Forgivable Loans Will Soon Be Available to Maine Companies That Lost Profits During COVID


Forgivable Loans Will Soon Be Available to Maine Companies That Lost Profits During COVID

Jonathan Asen, Lindsay Zahradka Milne
What You Need to Know

Thrive Maine, a forgivable loan program for businesses and nonprofits, will be accepting applications from eligible organizations starting on October 4, 2022. The program, which is administered by the Finance Authority of Maine (FAME), is designed to provide relief to organizations that demonstrate COVID-related negative economic impacts.

The program is funded by the American Rescue Plan Act (ARPA), an economic stimulus bill that was passed by the 117th United States Congress, with $58 million allocated to support Maine small businesses by the Legislature and Governor Mills under LD 1733 through the Maine Jobs and Recovery Plan.

How Do I Know If I Am Eligible?

To be eligible, organizations must:
  • Be a Maine business or nonprofit with fewer than 500 employees.
  • Have significant operations in Maine (headquartered in Maine or have a minimum of 50% of employees and contract employees based in Maine.)
  • Demonstrate COVID-related negative economic impact.

How Do I Demonstrate COVID-Related Impact?

An organization can demonstrate the adverse impact of COVID-19 in one of several ways:

(1) Show Loss of Earnings Before Interest, Taxes, Depreciation, and Amortization (EBITDA), which is calculated as loss of full-year EBITDA vs. pre-pandemic (2019), less any PPP funds. 
  • You must provide:
    • (i) complete federal income tax returns (FITR) or personal income tax returns (PITR) for 2019-2021, whichever shows your business income and
    • (ii) full year-over-year actual comparison through income statements or federal taxes; no projections or hypotheticals may be used as a comparison point.
  • You may apply for EBITDA losses of 2020, 2021, or 2020 and 2021.

(2) Show Expenses Incurred. Provide receipts for the purchase and installation of materials, systems, and/or software to ensure patron and employee safety (e.g., HVAC systems, plastic partitions, and temperature scanners).

(3) Show Increased Capital Project Cost. Provide proof of increased costs due to the supply chain (e.g., the cost of a product or service went from “X” to “Y” and caused “Z” amount increase in costs). Quotes or receipts are necessary for both the prior cost and current cost to prove an increase.

How Much Will I Receive?

Eligible applicants will receive between $10,000 and $2 million in loans on a first-come, first-served basis, forgiven at a rate of 25% per year over a four-year period. Forgivable loans are considered taxable income at the rate they are forgiven.

What Should My Next Steps Be?

On October 4 at 9:00 AM, FAME will make available an application for a limited pool of forgivable loans funded by the ARPA. FAME expects that it may require up to six weeks to process the applications and another three weeks to fund approved loans. Sign up here to receive email notifications of the application opening date.

Before the application goes live, make sure you have completed the following steps:

  • Gather all financial records from January 2020 through the present.
  • Check for any duplication of benefit issues. Funding cannot be provided to your business if it will create a duplication of benefit to your business. Take inventory of COVID relief your business or nonprofit has received and what expenses this relief covered for your business. The losses/expenses that these programs covered CANNOT be re-submitted for funding through FAME. COVID relief programs include PPP Loans, CARES Act funding, Maine Small Business Grants, and others. 
  • Make sure that your business has a Unique Entity Identifier. If you do not have one already, apply as soon as possible.
  • Ensure you are in good standing with the State of Maine and be current on all federal and state tax returns. 


If you would like Bernstein Shur to review your application for compliance with the guidelines, contact Amanda Methot for more information. If you have any further questions about the Thrive Maine program, reach out to Lindsay Zahradka Milne, Amanda Methot, and Jonny Asen.