EMDC provides direct technical support to businesses and nonprofits for COVID-19 relief

Posted on December 15, 2020 | Success Stories

Phase 2 of funding from the Maine Economic Recovery Grant Program is being distributed. In partnership with the Maine Department of Economic and Community Development (DECD), Eastern Maine Development Corporation (EMDC) provided support to 221 businesses and nonprofits, and delivered $9.6 million in COVID-19 relief. EMDC continues to provide direct technical support while processing applications for funding made available by DECD. A new program created by DECD and supported by EMDC, the Maine Tourism, Hospitality & Retail Recovery Grant, began accepting applications Dec. 3.

EMDC provided technical assistance to 660 businesses and non-profits, and distributed a total of $28.4 million since Nov. 13. Funded by the federal CARES Act, Phase 2 of the Maine Economic Recovery Grant Program alone granted 1,222 awards statewide. Awards “include 1,107 to businesses and 115 to non-profits, totaling $53.6 million and average just over $43,000 per award with recipients spanning the entire state,” Gov. Mills’ Office said in a press release. 

The idea for the funding originated in Gov. Mills’ Economic Recovery Committee. As a member of the committee, EMDC President & CEO Lee Umphrey was part of the creation of these grant programs. “Maine’s small businesses and organizations have been hit hard during the pandemic but are managing to adapt and survive,” said Umphrey. “These additional federal funds will help our local communities get through the winter, but more financial support is needed from Congress.”

Sixteen different sectors saw relief from Phase 2 of the grant program, including: 

• Accommodation with 23.9 percent of the awards; 
• Retail trade with 10 percent  of the awards; 
• Nonprofits with 10 percent  of the awards;
• Healthcare/social assistance with 9 percent of the awards; 
• Agriculture, Forestry, Fishing, and Hunting with 8.1 percent of the awards; 
• Arts, entertainment, and recreation with 7.2 percent of the awards; 
• Other service businesses with 6.8 percent  of the awards; and 
• Construction with 6.3 percent of the awards.

EMDC continues to provide direct support to businesses and non-profits as they process applications for the new Maine Tourism, Hospitality & Retail Recovery Grant Program. Up to $20,000 each is available for eligible applicants under the new initiative. To learn how EMDC can support your business or organization, email For information on how EMDC is helping businesses recover from the economic fallout created by the COVID-19 pandemic, visit their website at 

Eastern Maine Development Corporation (EMDC) is a non-profit that fosters public-private partnerships and leverages resources to help communities, businesses and individuals reach long-term goals and achieve prosperity.

The Piscataquis Observer

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