Funding to Diversify Maine’s Island and Coastal Economies
The Tom Glenn Fund Community Impact Fund is a community development catalyst fund that seeks to build a more diverse coastal economy through the investment of capital with planning grants as well as loans and equity support for small businesses. The Fund is made possible through a grant from The Wilbur and Hilda Glenn Family Foundation; daughters Rand and Louisa; and wife, Lou, to honor Tom Glenn II and his lifelong commitment to Maine’s island and coastal communities.
Since 2012, we have invested over $1 million in Maine’s island and coastal communities—with close to $600,000 in small business support and over $400,000 in community infrastructure support for projects focusing on broadband, clean energy, and sea level rise.
WHO IS ELIGIBLE
The Community Impact Fund offers grant and loan support for small businesses and community infrastructure planning. Business resilience grants and catalyst loans to support small business growth are available for all island and coastal small businesses, including artists and makers and marine small businesses. Grants and revolving loans for community infrastructure planning are available for broadband, energy, and sea level rise.
Small Business Funding
BUSINESS RESILIENCE GRANTS
Does your island business need financial help to address an immediate or long-term issue or goal? The Island Institute’s Business Resilience Grant offers awards of up to $2,500 through our Community Impact Fund.
Funds can be used to:
- Hire a consultant to help you improve your business.
- Invest in supplies or infrastructure that allows you to operate your business more effectively.
- Make improvements that allow your business to become more resilient to social, economic, and climate-related disruptions.
- Develop new marketing strategy or projects.
- Obtain training or professional development.
- And more!
Community Infrastructure Planning Funding
Broadband Planning Grants
Broadband Planning Grants support community-driven broadband projects in Maine’s coastal and island communities.
The amount of a grant may range from $5,000 to $15,000. An application for a grant serving a large region of communities may request a larger amount. Matching funds are required, and any application with an amount requested that is more than $15,000, or without a 1:1 match, will be considered only if significant need and impact is demonstrated.
Spark! Clean Energy Grants
Spark! Clean Energy Grants fund working waterfront energy projects that improve energy efficiency, switch to renewable energy, and/or reduce consumption of fossil fuels. Projects with environmental and financial benefits, that are highly visible within the community and/or marine sector are more likely to receive funding.
Applicants can receive up to $4,000 per fiscal year. Note: For-profit businesses must provide matching funds for applications. E.g. If a project cost is $5,000 Spark! would fund up to $2,500.
Past projects have supported the purchase of:
- Heat pumps
- Solar panels
- LED light bulbs & energy-efficient appliances
- Electric boats
- Weatherization materials or services: insulation, air sealing, window inserts, etc.
- Energy audits and consulting services
ShoreUp Grants offers flexible funding and support, so that communities can plan for the sea level rise assistance they need to start taking the steps that are right for them. ShoreUp grants offer funding support (up to $10,000) for Maine island and coastal communities as they assess, implement, and/or plan for sea level rise.
Sea level rise preparedness projects might include (but are not limited to):
- Risk assessments
- Infrastructure and natural resource planning
- Community engagement programs related to sea level rise
Island Institute’s support programs provide a breadth of professional development services including:
- Business and financial planning services
- One-on-one meetings and support
- Connections to a network of industry and marketing connections
- Digital Literacy training
- Planning support for community members through the Island Institute’s Community-Driven Broadband Process, the ShoreUp Maine sea level rise program, and the Community Energy Spark! program
- Topic-specific leadership training and professional network-building through our Leadership Programs
For answers to frequently asked questions concerning the Community Impact Fund, see our Fund FAQ.
If you have additional questions not answered here, please feel free to contact us directly.
Funding partners for our small business and infrastructure support include: John T. Gorman Foundation, NorthLight Foundation, Jane’s Trust Foundation, Manton Foundation, and Elmina B. Sewall Foundation.
If you are a community partner, mentor, or investor and would like to learn more, please contact us.