Financing programs are designed to help provide access to capital for growing companies. Capital is the fuel that propels growth. There are a number of programs in Maine designed to help provide access to capital. While most of these programs are loan instruments, Maine also offers grant programs to help stimulate growth. Below, you will see some of the most popular programs and agencies.

  • Finance Authority of Maine (FAME)
  • Tax Increment Financing (TIF)
  • New Market Tax Credits (NMTC)
  • Maine Technology Institute (MTI)
  • Community Development Block Grants (CDBG)

Finance Authority of Maine (FAME)
The Finance Authority of Maine (FAME), a quasi-governmental agency, has several financing options available to companies designed to provide commercial grade credits with access to attractive interest rate structures.

The State of Maine offers a variety of direct loans that are intended to help businesses in certain industries or to help further the environmental goals of the state. Click here for a complete list.

Some commonly used options:

  • The Secondary Market Tax Exempt Bond Program– This program provides tax-exempt interest rate bond financing for manufacturing borrowers.
    The Secondary Market Taxable Bond Program– This program provides long-term bond financing on loans of for real estate and machinery and equipment acquisitions.
  • The Major Business Expansion Bond Program– This program provides long-term, credit-enhanced financing up to $25,000,000 at taxable bond rates for businesses creating or retaining 50 jobs and long-term, tax-exempt bond rates on bonds of up to $10,000,000 that are used to finance manufacturing expansions.
  • The Maine Seed Capital Tax Credit Program– This program is designed to encourage equity and near-equity investments in eligible Maine businesses, directly and through private venture capital funds. FAME may authorize State income tax credits to investors for up to 60% of the cash equity they provide to eligible Maine businesses. Investments may be used for fixed assets, research or working capital.

Tax Increment Financing (TIF)
A Tax Increment Financing (TIF) District is an area within a municipality that is designated as a development district to allow the municipality to financially support a business development project. The municipality may disburse the tax increment directly to the investing business to help pay project costs, use it to retire bonds it issues as part of the project, or retain it for allowable economic development purposes

Maine Technology Institute (MTI)
The Maine Technology Institute (MTI) is a publicly funded, non-profit corporation that offers early-stage capital and commercialization assistance. Assistance is in the form of competitive grants, loans and equity investment for the research, development and application of technologies that create new products, processes and services, generating high-quality jobs across Maine.

MTI offers the following award programs:

  • TechStart Grants– Up to $5,000 per project are awarded twelve times a year to develop new ideas and new products.
  • Seed Grants – Up to $25,000 per project are awarded three times a year for product and business development, business planning or commercialization.
  • Development Loan– Up to $500,000 per project are awarded three times a year for R&D of new and/or enhanced products, processes or services leading to commercialization.

Since 1999, MTI has funded innovative technologies across the state to help accelerate commercial success in Maine’s technology sectors.

Maine Technology Institute

New Market Tax Credits (NMTC)
In addition to the Federal Program, Maine has created its own New Markets Tax Credit Program. The two programs can be used together in areas designated by the federal government as eligible for the New Market Tax Credit Program.

The Federal Program: This program benefits companies locating in eligible census tract locations in Maine. A business is only required to pay 70 percent of loans that are funded by NMTC investors.

The State Program: This program provides refundable state tax credits of up to 39% to investors in qualified community development entities (CDEs) that reinvest in certain businesses in eligible low-income communities in Maine. The program is modeled after the federal New Markets Tax Credit Program, and is administered by the Finance Authority of Maine, in cooperation with Maine Revenue Services and the Maine Department of Economic and Community Development. Learn more about Maine New Markets Capital Investment Program.

Community Development Block Grants (CDBG)
Economic Development Program

The Economic Development Program provides gap funding in the form of grants and loans for communities to assist businesses in the creation/retention of jobs; at least 51% of those jobs must be taken by low and moderate-income persons. The maximum CDBG participation per job created or retained with EDP $30,000.

The Program provides a state grant to a municipality for direct business support for non-capital equipment, land and site improvements, rehabilitation (renovation and upgrade) or construction of commercial or industrial buildings, job training, working capital, and capital equipment in support of an identified business. – maximum grant award: $1,000,000.

An eligible municipality must apply for and receive State CDBG program funds.

All CDBG funded activities must meet one of three National Objectives of the program.

These objectives are:

  • Benefit to low and moderate income persons;
  • Prevention and elimination of slum and blight conditions; and
  • Meeting community development needs having a particular urgency

More about CDBGs

(In addition to this economic development CDBG, there is a CDBG specifically designed for workforce development. Please click here for more information).

For information on these and other programs, please contact Maine & Company.