USDA Rural Development in Maine has $11,085,080 immediately available in loan guarantees for eligible Maine businesses through partnerships with local lending institutions.
USDA Rural Development State Director Virginia Manuel said, “This increased level of Program funding represents a significant opportunity for Maine businesses seeking funding for a wide variety of purposes. The Business & Industry Guaranteed Loan Program can assist with business growth, development, and improvements, ultimately saving and creating jobs in their community.”
Eligible entities include any type of legally organized business entity and individual business owners located in a community of 50,000 or fewer population.
Recently, exceptions were granted in southern Maine allowing for some areas to become entirely eligible, despite their proximity to Portland which is not eligible. They are: Freeport, Yarmouth, Cumberland, Windham, Gorham, Saco, Old Orchard Beach, and Biddeford. Additionally, rural areas of the following communities also remain eligible: Falmouth, Westbrook, Scarborough, and Cape Elizabeth.
A recent example of what the Business & Industry Guaranteed Program can do is demonstrated by Front Street Shipyard, located on Belfast’s waterfront. The working boatyard utilized a USDA Rural Development Business & Industry Guaranteed Loan in partnership with Androscoggin Bank in the amount of $10 million to refinance and support its boat constructing and marina operations. This project was critical to supporting 114 local marine industry jobs and a key part of the City’s development plan.
The purpose of USDA Rural Development’s Business & Industry Guaranteed Loan Program is to improve, develop, or finance business, industry, and employment and improve the economic and environmental climate in rural communities. Business and Industry Guaranteed Loans are made by Maine lenders and guaranteed by USDA Rural Development. Loan purposes must be consistent with the general purpose contained in the regulation, including but not limited to:
- Business and industrial acquisitions when the loan will keep the business from closing, prevent the loss of employment opportunities, or provide expanded job opportunities
- Business conversion, enlargement, repair, modernization, or development;
- Purchase and development of land, easements, rights-of-way, buildings, or facilities; and
- Purchase of equipment, leasehold improvements, machinery, supplies, or inventory.
For more information, or to receive application materials, please contact Cheryl Pelletier at firstname.lastname@example.org or 764-4157 ext. 4.
USDA Rural Development has Area Offices located in Presque Isle, Bangor, Lewiston, and Scarborough, as well as a State Office, located in Bangor. There are 58 employees working to deliver the agency’s Housing, Business, and Community Programs, which are designed to improve the economic stability of rural communities, businesses, residents, and farmers, and improve the quality of life in rural Maine. Further information on rural programs is available at a local USDA Rural Development office or by visiting USDA Rural Development's web site at http://www.rd.usda.gov/me.