May 13, 2013

Small Business Administration resources list

Marilyn Geroux, district director of the U.S. Small Business Administration's Maine district office.

Message from the District Director:

Welcome to the Small Business Resource Guide. This guide will provide you with a quick reference to the tools and resources required to start, manage and grow your business in Maine. Whether your needs include access to capital, management assistance, or you want to do business with the federal government, we hope this guide can assist you in the process.

It is SBA's mission to help entrepreneurs realize their own potential. Each successful business in Maine makes a contribution, not only for the company's owners, but to its employees, and our communities as a whole.

Success is contagious. Thousands of Maine businesses use SBA and our partners, the Maine SBDC, SCORE and the Women's Business Center to help them succeed. This guide can provide you with a well-calibrated compass on the path to success.


Marilyn J. Geroux

District Director of SBA's Maine District Office

The Maine SBA resource guide:

  1. Staff contacts
  2. SBA services
  3. SCORE
  4. Small Business Development Centers
  5. Women's Business Centers
  6. Resources for underserved communities
  7. SBA business loans
  8. Export assistance
  9. Surety bond guarantee program
  10. Contracting and sub-contracting
  11. Disadvantaged business services
  12. SBA disaster assistance
  13. SBA participating lenders
  14. Other resources

SBA?Staff Listing -

District Director

Marilyn J. Geroux


Acting Deputy District Director

Senior Area Manager – Portland

Alden R. Turner


Economic Development Specialist

William S. Card


Lender Relations Specialist

Diane L. Sturgeon


Economic Development Specialist

Sandra A. Fontaine


Senior Area Manager – Bangor


Program Support Assistant

Keith Lind


District Counsel

Mark S. O'Brien


Procurement Center Representative

Northern New England

Keith E. Waye


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Doing Business in Maine

The Maine District Office is responsible for the delivery of SBA's many programs and services. The District Director is Marilyn Geroux. The District Office is located at Edmund S. Muskie Federal Building, 68 Sewall Street, Room 512, Augusta, ME. Office hours are from 8:00 AM until 4:30 PM, Monday through Friday. For program and service information, please contact the Marketing Division at 207-622-8551. For information on financing, please contact Diane Sturgeon at 207-622-8286 or email:

Services available

Financial assistance for new or existing businesses through guaranteed loans made by area bank and non-bank lenders. Free counseling, advice and information on starting, better operating or expanding a small business through SCORE - Counselors to America's Small Business, Small Business Development Centers (SBDC) and Women's Business Centers (WBC). They also conduct training events throughout the district - some require a nominal registration fee.

Assistance to businesses owned and controlled by socially and economically disadvantaged individuals through the Business Development Program.

A Women's Business Ownership Representative is available to assist women business owners. Please contact Marilyn Geroux at 207-622-8382 or e-mail.

Special loan programs are available for businesses involved in international trade.

A Veterans Affairs Officer is available to assist veterans. Please contact William Card at 207-622-8555 or email.


Every year, the U.S. Small Business Administration and its nationwide network of resource partners help millions of potential and existing small business owners start, grow and succeed.

Whether your target market is global or just your neighborhood, the SBA and its resource partners can help at every stage of turning your entrepreneurial dream into a thriving business.

If you're just starting, the SBA and its resources can help you with loans and business management skills. If you're already in business, you can use the SBA's resources to help manage and expand your business, obtain government contracts, recover from disaster, find foreign markets, and make your voice heard in the federal government.

You can access SBA information online 24 hours a day at or visit one of our local offices for assistance.

SBA's resource partners

In addition to our district offices which serve every state and territory, SBA works with a variety of local resource partners to meet your small business needs. These professionals can help with writing a formal business plan, locating sources of financial assistance, managing and expanding your business, finding opportunities to sell your goods or services to the government, and recovering from disaster. To find your local district office or SBA resource partner, visit

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SCORE is a national network of nearly14,000 entrepreneurs, business leaders and executives who volunteer as mentors to America's small businesses. SCORE has helped more than 8.5 million entrepreneurs nationwide by leveraging decades of expertise from seasoned business professionals to help entrepreneurs start businesses, grow companies and create jobs in local communities.

With more than 370 offices throughout the country, SCORE matches you with a mentor whose personality, experience, and skills are a good fit for your business needs. Whether you are a start-up business or growing company, SCORE mentors offer free and confidential advice. As members of your community, SCORE mentors understand local business licensing rules, economic conditions and lending standards. SCORE also offers local small business workshops at modest fees on popular topics such as increasing sales, managing cash flow and marketing your business.

You can count on SCORE as a trusted resource to offer in-depth mentoring, sound advice and guidance, and tools and resources that can help you succeed as a business owner. In fiscal year 2010, SCORE served over 400,000 clients through individual counseling, workshops and online sessions by leveraging the expertise and experience of nearly 14,000 business mentors. For 24/7 access to advice and online webinars on topics such as starting, growing, marketing and e-commerce for small business, visit SCORE online at or call 1-800-624-0245 for the office nearest you.

