Washington, D.C. – U.S. Senators Susan Collins and Angus King announced that $1,412,525 has been awarded to support the growth and revitalization of industries in Kennebec and Cumberland counties that have suffered financial harm as a result of the COVID-19 pandemic. This funding was awarded through the Economic Development Administration’s (EDA) CARES Act Recovery Assistance Program.
“The COVID-19 pandemic has taken a toll on many industries throughout Maine, including bioscience, technology, and food service,” said Senators Collins and King in a joint statement. “This critical investment will support these organizations in their ongoing efforts to connect individuals, families, and communities with the resources they need to weather this ongoing public health and economic crisis.”
The funding was allocated as follows:
· Maine Bioscience Cluster Initiative, an initiative by the Maine Center for Enterprise Development, has been awarded $512,556 to support the growth and success of Maine’s bioscience industry.
· Dirigo Labs, an initiative by the Central Maine Growth Council, has been awarded $599,969 to stimulate the establishment and growth of technology-based start-ups in mid-Maine, focusing on high-growth industry sectors including bio-economy, information technology, financial services, and manufacturing.
· The Catalyst Fund, an initiative by Coastal Enterprises, Inc., has been awarded $300,000 to provide innovative, early stage equity capital to food system businesses to spur job growth, job creation and positive environmental and social impacts.
Through the EDA, Senators Collins and King helped to secure $1.6 million in July to support Maine’s small businesses and communities amid the COVID-19 pandemic. In addition, the Greater Portland Council of Governments and the University of Maine System received $700,000 to redevelop and revitalize Maine’s economy.
The CARES Act, which was signed into law on March 27, 2020, provided EDA with $1.5 billion for economic development assistance programs to help communities respond to the coronavirus.