AUGUSTA — The Finance Authority of Maine’s board has approved a loan insurance program to help more than 200 independent Maine grocers who were caught by surprise by the recent closure of their vendor, Associated Grocers of Maine.

Many small grocers are attempting to find new food distributors after the sudden closure of the Gardiner-based cooperative. The finance authority’s new program is designed to provide those grocers with access to financing they may need to make the transition to new suppliers.

The quasi-independent agency’s board approved the program Thursday. It will provide up to 50 percent insurance on loans made by financial institutions to local grocery stores with an outstanding account due to Associated Grocers.