Augusta SCORE #305

Maine District SBA Office

68 Sewall St., Federal Bldg., Rm. 512

Augusta, ME 04330

207-622-8509 207-622-8277 Fax

Hours: By appointment only

Bangor SCORE #314

Federal Bldg., 202 Harlow St., Suite 230

Bangor, ME 04401


Hours: By appointment only

Lewiston/Auburn SCORE #325

Business Service Center

Key Bank Plaza

415 Lisbon St.

Lewiston, ME 04243-0059

207-782-3708 207-783-5301 Fax

Hours: M-F 8:30 a.m. - 12:30 p.m.

Downeast Maine SCORE #389

P.O. Box 1507

Ellsworth, ME 04605


Hours: By appointment only, Mill Mall Office

Oxford Hills SCORE #479

2 Market Sq.

S. Paris, ME 04281


Hours: M-F 9 a.m. - 12:00 p.m.

Portland SCORE #53

100 Middle St. East Tower, 2nd Floor

Portland, ME 04101

207-772-1147 207-772-5581 Fax

Hours: By appointment only

Western Mountain SCORE #586

60 Lowell St./P.O. Box 8

Rumford, ME 04276


Hours: By appointment only

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Small Business Development Centers

The Small Business Development Center (SBDC) program has been vital to SBA's entrepreneurial outreach for more than 30 years. It has become one of the largest professional small business management and technical assistance networks in the nation. With nearly 900 locations across the country, SBDCs offer free one-on-one expert business advice and low-cost training by qualified small business professionals to existing and future entrepreneurs.

The SBDC program includes special focus areas such as, green business technology, disaster recovery and preparedness, import and export assistance, veterans' assistance, procurement assistance, electronic commerce, technology transfer and regulatory compliance. A number of SBDC networks have specialized programs or centers dedicated to these focus areas.

During the past thirty years, through a unique mix of federal, state and private sector resources, the SBDC program has increased its return on investment. Through federal grants, SBDCs in every state and territory provide the foundation for the economic growth of small businesses. These small businesses, in turn, advance local and regional economic development through the generation of business revenues, job creation and job retention. This return on investment is demonstrated by fiscal 2010 outcomes, where SBDCs:

  • Assisted more than 13,600 entrepreneurs to start new businesses – an estimated 37 new business starts per day.
  • Provided counseling services to over 107,000 emerging entrepreneurs and nearly 102,000 existing businesses.
  • Provided training services to approximately 380,000 clients.

The efficacy of the SBDC program has been validated by a nationwide impact study. Of the clients surveyed, more than 80 percent reported that the business assistance they received from the SBDC counselor was worthwhile. Similarly, more than 50 percent reported that SBDC guidance was beneficial in making the decision to start a business. More than 40 percent of long-term clients, those receiving 5 hours or more of counseling, reported an increase in sales and 38 percent reported an increase in profit margins.

For information on the SBDC program, visit To schedule an appointment for counseling or to see the seminar schedule, contact the center nearest you from the list below.

Administrative Office

University of Southern Maine at Portland

State Director, Mark Delisle

Associate State Director, Carol Papciak

96 Falmouth St./P.O. Box 9300

Portland, ME 04104-9300

Location: 501 Forest Ave., Portland

207-780-4420 207-780-4810 Fax

800-679-SBDC Infoline

207-780-5646 TTY

Maine SBDC Service Centers:

Maine SBDC hosted by Coastal Enterprises, Inc. at FAME

5 Community Dr./P.O. Box 949

Augusta, ME 04332-0949

207-620-3521 207-623-0095 Fax

Maine SBDC hosted by

Coastal Enterprises, Inc. at MCCOG – Midcoast West

759 High Street, 3rd Floor

Bath, ME 04530-2828

207-443-5790 ext 18

Maine SBDC Service Center

Coastal Enterprises, Inc. (CEI)

