Administered by FAME, Thrive Maine is a forgivable loan program for businesses and nonprofits that demonstrate COVID-related negative economic impacts. Thrive Maine aims to further strengthen the Maine economy through impactful investments in the future. Forgivable loans will be awarded to those with strategic, forward-looking plans that will strengthen organizations, increase jobs, and lift the Maine economy.
The first application round occurred in October 2022, awarding $29 million in forgivable loans to Maine businesses. The second application period opened on May 23 and closes on June 23, 2023 – apply now!
Prioritized industry sectors have been identified to be in alignment with the Governor Mills’ 10-year economic strategic plan and proven to create more direct and indirect in-state jobs.
Notable Changes to Thrive Maine
The second application cycle of Thrive Maine has changes to eligibility requirements and the application process, including:
- Applicants must submit an impact statement that describes the business’s forward looking plan to improve the business and economic viability.
- Loans will NOT be awarded on a first-come, first-served basis. This will be a competitive process. The application portal will be open for one month. Applications will be scored. Applicants with the highest scores will be awarded a forgivable loan.
- Priority will be made for businesses and projects in the construction, manufacturing, and science and technology industries, but all industries may apply.
- $29 million in forgivable loans are available with loan requests from $10,000 – $500,000.
- Applicants must explain the negative COVID-19 related economic impact the business experienced, which must be at least $10,000. Loan amount requests may be more than what was lost, but the amount requested must be justified in an impact statement.
- Business must have been established by August 31, 2022.
- Businesses who received a Thrive Maine forgivable loan in the first application cycle are NOT eligible to apply.
The program is funded by the American Rescue Plan Act (ARPA), an economic stimulus bill that was passed by the 117th United States Congress, with $58 million allocated to support Maine small businesses by the Legislature and Governor Mills under LD 1733 through the Maine Jobs and Recovery Plan.
- Must have significant operations in Maine (be headquartered in Maine and have a minimum of 50% of employees and contract employees based in Maine).
- Must be a Maine business or nonprofit with fewer than 500 employees.
- Must have been established by August 31, 2022.
- Must be in good standing with the State of Maine.
- Payroll, state, and federal taxes must be current.
- Must not have filed or be in bankruptcy and must be currently open for business.
- Must have a Unique Entity Identifier (UEI) at the time of submitting an application.
- Must provide an impact statement that describes your forward-looking plan to improve your business and economic viability, including how you plan to spend the loan amount requested before December 31, 2024.
- Must demonstrate a COVID-related negative economic impact of at least $10,000.
- Losses for which the business previously received federal and/or state pandemic relief, cannot be re-submitted.
Business who received a Thrive Maine forgivable loan in the first cycle of applications are not eligible to apply in the second cycle.
- Total amount of funds to be distributed from minimum of $10,000 to maximum of $500,000.
- Loan forgiven at a rate of 25% per year over a four-year period.*
*Forgivable loans are considered taxable income at the rate they are forgiven. See IRS tax code and consult your accountant for more information.
Webinar – Overview of Cycle 2
Take the webinar with you by downloading:
- Presentation (.pdf format)
- Webinar Q&A (.pdf format)
Webinar – How to Apply
Unique Entity Identifier (UEI) Required to Receive a Forgivable Loan
In order to receive a forgivable loan from Thrive Maine, a business must have a Unique Entity Identifier (UEI). For some businesses, the process of obtaining a UEI can take weeks.
Go to SAM.gov to apply for your UEI. Clicking “Get Started” is a shorter process than “Entity Registration,” if this option works for your business.
Have questions about the UEI request process? Contact a Maine PTAC Counselor for help.
How to Apply
The application portal opened on May 23 and closes at 4:30pm on June 23, 2023.
Applications must be complete in order to be considered. Applications must include year-to-date profit and loss and balance sheet and tax returns. Applications must also include the business’ UEI and an impact statement.
Once the application period closes, all applications will be reviewed and scored for approval and funding.
