For a list of Maine economic development agencies that can help with the site selection process, visit our Online Site Seekers’ Guide.
Agricultural Marketing Loan Fund (AMLF): Provides financing to help Maine farms and agricultural businesses enhance and improve their products. AMLF funded projects can demonstrate new and innovative equipment and facilities to improve and enhance the manufacturing, marketability and production of Maine products. Farmers, food processors and aquaculture operators can access the fund to enhance production processes, innovate marketing techniques, and/or make product improvements.
The program was developed by the Maine Department of Agriculture, Conservation and Forestry, and is administered by the Finance Authority of Maine (FAME).
- Up to 90% of total project cost, if eligible project cost is $100,000 or less*
- Up to 75% of total project cost, if eligible project cost is over $100,000*
- Up to 45% of total project cost, if eligible project is related to the production of potatoes*
- Maximum loan amount is $250,000
- Loans for land acquisition cost of start-up enterprises are limited to $100,000
*The Borrower must inject at least 5% in private funds into project.
- Origination fee of 1% is charged at closing for all AMLF Loans greater than $100,000
- The borrower is responsible for all legal costs of closing the AMLF Loan
Interest Rate of 5% is fixed for the term of the loan or 2% if borrower has been awarded Maine Farms for the Future Grant.
Payment Deferred principal and interest payments may be available up to 24 months; interest accrues beginning at closing.
Term Up to 30 years and determined by the useful life of the assets being financed.
Cluster Initiative Program (CIP): Maine Technology Institute’s (MTI) Cluster Initiative Program awards up to $50,000 for feasibility planning and pilot projects up to $500,000 for collaborative initiatives that boost the strength and scale of Maine’s high-potential technology intensive clusters. CIP awards are generally made to a primary organization that represents multiple project partners, including private industry partCluster Initiative Program awards up to $50,000 for feasibility planning and pilot projects up to $500,000 for collaborative initiatives that boost the strength and scale of Maine’s high-potential technology intensive clusters. ners, industry trade groups and innovative organizations like universities or research institutions. Examples of award recipients include trade associations, regional economic development corporations or non-profit research institutions representing a collaborative.
Commercial Loan Insurance Program: Insures a portion of a loan to a business made by a participating financial institution. Insurance Types:
- Pro-rata: covers a certain percentage of lenders loss after a default and liquidation, up to 100%.
- Leveraged: Covers a certain percentage of lenders loss up to 25% of the loan amount at the time of default.
Community Development Block Grant Program (CDBG): Each year the State of Maine receives a formula allocation of funding from the Department of Housing and Urban Development to be distributed to eligible Maine communities under the Community Development Block Grant Program. In 1982 the State of Maine began administering the CDBG Program to assist units of local government in various community projects in areas ranging from infrastructure, housing, downtown revitalization to public facilities and economic development. All CDBG funded activities must meet one of three National Objectives of the program, which are:
- Benefit to low and moderate income persons;
- Prevention and elimination of slum and blight conditions; and
- Meeting community development needs having a particular urgency.
FAME Direct Loan (Formerly Economic Recovery Loan Program): This program helps new or existing businesses with flexible gap financing directly from FAME (Finance Authority of Maine). Larger loans, up to $1,000,000, may be available if substantial public benefit is demonstrated and sufficient funds are available. Most often, however, FAME Direct Loans are less than $500,000. Businesses must:
- Be Maine-based
- Exhibit reasonable ability to repay the loan
- Demonstrate that other sources of capital have been exhausted
Certified Media Production Tax Credit: This credit is available to a business engaged in a media production that is certified by the Department of Economic and Community Development. The credit is equal to 5% of qualified media production expenses, as long as the business spends at least $75,000. Businesses may only use the credit in the tax year the media production is completed. Eligible businesses may also qualify for a partial reimbursement of wages paid during a visual media production (see 36 M.R.S.A. 5219-Y).
