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Community Development Block Grant (CDBG) Program - Micro-Enterprise Assistance (MEA)

Grants to Maine Local Governments for Loans and Grants to
Microbusinesses for Capital and Facade Improvements

Agency Type:


Funding Source:

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Maine Department of Economic and Community Development (DECD)

LOI Date:


Deadline Date:

04/26/19 4:00 PM Receipt


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Grants to Maine local municipal governments (excluding entitlement communities) and for-profit micro-businesses for renovations, façade improvements, and planning activities. A Letter of Intent must be submitted before submission of a full application. Assistance to businesses may be in the form of grants or loans at the discretion of the community.

Funding under the Micro-Enterprise Assistance category can be used for working capital and interior renovations, façade grants or loans for exterior improvements, including signage, painting, siding, awnings, lighting, display windows and other approved improvements; and eligible planning activities necessary to complete the Project Development Phase.

Communities that establish Micro-Enterprise Assistance as loans, and anticipate receiving $35,000 or more in loan repayments, must utilize the services of a Community Development Financial Institution (CDFI) or a Community Based Development Organization (CBDO) as defined in Section 105(a)(15) of the Housing and Community Development Act of 1974, to manage repayments and subsequent re-lending. Micro-Enterprise Assistance Grants will be structured as forgivable loans.

All CDBG funded activities must meet one of three National Objectives of the program. These objectives are:
- Benefit to low and moderate income persons;
- Prevention and elimination of slum and blight conditions; and
- Meeting community development needs having a particular urgency.

Project benefit for business facade grants will be met when exterior improvements and signage on an existing business take place in a designated slum/blight area, or documentation is submitted showing that a business qualifies under a spot blight basis.

GrantWatch ID#:

GrantWatch ID#: 167239

Estimated Total Program Funding:


Estimated Size of Grant:

Maximum MEA Grant Amount per Community per year: $150,000
Maximum Amount of Micro-Enterprise Assistance to an individual Business: $50,000

Term of Contract:

Funds will not be available until after July 1, 2019.

Additional Eligibility Criteria:

All units of general local government in Maine, including plantations, except for the entitlement communities of Auburn, Bangor, Biddeford, Lewiston, Portland and all of Cumberland County with the exception of Brunswick and Frye Island are eligible to apply for and receive State CDBG program funds.

County governments may apply on behalf of the Unorganized Territory. Groups of local governments may apply for multi-jurisdictional or joint projects. Multi-jurisdictional applications require designation of one local government as the lead applicant and consent for that designation by each participating local government.

Eligible applicants, including counties as defined above may apply for CDBG assistance on behalf of the five Maine Indian Tribes. Maine Indian Tribes are not themselves eligible applicants.

Eligible applicants may not apply for, or benefit from, more than one grant per program category in any grant year. Communities participating in multi-jurisdictional applications may submit their own applications for the same program as long as they demonstrate that there will not be a duplication of program activity/benefit.

Sewer, water, storm drainage, parking, roads or streets and other infrastructure improvements and buildings solely for residential use are not eligible.

The Micro-Enterprise Grant/Loan may benefit existing or developing businesses that have five or fewer employees, one of whom owns the enterprise, and whose family income will meet the project benefit. For those businesses whose owners are low-to moderate-income existing employees’ incomes are not considered in meeting project benefit.

Businesses with owners who do not qualify as low-to moderate-income must create up to two (2) full-time equivalent (FTE) jobs (depending on funds requested), which must be taken by low-to moderate-income individuals. The new jobs must be maintained for a minimum of one year.

Businesses applying for MEA funds must have a business plan not older than 18 months and must have met with a Small Business Development Center (SBDC) business counselor in the three months prior to submitting an application for assistance.

Pre-Application Information:

All communities wishing to submit an MEA application must submit a Letter of Intent and Verification of CDBG National Objective to OCD. After review for completeness and eligibility, units of general local governments will be invited to make a full application.

Letters of Intent are due by email on or before February 8, 2019

All applications must be received at the physical location of the Office of Community Development by 4:00 PM on Friday, April 26, 2019.



Contact Information:

Before starting your grant application, please review the funding source's website listed below for updates/changes/addendums/conferences/LOIs.

Letters of Intent may be submitted via email to:

Applications must be received at the:

Office of Community Development
111 Sewall Street, 3rd Floor
59 State House Station
Augusta, Maine 04333-0059
Phone: (207) 624-9819
Fax: (207) 287-8070

URL for Full Text (RFP):

Geographic Focus:

USA: Maine: All communities, excluding the entitlement communities of Auburn, Bangor, Biddeford, Lewiston, and Portland, and all of Cumberland County with the exception of Brunswick and Frye Island.