Second round of funding builds on $6 million already awarded
Newry, Maine – During the 62ndnd At today’s annual meeting of the Maine Forest Products Council, Gov. Janet Mills announced that Maine forest companies will now receive $14 million in grants 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 offered financial relief to 219 forest products industry companies that had suffered negative impacts from the pandemic to help them maintain profitability in their businesses. Of the 219 funded companies, 83 percent have ten employees or fewer and 80 percent are located in Aroostook, Penobscot, Somerset, Oxford or Piscataquis counties.
In the second and final phase of the program, administered by the Maine Technology Institute (MTI), grants ranging from $250,000 to $2,000,000 will be made available to forest companies to support forward-looking forest management projects that respond to evolving market needs, provide new sustainable products or otherwise promote the long-term stability of forestry. Funds can also support infrastructure upgrades that strengthen the supply chain and help companies transition to new products and markets.
“These new grants are dedicated to supporting innovative companies in our forest products sector that are already making Maine’s traditional 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 strategically invests in small businesses to create new products, technology 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 for companies to develop new technologies and applications of Maine wood fiber.”
Companies have until October 18, 2022 to apply for Phase Two funding. Application documents and additional information on scholarships and eligibility can be found on the program website.
The program is one of three initiatives in the governor’s job plan to support the economic recovery of Maine’s traditional industries — forestry, fishing and agriculture — from the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic. This year, the governor’s jobs plan awarded approximately $41 million in economic recovery funds to 392 companies in these historic sectors across all 16 of Maine’s counties.
Since the pandemic began, the Mills Administration has provided more than $288 million in assistance to support small businesses in Maine statewide.
The Maine Jobs & Recovery Plan is the Governor’s legislature-approved plan to invest nearly $1 billion in Federal American Rescue Plan funds to improve the lives of Maine’s people and families, help businesses find high-paying jobs to create and build an economy ready for future prosperity.
It draws heavily on recommendations from the Governor’s Economic Recovery Committee and the state’s 10-year economic development strategy and translates them into concrete actions to improve the lives of Maine’s people and strengthen the economy.
For more information on the Maine Jobs & Recovery Plan, visit maine.gov/jobsplan.