Lewiston, MAINE – Governor Janet Mills visited Borgeois Guitars and Quoddy in Lewiston today to learn how new economic recovery grants awarded through her Maine Jobs and Recovery Plan are helping two iconic Maine businesses succeed. The governor was accompanied by Lewiston Mayor Carl Sheline during her visits.
Last month, Governor Mills announced that the Pandemic Recovery Fund for an Innovative Maine Economy (PRIME) had selected 174 Maine companies to receive more than $23 million in grant funds to help support economic recovery and spur growth in Maine’s target technology sectors, including precision manufacturing. .
Bourgeois, which makes steel-string guitars used by world-renowned musicians, received a $266,677 grant. Quoddy, a historic Maine handmade shoe brand, fetched $190,000.
Many of Maine’s most innovative businesses were unable to access federal aid during the worst of the pandemic. The PRIME Fund, administered by the Maine Institute of Technology, helps fill this gap and is focused on helping Maine’s cutting-edge businesses invest in new products and business lines, attract new customers, and create long-term economic growth. .
“Small Maine businesses like Bourgeois and Quoddy employ hard-working Maine people in good-paying jobs and produce iconic products used around the world.” said Gov. Janet Mills. “The PRIME Fund is making strategic direct investments in innovative businesses like Bourgeois and Quoddy, ensuring that Maine businesses are not only positioned to rebound from the pandemic, but also thrive in Maine and the global marketplace for years to come.
“The entire Borgeois Guitars team was grateful for the Governor’s visit to our workshop today. Governor Mills’ continued support for the river of talent that runs through the veins of Maine’s Maker’s Economy is essential not only to the health of organizations like ours, but to the continued vitality of the Maine brand. said Christopher Fleming, President & COO of Borgeois Guitars. “The support we receive from the PRIME Fund will go a long way towards looking after our workforce, supporting our growth and helping us as we work to recover from the impacts of the pandemic.”
“We are pleased that Governor Mills took time out of her busy schedule to visit a small manufacturing company here in Maine — and its employees — that have benefited from programs created during the pandemic like PRIME.” said Kevin Shorey, Co-Owner of Quoddy.
Before her visit to Bourgeois and Quoddy, the Governor stopped at Simone’s Hot Dog Stand in Lewiston and had lunch with Auburn Mayor Jason Levesque and State Senator Ned Claxton at Gritty McDuff’s in Auburn.
The PRIME Fund is just the latest way Governor Mills is working to support Maine’s small businesses. Since the start of the pandemic, the Mills Administration has allocated more than $288 million in aid to support Maine small businesses in a variety of economic sectors.
Two more rounds of PRIME grants are expected later this year. To qualify for a PRIME grant, businesses must engage in certain technology sectors in Maine through research, development or innovation; employ 250 full-time employees or less and indicate that their business has been adversely affected by the pandemic.
Eligible uses of grant funds include payroll, rent or mortgage payments for business facilities, purchases of business-related equipment, start-up costs for new programs and/or new markets that may require capital investment, and more a lot.
The Maine Jobs & Recovery Plan is the Governor’s plan, approved by the Legislature, to invest nearly $1 billion in Federal Recovery Plan funds to improve the lives of Maine people and families, help businesses, create good paying jobs and to build an economy. ready for future prosperity.
It builds largely on the recommendations of the Governor’s Economic Recovery Committee and the State’s 10-year Economic Development Strategy, transforming them into real action to improve the lives of Maine people and strengthen the economy.
For more about the Maine Jobs & Recovery Plan, visit maine.gov/jobsplan.