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City News

Posted on: October 13, 2020

City Again Offering Grants and Loans to Small Businesses Affected by COVID-19

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Round three of the City of Portland’s COVID-19 grant and loan programs are being launched today. Eligibility has been relaxed for businesses that received more than $10,000 in COVID-19 Federal or State Funding and need more assistance. Previously this made many businesses ineligible to apply. In addition, the maximum grant amounts have been increased for two of the programs. All three programs are offered to small Portland businesses that have been impacted by the pandemic. 

Microenterprise Grant Program (MGP) is targeted to very small businesses with 0 to one full-time employee (or two part-time employees), plus the owner. The MGP now provides grants of up to $5,000 for Portland microenterprises that operate in leased commercial space. Home-based businesses may apply for $2,500 grants.  To be eligible for this program, the business owner must be a low/moderate income individual. Those who already received a $2,500 grant from this program may apply for another $2,500 if they operate in leased commercial space and need more assistance paying rent and utilities.  These business owners can just fill out an abbreviated application at www.portlandmaine.gov/COVIDBizAssist 

Business Assistance Grant for Job Rehiring (COVID BAP) is now offering grants of up to $10,000 for businesses that will be rehiring employees that were on their payroll pre-pandemic. At $2,500 per full-time job (or 2 part-time jobs), a business may apply for as much as $10,000 if hiring back at least 4 full-time positions. The jobs, which must be filled by low/moderate income individuals, could include previous employees or new employees. 

Rapid Response Micro Loan Program (RRMP) is targeted to businesses that had two to fifteen employees just before the COVID-19 crisis and earned less than $1 million in 2019. The RRMP provides loans up to $10,000 with $5,000 forgiven if 50% of employees are retained or hired back within nine months of signing a loan agreement or six months after the applicable Stay at Home or other COVID-19 emergency orders have been lifted (relative to the borrower’s type of business), whichever comes first. The interest rate on the loan funds is 0% with a 2-year term for repayment.  Loan payments begin six months after the loan is closed.  

The application for all three programs can be found at www.portlandmaine.gov/COVIDBizAssis
Applications will be accepted on a rolling basis until the funding runs out or the program sunsets on December 31, 2020, whichever comes first. 


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