AUGUSTA, Maine — Maine will use $200 million in federal stimulus funds to provide grants to small businesses and nonprofits affected by the coronavirus-induced recession as part of a program that fell far short of a state panel’s aid recommendation.
The program rolled out by Gov. Janet Mills on Thursday is one of the major ones funded so far with $1.25 billion that Maine received under the $2 trillion CARES Act passed by Congress in March. States and municipalities are hoping for more congressional aid, but Republicans and Democrats are deadlocked on that subject in a fraught election year.
The grants could be a relatively small lifeline to Maine businesses and nonprofits, which are likely facing billions in cumulative losses due to the pandemic so far. The program is drawn from a recommendation from the Economic Recovery Committee convened by Mills earlier this year, though that called for $350 million