Business Assistance & Resources
Are you looking for business financing, loans, funding opportunities, grants and more? Would you like to get more information on opening a new business, expanding your business, or learn more through free business counseling, seminars, and workshops? Economic & Community Development staff is here to help guide you in your next steps; and here to help you navigate through the financial opportunities and resources available to you. As you begin your search process, here are a few valuable funding, financing and resource tools for you to peruse:
Maine Department of Economic and Community Development (Maine DECD)
The Maine Department of Economic and Community Development (Maine DECD) is a State of Maine Department that works with statewide and local partners, private industry and small business to enhance and sustain economic growth and prosperity in Maine. Working with partners, local communities and agencies, DECD is there to help start or grow a business, provide opportunities for tax credits, reimbursements, research and development credits, capital loans and direct investment. In turn, this helps communities attract, invest, create jobs and grow infrastructure. In addition, here are a couple of links, that offer reimbursements, through the
Business Equipment Tax Relief Programs,
Employment Tax Increment Financing (ETIF)
Maine Small Business Development Center (Maine SBDC)
Small Business Development Center (SBDC) offers a wide array of resources, advising, information, seminars, and so much more on starting (or expanding) a business in Maine. Their online resources are valuable; can provide you great direction as you proceed through your development process - from a start-up checklist, to a Guide to Starting a Business in Maine, business plan guide, and financial templates, live and online workshops, certified business advisors (at no cost) and so much more. Office locations closest to South Berwick are in York and Sanford. Here are just a few examples of great resources for you to look at:
A Guide to Starting a Business in Maine
Starting A Business in Maine
Pine Tree Development Zone (PTDZ)
South Berwick is located in one of Maine's Pine Tree Development Zones (PTDZ), which "offers eligible businesses the chance to greatly reduce state taxes for up to ten years when they create new, quality jobs in certain business sectors, or move existing jobs to those sectors to Maine." Eligible sectors for these incentives are: biotechnology, aquaculture and marine technology, composite materials technology, environmental technology, advanced technologies for forestry and agriculture, manufacturing and precision manufacturing, information technology, and financial services.
Southern Maine Finance Agency (SMFA)
The Southern Maine Finance Agency (SMFA), works with communities, financial institutions and local, regional, state and federal organizations/agencies to offer financing options and support to Maine businesses. They provide gap financing for projects that require cash, fixed asset financing, start-up/working capital and real estate acquisitions and development. They have revolving loans, and now offer SBA 504 loans, that enhance loan options for clients.
Finance Authority of Maine (FAME)
Most notably known for education loans, the Finance Authority of Maine (FAME) actually provides businesses with financing programs, a business roadmap, and many resources to explore. The business roadmap contains access to information for market research and competitive analysis, feasibility studies, business plans, financial statements, business registrations, licenses and permitting. Financing includes information to help you decide whether or not to do debt or equity financing; look into grants and other funding sources. Check out FAME's Business Financing resource page here:
FAME Business Financing
Coastal Enterprises, Inc. (CEI)
Coastal Enterprises, Inc. (CEI) offers business and project financing for working capital, equipment purchases, facilities expansion, construction, and mixed use and affordable housing real estate development. In addition, CEI also offers assistance to emerging and existing business owners, through one-on-one consultation, training, workshops, seminars, peer networks and other services, CEI helps individuals get information they need to start or expand their business.
CEI Business Advising
Maine Technology Institute (MTI)
Maine Technology Institute (MTI) has an impressive portfolio of grants, loans, equity investments, and services to support Maine’s innovation. MTI supports ideas, products, or methods that demonstrate business potential to grow and diversify Maine’s economy and increase the number of quality jobs through direct support of innovators and through support of programs and infrastructure that encourage innovation. Check out MTI's Funding Opportunities to see if your business is a good fit; and look at their 2022 Annual Report that shows the amazing organizations and innovations that were supported.
MTI Funding Opportunities
MTI FY22 Annual Report
Maine Center for Entrepreneurs (MCE)
Maine Center for Entrepreneurs (MCE) provides training, connections, coaching and mentorship entrepreneurs need to successfully grow their ideas, products and services. MCE has accelerated the growth of hundreds of businesses, and established a mentor network of over 200 members. MCE provides the tools and resources they need to accelerate their businesses. Through programming, MCE provide hands-on training, tools and mentoring based on specific member needs. We are also a connector, making direct connections between entrepreneurs and other organizations in Maine who are aligned to support additional growth at every stage of a business.