Washington, D.C. – U.S. Senators Susan Collins and Angus King announced that the Greater Portland Council of Governments (GPCOG) and the University of Maine System has been awarded a total of $700,000 to redevelop and revitalize Maine’s economy in the midst of the coronavirus pandemic. This funding was awarded through the Economic Development Administration’s (EDA) CARES Act Recovery Assistance Program.
“Collaboration between the public and private sectors is essential for promoting business expansion and robust job growth in the face of the coronavirus pandemic,” said Senators Collins and King in a joint statement. “We welcome this investment, which will help the University of Maine System and the Greater Portland Council of Governments build roadmaps to attract investment, create jobs, and strengthen our regional economies.”
“This vital funding will help support USM's ongoing commitment to the recovery of Maine's businesses and communities," said Dr. Ryan Wallace, director of the Maine Center for Business and Economic Research at the University of Southern Maine. "Through delivering technical assistance and data-driven economic research to Maine's industries, organizations, and regions, we can help the state's economy rebound from the effects of the pandemic more quickly and find opportunities to strengthen Maine's workforce."
“The EDA CARES Act funding will expand our ability to help small businesses weather this storm, and emerge stronger afterwards,” said Chris Hall, GPCOG Director of Regional Initiatives. “Our work with the region on economic resilience and innovation will be substantially boosted by this important EDA funding.”
This funding will be awarded as follows:
· The Greater Portland Council of Governments will receive $400,000 to develop an economic recovery and resiliency plan, deploy disaster recovery strategies, provide technical assistance to local governments, businesses, and stakeholders, and support pandemic-response activities.
· The University of Maine System will receive $300,000 to provide technical assistance for economic recovery efforts, assist with transitioning to an online course platform, research challenges resulting from the economic impacts of the coronavirus pandemic, and support workforce training programs.
The CARES Act provided EDA with $1.5 billion for economic development assistance programs to help communities prevent, prepare for, and respond to the coronavirus.