One Cumberland Place, Ste. 302

Bangor, ME 04401

207-942-1744 207-882-7308 Fax

Maine SBDC at Northern Maine Development Commission (NMDC) - Caribou

11 W. Presque Isle Rd./P.O. Box 779

Caribou, ME 04736-0779

207-498-8736 or 800-427-8736

207-493-3108 Fax

Maine SBDC at Coastal Enterprises, Inc. (CEI) – Ellsworth

210 Main St., Ste. 7

Ellsworth, ME 04605-1950


Maine SBDC hosted by Coastal Enterprises, Inc. at KVCOG - Fairfield

17 Main St.

Fairfield, ME 04937-1119

207-453-4258 ext. 215 207-453-4264 Fax

Maine SBDC at Androscoggin

Valley Council of Governments (AVCOG) - Lewiston/Auburn

125 Manley Rd.

Auburn, ME 04210-3600

207-783-9186 207-783-5211 Fax

Maine SBDC at Coastal Enterprises, Inc. (CEI) - Machias

Sunrise County Economic Council

1 Stackpole Rd.

Machias, ME 04654-0679


Maine SBDC at University of Southern Maine (USM) - Portland

P.O. Box 9300

Portland, ME 04104-9300

Location: 501 Forest Ave., Portland

207-780-4949 207-780-4810 Fax

Maine SBDC hosted by University of So. Maine at SMRPC - Sanford/Springvale

21 Bradeen St., Ste. 304

Springvale, ME 04083-1925

207-324-0316 207-324-2958 Fax

Maine SBDC at Coastal Enterprises Inc. (CEI) – Midcoast East

36 Water St./P.O. Box 268

Wiscasset, ME 04578-0268

207-882-4340 207-882-4456 Fax

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Women's Business Centers

The SBA's Women Business Center (WBC) program is a network of approximately 110 community-based centers which provide business training, coaching, mentoring and other assistance geared toward women, particularly those who are socially and economically disadvantaged. WBCs are located in nearly every state and U.S. territory and are partially funded through a cooperative agreement with the SBA.

To meet the needs of women entrepreneurs, WBCs offer services at convenient times and locations, including weekends. Most WBCs are located at non-profit host organizations that offer a wide variety of services in addition to the services provided by the WBC. Many of the WBCs also offer training and counseling and provide materials in different languages in order to meet the diverse needs of the communities they serve.

WBCs often deliver their services through long term training or group counseling, both of which have shown to be effective. WBC training courses are often free or offered at a small fee. Some centers will also offer scholarships based on the client's needs.

While most WBCs are physically located in one designated location, a number of WBCs also provide courses and counseling via the Internet, mobile classrooms and satellite locations. WBCs have a track record of success. In fiscal year 2010, the WBC program counseled and trained more than 160,000 clients, creating local economic growth and vitality. Of the WBC clients who have received 3 or more hours of counseling, 15 percent indicated that the services led to hiring new staff, 34 percent indicated that the services led to an increased profit margin, and 47 percent indicated that the services led to an increase in sales.

In addition, the WBC program has taken a lead in preparing women business owners to apply for the Women-Owned Small Business (WOSB) Federal Contract program that authorizes contracting officers to set aside certain federal contracts for eligible women-owned small businesses or economically disadvantaged women-owned small businesses. For more information on the program, visit

To find the nearest SBA WBC, visit

Maine Women's Business Center at Coastal Enterprises, Inc.

  • The Maine Women's Business Center at Coastal Enterprises (CEI) provides counseling and training in a full range of business issues to new and existing women business owners throughout Maine. The MWBC can help build business skills by providing access to timely, accurate, tailored information within a setting that respects one's experience, management skills and learning style. Staffed by responsive and knowledgeable professional business counselors, the Maine Women's Business Center (WBC) responds to the opportunities and challenges faced by Maine's women business owners and offers:
    • A long-term relationship with a skilled business counselor
    • Business plan development
    • Assistance in developing business skills
    • Ongoing support for business growth and expansion tailored to your business
    • Help with obtaining financing
    • Assistance in E-commerce and website planning
    • Opportunities for networking with other business owners

The WBC has offices throughout the state of Maine; however, we also are able to provide training, networking opportunities, and one-on-one counseling online via our easy-to-use virtual conference room tools. In addition, as part of our website we offer the Maine Women Business Owners Online Directory – a statewide resource for online networking and marketing for Maine's women-owned businesses – and The Maine Women's Business Empowerment Program which is designed to strengthen the financial management of women-owned businesses. For more information, please contact:

Marita Fairfield

36 Water St. /P.O. Box 268

Wiscasset, ME 04578

207-882-7552 207-882-4456 Fax

Additional Locations:

Down East Maine, 207-255-0983

Midcoast & Online, 207-535-5158

Western & Central Maine, 207-778-6529

Southern Maine, 207-535-2912

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Resources for underserved communities

SBA also offers a number of programs specifically designed to meet the needs in the underserved communities.

  • Women business owners

Women entrepreneurs are changing the face of America's economy. In the 1970s, women owned less than five percent of the nation's businesses. Today, they are majority owners of about a third of the nation's small businesses and are at least equal owners of about half of all small businesses. SBA serves women entrepreneurs nationwide through its various programs and services, some of which are designed especially for women.

The SBA's Office of Women's Business Ownership (OWBO) serves as an advocate for women-owned businesses. OWBO oversees a nationwide network of 110 women's business centers that provide business training, counseling and mentoring geared specifically to women, especially those who are socially and economically disadvantaged. The program is a public-private partnership with locally-based nonprofits.

Women's Business Centers serve a wide variety of geographic areas, population densities, and economic environments, including urban, suburban, and rural. Local economies vary from depressed to thriving, and range from metropolitan areas to entire states. Each Women's Business Center tailors its services to the needs of its individual community, but all offer a variety of innovative programs, often including courses in different languages. They provide training in finance, management, marketing, and the Internet, as well as access to all of the SBA's financial and procurement assistance programs.

