Microenterprise Grants Now Open

Do you know about the City of Portland’s Microenterprise Grant Program. It’s funded by the American Rescue Plan Act (ARPA) and open to businesses and nonprofits impacted by the pandemic. Applications are taken on a rolling basis. But don’t delay! The money will run out soon. Apply here.

To be eligible as a business you must: 

  1. Employ seven or fewer people (including the owner)
  2. All business owner(s) must be low/moderate income, defined by U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development as 80% of median household income. For one household member that is $55,950, two is $63,950, three is $71,950, four is $79,900, five is $86,300, six is $92,700, seven is $99,100 and 8 is $105,500. This includes spouse or domestic partner income. 
  3. Your business location must be in the City of Portland. Owners do not need to live in Portland if the business is in the city. However, if you operate out of your home, your home must be in the City of Portland. 

To be eligible as a nonprofit you must:

  1. Have an annual operating budget of $150,000 or less
  2. Be located within the City of Portland.

What do you need to provide? (Not all are applicable to nonprofits, see application)

  • Microenterprise Program Application
  • Signed commercial lease OR current mortgage or rent paid to your LLC, S-Corp etc.… if you own your space
  • Personal financial statement from all owners
  • Two years of completed federal tax returns (2020 & 2021 preferred, 2019 and 2020 accepted. If new business (even this year!), personal returns accepted)
  • Current Balance Sheet
  • Current Profit and Loss
  • Business plan if a startup

Other things to note:

  • You are still eligible if you received an earlier Microenterprise grant, but your grant amount will be less. See details on the City website.
  • You are also still eligible even if you received PPP loans or other pandemic related grants and loans. 
  • Microenterprise grants can only be used for items not already paid for by other governmental or private grants or loans. For example, if you took out a business loan to buy new software to run your business, you can’t use these funds to pay for the software also.

If you have questions, the city encourages you to reach out to Nelle Hanig, at 207-756-8019 or nrh@portlandmaine.gov.

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