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Maine Economic Recovery Grant Program: What Nonprofits Need to Know

by Sarah Skillin Woodard

Last updated September 8, 2020.

On August 20th, Governor Mills announced the release of the Maine Economic Recovery Grant Program. The program, backed by $200 million in Federal CARES Act Coronavirus Relief Funds, will “provide grants for businesses and non-profit organizations that demonstrate a need for financial relief based on lost revenues or expenses related to the disruption of business operations caused by the COVID-19 pandemic.”

The online application is now open! Grants are NOT “first come/first served”: businesses and nonprofit organizations can apply between August 21, 2020 through September 9, 2020 with awards made in early October.

Who is Eligible?

We’re pleased the state has opened up funding to nonprofits as well as for-profit businesses, but not all organizations may apply. To be eligible, nonprofit organizations must:

  • file IRS Form 990 or Form 990-EZ (nonprofits filing a 990-N e-postcard are not eligible)
  • have significant operations in Maine (headquartered in the state or have a minimum of half its employees in Maine)
  • employ less than a combined total of 50 employees and contract employees;
  • have been in operation for at least one year before August 1, 2020; not currently be in bankruptcy and not permanently have ceased operations;
  • be current and in good standing with all Maine State payroll taxes, sales taxes, and other state taxes through July 31, 2020 and be in good standing with the Maine Department of Labor; and
  • be in consistent compliance and not subject to any enforcement action with COVID-19 Prevention Checklist requirements.

501(c)4 and 501(c)6 organizations are not eligible. Review the full Funding Eligibility Requirements.

We recognize many of Maine’s mission-driven organizations are not included in this relief. MANP will continue to advocate for more funding for more organizations as more federal funds are made available to the states.

What Can the Grant Be Used For?

The program website indicates, “The program is not intended to replace lost profits but only to help businesses remain viable. This program is intended to assist in the stabilization of Maine’s economy and accelerate the transition from short-term relief to regaining our state’s focus on Maine’s 10-year Economic Development Strategy, anchored in talent and innovation.”

Grants may be used to cover expenses including, but not limited to:

  • payroll costs and expenses
  • rent or mortgage payments for business facilities
  • utilities payments
  • necessary operating expenses
  • expenses incurred to replenish inventory or other necessary re-opening expenses
  • purchase of personal protective equipment required by the business or business-related equipment.

Funds must be spent on operations that are strictly within Maine. Recipients are liable for any misuse of funds, and the grants are subject to audit. Note that this funding is taxable.

Info Sessions + Support

Watch the informational session specific to nonprofits and what they need to know about applying for a Maine Economic Recovery Grant from September 2nd.

Watch recordings of the The Department of Economic and Community Development’s (DECD) general information sessions on August 21st and August 25th.

Personalized support: The Greater Portland Immigrant Welcome Center (IWC) is partnering with the Greater Portland Council of Governments to provide support to eligible immigrant-run nonprofits in completing the Maine Economic Recovery Grant application. To ask questions or to schedule an appointment contact the IWC at info@welcomeimmigrant.org or leave a message at 207-517-3401.

What Will Nonprofits Need to Apply?

The online application is now open. It will likely take some time to gather the information needed, and it may take a few days to receive a DUNS number, which is one of the required items. Do not leave your application until the last minute! You can view all of the questions in a pdf version of the application but you will need to complete your application online.

  • Federal Employer Identification Number
  • Data Universal Number System (DUNS) number. To set-up or verify a DUNS number visit https://www.grants.gov/applicants/organization-registration/step-1-obtain-duns-number.html. This is taking several days, so get this step done ASAP.
    • Tip: Select “I’m a U.S. Government Contractor or Grantee” under Primary Reason for DUNS Registration to expedite the process.
  • Principal office address
  • “Doing business as” (DBA) name (if applicable)
  • Applicant address and other contact information
  • Documentation of any other monies awarded through federal grants or loans by the CARES Act
  • 2017, 2018, and 2019 IRS Form 990/990-EZ returns (as applicable)
    • If you have not yet filed your 2019 990, select ‘N/A’ for application questions that request 2019 revenue, expenses, and depreciation.
  • 2017, 2018, and 2019 revenue and expenses (as applicable)
  • 2020 anticipated revenue and expenses, taking into account the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic on revenue and expenses
  • An estimate and justification of the percent (%) of 2020 loss in income directly connected to a disruption of operations due to the COVID-19 pandemic or related public health response
  • A prepared, electronic W-9 in the event your organization is selected for a grant (https://www.irs.gov/pub/irs-pdf/fw9.pdf.)

More Support

MANP will continue to share information about the application as it becomes available, and to be a resource for your questions to the best of our ability as we learn alongside you. If you have specific questions, submit them via the form below.

For quick reference:

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