022.

Governor Mills announced on July 22 that she is dedicating $58 million to a newly created “Thrive Maine” loan program, which is designed to help Maine small businesses and nonprofits that experienced financial hardship due to the pandemic.  Interested parties should act quickly.

The Finance Authority of Maine (FAME) will administer the program, which will provide forgivable loans of $10,000, up to $2 million dollars, to eligible Maine entities.  FAME is expected to begin accepting loan applications in early September, and they will be processed on a first-come, first-served basis.  Entities that obtain loans may have the full amounts forgiven 25% per year provided they continue to meet the eligibility criteria.

An applicant must meet the following eligibility criteria to obtain a loan:

  • Must be a Maine business or nonprofit with fewer than 500 employees.
  • Must have its headquarters in Maine or have a minimum of 50% of its employees and contract employees based in Maine.
  • Must demonstrate COVID-related negative economic impact in one of the following:
    • Loss of “EBITDA” (an acronym describing earnings before interest, taxes, depreciation, and amortization).  Losses incurred in 2020, 2021, or both years may qualify.  Note that in computing a loss in this context, EBITDA must include (or be adjusted to account for) any previously-received federal pandemic funding.  (In other words, certain relief previously received will reduce the benefit available under this new program.)
    • Expenses incurred (plastic partitions, HVAC modifications, etc.)
    • Increased costs of capital projects (expect to provide evidence that costs increased, and that the increase was the result of the pandemic).
  • Businesses must be in good standing with the State of Maine.
  • Payroll, state, and federal taxes must be current.

Applicants cannot submit loss amounts for which the business previously received federal and/or state pandemic relief, such as that provided by the Paycheck Protection Program and Economic Injury Disaster Loans.

Prior to applying, an applicant will need a Unique Entity Identifier (UEI).  Information about how to apply for a UEI can be found hereAnyone who believes that their businesses may qualify for this program should apply for a UEI immediately (or verify that they already have one) to ensure that obtaining the UEI does not delay the completion of their Thrive Maine application.  Complete copies of business and/or individual income tax returns, financial statements and other information will also be required.

The FAME website provides detailed information about the Thrive Maine Program, including loan terms and application instructions.

The Thrive Maine Program could provide valuable resources for Maine small businesses and nonprofits that are still recovering from the financial impacts of the pandemic.  Those who think they may qualify should review the information at the links above, and be prepared to submit an application as soon as FAME begins accepting them.

For more information, please contact Merrill Barter or your BNN advisor 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.