Governor Mills Announces $39.6 Million Maine Jobs and Stimulus Package to Invest in Maine Tech Companies

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The Pandemic Recovery Fund for an Innovative Maine Economy (PRIME), open through May 19, is helping Maine tech companies invest to recover from the pandemic, develop new products, attract new customers and support growth .

Governor Janet Mills today announced the launch of a $39.6 million grant program from her Maine Jobs & Recovery Plan to help Maine technology companies recover from the pandemic, invest in new products and industries, attract new customers and create long-term economic growth.

The Pandemic Recovery Fund for an Innovative Maine Economy (PRIME), administered by the Maine Technology Institute, will focus its investments on companies in the state’s targeted technology sectors, which include biotechnology, composites and advanced materials, forestry and agriculture, marine industries, precision manufacturing and more.

By targeting these sectors, the PRIME Fund aims to accelerate job creation and reach businesses that do not have access or have been unable to access other federal economic support programs in response to the pandemic. Boosting investment in innovative businesses is also recommended by the state’s 10-Year Economic Strategy and the Governor’s Economic Recovery Committee to make Maine more competitive with other states.

Businesses can apply for PRIME funds through May 19, 2022. For application materials and additional information on grants and eligibility, please visit the program website.

“Innovation is a key driver of economic growth, but historically Maine’s investment in research and development has lagged behind much of the country,” said Governor Janet Mills. “Programs like the PRIME Fund are reversing that trend and investing in new, forward-looking businesses that will create jobs, retain and attract people to Maine, and build a stronger, more robust economy.”

“The Governor’s Maine Jobs & Recovery Plan makes strategic investments in small businesses to create new products, technologies and jobs in our state,” said Heather Johnson, Commissioner of the Ministry of Economic and Community Development. “The PRIME fund will help entrepreneurs and innovators bounce back from the pandemic and help them create jobs in key sectors like biotechnology, precision manufacturing and our forest products industry, which are essential to the economic future in long term of our state.

“MTI has spent a great deal of time developing the PRIME Fund and we are thrilled to launch it,” said Brian Whitney, president of the Maine Technology Institute. “These grants will play a significant role in helping to strengthen our state’s technology businesses, generate quality jobs, and create a more resilient and diverse Maine economy.”

To receive a grant, companies in one of the Maine-designed technology sectors must employ up to 250 full-time employees and demonstrate that they have been impacted by the pandemic. Uses of grant funds may include salaries, rent, or mortgage payments for business facilities, business-related equipment purchases, start-up costs for new programs and/or new markets that may require investment in capital, and more.

“A key pillar of the state’s 10-year strategic plan is to increase levels of R&D investment in Maine,” said Dana Connors, President of the Maine State Chamber of Commerce. “The $39.6 million PRIME fund is in line with this commitment and provides crucial funding to support our small business community as it recovers from the pandemic and implements strong plans to grow into businesses and businesses. stronger and more resilient employers.”

“The impact of the PRIME Fund today cannot be underestimated,” said Kimberly Hamilton, Ph.D, President of FocusMaine. “FocusMaine’s strategy to grow businesses working in agriculture, aquaculture and life sciences identified early on the need for additional funding to help strong Maine businesses. The pandemic has compounded this need and made funding even more urgent. Making the Maine Jobs and Recovery Act work in this way responds directly to business needs and will surely secure the future of many Maine businesses, generate more good jobs, and help Maine stay competitive in these critical industries.

“We are thrilled to see the launch of the MTI PRIME Fund to bring ARPA funding to Maine technology companies that have been impacted by the COVID-19 pandemic,” said Steve Veazey, SCORE Maine District Manager. “Using these grant funds to support sustainable economic growth will make our Maine businesses stronger and more resilient to unexpected future disruptions.”

The PRIME Fund will award grants in two phases. Phase 1, open now, is focused on direct support to businesses that have suffered the negative effects of the pandemic. MTI estimates that these awards will range from $49,000 to $400,000, depending on the applicants’ size and employment base. Phase 2 will target public-private partnerships that support and strengthen Maine’s innovation economy and is expected to launch this summer.

The Maine Jobs & Recovery Plan is the Governor’s plan, approved by the Legislature, to invest nearly $1 billion in Federal American Rescue Plan funds to improve the lives of Maine residents and families, help businesses, create well-paying jobs and build an economy. ready for future prosperity.

It draws heavily on the recommendations of the Governor’s Economic Recovery Committee and the state’s 10-year Economic Development Strategy, turning them into concrete actions to improve the lives of Maine residents and strengthen the economy.

To learn more about Maine Jobs & Recovery Plan, visit maine.gov/jobsplan.

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