Administered by FAME, Thrive Maine is a forgivable loan program for businesses and nonprofits that demonstrate COVID-related negative economic impacts. 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.

Jennifer Cummings, Director of Business Programs, gives an overview of Thrive Maine.

About Thrive Maine

Eligibility Criteria:

  • Must be a Maine business or nonprofit with fewer than 500 employees.
  • Must have significant operations in Maine (headquartered in Maine or have a minimum of 50% of employees and contract employees based in Maine).
  • Must demonstrate COVID-related negative economic impact in one of the following:
    • Loss of net revenue
      • Complete federal income tax returns (FITR) or personal income tax returns (PITR) for 2019-2021, whichever shows your business income.
      • Year-over-year actual comparison through income statements or federal taxes; no projections or hypotheticals may be used as a comparison point.
    • Expenses incurred
      • Provide receipts for the purchase and installation of materials, systems, and/or software to ensure patron and employee safety (e.g., HVAC systems, plastic partitions, and temperature scanners).
    • Broader economic impacts
      • Provide proof of increased costs due to the supply chain (e.g., the cost of product or service went from “X” to “Y” and caused “Z” amount increase in costs).
  • Businesses must be in good standing with the State of Maine.
  • Payroll, state, and federal taxes must be current.
  • Unique Entity Identifier (UEI)

Losses for which the business previously received federal and/or state pandemic relief, such as Paycheck Protection Program (PPP), Economic Injury Disaster Loan (EIDL), Maine Technology Institute PRIME Grant, Maine Small Business Grant funding, and others, cannot be re-submitted.

Loan Terms

  • Total amount of funds to be distributed from minimum of $10,000 to maximum of $2 million.
  • Loan forgiven at a rate of 25% per year over a four-year period.*
  • Forgivable loans will be administered on a first-come, first-served basis.

*Forgivable loans are considered taxable income at the rate they are forgiven. See IRS tax code and consult your accountant for more information.

How to Apply

There are two forgivable loan application periods. The first application period begins in September and runs for a period of 60 days.

A Unique Entity Identifier (UEI) is required to apply. Instructions on how to apply for a UEI or renew your entity can be found on SAM.gov. Please note, it can take 3 to 6 weeks for this process to be completed.

Applications must be complete in order to be considered. Applications must include year-to-date profit and loss and balance sheet and tax returns. Any incomplete applications submitted will not be reviewed until all complete applications have been reviewed.

Applications are considered on a first-come, first-served basis. Once all money is allocated, no more applications will be considered.

To prepare to apply, download the application checklist.

FAQs

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?

First, if you do not already have a Unique Entity Identifier (UEI), you must apply to receive one at SAM.gov. This process can take 3 to 6 weeks. Also, make sure your organization has paid 2021 taxes and is in good standing with the State of Maine. Gather your federal income tax returns and year-to-date profit and loss and balance sheet as you are required to submit these with your application.

What pitfalls should I avoid when applying for the loan?

Your application must include specifics and proof of pandemic-related damage. Receipts, contracts, quotes, and other specific evidence is needed to prove the request. Without specifics, exact dollar amounts, and proof, your request will not be successful.

If it is first-come, first-served, how will smaller businesses be able to obtain forgivable loans over the larger businesses with larger loans?

Funds will be initially earmarked for different sized impacts, allowing both large and small companies to get a portion of the available loans. This means that companies receiving a $2 million loan will not be drawing from the same initially reserved pool as companies receiving $10,000 loans.

Can I apply for a forgivable loan based on more than one COVID-related negative economic impact?

No. Applicants may only apply for a forgivable loan based on one of the three COVID-related negative economic impact categories: loss of revenue, expenses incurred, or broader economic impacts.

How can I prove the loss of revenue?

Loss of revenue must be proven using a comparable prior-year figure. Budget or projections for the time period do not count as sufficient proof of damages. Please show prior-year figures through federal taxes or profit and loss statements. You are required to submit tax returns for the years of 2019, 2020, and 2021 as well as year-to-date financials for 2022.

What are the size limits for loans?

The loan amount applied for must be a minimum of $10,000 and must not exceed $2 million.

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.

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 within one week.

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.

Contact

Thrive Maine Support Team

Thrive@FAMEmaine.com
800-228-3734