The City of Portland’s new Business Assistance Program for Job Creation offers grants to new and expanding for profit Portland businesses for projects that result in the creation of permanent net new jobs. A private match is required in an amount that is at least equal to the grant requested.
• Maximum Grant: $10,000
• Amount of Match: Equal to or greater than grant amount
• Match Sources: At least 50% applicant cash equity; the remainder may include a bank or credit union loan or, if not accessible, a loan from the City of Portland’s Revolving Loan Program.
• Create one (1) full-time job (33+ hours/week) for every $10,000 of
• All new jobs must be marketed/made available to LMI Portland residents, resulting in at least 51% of the jobs going to LMI Portlanders. Low/moderate income is defined as 80% of the median household income (see attached guide);
• Job creation should occur within one (1) year of the grant award. Each grant recipient will be required to provide a payroll register at time of grant award. Job reporting will then be required at 4-month intervals until the required number of jobs is created. Afterwards, reporting is on a quarterly basis for the first year and then annually for a period of five (5) years past the grant award.
• All construction projects over $2,000 will be required to provide a defined scope of work and comply with Davis Bacon federal labor standards, environmental laws (and undergo an environmental review with historic preservation), lead based paint regulations, equal opportunity laws and other applicable federal requirements.
• Projects greater than $25,000 must be formally bid and publicly advertised. Projects less than $25,000 must receive three viable quotes. Selection must be to the lowest viable bidder.
Eligible Funding Activities
• Renovation, improvement, reconstruction or restoration of vacant,
under-utilized or deteriorated space; building modifications to enhance
accessibility to elderly or handicapped persons;
• Purchase of equipment and machinery;
• Leasehold improvements;
• Permanent working capital;
• Up to $1,000 of project funds may be used for business consulting services (e.g., accounting, marketing, software training, legal assistance).
• Refinance existing debt;
• Down payment for other financing;
• Activities commenced or completed prior to program funding approval.
Grant Award Priorities
Applications that include one or more of the following will receive
higher priority for funding:
• Job training - teaching a new skill(s) as initial component of job creation;
• Business location - Located in, within walking distance of, or accessible by public transportation to an HCD eligible area. (HCD eligible areas in Portland can be found at the following link: http://www.portlandmaine.gov/planning/eligiblehcdareas.pdf
• Match exceeds the grant amount requested;
• Number of jobs created will exceed 1 per $10,000 of grant funding;
• Financial stability of applicant (based on financial statements, tax returns, credit report, etc.);
• Quality of jobs created (for example, salary/hourly rate exceeds minimum wage);
• Likelihood that all jobs will be filled by LMI residents of Portland.
Basic Program Qualifications
• Business must be located within the City of Portland;
• Applicant cannot owe outstanding property taxes, fees or judgments to the City of Portland and property must be free of all City liens and encumbrances.
Reporting and Tracking
Application and Approval Process
Applications are being accepted beginning May 22, 2012.
Submit applications with requested attachments to the Economic Development Division, Room 308, City of Portland, 389 Congress St., Portland, ME 04101. The Portland Development Corporation has final decision-making authority for approving grant awards.