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$40 Million Economic Recovery Grant Program to Support Maine Tourism, Hospitality & Retail

Augusta, MAINE – Governor Janet Mills announced today an economic recovery grant program to support Maine’s tourism, hospitality, and retail small businesses. Backed by $40 million in Federal CARES Act Coronavirus Relief Funds (CRF), the Tourism, Hospitality & Retail Recovery Grant Program is focused specifically on supporting Maine’s service sector small businesses, such as restaurants, bars, tasting rooms, lodging and retail shops, which have been hard hit by the COVID-19 pandemic and now face additional challenges with the coming winter months.


· This is a first-come, first-serve program so please review the information and get your application in as soon as possible.
· Eligible businesses include: accommodation and food service, retail, and arts, entertainment and recreation.
· Applicants may receive up to $20,000.
· The application portal will go live Wednesday, December 2 at 9:30 AM.
· Gross sales must be between $24,000 and $12 million annually to be eligible.
· The program will continue until all funds have been exhausted. Any funds received must be deposited in the bank by the recipient on or before December 28.

Commissioner Johnson will host a webinar for more information on this program on Wednesday, December 3 at 9:00 AM. Register for the webinar here.

“Maine’s hospitality, tourism, and retail industries are a vital part of Maine’s economy, supporting tens of thousands of jobs across the state,” said Governor Mills. “In the face of this unrelenting pandemic, many of these businesses have adapted with classic Maine grit and resilience but still face historic and unprecedented challenges. I hope this program will help provide at least a small amount of financial support to sustain them through these difficult times. I continue to urge Congress to pass additional, robust relief for Maine people and businesses.”

“COVID-19 has created an unprecedented financial crisis for businesses in the service industry in Maine and throughout the country,” said Heather Johnson, Commissioner of the Department of Economic and Community Development. “With input from this industry sector, we have created a grant program that allows businesses to determine their most urgent needs specific to their individual business.”

The grant program utilizes $30 million in funds remaining from the Maine Economic Recovery Grant Program and $10 million in additional CRF monies dedicated by Governor Mills. In developing the program, the Department of Economic and Community Development (DECD) drew on recommendations from the tourism, hospitality, and retail industries to meet the distinct needs of those sectors.

Like the Maine Economic Recovery Grant Program, a business must demonstrate a need for financial relief. However, the Tourism, Hospitality & Retail Recovery Grant Program will evaluate need based on gross sales loss between March and September 2020 compared to the same time in 2019. Previously, the Maine Economic Recovery Grant Program evaluated