WISCASSET, Maine — As part of a nationwide initiative, Goldman Sachs has pledged $5 million in loan funds to Coastal Enterprises Inc. to be distributed to Maine’s small businesses.

CEI, a nonprofit community development and financial institute, received the loan funds through a competitive process from Goldman Sachs’ 10,000 Small Businesses initiative, which has pledged $500 million to help small businesses throughout the country.

In addition to the loan funds, CEI will receive $250,000 to cover loan loss reserves and a $250,000 grant to help with operations and outreach programming costs, according to a news release.

“One of the main barriers to growth for small businesses is access to capital,” Alicia Glen, managing director at Goldman Sachs, said in a statement. “We are pleased to work with CEI to get capital into the hands of small businesses in Maine to help them grow and create jobs.”

CEI has roughly $30 million in outstanding small business loans at the moment, according to Keith Bisson, CEI’s senior vice president of program management and development.

A financial institution like CEI needs to access new sources of capital to replenish its loan funds, Bisson told the Bangor Daily News on Tuesday.

“This is a source of capital to do that and help us continue to grow what we’re doing,” Bisson said.

The fact it’s from a source like Goldman Sachs is also “exciting” because it’s bringing in capital to the state that otherwise wouldn’t be here, Bisson said.

“We are thrilled to partner with Goldman Sachs in offering financing support to small businesses, which account for 58 percent of the private sector workforce in Maine,” Ronald Phillips, CEI’s president, said in a statement. “We join Goldman Sachs in the belief that the well-being of current and future generations rests on a responsibility to generate economic benefit to communities, to promote social equity in the form of good jobs, and to care for the environment — the so-called ‘triple bottom line’ of return on investment.”

For more information on CEI’s small business lending, visit www.ceimaine.org/Lending.

Whit Richardson

Whit Richardson is Business Editor at the Bangor Daily News. He blogs about Maine business, entrepreneurs and the economy.