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Aid available for businesses, nonprofits impacted by pandemic

Published: Aug. 27, 2020 at 6:59 PM EDT
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CARIBOU, Maine (WAGM) -

Businesses and nonprofits may be eligible for a state grant program designed to assist those dealing with hardships due to Covid-19. Kathy McCarty has more on how much money is available and how to apply for help.

Governor Janet MIlls and the Maine Department of Economic and Community Development have announced a $200 million dollar grant program to assist businesses and nonprofits impacted by the pandemic. Business Advisor Brandon McDonald says the money is part of the CARES Act relief funding to help with economic recovery.

“That’s gonna be allocated dependent on the amount of applications to each region. That application’s gonna be open till September 9th. And it is unlike a lot of other resources, it’s available for nonprofits,“ says Brandon McDonald.

He says it’s a good opportunity for people who’ve had losses this year due to Covid-19, including restaurants, movie theaters, and a host of other businesses. Unlike the earlier grant program, applicants must provide tax returns back to 2017.

McDonald says “Essentially what happens is the state is gonna review those applications and send them to us, since we’re in the development district, so we’re gonna receive Aroostook and Washington counties’ applications. Right now, from what I’ve heard, there is a substantial amount of money left in that pool. I would absolutely encourage anyone to - to apply for that money.”

Right now, application numbers are low, meaning applicants have a higher chance of being approved for closer to what they’re asking for. McDonald says applicants can request up to $100,000.

“What’s gonna be on the - on the business’s end to prove is that they either suffered losses or saw expense increases. So you can still make the same amount of money, but let’s say you were in the restaurant industry and products cost, I mean, 50 percent more to obtain. You would be still eligible for that pot of money, and those higher expenses due to Covid would be a loss,” says McDonald.

McDonald says the goal is to ensure the longevity of a business or nonprofit - to not only keep the business open but keep people employed.

For more information on how to apply, visit our website at wagmtv.com.

For information about the grants, visit https://www.maine.gov/decd/economic-recovery-grants

For the grant application, visit https://appengine.egov.com/apps/me/economicrecoverygrant

Or call NMDC at (207) 493-5770.

Copyright 2020 WAGM. All rights reserved.

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