$33.5 million in grants go to region's small businesses
Governor Janet Mills and Commissioner of Economic and Community Development Heather Johnson announced today that the Mills Administration has begun distributing the first round of financial awards to Maine small businesses and non-profits through the Maine Economic Recovery Grant Program.

Grant letters notifying the recipients of the Maine Economic Recovery Grant Program award were sent yesterday in collaboration with GPCOG and Maine’s six other Economic Development District. Funds will be distributed by early November.

We’re pleased to be part of a program that so far has given GPCOG approval to distribute about $33.5 million in grants to businesses in our region and is providing a significant boost to the local economy. 
Approximately 1,100 businesses in the region applied. Six hundred eighty applications have received approval so far. The State is still processing approximately 40 applications in our region that needed follow up. We expect most of those applications to be approved. The average grant amount was about $45,000. Approximately three hundred fifty applications were determined not eligible. 
We’re encouraging those businesses whose applications were determined ineligible to apply again in the second round. Applications for the second round have been trickling in, but we expect an increase in the coming days as businesses whose applications were not approved re-apply.

The grants are intended to help sustain the viability of Maine’s small businesses and nonprofits - not to replace lost profits - and will provide short-term relief to help stabilize Maine’s economy. 

The deadline for Phase II of the Economic Recovery Grant Program has been extended until Oct. 29.

Maine Mall study wins recognition!
The Northern New England Chapter of the American Planning Association is giving its Plan of Year award to the Maine Mall Transit Oriented Development Concept Plan in South Portland. The plan has engaged key stakeholders in discussions about how to revision the mall area as it redevelops over the next 10 to twenty years.

Congratulations to GPCOG Senior Planner Rick Harbison and former South Portland Planning & Development Director Tex Hauser. (The plan was Tex's brainchild). Also, congratulations to GPCOG Planning and GIS Associate Sarah Baker, former GPCOGers Steph Carver and Jessa Berna, South Portland Assistant City Manager Josh Reny, and landscape architect David Maynes 

Second round of CDBG loans opens on Oct. 27
We're partnering with Cumberland County to help low and moderate-income business owners and their employees during the COVID-19 pandemic.

Cumberland County has awarded a Community Development Block Grant (CDBG) to GPCOG to administer two forgivable loan programs: the Job Program, which assists in job creation and retention, and the Microenterprise Program, which assists business owners.

The programs are available for businesses, business owners and employees who live in municipalities of Cumberland County except for Portland, Bridgton and Brunswick. The second round will open on Oct. 27.

DEP announces second RFP for waste diversion grants 
Municipalities, regional associations, counties, and businesses are eligible for grants of up to $40,000 for projects that will increase the diversion of solid waste from disposal. Preference is given to projects with a regional focus. Applications are due on November 16. 

Greater Portland Council of Governments (GPCOG)
970 Baxter Boulevard
Suite 201
Portland, ME 04103
Phone: 207-774-9891
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