  • Veterans and Reservists Business Development

To ensure that veterans, service-disabled veterans and Reserve and National Guard member entrepreneurs receive special consideration in all of SBA's entrepreneurial programs and resources, the SBA has established an Office of Veterans Business Development (OVBD). Each year, OVBD reaches thousands of veterans, Reserve Component members, transitioning service members and others who are – or who want to become – entrepreneurs and small business owners. OVBD develops and distributes informational materials for entrepreneurship such as the Veterans Business Resource Guide, VETGazette, and Getting Veterans Back to Work. In addition, there are 16 Veterans Business Outreach Centers strategically located throughout the country that provide both online and in-person training, counseling, mentoring, workshops, referrals, and more. Each of the SBA's 68 District Offices also has a designated veteran's business development officer.

The SBA offers special assistance for small businesses owned by activated Reserve and National Guard members. Any self-employed Reserve or Guard member with an existing SBA loan can request from their SBA lender or SBA district office loan payment deferrals, interest rate reductions and other relief after they receive their activation orders. In addition, the SBA offers special low-interest-rate financing to small businesses when an owner or essential employee is called to active duty. The Military Reservist Economic Injury Disaster Loan Program (MREIDL) provides loans up to $2 million to eligible small businesses to cover operating costs that cannot be met due to the loss of an essential employee called to active duty in the Reserves or National Guard.

Among the SBA's unique services for veterans are: an Entrepreneurship Boot Camp for Veterans with Disabilities in partnership with 6 top U.S. universities (, a program to reach women veteran-entrepreneurs (, and a program for Reserve Component family members called Operation Endure and Grow (

For more information about small business lending programs for veteran business owners and Reserve or Guard members who are activated, including Patriot Express, microloans, and Advantage loans, see the section on Access to Capital. To learn more about the Veterans Business Outreach program or find the nearest SBA VBOC, visit the SBA Web site at

  • Native American Business Development

The SBA Office of Native American Affairs (ONAA) ensures American Indians, Alaska Natives and Native Hawaiians seeking to create, develop and expand small businesses have full access to the necessary business development and expansion tools available through the agency's entrepreneurial development, lending, and contracting programs. ONAA provides a network of training (including the online tool "Small Business Primer: Strategies for Growth") and counseling services and engages in numerous outreach activities, such as tribal consultations, development and distribution of educational materials, attendance and participation in economic development events and assisting these small businesses with SBA programs.

More information is at

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SBA business loans

If you are contemplating a business loan, familiarize yourself with the SBA's business loan programs to see if they may be a viable option. Keep in mind the dollar amount you seek to borrow and how you want to use the loan proceeds. The three principal players in most of these programs are the applicant small business, the lender and the SBA. SBA guarantees a portion of the loan (except for Microloans). The business should have its business plan prepared before it applies for a loan. This plan should explain what resources will be needed to accomplish the desired business purpose including the associated costs, the applicants' contribution, use of loan proceeds, collateral, and, most important, an explanation of how the business will be able to repay the loan in a timely manner.

The lender will analyze the application to see if it meets the lender's criteria and SBA's requirements. SBA will look to the lender to do much, if not all, of the analysis before it provides its guaranty on the lender's loan. In the case of microlenders SBA loans these intermediaries funds at favorable rates to re-lend to businesses with financing needs up to $50,000. The SBA's business loan programs provide a key source of financing for viable small businesses that have real potential but cannot qualify for long-term, stable financing.

  • 7(a) Loan Program

The 7(a) Loan program is the SBA's primary business loan program. It is the agency's most frequently used non-disaster financial assistance program because of its flexibility in loan structure, variety of loan proceed uses, and availability. The program has broad eligibility requirements and credit criteria to accommodate a wide range of financing needs.

The business loans that SBA guarantees do not come from the agency, but rather from banks and other approved lenders. The loans are funded by these organizations, and they make the decisions to approve or not approve the applicants' requests.

The SBA guaranty reduces the lender's risk of borrower non-payment. If the borrower defaults, the lender can request SBA to pay the lender that percentage of the outstanding balance guaranteed by SBA. This allows the lender to recover a portion from SBA of what it lent if the borrower can't make the payments. The borrower is still obligated for the full amount.

To qualify for an SBA loan, a small business must meet the lender's criteria and the 7(a) requirements. In addition, the lender must certify that it would not provide this loan under the proposed terms and conditions unless it can obtain an SBA guaranty. If the SBA is going to provide a lender with a guaranty, the applicant must be eligible and creditworthy and the loan structured under conditions acceptable to SBA.

Percentage of Guaranties and Loan Maximums

The SBA only guarantees a portion of any particular loan so each loan will also have an unguaranteed portion, giving the lender a certain amount of exposure and risk on each loan. The percentage SBA guarantees depends on either the dollar amount or the program the lender uses to obtain its guaranty. For loans of $150,000 or less the SBA may guaranty as much as 85 percent and for loans over $150,000 the SBA can provide a guaranty of up to 75 percent.

The maximum 7(a) loan amount is $5 million. (Loans made under the SBAExpress program, which is discussed later in this section, have a 50 percent guaranty.)

