The U.S. Commerce Department’s Economic Development Administration has provided a $500,000 grant to Coastal Enterprises Inc. to replenish a revolving loan fund that provides greater access to capital for Maine’s commercial fishermen and fishing-dependent businesses.

Coastal Enterprises, in Wiscasset, provides funding and business support to small and mid-sized businesses.

The $500,000 will be used to finance equipment, support fishing operations and launch new fishing-related businesses. The money will likely support more than 90 small and medium-sized loans, ranging from $10,000 to $100,000 each, as well as lines of credit, and create about 20 jobs, the Commerce Department said in a media release.

The Economic Development Administration’s revolving loan program “has been an essential financing tool in many communities, ensuring many small and medium-size businesses’ ability to successfully grow,” said Deputy Assistant Secretary of Commerce Matt Erskine. “Recapitalizing Coastal Enterprise’s (revolving loan fund) will allow them to continue to provide needed support to small and medium-sized businesses in Maine that are engaged in commercial fishing.”

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