Rapid-Response Microloans

The Greater Portland Council of Government is offering a Rapid-Response Microloan Program to support the region’s small businesses and nonprofits that need working capital amidst the COVID-19 crisis.

Qualifying businesses and organizations will be eligible for loans of up to $10,000 at 0% interest for the first two years. Portions of the loan may be forgiven if businesses meet certain requirements or participate in other GPCOG initiatives.

The agency has committed to lending as much $250,000 to businesses in the region through the new program. The loans will supplement existing state or federal small business lending programs offered through the Small Business Administration or the Finance Authority of Maine.

GPCOG’s microloan program was created in coordination with the City of Portland, which has developed a similar program. GPCOG’s program will primarily support businesses located in communities outside the city.

The program aims to provide financial assistance to regional businesses most impacted by COVID-19 and which are in danger of closing, closing temporarily or laying-off workers. Funds are not intended to substitute for available COVID-19 federal and/or state commercial financing if a business is able to access one or both.  

Guiding Principles 

  • Get working capital moving as soon as possible . 
  • Make application and participation as simple and easy as possible . 
  • Make review, approval, and management as easy as possible.    
  • Maximize potential co-benefits in support of community resilience . 

Loan Details

  • $250,000 available for micro-loans, up to $10,000/loan 0% interest through the first 2 years, and 2% afterward.
  • Maximum loan of five years.
  • Commitment Fee of 0.5%
  • Up to 25% forgivable with participation in the Resilience Exchange. No payment for the first six months.
  • Duration: Available until end of December 2020 or until spent down, whichever comes first. 

Program funds

  • $250,000 from Unrestricted funds, capped at $250,000 for the first round of the program. 
  • Loans up to $ 10,000 per business: No application fee; Commitment fee: 0.5%  
  • Uses of Loan Funds:  Rent, utilities, inventory and payroll (working capital.)

Elegibility

  • All member municipalities of the Greater Portland Council of Governments. To check whether your municipality is a member, please visit www.gpcog.org.   
  • PORTLAND BUSINESSES: Please contact the City of Portland’s Loan Program via Nelle Hanig: nrh@portlandmaine.gov, prior to applying for the GPCOG Micro Loan Program.  
  • Demonstrate efforts to secure other available federal and state emergency loan program assistance is not available to assist the company. 

Yarmouth and South Portland programs

  • South Portland Businesses: Additional funding available for South Portland-based businesses, some conditions apply. Learn more about the South Portland Loan Program.
  • Yarmouth Businesses: Additional funding available for Yarmouth based businesses, conditions vary: up to $5,000 per business, of which up to $3750 can be forgivable. Learn more about the Yarmouth Loan Program.

Community Resilience

Participating businesses may be eligible for up to 25% of forgiveness if: there is demonstrable participation in the Greater Portland Resilience Exchange or at least 1/3 of the employees (or number of jobs) that were on the payroll on February 1, 2020 are back on the payroll or remained on the payroll.  

Interest Rate and Term: 0% interest rate through the first 2 years. After 2 years, the interest rate will be 2% with a maximum 5-year term for repayment.  Loan payments begin 6 months after closing the loan. Commitment Fee of 0.5.

Download a flyer (PDF)

Apply here

Applicants can send questions to loans@gpcog.org.