New and expanding small and mid-sized businesses in York and southern Oxford counties can soon apply for funding through a $1.1 million revolving loan program aimed at giving companies greater access to funding.

The federal Economic Development Administration provided $500,000 in funding, which was matched with $600,000 in funding from the Biddeford-Saco Economic Development Corp. The Southern Maine Planning & Development Commission will work with BSEDC to offer the loans.

The program will focus on companies with five to 50 employees and offer loans in the range of $50,000 to $200,000. The program will continue to grow as the loans are repaid with market-level interest and more loans are given.

“When we run various economic development programs, access to capital has always been noted as a priority. Small and growing businesses need more nontraditional sources of capital,” said SMPDC Director Paul Schumacher. “We’re excited about this partnership to help increase capital to the region. These funds often help fill in gaps in funding.”

The program is expected to begin in June.

The loans are not slated for any particular industry, but will help the region recover from the loss of manufacturing jobs, according to Maine’s congressional delegation. In press releases, Sen. Angus King and U.S. Reps. Chellie Pingree and Mike Michaud all expressed their support of the program.

“Manufacturing across Maine and America has taken a serious hit over the past few decades, which is why investments like this are so important,” King said. “This welcomed award will boost SMPDC’s already exceptional work and help buoy local businesses, support economic innovation, and create good-paying jobs for people throughout southern Maine.”

Jessica Hall may be reached at 791-6316 or at:[email protected]@JessicaHallPPH