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PR: Empowering the Regional Economy and Mid-Maine’s Comeback: CMGC Grants $325,000 to Local Businesses for COVID-19 Revival through State of Maine Program

November 7, 2023

CMGC’s Economic Recovery Implementation Hub Program Still Accepting Applications for Eligible Businesses 

Main Street Provisions, an ERIH grantee, opened October 5 on Main Street in Waterville. 

Waterville, ME 11/7/2023 – The Central Maine Growth Council (CMGC) is pleased to announce the first tranche of inaugural awardees of its ERIH grant program. CMGC has awarded fourteen grants to businesses within Kennebec and Somerset County. 

Funded through a program of Maine’s Department of Economic and Community Development (DECD), CMGC, has awarded early-stage businesses and entrepreneurs with funding ranging from $5,000 – $49,000. Grants are deployed across four categories, including specifically designed funding for technology and innovation-based businesses. The funding program has been designed to support small and emerging businesses, with a focus on women- and minority-owned operations. The regional economic development program, and associated funding, is being utilized to support existing operations, has helped nest a new business in the region, purchase equipment, hire employees, overcome pandemic related revenue loss, and more. Businesses who apply for ERIH grant funding are required to demonstrate proof of COVID-19 impact to be eligible for funding in addition to operating in Somerset or Kennebec County on or after January 1, 2020.

“Newly located in downtown Waterville, Main Street Provisions’ success is greatly attributed to the thoughtful grant funding we’ve received through the ERIH Program,” Main Street Provisions Owner Zach Brann states. “The support provided has enabled us to increase our inventory, propel our expansion, and cultivate a welcoming community environment.”

To date, CMGC has competitively awarded the following businesses ERIH funding: 

  • The Nexus Gaming Lounge – Winslow
  • Maine Laboratories – Norridgewock
  • Perennial Renewables – Hallowell
  • Sunrise Bagel – Augusta
  • Morgan Camp Care – Norridgewock
  • New England Karting Challenge – Vassalboro
  • The Good Crust – Canaan
  • Main Street Provisions – Waterville
  • Erica’s – Waterville
  • SledTRX – Waterville
  • Loon Cove Family Campground – Skowhegan
  • Natalie B. Imagery – Readfield
  • Maine Plywood – Bingham
  • Pair Technologies – Waterville

“Through the ERIH grant program, CMGC has taken a significant stride in bolstering economic revitalization in Kennebec and Somerset County,” articulates CMGC Director of Planning, Innovation, and Economic Development Garvan Donegan. “With a total regional grant fund of approximately $700,000, these grants have been instrumental in supporting fourteen impactful businesses so far, marking a pivotal moment in our shared objectives to empower local enterprises and stimulate economic growth in our region while maintaining a focus on local small businesses, entrepreneurs, and economic resilience.

“These grants represent a significant investment in Maine’s entrepreneurial ecosystem, supporting emerging businesses and catalyzing projects from diverse entrepreneurs within Kennebec and Somerset Counties,” continues CMGC Assistant Director of Economic Development and Strategic Projects Gabe Gauvin. “Alongside the state of Maine and MDECD, our commitment to fostering economic growth and inclusivity remains at the forefront of our mission, and these grants mark a meaningful step in that direction.”

Businesses and entrepreneurs interested in learning about CMGC’s ERIH program, including accessing technical assistance, entrepreneurial training, and grant funding, may visit https://www.centralmaine.org/economic-recovery-implementation-hub/.

About ERIH:

The Economic Recovery Implementation Hub (ERIH) provides services and support to businesses and entrepreneurs, including access to capital, training and education, and technical assistance. The ERIH initiative has been designed by the Maine Department of Economic and Community Development (DECD) to help Maine’s businesses and entrepreneurs recover from the impacts of the COVID-19 pandemic and position them for long-term success. As one of DECD’s designated hub agencies, CMGC has provided avenues for economic development assistance on the four (4) requested areas of stated need, including Technical Assistance to Small Businesses, Technical Assistance Diversity, Administration of New Business Grants, and Entrepreneurial Training via Dirigo Labs. 

About CMGC:

Central Maine Growth Council (CMGC), located in Waterville, Maine, is a public-private collaborative regional economic development partnership funded by municipalities and businesses who share a common vision of economic prosperity for our region. CMGC is committed to fostering a robust regional economy. Our belief is that the standard of living and quality of life of our citizens is best served by a vibrant, healthy economy. This is accomplished with a strong successful business community.

Last modified: November 7, 2023

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