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SMPDC Economic Recovery Hub Program

 SMPDC is offering the Economic Recovery Hub Program to help small businesses in York and Southern Oxford Counties. Working to strengthen the regional business assistance network, the Program is intended to help those businesses that suffered hardships or losses due to the pandemic but received little, if any, government financial assistance. We offer referrals for free counseling, entrepreneurial skills advancements, technical assistance grants and financial assistance grants of up to $10,000. The Maine Department of Economic and Community Development has awarded SMPDC funding for the Program using Federal ARPA funds.

 

Congratulations to the Fall 2023 Hub grant awardees!

After a highly successful first round of our Economic Recovery Hubs grant program, SMPDC issued 70 awards totaling more than $400,000 to small businesses across our region who opened after January 1, 2020 and experienced pandemic impacts!

 

The second and final round of Hub Grants closed on April 12th, 2024.

Applications that were submitted prior to the deadline, including applications from the first round that had not received an award, are under review. We may reach out to applicants for additional information in the coming days.

 

hub program flyer round 2

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THIS IS HOW WE CAN HELP!

 

Free Business Counseling

SMPDC is teaming up with experienced business counselors based in Southern Maine who provide free business counseling services. Counselors may refer a business to apply for a technical assistance grant or a financial grant and/or free training opportunities such as workshops and classes. SMPDC strongly recommends that prospective applicants seek guidance from one of the region's free business counseling services prior to applying for a Hub grant, as the counselor can assist in confirming the business’ eligibility and can advise on which service or grant to pursue.

Free collaborating counselors/mentors are listed below. Please let them know you are interested in a grant or other service offered by the SMPDC Recovery Hub Program. If they have a counseling form, please fill it out.  If they don’t have a counseling form, just request a counselor in your email. They will respond quickly either way.

 

Free Business Skills Training

SMPDC collaborators offer business skills workshops and training opportunities at no cost to businesses. Businesses may be referred by counselors for training workshops or may explore opportunities through any of the following collaborators: 


Classes & Training Grant 

The SMPDC Classes & Training Grant provides applicants with grant-funded training opportunities to develop business operation skills at York County Community College or through any York County Adult Education institution. This assistance is available to for-profits and nonprofits with 25 or fewer employees. Applications are reviewed on a rolling basis.

 

Step One: Identify a class related to running your business that is offered by one of the following institutions. You may also wish to consult your business counselor for recommendations. 

 

 

Step Two: Tell us about the class you want to take and how it will benefit your business in the grant application below.

 

Apply for a Hub Classes & Training Grant

 

Technical Assistance Grant - no longer accepting applications

Grant-Funded Technical Assistance can provide any one of three services to small businesses that can demonstrate a need for it. This assistance is available to for-profits and nonprofits with 25 or fewer employees. Successful applicants will be paired with a local Technical Assistance Provider who will work with them to develop and carry out a work plan to meet the specific needs of your business. Available Technical Assistance services from local providers include:

  • Bookkeeping
  • Web Design
  • Social Media Planning and Implementation

 

Please note that businesses who were previously awarded a Technical Assistance Hub Grant may not reapply for the same grant. Please refer to the graphic below for further eligibility criteria.

We strongly encourage all interested businesses to seek out one of the multiple free business counselors in the region for guidance.

 

 

Financial Assistance Grant - no longer accepting applications

The goal of the Hub Financial Assistance Grant is to provide financial assistance to small businesses that were impacted by the COVID-19 pandemic but received little or no government assistance up to this point. Eligible applicants may be awarded up to $10,000 direct grant funds that can be used for commercial rent and utilities, inventory, equipment, insurance, payroll and other working capital needs. To qualify for a Financial Assistance Hub Grant, the business must have begun or resumed operating between 1/1/2020 and 5/11/2023. Please refer to the graphic below for further eligibility criteria.

Please note that businesses who were previously awarded a Financial Assistance Hub Grant may not reapply for the same grant. Applicants who were initially unsuccessful in the first round in the Fall of 2023 will be reconsidered, with no need to reapply. Please refer to the graphic below for further eligibility criteria.

We strongly encourage all interested businesses to seek out one of the multiple free business counselors in the region for guidance.

 

 

 

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