To prepare to apply, download the application checklist and impact statement questions (.docx format).
Please note: Not all applicants will be awarded a forgivable loan. The first application period was seven-times oversubscribed, and we anticipate receiving a similar amount of applications and requests for funding during the second application round.
Example Calculation of Full Time Employee (FTE) Equivalent
Available in Multiple Languages
Information on this page will be translated as soon as possible into the following languages:
What is a forgivable loan?
A forgivable loan is a type of loan in which some or all of the amount can be forgiven if the borrower meets certain conditions. Forgivable loans are considered taxable income at the rate they are forgiven.
What steps should I take to prepare to apply for the loan?
- Review the Thrive Maine application checklist.
- If you do not already have a Unique Entity Identifier (UEI), you must apply to have one at the time of submitting your application. You can apply for your UEI at SAM.gov. The application takes about 15 minutes, however, for some businesses, it can take 3 to 6 weeks to receive their UEI.
- Make sure your business has paid 2022 taxes and is in good standing with the State of Maine. Gather your 2019-2022 federal income tax returns and 2019-2023 year-to-date profit and loss and balance sheet as you are required to submit these with your application.
- Gather two forms of identification you will need when you apply:
- First ID Document (one of these required): Passport, Drivers License, ID Card, US Military ID, US Military Dependent ID.
- Second ID document (one of these required): Passport, Birth Certificate, US Citizen ID Card, Card for use of Resident Citizen in the United States (Form 1-179), Certification of Birth Abroad issued by the Department of State (Form FS-545 or Form DS-1350), Native American tribal document.
What should the impact statement include?
Your impact statement must describe your forward looking plan to improve your business and economic viability, including:
- A description of what you will do with the funds and how they will be spent prior to December 31, 2024,
- What benefits this plan will provide to your business,
- Why this is important and appropriate for your business at this time,
- How many full time employees this will add to your businesses.
This will be a document that must be uploaded with your application and is limited to two pages.
I received PPP funds or another federal pandemic relief grant program. Am I eligible for a forgivable loan from Thrive Maine?
Yes. Businesses are eligible to apply for a Thrive Maine forgivable loan even if they received other pandemic relief funding. Previous federal pandemic relief funds received will be subtracted from the amount of COVID-related negative economic impact reported. If your business has $10,000 or more in COVID-related economic negative impacts after accounting for the federal pandemic relief funds received, your business is eligible to apply.
In the application, a business must list and explain the purpose of all federal pandemic funds received.
I applied for a Thrive Maine forgivable loan in the first application cycle but did not receive a loan. Am I eligible to apply in the second application cycle?
Yes. If you were not awarded a forgivable loan in the first cycle, you are eligible to apply. Information from your first application will be saved in the application portal, which you may edit or update if needed.
What are the size limits for loans?
The loan amount applied for must be a minimum of $10,000 and must not exceed $500,000.
How competitive is the application process?
Not every applicant will be funded. In the first application cycle, the loan amounts requested were seven-times more than the total funding available in the first cycle. We are anticipating a similar outcome in the second application cycle.
What are the conditions that need to be met in order for my Thrive Maine loan to be forgiven?
You must be in business, stay in good standing with the State of Maine, pay yearly taxes, and complete the yearly reporting connected to Thrive Maine.
What are the reporting requirements to receive the loan?
An annual certification confirming that the business is active is required.
How will I be notified that my loan was approved?
Notification will be sent via email to the email address provided on the application. The review process is expected to take 6-8 weeks. However, depending on the amount of applications received, this process could take longer.
After my forgivable loan is approved, how long will it take to receive the funds?
Once approved, you will be notified and money will be sent out as soon as possible.
What happens if my business closes before the end of four years or the business no longer has a significant operation located in Maine? Will I have to pay back the loan?
The unforgiven portion will need to be repaid with 3% interest. The portion forgiven while in business or located in Maine does not need to be repaid.
Thrive Maine Support Team
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