How are you? We don’t ask that enough these days, and it’s the most important question we can ask in troubling times. This is a hard time for everyone, but we know as Mainers we will get through this. It won’t be easy, but we will come out on the other side.
For those of us that work in and run small businesses, uncertainty is something we live with every day. Yet the coronavirus is like nothing we’ve experienced in quite some time—with no point of reference it makes life that much more unsettled.
As you work through the impact of this international shutdown on your business, know that there are resources available at the federal, state, and local level. The list below offers a starting point for many of you. There are opportunities for low-interest loans from the Small Business Administration (SBA), the Finance Authority of Maine (FAME), and other entities, as well as additional resources to help you through this time.
Resources for Small Businesses and Nonprofits
SMALL BUSINESS ADMINISTRATION
- Guidance for Businesses and Employers to Plan and Respond to Coronavirus Disease 2019 (COVID-19)
- SBA Economic Injury Disaster Loan—to help businesses overcome any temporary loss of revenue due to COVID-19; learn more and apply here.
MAINE DEPARTMENT OF LABOR
- Resources for Workers and Businesses on COVID-19
- Information for schools, workplaces, and community locations
- Frequently Asked Questions
ADDITIONAL BUSINESS RESOURCES
- Maine Small Business Development Centers (SBDC)—Coronavirus and Your Business
- CEI—COVID-19 Resources For Businesses
- CDC Foundation—COVID-19 Guidelines For Nonprofits—The Nonprofit Times
- Finance Authority of Maine (FAME)—COVID-19 Relief Loan Programs
- Maine Association of Nonprofits—Information on COVID-19 for Maine Nonprofits
- Maine State Chamber of Commerce—Taking Care of Business during the COVID-19 crisis in Maine
- New Ventures Maine—Small Business Classes and Resources
Resources for Maine Artists and Arts-based Businesses
- Maine Crafts Association: COVID-19 Resources for Artists and Small Businesses
- Freelance Artist National Resource List
- CERF+ — COVID-19 Response Fund
- Retail Association of Maine: COVID-19 Resource Page for Retailers
- Maine Made: Member Resource Page
- Maine Arts Commission Resources Page
As things continue to change, we invite you to check out the Island Institute's Coronavirus Resource Page for the most up-to-date information and resources. As new programs are announced, we will be adding them here.
We are also prioritizing our professional development grants to focus on business owners with the intention of developing resilient business systems: building websites, creating social media presence, and anything that can help build a direct to consumer platform. Grants can be up to $1500, and the link to the application can be found here.
Plus, if you have ANY questions about how to access funding, what might be right for you, what type of assistance you should be looking for, please reach out to Craig Olson or Claire Donnelly of the Island Institute's Small Business team.
We are currently in the process of creating a small business blog series to continue to share information with our island and coastal businesses and provide ongoing support and resources to help those self-employed navigate this time. Stay tuned and keep an eye out for more details coming very soon!
In the meantime, know that we are thinking of you and your families. Hold them close, be well, and be kind.