Orleans EDA receives $300K grant to assist small businesses

By Tom Rivers, Editor Posted 18 October 2022 at 8:50 am

ALBION – The Orleans Economic Development Agency has been approved for a $300,000 state grant to help small businesses.

The EDA will be able to give out the grants, ranging from a minimum of $10,000 to a maximum of $35,000. The grants can be used to buy equipment or be used as working capital.

The EDA is making the funds available only to graduates of the Microenterprise Assistance Program, a 10-week business training program run by the EDA.

Six business owners from the spring MAP class have already applied for the funding. If there is money remaining, the EDA will take applications from the current MAP class, which 10 participants. The fall class that runs from Sept. 6 to Nov. 15.

The EDA previously received a $200,000 state grant from the office of Community Renewal to assist small businesses. In 2021, the EDA distributed that money to nine business owners with the grants ranging from $10,000 to $20,000.

Diane Blanchard, the MAP coordinator, said the grants made a big difference for the business owners to grow and be in a better position for success.

The state OCR has a stipulation each business that receives funding needs to create a job with a person who was low to moderate income. That job could include the business owner.

The EDA has a local development corporation with a board that will review the proposals to determine the grants and at what funding levels for the businesses.

Michael Dobell, EDA executive director, said the grants have already made a difference for several local small businesses.

“It’s seed money that allows them to take it to the next level,” he said.