Municipal Tax Increment Financing (TIF): Tax Increment Financing (TIF) may be used by municipalities, towns, plantations, and the Unorganized Territory to leverage new property taxes generated by a specific project, or projects within a defined geographic district. Any portion of the new taxes may be used to finance public or private projects for up to 30 years. A business may approach a municipality with an investment proposal for which a TIF district provides financing, or towns may take advantage of a preplanned and financed project and create a TIF district around it, allowing for the capture of a portion of new property tax revenue for specific use.
Employment Tax Increment Financing (ETIF): A state program that helps new and established Maine businesses hire new employees by refunding from 30% to 75% of the state withholding taxes paid by the qualified employees for up to 10 years. The reimbursement rate rises with the level of local unemployment. Businesses with a Pine Tree Development Zone certification are eligible for an 80% reimbursement. If your business plans to hire five or more net-new, full-time qualified employees over a two-year period, you may be eligible for ETIF. Retail-only and not-for-profit businesses are not eligible for ETIF.
Pine Tree Development Zone Program (PTDZ): Businesses who are certified as Pine Tree Development Zones (PTDZ) may qualify for corporate income tax credits, sales and use tax exemptions, a withholding tax reimbursement of up to 80% and reduced electricity rates. To qualify, a company must operate in one of Maine’s targeted industry sectors (biotechnology, aquaculture and marine technology, environmental technology, advanced technologies for forestry and agriculture, manufacturing, precision manufacturing, and information technology and financial services), and must create new jobs paying wages that exceed the per capita income of the county in which the project is located. The incentives are available for up to 10 years for certified businesses who continue to meet PTDZ program requirements.
Major Business Headquarters Expansion Program: This program exists to encourage the location and expansion of major business headquarters in the state of Maine, who intend to make a qualified investment at the applicant’s headquarters in the state of Maine, of at least $35 million; and to promote the recruitment and training of employees for these facilities. The applicant must employ at least 5,000 employees globally, and 25% of company’s full-time employees must be or will be based in Maine. For applicants that meet all program criteria, a refundable credit against the tax due for the taxable year in an amount that is equal to 2% of the applicant’s qualified investment for up to 20 years is available.
Major Food Processing Manufacturing Expansion Program. This program encourages the location and expansion of food processing and manufacturing facilities in Maine. It is intended to create new employment opportunities and generate significant economic development and growth. To qualify, a business must be, and have been, in the State for the last 5 consecutive years; be planning to make a qualified investment of at least $35 million towards the applicant’s facility within the State in the next 5 years; must employ or will employ a minimum of 40 full time employees upon the start-up of the facility, and 75% of the applicant’s employees’ incomes must exceed the most recent annual per capita personal income in the county in which the project/facility is located. Beginning with the tax year in which the completion certificate is issued or the tax year beginning in 2022 (whichever is later), and for the subsequent 19 years, the certified applicant is allowed a credit against the tax due for the taxable year in an amount that is equal to 1.8% of the qualified investment.
Maine Shipbuilding Facility Investment Tax Credit Program. This program is intended to create and retain jobs in the shipbuilding industry, encourage investment in shipbuilding businesses and improve the competitiveness of the State’s shipbuilding industry. A qualified applicant must own and operate or proposes to operate to construct a Maine shipbuilding facility, will be making a qualified investment in the State and employs at least 5,000 qualified employees at the time of application. Beginning with the tax year after the certified applicant has made qualified investments of at least $100 million and has at least 5,500 employees, a certified applicant is allowed a credit against the tax due in an amount equal to 3% of the certified applicant’s total qualified investment for 9 years. If a certified applicant completes an additional $100 million in qualified investment, prior to January 1, 2025, the 3% tax credit is available through the 15th tax year after the investment is made. If a certified applicant’s employment level falls below 5,500 in a tax year the credit is reduced. This program’s tax credit is available until December 31, 2034.