The federal agency charged with assisting small business has approved a request to make low-interest loans available to Maine businesses directly affected by the Oct. 25 shootings in Lewiston.

Gov. Janet Mills, who asked for the assistance last week, said Monday night that the U.S. Small Business Administration had approved her request. The SBA issued an Economic Injury Disaster Loan Declaration for businesses in communities that closed in accordance with shelter-in-place orders in Lewiston, Lisbon and Bowdoin last month as law enforcement searched for the Lewiston gunman.  A resource center in Lewiston has been set up to help local businesses with their applications. 

Low-interest loans of up to $2 million will be available to eligible small businesses, small agricultural cooperatives, small aquaculture businesses and private nonprofit organizations in Androscoggin and Sagadahoc counties, as well as the adjacent counties of Cumberland, Franklin, Kennebec and Oxford.

“I thank the U.S. Small Business Administration for quickly approving my request to help impacted Maine businesses,” Mills said in a statement announcing the approval. “I encourage eligible Maine businesses to apply for this relief. My administration will continue to look for additional non-loan support for businesses impacted by the tragedy in Lewiston.”

Interest rates for loans made available by the declaration are 4% for businesses and 2.375% for nonprofit organizations, with terms up to 30 years. Loan amounts and terms are set by the SBA and are based on each applicant’s financial condition, Mills’ statement said.

Loans may be used to pay fixed debts, payroll, accounts payable and other bills that could have been paid had the disaster not occurred. The SBA determines eligibility based on the size of the applicant, type of activity and its financial resources. The loans are not intended to replace lost sales or profits. Applicants may apply online at and should apply under SBA declaration #20075.

Disaster loan information and applications also may be obtained by calling the SBA’s Customer Service Center at 800-659-2955 (800-877-8339 for the deaf and hard of hearing) or emailing

Applications will be accepted through Aug. 6, 2024.

To assist businesses affected by the disaster, the SBA will open a Business Recovery Center in Lewiston at 11 a.m. Wednesday at the Lewiston Auburn Metropolitan Chamber of Commerce at 415 Lisbon St., Suite 100. The center will be open from 9 a.m. to 6 p.m. Monday through Friday, and Saturdays from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. The BRC will be closed on Friday in observance of Veterans Day and will permanently close on Nov. 21, at 4 p.m.

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