Gov. Mills Announces $14 Million in Grants for Maine Forest Products Businesses
Governor Janet Mills on Monday announced $14 million in grant funding for Maine forestry companies from the second round of the Forest Recovery Initiative of the Maine Jobs & Recovery Plan.
The first phase of the program, launched in November 2021, provided financial relief to 219 forest products industry businesses that were impacted negatively by the pandemic. Of the companies that were awarded grants, 83 percent have ten employees or fewer, and 80 percent are in Aroostook, Penobscot, Somerset, Oxford and Piscataquis counties.
The second and final phase of the program, administered by the Maine Technology Institute, will provide grants ranging from $250,000 to $2,000,000 to forestry companies in the state. The funding will support “forward-looking forestry projects that address new market demands, provide new sustainable products, or otherwise advance the long-term stability of the forestry industry,” according to a news release from the Governor's office.
The grants may also support infrastructure upgrades that strengthen the supply chain and help businesses pivot to new products and markets, the release stated.
“These new grants are dedicated to supporting innovative businesses in our forest products sector that are already making Maine’s heritage industry more competitive on the world stage,” said Governor Mills.
Companies may apply for Phase Two funds through October 18, 2022. For application materials and additional information on grants and eligibility, visit the program website.
The program is one of three initiatives of the Governor’s Jobs Plan to support the economic recovery of Maine’s heritage industries –forestry, fishing and farming – from impacts of the COVID-19 pandemic.
The Maine Jobs & Recovery Plan, approved by the Legislature, aims to invest nearly $1 billion in Federal American Rescue Plan funds to “improve the lives of Maine people and families, help businesses, create good-paying jobs and build an economy poised for future prosperity.”
For more about Maine Jobs & Recovery Plan, visit maine.gov/jobsplan.