$ 10,000 in forgivable loans available to start or develop a small business

CESO – Southern Maine microenterprises urged to apply for a $ 10,000 forgivable loan to start or grow their business, the Southern Maine Planning and Development Commission (SMPDC) announced, in partnership with the Maine Department of Economic and Community Development (DECD). This microenterprise program targets cities in the SMPDC region: York County; Cumberland County (Baldwin); and some towns in Oxford County (Porter, Hiram, Brownfield, Denmark, Fryeburg, Sweden, Lovell, Stow and Stoneham).

“This program allows small, low to moderate income businesses to grow their businesses,” said Paul Schumacher, executive director of SMPDC. “Expenses should be used for working capital expenses to help start, maintain or grow a business. There is no application deadline, but funds will be reviewed and disbursed monthly until we run out of funds.

The first step to apply is to contact SMPDC; applicants will be referred to an advisor from the Small Business Development Center. Contact: Kelsey Pelton ([email protected])

Grant Eligibility Guidelines

• 5 or fewer employees, including all owners, at time of application (non-profit organizations not eligible)

• Low to moderate household income over the past 12 months. For example, a family of two in York or Kittery with a family income between approximately $ 53,000 and $ 64,000 may be eligible for this program.

• Must speak with a state-provided business advisor.

• Must have a DUNS number. (The advisor can help the applicant get one.)

• A business plan gives the candidate extra points and is highly recommended. (Help with creating a business plan is available.)

• The applicant may not have received previous funding from CDBG at the time of application.

• If awarded, the applicant must keep all expense records for three years.

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

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