WASHINGTON — Southern Maine Regional Planning Commission in Saco is one of the organizations receiving funds that will provide critical gap financing to small businesses and entrepreneurs adversely affected by the coronavirus pandemic across Maine.

U.S. Secretary of Commerce Wilbur Ross recently announced that the Department’s Economic Development Administration (EDA) is awarding $13 million in CARES Act Recovery Assistance grants to capitalize and administer Revolving Loan Funds (RLFs) to help small businesses.

“These investments will provide small businesses across Maine with the necessary capital to rebound from the coronavirus pandemic and, in turn, create a stronger and more resilient state economy for the future,” Ross said.

“These investments come at a crucial time to help Maine’s and our nation’s economy come roaring back and provide hard-working Americans with new opportunities,” said Dana Gartzke, Performing the Delegated Duties of the Assistant Secretary of Commerce for Economic Development. “Small businesses are the lifeblood of our communities, and EDA is pleased to invest these CARES Act funds so that Maine businesses have access to capital to respond to and recover from the coronavirus pandemic.”

Southern Maine Regional Planning Commission, Saco, will receive a $1.4 million EDA CARES Act Recovery Assistance grant to capitalize and administer an RLF to provide loans to coronavirus-impacted businesses in York and Southern Oxford counties.

Also receiving funds are:  Northern Maine Development Commission, Caribou; Coastal Enterprises, Brunswick; Eastern Maine Development Corporation, Bangor; Androscoggin Valley Council of Governments, Auburn; and Kennebec Valley Council of Governments, Fairfield.

These current EDA RLF grantees are some of the more than 850 existing, high-performing EDA RLF, Economic Development District, University Center, and Tribal grant recipients invited to apply for supplemental funding under the Coronavirus Aid, Relief, and Economic Security (CARES) Act.

The CARES Act, provides EDA with $1.5 billion for economic development assistance programs to help communities prevent, prepare for, and respond to the coronavirus pandemic.

EDA CARES Act Recovery Assistance, which is being administered under the authority of the bureau’s flexible Economic Adjustment Assistance (EAA) (PDF) program, provides a wide-range of financial assistance to eligible communities and regions as they respond to and recover from the impacts of the coronavirus pandemic. For complete information, visit the EDA CARES Act Recovery Assistance page.

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