ELLSWORTH — Heart of Ellsworth is partnering with Bangor Federal Credit Union, First National Bank, Franklin Savings Bank, and Machias Savings Bank, Camden National Bank with support from Bar Harbor Bank & Trust to launch the third rendition of the Downtown Grants Program. 2023’s program aims to support entrepreneurs, small businesses, innovators, and start up’s. Applications are open online until Feb.  17, and can be accessed via https://www.heartofellsworth.org/grantprogram2023.

As a foundational component of Heart of Ellsworth’s entrepreneurial ecosystem work, six community banks have come together to sponsor this third-year program. This year’s funding cycle supports emerging entrepreneurs and small business owners alike. Eleven mini-grants of $1000 will be available for start-up or expansion projects to help entrepreneurs and support economic opportunities in the city of Ellsworth. All downtown Ellsworth business owners and area entrepreneurs are eligible to apply. 

To help business owners secure future economic opportunities, this grant cycle seeks to support potential projects such as (but are not limited to); hiring a consultant or advisor, development of alternative revenue streams, marketing/logo/brand development, website creation, attending a workshop or mentoring opportunity, hiring an architect, engineer, or other specialists, purchase of up-date technology-related tools, legal support or other small business needs.

Heart of Ellsworth’s board member and one of the 2023 Downtown Grants jurors, Tracy Scheckel, said, “I’m so excited that Heart of Ellsworth can facilitate programs like this and that I can serve on the jury for this third year of the Downtown Grants program. One of the reasons Ellsworth thrives is initiatives like this where our area banks come together to invest in and support our Downtown District.”  

To apply, Interested applicants should visit https://www.heartofellsworth.org/grantprogram2023 to submit a funding proposal, business plan (if available), and other information they feel would be helpful to support their funding request. All information will be kept confidential and only used to determine grant recipients. Jurors will use a score-based system to determine awards.