SACO — Southern Maine micro-businesses are invited to apply for a $10k forgivable loan to start or grow their business, announced Southern Maine Planning and Development Commission (SMPDC), in partnership with the Maine Department of Economic and Community Development (DECD). This micro-enterprise program targets towns in SMPDC’s region: York County; Cumberland County (Baldwin); and select towns in Oxford County (Porter, Hiram, Brownfield, Denmark, Fryeburg, Sweden, Lovell, Stow and Stoneham).

“This program allows low to moderate income small businesses to advance their companies,” said SMPDC Executive Director Paul Schumacher. “The expenditures should be used for working capital expenses to assist in helping to start, sustain or grow a business. There is no application deadline but funds will be reviewed and disbursed on a monthly basis until we run out of funds so the faster one applies, the better.”

The first step to applying is contacting SMPDC; applicants will be directed to a Small Business Development Center advisor. Contact: Kelsey Pelton ([email protected])

Grant Eligibility Guidelines

• 5 or fewer employees including all owners, at time of application (nonprofits not eligible)

• Low to moderate household income for the previous 12 months. For example, a family of two in York or Kittery with household income between approximately $53,000-$64,000 could qualify for this program.

• Must talk with a business advisor provided by the state.

• Must have a DUNS number. (Advisor can help applicant obtain one.)

• A business plan gives the applicant additional points and is strongly recommended. (Assistance creating a business plan is available.)

• Applicant cannot have received any previous CDBG grant funding at time of application.

• If awarded, the applicant must retain all records of expenditures for three years.

Awards are based on a point system. Those who score higher are more likely to receive the funds.

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