Funding Will Help Start and Grow Businesses throughout Rural Maine
Bangor, Maine, Feb. 16, 2022 – United States Department of Agriculture Rural Development Maine State Director Rhiannon C. Hampson held an event, hosted by Sunrise Economic Council in Machias, Maine, to celebrate rural Maine entrepreneurs during National Entrepreneurship Week and to announce recipients of the Rural Microentrepreneur Assistance Program loans and grants totaling more than $1 Million.
RMAP provides funding, technical assistance and training to current and aspiring rural microentrepreneur or microenterprises.
“These investments from the Biden-Harris administration, under the guidance of USDA Secretary Vilsack, mean that a landscaping business can thrive, an insulation business can acquire delivery vehicles that they need to meet demands, and a theater company can inspire folks in rural spaces by bringing the arts to them,” said Hampson.
National Entrepreneurship Week was created to recognize, uplift and celebrate these entrepreneurs and their businesses that are critical to the success of the nation’s economy. In Maine, the impact of rural businesses is vital to the state’s growth and way of life.
“Over half of all working people in Maine are employed by small businesses and those entities make up more than 99% overall of our total enterprises,” Hampson said.
In Maine, a total of $1,089,479 is being invested in local, rural businesses through the Rural Microentrepreneur Assistance Program.
- Sunrise Economic Council , Machias, Maine, received a loan for $250,000 and a grant of $10,525. This grant investment will be used to provide business-based training and technical assistance to current and potential rural microborrowers throughout Washington County.
The RMAP loan will be used to support the development and ongoing success of microentrepreneurs and microenterprises in Washington County. The revolving loan funds will allow SCEC the opportunity to provide fixed-interest rate microloans to rural businesses creating approximately 12 jobs and saving 17.
- Northern Maine Development Commission, Caribou, Maine, received a loan for $500,000 and for two grants totaling $200,608. This grant investment will be used to provide business-based training and technical assistance to current and potential rural microborrowers throughout Aroostook and Washington Counties.
The RMAP loan will be used to support the development and ongoing success of microentrepreneurs and microenterprises in these counties. The revolving loan funds will allow NMDC the opportunity to provide fixed-interest rate microloans to rural businesses creating approximately 20 jobs and saving 10.
- Eastern Maine Development Corporation, Bangor, Maine, received a grant for $80,544. This investment will be used to provide business-based training and technical assistance to current and potential rural microborrowers throughout Hancock, Penobscot, and Piscataquis Counties, as well as portions of Waldo County.
- Androscoggin Valley Council of Governments, Auburn, Maine, received two grants totalling $34,540. This investment will be used to provide business-based training and technical assistance to current and potential rural microborrowers throughout Androscoggin, Franklin, and Oxford Counties.
- Community Concepts Finance Corporation, South Paris, Maine, received a grant for $13,262. This investment will be used to provide business-based training and technical assistance to current and potential rural microborrowers throughout Androscoggin, Cumberland, Franklin, Kennebec, Oxford, and York Counties and the town of Thomaston.
This funding will help people and businesses in diverse communities and industries hire more workers and reach new customers. It will open the door to new economic opportunities for communities and people who historically have lacked access to critical resources and financing. It will help entrepreneurs, business cooperatives and farmers in nearly every state create jobs, grow businesses and find new and better markets for the items they produce. For more information about the program or to apply, please contact Ivana Hernandez Clukey at 207-990-9127 or ivana.hernandezclukey@ usda.gov.
Under the Biden-Harris Administration, Rural Development provides loans and grants to help expand economic opportunities, create jobs and improve the quality of life for millions of Americans in rural areas. This assistance supports infrastructure improvements; business development; housing; community facilities such as schools, public safety and health care; and high-speed internet access in rural, Tribal and high-poverty areas. For more information, visit www.rd.usda.gov. If you’d like to subscribe to USDA Rural Development updates, visit our GovDelivery subscriber page.
USDA touches the lives of all Americans each day in so many positive ways. Under the Biden-Harris Administration, USDA is transforming America’s food system with a greater focus on more resilient local and regional food production, promoting competition and fairer markets for all producers, ensuring access to safe, healthy and nutritious food in all communities, building new markets and streams of income for farmers and producers using climate-smart food and forestry practices, making historic investments in infrastructure and clean energy capabilities in rural America, and committing to equity across the Department by removing systemic barriers and building a workforce more representative of America. To learn more, visit www.usda.gov.