Collins, King Announce $20 Million in Low-Interest Loans for Rural Maine Communities

Washington, D.C. — U.S. Senators Susan Collins and Angus King announced today that CEI in Brunswick has received a direct loan of $20 million as a Re-Lender through USDA Rural Development’s Community Facilities Direct Loan & Grant Program. As a Re-Lender, CEI will use the loan to distribute low fixed interest rate loans to purchase, construct, or improve community facilities, such as libraries or senior centers, in high-poverty, rural communities.

“Community centers are the focal point of many towns across Maine, providing members of the community with essential services and the opportunity to connect with fellow residents,” said Senators Collins and King in a joint statement. “We are pleased that this low-interest loan will allow rural towns throughout Maine to develop community centers and enhance citizens’ quality of life.”

The Community Facilities Direct Loan & Grant Program provides affordable funding to develop community facilities in rural areas. Examples of eligible community facilities include:

  • Educational services such as libraries, museums, or private schools
  • Community support services such as senior centers, child care centers, community centers, fairgrounds, or transitional housing
  • Health care facilities such as hospitals, medical clinics, dental clinics, nursing homes, or assisted living facilities
  • Public facilities such as town halls, courthouses, airport hangars, or street improvements
  • Public safety services such as fire departments, police stations, prisons, police vehicles, fire trucks, public works vehicles, or equipment
  • Utility services such as telemedicine or distance learning equipment
  • Local food systems such as community gardens, food pantries, community kitchens, food banks, food hubs, or greenhouses

CEI (Coastal Enterprises, Inc.) is a private, nonprofit Community Development Corporation and Community Development Financial Institution founded in 1977. The organization specializes in rural economic development in Maine and the United States. CEI's rural lending maintains a focus on natural resources-based industries and includes community facilities (including health care, child care, arts, and social services), affordable housing, renewable energy and microlending. Of the current $39.1 million loan portfolio, $26.9 million, or 68%, is rural