In the state of Maine, the Eastern Maine Development Corporation (EMDC) is a non-profit that fosters public-private partnerships and leverages resources to revitalize communities by helping businesses and individuals reach long-term goals and achieve prosperity.
On August 31, 2020, EMDC was been awarded $2.6 million in federal funding to leverage private investment and generate revitalizing capital for businesses in Hancock, Knox, Penobscot, Piscataquis, Waldo, and Washington counties.
The funding was awarded by the U.S. Department of Commerce, Economic Development Administration’s (EDA) Revolving Loan Fund, as part of the CARES Act Recovery Assistance to help places recover from the COVID-19 economic crisis.
“EMDC continues to meet this crisis head-on while building capacity and supporting people, businesses, and communities. With the support of partners like the U.S. Economic Development Administration, we continue to help Maine people generate and retain jobs during a pivotal time,” says Lee Umphrey, President & CEO of EMDC.
The funding for businesses in Eastern Maine complements EMDC’s statewide U.S. Small Business Administration lending program. These programs help local businesses create or retain private sector jobs, particularly for the unemployed, underemployed and low and moderate income residents of Maine. The Revolving Loan Funds diversify the region’s economy by emphasizing the attraction, start-up and expansion of small to medium-sized businesses from a mix of emerging and traditional industries.
Linda A. Cruz-Carnall, Regional Director of the Economic Development Administration, says EMDC continues to show “longstanding and substantial investment in making credit available to small businesses.”
In some cases funding is available in as little as 5 business days, with less restrictive eligibility requirements, and interest rates as low as 2%. Eligible uses for the Revolving Loan Fund include: fixed asset loans for the acquisition and/or improvements of land, buildings, plant, equipment and fixtures, including new construction or renovation of existing facilities; demolition and site preparation; and working capital for the start-up of new businesses or operation of existing businesses.
The Revolving Loan Fund awarded by the EDA complements $400,000 in funding awarded to EMDC in June through the EDA’s CARES Act. That funding is being used to create crisis-recovery programming for municipalities and businesses in Eastern Maine, addressing the pandemic head-on with the hiring of a new Regional Development Coordinator, Ryan Grindle.
The U.S. Economic Development Administration leads the federal economic development agenda by promoting competitiveness and preparing the nation’s regions for growth and success in the worldwide economy. An agency within the U.S. Department of Commerce, EDA makes investments in economically distressed communities in order to create jobs for U.S. workers, promote American innovation, and accelerate long-term sustainable economic growth.
Photo of the Washington County courthouse in Machias, Maine is by Magicpiano via Wikipedia.