AUGUSTA — At its monthly meeting held on May 18, 2023, the board of directors of the Finance Authority of Maine (FAME) approved financing for Beansprouts Learning Center, which will enable the company to acquire and operate six childcare centers in central and southern Maine. The borrower, who currently owns and operates two childcare centers, will be able to increase her company’s capacity by 524 childcare spots to a total of 636 licensed spots for eight total centers. The company will now operate under the name Roselyn North Academy. The board’s action will help to retain seventy-seven jobs and create fifty-one jobs by the end of 2024.
FAME approved two FAME Direct loans totaling $2,370,200, as well as 90% pro rata loan insurance on a $795,000 loan by Bath Savings Institution to acquire the six additional childcare centers. Further, FAME and Coastal Enterprises, Inc. (CEI) are participating through the Grow Maine Program in a $1,575,000 loan. Each party will provide $787,500 in funding. CEI also is participating in one of the FAME Direct Loans, one totaling $795,000. CEI will provide $397,500 of that loan and FAME will do the same.
“We are very appreciative of FAME’s support as we increase our childcare services in other parts of the state,” stated Angela Garrison, owner of the former Beansprouts Early Learning Childcare. “We look forward to offering quality childcare for parents and quality compensation and benefits for our employees in order to provide the best atmosphere of care and work.”
“FAME is pleased to partner with Bath Savings Institution and CEI to support Beansprouts Learning Center with its plans to operate additional childcare centers in central and southern Maine,” stated Richard Trafton, FAME Board chair. “There is strong public benefit in this approval as there is high demand for childcare services in the state. Our actions should help to address this need and allow more adults to participate in Maine’s workforce.”
“Access to quality childcare is a key factor in parents’ ability to engage in the workforce and maintain economic stability, which is why we have supported the sector through advising and financing for over forty years,” said Daniel Wallace, Chief Investment Officer at CEI. “We first worked with Angela and Beansprouts as a startup in 2013, and it is exciting to be part of its continuing growth with this significant expansion that will connect more Maine families and children to quality early childhood education and care.”
The Maine Economic Development Strategy 2020-2029 calls in Action E-1 for increased investments in Maine’s childcare system in order to prepare our children to succeed (p. 20). The report notes that one of the most frequently asked questions by individuals considering a move to Maine is “What is the childcare situation in Maine? Availability? Quality?” The high cost and lack of availability of daycare affects the ability of many parents to stay in the workforce and to attend school, as well. The report notes the reactivation of Maine’s Children’s Cabinet and its work to increase the number of quality infant and toddler care slots, invest in the childcare workforce, and improve access to a childcare subsidy program (p. 33).
Grow Maine, administered by FAME in conjunction with various statewide lending partners like CEI, provides up to $62 million of State Small Business Credit Initiative (SSBCI) funding to eligible Maine businesses. Funding is available through FAME and its intermediary partners via loan guarantees, direct loans, and equity capital. Grow Maine is intended to provide broad access to capital to help Maine businesses grow and provide jobs for Maine people that will have long-term positive effects on Maine’s economy. Grow Maine: Small Business Loan and Capital Program – FAME Maine
FAME’s Direct Loan provides access to operating capital for startups and existing businesses for most business purposes.
FAME’s Commercial Loan Insurance Program insures a portion of a loan to a business made by a participating financial institution or investment firm. For a business, it may mean the difference between obtaining a loan or never getting the opportunity to start a business.
The Finance Authority of Maine (FAME) is a quasi-independent state agency that provides innovative financial solutions to help Maine citizens pursue business and educational opportunities. FAME helps to lead the creation of good paying jobs for Maine citizens by working at the nexus between economic and workforce development. To learn more about FAME, please visit www.famemaine.com