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July 20, 2022

King, Pingree Announce Over $62 Million to Catalyze Maine Small Business Growth

Funding from American Rescue Plan will make needed investments in businesses in rural areas and critical sectors

WASHINGTON, D.C. – U.S. Senator Angus King and Representative Chellie Pingree announced today that Maine will be receiving $62.2 million from the American Rescue Plan to grow and support small businesses. The new State Small Business Credit Initiative (SSBCI) funds will create four different programs, including two venture capital programs that will boost Maine startups with fewer than 10 employees to generate opportunities for minority-owned and rural small businesses. The funds will also create a loan participation program to support long-term growth in some of the state’s most important sectors such as forestry, agriculture, ocean economy, and tourism. SSBCI grants are expected to generate up to $10 of private investment for every $1 of SSBCI capital, amplifying the impact of this funding and providing small business owners with the resources they need to sustainably grow and thrive.

“From corner stores to aquaculture innovators, Maine small businesses have always been fundamental to our state’s communities and success,” said Senator King and Representative Pingree. “These new funds from the American Rescue Plan will be a difference-maker for Maine businesses – including promising startups, rural employers, and those involved in vital industries like fishing and logging. With an expected ten-to-one return on funding, this investment will be a cost-effective job-creator that brings invaluable economic opportunity to communities across the state. We look forward to seeing the impacts of this funding, and are glad the American Rescue Plan continues to support the people of Maine.”

“The federal funding approved for Maine through the State Small Business Credit Initiative is the kind of public investment in the private sector that not only will support business growth in Maine short-term, but also will have a significant return on investment long-term,” said Dana Connors, president of the Maine State Chamber of Commerce. “Maine is a small business state and increasing access to capital for Maine entrepreneurs, startups, and key sectors within the small business community, including those that are traditionally underserved, will give these businesses the boost they need to grow, create jobs, and thrive. That, in turn, will help strengthen Maine’s overall economy and the success of Maine people.”

“FAME is pleased to partner with various economic development entities across Maine, as well as our commercial lending partners, to help support Maine’s small businesses,” said Carlos Mello, Acting CEO of FAME. “We are grateful to Senator King and Representative Pingree for their efforts in helping to enact the American Rescue Plan, which reauthorized and expanded the State Small Business Credit Initiative (SSBCI).”

Reauthorized and expanded by the American Rescue Plan, the State Small Business Credit Initiative (SSBCI), originally established in 2010, has been highly successful in increasing access to capital for traditionally underserved small businesses and entrepreneurs. The new SSBCI builds on this successful model by providing nearly $10 billion to states, to increase access to capital and promote entrepreneurship, especially in traditionally underserved communities and rural areas as they emerge from the pandemic. State governments submitted plans to Treasury for how they will use their SSBCI allocation to provide funding to small businesses, including through venture capital programs, loan participation programs, loan guarantee programs, collateral support programs, and capital access programs.

Senator King and Representative Pingree supported and helped to negotiate the American Rescue Plan, which passed by one vote in March of 2020. The historic aid package fought the COVID-19 pandemic, expanded broadband, and supported working families

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