$29 million in forgivable business loans ranging from $10,000 – $500,000
AUGUSTA–-The Finance Authority of Maine (FAME) is pleased to announce that the Thrive Maine program, which offers forgivable loans to eligible Maine small businesses negatively impacted by the pandemic, will launch its second application cycle on May 23. The application period will remain open until June 23, 2023. A total of $29 million will be available this cycle for loan requests ranging from $10,000 to $500,000.
“We are looking forward to launching the second cycle of Thrive Maine to help Maine’s economy continue to move forward,” stated Carlos R. Mello, FAME CEO. “We listened to feedback from the first cycle and have accordingly modified the second cycle to address these concerns and suggestions.”
This cycle of Thrive Maine will be significantly different from the first, with new eligibility requirements, application questions, and a new award process featuring a longer application period. It will not be utilizing a first-come, first-served model. Instead, forgivable loan applications will be scored on eligibility criteria, an impact statement, and number of increased jobs. Awards will be based on a cumulative score. Award amounts must be justified by the business’s impact statement submitted with the application. Loans may be forgiven at a rate of 25% per year over a four-year period provided certain conditions are met.
“The second cycle of Thrive Maine is designed to further strengthen the Maine economy through impactful investments for the future,” stated Heather Johnson, Commissioner of the Maine Department of Economic and Community Development and a FAME board member. “The businesses that are awarded these forgivable loans will be catalysts for development in our communities and job market, with strong and innovative business plans for future success. This second cycle will fund future plans for organizational improvement and growth, taking the next step beyond replenishing COVID-related negative economic impacts.”
Priority will be given to businesses and projects in the construction, manufacturing, and science and technology industries, but all industries may apply. These industry sectors have been identified to be in alignment with Governor Mills’s ten-year economic strategic plan and proven to create more direct and indirect in-state jobs.
Recipients of forgivable loans from the first cycle are not eligible to apply. Business applicants will need to demonstrate a COVID-related negative economic impact on their businesses of more than $10,000. Losses for which a business previously received federal and state pandemic relief, such as Paycheck Protection Program (PPP), Economic Injury Disaster Loans (EIDL), or Maine Small Business Grant funding, cannot be part of the loss calculation, however.
Thrive Maine is made possible by recovery funding under the American Rescue Plan Act of 2021 (ARPA) as allocated by the Maine Jobs & Recovery Plan enacted by the 130th Maine Legislature. In the first application cycle, which ran in October 2022, $26 million was awarded to 149 Maine businesses through forgivable loans.
For more information about the Thrive Maine program, including eligibility details and program applications, please visit FAMEmaine.com/thrive. Applications are anticipated to be available by noon or sooner on May 23, 2023.
FAME will be hosting an information webinar on Wednesday, May 10, at 11 a.m. This first webinar will feature general information about the program. To register, please visit: Webinar Registration – Zoom
A second webinar explaining how to apply is scheduled for May 16 at 11 a.m.
The Finance Authority of Maine (FAME) is a quasi-independent state agency celebrating its 40th Anniversary in 2023. We provide 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 FAMEmaine.com