Interest Rates and Fees

The actual interest rate for a 7(a) loan guaranteed by SBA is negotiated between the applicant and lender and subject to SBA maximums. Both fixed and variable interest rate structures are available. The maximum rate is comprised of two parts, a base rate and an allowable spread. There are three acceptable base rates (Wall Street Journal Prime*, London Interbank One Month Prime plus 3 percent, and an SBA Peg Rate). Lenders are allowed to add an additional spread to the base rate to arrive at the final rate. For loans with maturities of less than seven years, the maximum spread will be no more than 2.25 percent. For loans with maturities of seven years or more, the maximum spread will be 2.75 percent. The spread on loans under $50,000 and loans processed through Express procedures may be higher.

Loans guaranteed by SBA are assessed a guaranty fee. This fee is based on the loan's maturity and the dollar amount guaranteed, not the total loan amount. The guaranty fee is generally paid by the borrower and can be included in the loan proceeds.

On any loan with a maturity of one year or less, the fee is just 0.25 percent of the guaranteed portion of the loan. On loans with maturities of more than one year, the normal guaranty fee is 2 percent of the SBA guaranteed portion on loans up to $150,000; 3 percent on loans over $150,000 but not more than $700,000; and 3.5 percent on loans over $700,000. There is also an additional fee of 0.25 percent on any guaranteed portion over $1 million.

* All references to the prime rate refer to the base rate in effect on the first business day of the month the loan application is received by SBA.

7(a) Loan Maturities

SBA loan programs are generally intended to encourage longer term small business financing, but actual loan maturities are based on the ability to repay, the purpose of the loan proceeds and the useful life of the assets financed. However, maximum loan maturities have been established: 25 years for real estate; up to 10 years for equipment (depending on the useful life of the equipment); and, generally, up to seven years for working capital. Short-term loans and revolving lines of credit are also available through the SBA to help small businesses meet their short-term and cyclical working capital needs.


Most 7(a) loans are repaid with monthly payments of principal and interest. For fixed-rate loans the payments stay the same, whereas for variable rate loans the lender can re-establish the payment amount when the interest rates change or at other intervals, as negotiated with the borrower. Applicants can request that the lender establish the loan with interest-only payments during the start-up and expansion phases (when eligible) to allow the business time to generate income before it starts making full loan payments. Balloon payments or call provisions are not allowed on any 7(a) loan. The lender may not charge a prepayment penalty if the loan is paid off before maturity, but the SBA will charge the borrower a prepayment fee if the loan has a maturity of 15 or more years and is pre-paid during the first three years.


The SBA expects every 7(a) loan to be fully secured, but the SBA will not decline a request to guaranty a loan if the only unfavorable factor is insufficient collateral, provided all available collateral is offered. What these two policies mean is that every SBA loan is to be secured by all available assets (both business and personal) until the recovery value equals the loan amount or until all assets have been pledged to the extent that they are reasonably available. Personal guaranties are required from all the principal owners of the business. Liens on personal assets of the principals may be required.


7(a) loan eligibility is based on four different factors. The first is size, as all loan recipients must be classified as "small" by SBA. The basic size standards are outlined below. A more in-depth listing of standards can be found at

SBA Size Standards:

Manufacturing — from 500 to no more than 1,500 employees

Wholesaling — No more than 100 employees

Services — from $4.5 million to no more than $35.5 million in average annual receipts

Retailing — from $7 million to no more than $35.5 million in average annual receipts

General construction — from $7 million to no more than $33.5 million in average annual receipts

Agriculture — from $750,000 to no more than $17.5 million in average annual receipts

There is also an alternate size standard that is based on a net worth ($15 million or less) and average net income ($5 million or less). This new alternate makes more businesses eligible for SBA loans and applies to all SBA non-disaster loan programs.

Nature of Business

The second eligibility factor is based on the nature of the business and the process by which it generates income or the customers it serves. The SBA has general prohibitions against providing financial assistance to businesses involved in such activities as lending, speculating, passive investment, pyramid sales, loan packaging, presenting live performances of a prurient sexual nature, businesses involved in gambling and any illegal activity.

The SBA also cannot offer loan guaranties to non-profit businesses, private clubs that limit membership on a basis other than capacity, businesses that promote a religion, businesses owned by individuals incarcerated or on probation or parole, municipalities, and situations where the business or its owners previously failed to repay a federal loan or federally assisted financing.

Use of Proceeds

The third eligibility factor is use of proceeds. 7(a) proceeds can be used to make leasehold improvements or purchase machinery; equipment; fixtures; supplies; or land and/or buildings that will be occupied by the business borrower.

Proceeds can also be used to:

Expand or renovate facilities;

Acquire machinery, equipment, furniture, fixtures and leasehold improvements;

Finance receivables and augment working capital;

Finance seasonal lines of credit;

Acquire businesses;

Startup businesses;

Construct commercial buildings; and

Refinance existing debt under certain conditions.

SBA 7(a) loan proceeds cannot be used for the purpose of making investments. SBA proceeds cannot be used to provide funds to any of the owners of the business except for ordinary compensation for actual services provided.

Miscellaneous Factors

The fourth factor involves a variety of requirements such as SBA's credit elsewhere test and utilization of personal assets requirements, where the business and its principal owners must use their own resources before getting a loan guaranteed by SBA. It also includes SBA's anti-discrimination rules and restrictions on lending to agricultural enterprises because there are other agencies of the federal government with programs to fund such businesses.

