Agency to provide technical assistance and grant funding for entrepreneurs and small businesses
WATERVILLE — Central Maine Growth Council has been selected as a regional and state economic development corporation to spearhead Maine’s Economic Recovery Hubs initiative. The Maine Department of Economic and Community Development created the initiative to stimulate economic development collaboration and mitigate the lasting economic impact of the COVID-19 pandemic.
“As leaders in economic development, CMGC is well-positioned to drive impact in local and regional economic development and assist with economic recovery in Maine,” states Garvan Donegan, director of Planning, Innovation, & Economic Development at CMGC. “Our diverse platforms and programs, including the Dirigo Labs accelerator program, enable us to provide tailored solutions that meet the unique needs of entrepreneurs and businesses in the region. With a talented technical team and diverse network of stakeholders spanning various industries and sectors, we are committed to helping Maine businesses grow and thrive, creating new job opportunities, and promoting long-term economic health.”
Aligning with the State of Maine’s 10-Year Economic Development Strategy, the Economic Recovery Implementation Hub initiative will assist the State’s regions, cities, and towns in rebuilding their regional economies to address unique challenges stemming from the COVID-19 pandemic. CMGC’s Economic Recovery Implementation Hub will operate under four project areas: technical assistance to small businesses, technical assistance to small businesses with a lens of racial, ethnic, and linguistic minority-owned businesses, administration of new business grants, and entrepreneurial training through Dirigo Labs.
In addition to supporting the state of Maine’s project requirements, CMGC will deploy approximately $708,000 in non-dilutive grant funding for early-stage businesses and entrepreneurs. The grants will be deployed across four categories, including specifically designed funding for technology and innovation-based businesses. Similarly, as part of the commitment to supporting Maine’s entrepreneurial ecosystem, CMGC will provide startup and entrepreneur training and resources, including advanced pathways into Dirigo Labs’ competitively selected accelerator program. Grant applications for businesses and entrepreneurs will be available on May 1.
“Maine’s Economic Recovery Hubs initiative is a vital step in a stronger and more resilient economy, and we are pleased to have CMGC as one of our trusted partners,” says Heather Johnson, commissioner of the Department of Economic and Community Development. “We look forward to seeing CMGC’s experienced team take on this project and we look forward to working with them as they support the success of businesses and entrepreneurs throughout Kennebec and Somerset counties.”
Interested parties who need resources should visit https://www.centralmaine.org/economic-recovery-implementation-hub/ for more information.