Many of our small business participants were impacted by COVID-19. Our Microenterprise Specialists provided resources through individual and small group advising sessions. We moved quickly to offer more business classes online and were proactive in connecting entrepreneurs to available SBA assistance programs such as the Paycheck Protection Program (PPP), Economic Injury Disaster Loans (EIDL), and Pandemic Unemployment Assistance (PUA), as appropriate.
NVME continues to provide tools and support for business owners as they recover and rebuild. We are pleased to have received a recent Building Resilience in Maine’s Small Businesses grant from Machias Savings Bank. A key component in our work with entrepreneurs is MainStreet RISE™ offered in partnership with the Association for Enterprise Opportunity (AEO) and GoDaddy, providing skills training, ecommerce website development, and free products from GoDaddy. Thirty-one Maine entrepreneurs have completed MainStreet RISE™, with an additional fourteen entrepreneurs currently enrolled online.
The May 2020 round of NVME Marketing Mini-Grants provided grants from $500 to $1,000 to help small business owners cope with COVID -19 conditions, including updating websites to process online orders and expanding social media to connect with target customers though Facebook and Instagram advertising. The majority of the mini-grant applicants requested assistance to keep their businesses open and move services and sales online. NVME Marketing Mini-Grants are supported in part by Norway Savings Bank.
Stephanie LaCroix, Engine 5 Bakehouse, located in Waterville.
Corie Bernatchez, Top It Frozen Dessert Bar, located in Auburn.
Cece Camacho, Prune, located in Brunswick.
Samantha Williams, Bold Coast Yoga, located in Machias.
Molly Thompson, Pretty Flours, sold statewide.
Rachel Knight, Destination Occupation, located in Portland.
Chris Phillips, Maliseet Rollerama, LLC, located in Houlton.