Generally, SBA loans must meet the following criteria:

Every loan must be for a sound business purpose;

There must be sufficient invested equity in the business so it can operate on a sound financial basis;

There must be a potential for long-term success;

The owners must be of good character and reputation; and

All loans must be so sound as to reasonably assure repayment.

For more information, go to

  • Special purpose 7(a) loan program

The 7(a) program is the most flexible of SBA's lending programs. The agency has created several variations to the basic 7(a) program to address the particular financing need of certain small businesses. These special purpose programs are not necessarily for all businesses but may be very useful to some small businesses. They are generally governed by the same rules, regulations, fees, interest rates, etc. as the regular 7(a) loan guaranty. Lenders can advise you of any variations.


The SBAExpress guaranty is available to lenders as a way to obtain a guaranty on smaller loans up to $350,000. The program authorizes selected, experienced lenders to use mostly their own forms, analysis and procedures to process, service and liquidate SBA-guaranteed loans. The SBA guarantees up to 50 percent of an SBAExpress loan. Loans under $25,000 do not require collateral. The use of loan proceeds is the same as for any basic 7(a) loan. Like most 7(a) loans, maturities are usually five to seven years for working capital and up to 25 years for real estate or equipment. Revolving lines of credit are allowed for a maximum of seven years.

U.S. Small Business Administration

Maine District Office

68 Sewall St., Federal Bldg., Rm. 512

Augusta, ME 04330

207-622-8551 207-622-8277 Fax

  • Patriot Express and Other Lending Programs For Veterans

The Patriot Express pilot loan initiative is for veterans and members of the military community wanting to establish or expand a small business. Eligible military community members include:

  • Veterans;
  • Service-disabled veterans;
  • Active-duty service members eligible for the military's Transition Assistance Program;
  • Reservists and National Guard members;
  • Current spouses of any of the above, including any servicemember;
  • The widowed spouse of a servicemember or veteran who died during service or of a service-connected disability.

The Patriot Express loan is offered by SBA's nationwide network of private lenders and features the fastest turnaround time for loan approvals. Loans are available up to $500,000 and qualify for SBA's maximum guaranty of 85 percent for loans of $150,000 or less and 75 percent for loans over $150,000 up to $500,000. For loans above $350,000, lenders are required to accept all available collateral.

The Patriot Express loan can be used for most business purposes, including start-up, expansion, equipment purchases, working capital, and inventory or business-occupied real-estate purchases.

Patriot Express loans feature SBA's lowest interest rates for business loans, generally 2.25 percent to 4.75 percent over prime depending upon the size and maturity of the loan. Your local SBA district office will have a listing of Patriot Express lenders in your area. More information is available at

Self-employed Reserve or Guard members with an existing SBA loan can request from their SBA lender or SBA district office, loan payment deferrals, interest rate reductions and other relief after they receive their activation orders. The SBA also offers special low-interest-rate financing of up to $2 million when an owner or essential employee is called to active duty through the Military Reservist Economic Injury Disaster Loan program (MREIDL) to help cover operating costs due to the loss of an essential employee called to active duty.

  • Advantage Loans

In early 2011, SBA rolled out two Advantage loan initiatives aimed at helping entrepreneurs and small business owners in underserved communities gain access to capital. Both offer a streamlined loan application process and the regular 7(a) loan guarantee for loans under $250,000.

The Small Loan Advantage program is available to lenders participating in the Preferred Lenders Program. SBA lenders who are not participating in the Preferred Lenders Program can contact their local district office to apply.

The Community Advantage pilot program opens up 7(a) lending to mission-focused, community-based lenders – such as Community Development Financial Institutions (CDFIs), Certified Development Companies (CDCs), and microlenders – that provide technical assistance and economic development support in underserved markets.

More information on both programs is available at

  • CAPLines

The CAPLines program is designed to help small businesses meet their short-term and cyclical working capital needs. The programs can be used to finance seasonal working capital needs; finance the direct costs of performing certain construction, service and supply contracts; finance the direct cost associated with commercial and residential construction; finance operating capital; and consolidate short-term debt. SBA provides up to an 85 percent guarantee. There are four distinct loan programs under the CAPLine umbrella:

  • The Contract Loan Program is used to finance material, labor, and overhead needs for a specific contract or contracts.
  • The Seasonal Line of Credit Program is used to support buildup of inventory, accounts receivable or labor and materials above normal usage for seasonal inventory.
  • The Builders Line Program provides financing for small contractors or developers to construct or rehabilitate residential or commercial property.
  • The Working Capital Line is a revolving line of credit that provides short term working capital.
  • Certified Development Company Loan Program (504 Loans)

The 504 Loan program is an economic development program that supports American small business growth and helps communities through business expansion and job creation. This SBA program provides long-term, fixed-rate, subordinate mortgage financing for acquisition and/or renovation of capital assets including land, buildings and equipment. Some refinancing is also permitted. Most for-profit small businesses are eligible for this program. The types of businesses excluded from 7(a) loans (listed previously) are also excluded from the 504 loan program.

