Second Round of Grants Build on $6 Million Already Awarded
Newry, MAINE – During the 62nd Annual Meeting of the Maine Forest Products Council today, Governor Janet Mills announced $14 million in grant funding is now available for Maine forestry companies from the second round of the Forest Recovery Initiative of her Maine Jobs & Recovery Plan.
Governor Mills announced the $20 million Forest Recovery Initiative grant program through her Maine Jobs & Recovery Plan in November 2021. The first phase of the program provided financial relief to 219 forest products industry businesses that experienced negative impacts from the pandemic to help them sustain the viability of their business. Of the 219 companies awarded grants, 83 percent have ten employees or fewer, and 80 percent are located in Aroostook, Penobscot, Somerset, Oxford, or Piscataquis counties.
The second and final phase of the program, administered by the Maine Technology Institute (MTI), will provide grants ranging from $250,000 to $2,000,000 to forestry companies to support forward-looking forestry projects that address new market demands, provide new sustainable products, or otherwise advance the long-term stability of the forestry industry. Funds may also support infrastructure upgrades that strengthen the supply chain and help businesses pivot to new products and markets.
“These new grants are dedicated to supporting innovative businesses in our forest products sector that are already making Maine’s heritage industry more competitive on the world stage,” said Governor Mills. “My Administration will continue to support our forest products industry and the people it employs across our state.”
“The Governor’s Maine Jobs & Recovery Plan is making strategic investments in small businesses to create new products, technologies, and jobs in our state,” said Commissioner Amanda Beal of the Department of Agriculture, Conservation and Forestry and Commissioner Heather Johnson of the Department of Economic and Community Development. “Phase Two of the Forest Recovery Initiative will provide significant resources to businesses so they can develop new technology and uses of Maine wood fiber.”
Companies may apply for Phase Two funds through October 18, 2022. For application materials and additional information on grants and eligibility, please visit the program website.
The program is one of three initiatives of the Governor’s Jobs Plan to support the economic recovery of Maine’s heritage industries –forestry, fishing and farming – from impacts of the COVID-19 pandemic. This year, the Governor’s Jobs Plan has awarded approximately $41 million in economic recovery funds to 392 businesses in these heritage sectors across all 16 counties in Maine.
Since the onset of the pandemic, the Mills Administration has allocated more than $288 million in assistance to support Maine small businesses statewide.
The Maine Jobs & Recovery Plan is the Governor’s plan, approved by the Legislature, to invest nearly $1 billion in Federal American Rescue Plan funds to improve the lives of Maine people and families, help businesses, create good-paying jobs, and build an economy poised for future prosperity.
It draws heavily on recommendations from the Governor’s Economic Recovery Committee and the State’s 10-Year Economic Development Strategy, transforming them into real action to improve the lives of Maine people and strengthen the economy.
For more about Maine Jobs & Recovery Plan, visit maine.gov/jobsplan.