State Small Business Credit Initiatives

State Small Business Credit Initiatives (SSBCI) help Maine small businesses grow and thrive. Funds can be used by businesses at every stage of the business cycle, from start-up costs and acquisition, to expansion.

The goal of this program is to stimulate private financing. Unlike other programs, funds are available to both businesses and commercial lenders.


Financing for the Small Business Credit Initiative is provided through these programs:


Business Applicants

Businesses applying for SSBCI funding through the FAME Direct Loan or the Maine Venture Fund must meet the standard eligibility requirements of the respective program.

Businesses applying for State Small Business Credit Initiatives funding through the Regional Economic Development Revolving Loan Program only have to meet the State Small Business Credit Initiatives eligibility requirements set below.

  • Gross Sales Limit: N/A 
  • Employee Limit: 750 maximum
  • Eligible Purposes: Support loans or investments/projects up to $20,000,000 for legitimate business purposes, including but not limited to: start-up costs, working capital, business procurement, franchise fees, equipment, inventory, purchases of non-investment real estate (commercial or otherwise), and the purchase, construction, renovation or improvements of an eligible place of business.
  • Ineligible Purposes: Refinancing existing debt where State Small Business Credit Initiatives would replace private funds, reimbursement of funds owed to any owner, repayment of delinquent state or federal income taxes, financing a non-business purpose, supporting an existing extension of credit, securities, the acquisition or holding of any other real property for passive investment purposes, lobbying activities, and an ownership change that would not benefit the business.
  • Eligible Businesses: Sole proprietor, LLC, partnership, corporation, or other legally recognized business entity. A borrower may be a state-designated charitable, religious, nonprofit, government-owned, consumer or marketing cooperative, or faith-based organization.
  • Ineligible Business Types: Real estate investment, speculative, firms involved in lending, gambling, pyramid sales plans, financial institutions, and businesses prohibited by federal law. In addition, no principal of the business shall have been convicted of a sex offense against a minor.
  • Capital at Risk: Private lenders or investors must have at least 20% of their capital at risk of default. Capital at Risk calculations must include SSBCI funding. Contact FAME for details.
  • Leverage Requirements: The goal of the SSBCI program is to leverage or stimulate “private financing”* with an overarching program goal of 10:1. Under certain circumstances, FAME, Regional Economic Development Revolving Loan Program or Maine Venture Fund may approve lower leverage ratios, but not lower than 2:1.

*NOTE: The SSBCI definition of “private financing” excludes some forms of financing. Contact FAME for details.

Loan Amount, Interest Rate, Loan Term, Security, Guarantees

Regional Economic Development Revolving Loan Program
FAME Direct Loan


Although not required, FAME encourages all applicants to discuss their loan request with a FAME loan officer prior to submission to ensure eligibility.


The following documents must be completed and returned to FAME in order to complete the loan application process. These documents constitute the application along with the lender’s complete loan analysis, commitment letters from all participating funding sources, and documentation for any new equity contributions. All other attachments required by Exhibits B and C must be included.

Application Downloads

For best results, please download .pdf forms locally, then open and complete them with Adobe Acrobat. If you don’t have Acrobat, you can download a free version of Adobe Acrobat Reader here. Save and print your completed forms, then mail to FAME.