Loans are provided through SBA-approved Certified Development Companies. CDCs work with banks and other lenders to make loans in first position on reasonable terms, helping lenders retain growing customers and provide Community Redevelopment Act credit.

The SBA 504 loan is distinguished from the SBA 7(a) loan program in these ways:

The maximum debenture, or long-term loan, is:

  • $5 million for businesses that create a certain number of jobs or improve the local economy;
  • $5 million for businesses that meet a specific public policy goal, including veterans; and
  • $5.5 million for manufacturers and energy public policy projects.

Recent additions to the program allow $5.5 million for each project that reduces the borrower's energy consumption by at least 10 percent; and $5.5 million for each project that generates renewable energy fuels, such as biodiesel or ethanol production. Projects eligible for up to $5.5 million under one of these two requirements do not have to meet the job creation or retention requirement, so long as the CDC portfolio average is at least $65,000.

  • Eligible project costs are limited to long-term, fixed assets such as land and building (occupied by the borrower) and substantial machinery and equipment. Working capital is not an eligible use of proceeds.
  • Most borrowers are required to make an injection (borrower contribution) of just 10 percent which allows the business to conserve valuable operating capital. A further injection of 5 percent is needed if the business is a start-up or new (less than 2 years old), and a further injection of 5 percent is also required if the primary collateral will be a single purpose building.
  • Two-tiered project financing: A lender finances approximately 50 percent of the project cost and receives a first lien on the project assets (but no SBA guaranty); A CDC (backed by a 100 percent SBA-guaranteed debenture) finances up to 40 percent of the project costs secured with a junior lien. The borrower provides the balance of the project costs.
  • Fixed interest rate on SBA loan. SBA guarantees the debenture 100 percent. Debentures are sold in pools monthly to private investors. This low, fixed rate is then passed on to the borrower and establishes the basis for the loan rate.
  • All project-related costs can be financed, including acquisition (land and building, land and construction of building, renovations, machinery and equipment) and soft costs, such as title insurance and appraisals. Some closing costs may be financed.
  • Collateral is typically a subordinate lien on the assets financed; allows other assets to be free of liens and available to secure other needed financing.
  • Long-term real estate loans are up to 20-year term, heavy equipment 10- or 20-year term and are self-amortizing.
  • Businesses that receive 504 loans are:
  • Small — net worth under $15 million, net profit after taxes under $5 million, or meet other SBA size standards.
  • Organized for-profit.
  • Most types of business — retail, service, wholesale or manufacturing.

The SBA's 504 certified development companies serve their communities by financing business expansion needs. Their professional staffs work directly with borrowers to tailor a financing package that meets program guidelines and the credit capacity of the borrower's business. For information, visit

U.S. Small Business Administration

Maine District Office

68 Sewall St.,

E. S. Muskie Federal Bldg., Rm. 512

Augusta, ME 04330

207-622-8551 207-622-8277 Fax

Eastern Maine Development Corporation

40 Harlow St.

Bangor, ME 04401-5102

207-942-6389 or

800-339-6389 Maine Only

207-942-3548 Fax

Coastal Enterprises, Inc.

36 Water St./P.0. Box 268

Wiscasset, ME 04578-0268

207-882-7552 207-882-7308 Fax

Granite State Development Corp.

Jim Maxwell

183 Newhall Rd.

Wells, ME 04090

207-646-5988 207-641-0981 Fax

Pine Tree State Certified Development Corp.

Field Rider

120 Exchange Street – Suite 205

Portland, ME 04101


  • Microloan Program

The Microloan program provides small loans ranging from under $500 to $50,000 to women, low-income, minority, veteran, and other small business owners through a network of approximately 160 intermediaries nationwide. Under this program, the SBA makes funds available to nonprofit intermediaries that, in turn, make the small loans directly to entrepreneurs, including veterans. Proceeds can be used for typical business purposes such as working capital, or the purchase of furniture, fixtures, machinery, supplies, equipment, and inventory. Microloans may not be used for the purchase of real estate. Interest rates are negotiated between the borrower and the intermediary. The maximum term for a microloan is 7 years.

The program also provides business based training and technical assistance to micro borrowers and potential micro borrowers to help them be successful at starting or growing their businesses. Such training and technical assistance may include general business education, assistance with business planning industry-specific training, and other types of training support. Entrepreneurs and small business owners interested in small amounts of business financing should contact one from the list below or go to

Androscoggin Valley

Council of Governments

125 Manley Rd.

Auburn, ME 04210

207-783-9186 207-783-5211 Fax

Community Concepts, Inc.

17-19 Market Sq./P.O. Box 278

South Paris, ME 04281

207-743-7716 or 1-800-866-5588 207-743-6513 Fax

Coastal Enterprises, Inc.

36 Water St./P.O. Box 268

Wiscasset, ME 04578-0268


Eastern Maine Development Corp.

