Five Aroostook County communities have been awarded funding under the Community Development Block Grant Program to purchase new equipment, hire new employees and more.

The latest round includes funding from the Economic Development and Micro-Enterprise Assistance grant programs.

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The Economic Development Program provides communities with gap funding to assist identified businesses in the creation and/or retention of jobs for low and moderate income people. The $2,700,000 allocated for 2015 is administered by DECD as part of the federally funded Community Development Block Grant Program. Communities and businesses benefiting from EDP awards are as follows:

Caribou - Virtual Managed Solutions - $150,000 for purchase of equipment and working capital; creating 5 jobs - matched by $367,833 from the business.

Fort Kent - GB&D Farms - $100,000 for purchase of equipment; creating 4 jobs - matched by $100,000 from the business.

Frenchville - Tardif Machine & Welding - $120,000 for purchase of equipment and inventory; creating 4 jobs - matched by $150,000 from the business.

Presque Isle - Acme Monaco - $690,000 for purchase of equipment; creating 23 jobs - matched by $2,310,000 from the business.

St. Agatha - Labrie Farms - $60,000 for purchase of equipment; creating 2 jobs - matched by $60,000 from the business.
Sidney - Snow Pond Center for the Arts - $200,000 for infrastructure improvements; creating 9 jobs - matched by $378,000 from the business.

The Micro-Enterprise Assistance Grant Program provides grant funds to assist in innovative solutions to problems faced by micro-enterprise businesses. Assistance to businesses may be in the form of grants or loans at the discretion of the community. $185,000 is being awarded to four communities and businesses in Eagle Lake, Otis, Piscataquis County, and St. John.