The Greater Portland Council of Government is launching a new rapid response micro-loan 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 as $250,000 through the new program. The loans will supplement existing state and federal small business lending programs offered through the Small Business Administration and the Finance Authority of Maine.
“These low-cost funds will help viable businesses that need just a little breathing room to weather the COVID-19 storm,” said Josh Kochis, Finance Director at GPCOG.
“We want to get these funds on the street to help businesses in need,” said Keith McBride, of the Freeport Economic Development Corporation and chair of the GPCOG Loan Committee. “The loans won’t solve all challenges faced by businesses, but they will help bridge economic recovery as we begin defining a new normal during these unprecedented times.”
Andrew Butcher, Director of Innovation and Resilience at GPCOG, said the agency is developing other programs to help businesses that have been disrupted by the pandemic and public entities that are under stress.
“These small loans represent one way that we can help,” Butcher said.
GPCOG’s micro-loan program was created in coordination with the City of Portland, which is developing a similar program. GPCOG’s program will primarily support businesses and nonprofits located in communities outside the city.
Businesses and nonprofits can apply for the GPCOG’s micro-loan program here. Applicants can send questions to email@example.com.