The aim is to support very small businesses, existing and new, that have been impacted by the pandemic.
There’s new help for micro businesses in Portland with seven or fewer employees.
The aim is to support very small businesses, existing and new, that the pandemic has affected. Funds from the American Rescue Plan Act (ARPA) make this program possible.
The grant program is open to nonprofits, for-profits, and startups in the City of Portland.
- the business must have seven or fewer employees (including the owner)
- business owner(s) must be low/moderate income (click here to see table)
- not-for-profit organizations must have annual operating budgets of $150,000 or less
The grant will provide up to $7,500 for commercial space operations that can be used for rent, payroll, equipment, insurance, inventory, and other working capital needs.
Nelle Hanig is the Business Programs Manager for the City of Portland’s Department of Housing and Economic Development. She said businesses that have never received a micro-business grant from the city can apply for up to $7,500 if they operate from commercial space that costs at least $500 per month. Home-based businesses or those operating out of commercial space that costs less than $500 per month can charge up to $3,500.
On the other hand, businesses that have already received microenterprise grants or rapid responses from the city can also apply for additional funds.
To learn more and apply, click here.
“The small business community is such an important part of our economy, as are nonprofits,” Hanig said. “Our goal is to help them continue and become stronger.”
“We know our latest small business program is helping 75 small businesses in the city of Portland,” Hanig said.
Falafel Time was a small business that received a micro-enterprise grant in a previous round of funding from another source.
“We opened in October of last year, and my dad has always been in the restaurant industry, and I graduated from college about three years ago at the University of Southern Maine,” said Qtaba Hassoon, owner of the Middle Eastern restaurant. “It was great. I never thought I would open such a young company!”
Hassoon got a $5,000 grant from the city.
“This place was empty so we had to buy all this equipment and we had to get loans, and so for this grant, it helped us a lot with the rent,” Hassoon added.
Hanig said the city of Portland has about $300,000 to distribute in federal money. She said many companies had applied and funding was moving quickly.
If people are interested in applying, they will need to submit:
- personal financial statement of all business owners holding 20% or more (for loans)
- Professional tax declarations 2020 and 2021.
- current balance sheet and profit and loss (during the last 90 days)
- copy of the signed lease, if applicable.
If you are interested in applying, click here.