Virus Outbreak Maine

Shoppers leave a clothing shop that now also sells masks to help fight the spread of the coronavirus, Thursday, July 30, 2020, in Portland, Maine.

(The Center Square) – Maine Gov. Janet Mills has announced a $200 million grant program designed to deliver financial relief to small businesses and nonprofits impacted by the COVID-19 pandemic.

The program, which is supported by $200 million in Federal CARES Act Coronavirus Relief Funds (CRF), is intended to sustain business viability, not to replace lost profits, according to a news release from the governor’s office.

The goal is short-term stabilization for Maine’s economy while still working toward the long-term goals outlined in the state’s 10-year strategic economic development plan, the release said.

To qualify for a grant, applicants must show a need for relief based on lost revenues minus expenses incurred since March 1, 2020, due to the impact of the coronavirus pandemic or commensurate public health response.

Applicants also must meet the following five criteria:

• Be headquartered in Maine or have at least half its employees in the state

• Have fewer than 50 employees and contract workers

• Be in business for at least a year as of Aug. 1, 2020 and not be bankrupt or shut down

• Be up to date on all tax payments through July 31, 2020

• Be in full compliance with the state's COVID-19 guidelines

“My Administration will do all we can to support Maine’s small businesses through these difficult times,” Mills said. “While we know these grants cannot wholly replace or repair the economic damage this pandemic has caused, our mission is to ensure that each dollar has at least a small, direct impact on supporting these businesses and Maine’s economy. We continue to hope that Congress will step up to provide greater relief to the people and State of Maine.”

Grant applications are being accepted through Sept. 9, and allocations are expected to begin in October.