The Finance Authority of Maine will open a second application period for the Thrive Maine program on May 23, offering forgivable loans to eligible Maine small businesses that were negatively affected by the COVID-19 pandemic. The application period will remain open until June 23.

A total of $29 million will be available this cycle for loan requests ranging from $10,000 to $500,000. Recipients of forgivable loans from the first cycle are not eligible to apply.

“We listened to feedback from the first cycle and have accordingly modified the second cycle to address these concerns and suggestions,” said FAME Chief Executive Officer Carlos R. Mello.

Modifications include eligibility requirements, application questions, and a new award process featuring a longer application period. The first-come, first-served model will not be used this cycle. Applications will be scored on eligibility criteria, an impact statement, and the number of increased jobs. The forgivable loans will be awarded based on a cumulative score.

Award amounts must be justified by the business’s impact statement submitted with the application. Loans may be forgiven at a rate of 25% per year over a four-year period, provided certain conditions are met.

Priority will be given to businesses and projects in the construction, manufacturing, and science and technology industries, but all industries may apply. These industry sectors are aligned with Gov. Janet Mills’ 10-year economic strategic plan and proven to create more direct and indirect in-state jobs, according to FAME.

Businesses that apply for the loans must demonstrate a COVID-related negative economic impact on their businesses of more than $10,000. Businesses that previously received federal or state pandemic relief like the Paycheck Protection Program, Economic Injury Disaster Loans, or Maine Small Business Grant funding, cannot include those reimbursed amounts as part of the loss calculation.

Thrive Maine is made possible by recovery funding under the American Rescue Plan Act of 2021 as allocated by the Maine Jobs & Recovery Plan enacted by the 130th Maine Legislature. In the first application cycle, which ran in October 2022, $26 million was awarded to 149 Maine businesses through forgivable loans.

For more information about the Thrive Maine program, including eligibility details and program applications, visit  Applications are anticipated to be available by noon or sooner on May 23.

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