40 Harlow St.

Bangor, ME 04401-5102

207-942-6389 or 800-339-6389

207-942-3548 Fax

MaineStream Finance

262 Harlow St./P.O. Box 1162

Bangor, ME 04402-1162

207-973-3500 or 1-800-215-4942 207-973-3699 Fax

Northern Maine Development Commission

11 W. Presque Isle Rd./P.O. Box 779

Caribou, ME 04736

207-498-8736 or 1-800-427-8736 207-493-5784 Fax

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Export assistance

The SBA has several programs to help existing small businesses wanting to export goods and services. A brief description of each can be found below.

  • Export Working Capital Program

The SBA's Export Working Capital program (EWCP) assists lenders in meeting the needs of exporters seeking short-term export working capital. This program enables U.S. exporters to obtain loans to fund their direct export costs. The EWCP supports single transactions or revolving lines of credit. The maximum dollar amount of an export line of credit under this program is $5 million. SBA guarantees up to 90 percent of a loan amount or $ 4.5 million, whichever is less. Loan maturities are generally for a term of 12 months. The guaranty can be reissued for an additional 12 months through a new application process. The guaranty fee the SBA charges is 0.25 percent of the guaranteed amount of the loan for the initial 12 months. The borrower negotiates the interest rate and all other fees with the lender. The program offers flexible terms, low fees and a quick processing time. For information, see

Eligibility of Exporter

The business must have an operating history of at least one year – not necessarily in exporting. The SBA may waive this requirement if you have sufficient export trade experience or other managerial experience.

Eligibility of Foreign Buyers

The foreign buyer must be a creditworthy entity and the methods of payment must be acceptable to the SBA and the export lender.

Use of EWCP Proceeds

  • To acquire inventory for export or to be used to manufacture goods for export.
  • To pay the manufacturing costs of goods for export.
  • To purchase goods or services for export.
  • To support standby letters of credit related to export transactions.
  • For pre-shipment working capital directly related to export orders.
  • For post-shipment foreign accounts receivable financing.

Ineligible Use of Proceeds

  • To support the applicant's domestic sales.
  • To acquire fixed assets or capital goods for the applicant's business.
  • To support a sale where the exporter is not taking title to the goods.
  • To acquire, equip, or rent commercial space overseas.
  • To serve as a warranty letter of credit.

Collateral Requirements

  • Collateral for the manufacturing sector typically consists of a first lien on all export-related inventory and export related accounts receivable.
  • Collateral for the service sector typically consists of assignment of proceeds of export-related contracts or purchase orders and a first lien on export-related accounts receivable.
  • Other collateral may be required.

How to Apply

A small business exporter seeking a guaranteed EWCP loan must apply to a lender.

  • International Trade Loan Program

The SBA's International Trade Loan program (ITL) helps small businesses engaged or preparing to engage in international trade as well as small businesses adversely affected by competition from imports. This program allows for a maximum loan amount of

$5 million. The international trade loan provides an SBA guarantee up to $ 4.5 million for a term loan used for the acquisition, construction, renovation, modernization, improvement or expansion of long-term fixed assets or the refinancing of an existing loan used for these same purposes. It may also be used for working capital or in conjunction with any SBA working capital loans, including the EWCP. The SBA guaranty fee and interest rates are the same as for any standard 7(a) loans.

Eligibility of Exporter

  • Applicants must meet the same eligibility requirements for a 7(a) loan.
  • Applicant must establish that the loan will significantly expand or develop an export market, or the applicant has been adversely affected by import competition, and, in addition, the applicant must show that upgrading equipment or facilities will improve its competitive position.
  • If eligibility is based on entering or expanding export sales, the applicant must submit a one or two page international business plan, including sufficient information to reasonably support the likelihood of expanded export sales.
  • Use of Proceeds
  • For facilities or equipment, including purchasing land and building(s); building new facilities; renovating, improving, or expanding existing facilities; purchasing or reconditioning machinery, equipment and fixtures; and making other improvements that will be used within the United States for producing goods or services.
  • Refinancing a facility/building is also permissible if the original loan on the property could have been refinanced under regular 7(a).

Collateral Requirements

See pg. 19 for collateral requirements.

How to Apply

A small business exporter seeking a guaranteed loan must apply to an SBA participating lender. Call your local SBA District Office for a list of participating lenders.

  • Export Express

The Export Express program is designed to help SBA meet the export financing needs of small businesses. It is subject to the same loan processing, making, closing, servicing, and liquidation requirements as well as the same maturity terms, interest rates, and applicable fees as for other SBA loans except as noted below. The total Export Express loan cannot exceed $500,000. SBA guarantees 90 percent for loans of $350,000 and under and 75 percent for loans greater than $350,000 up to the maximum of $500,000. SBA allows participating lenders to make their own credit decisions. SBA provides a quick processing time, less than 36 hours.

Eligibility of Exporter

You must have a business operating history of at least one year – not necessarily in exporting. The SBA may waive this requirement if you have sufficient export trade experience or other managerial experience.

Eligibility of Foreign Buyers

The foreign buyer must be a creditworthy entity and the methods of payment must be acceptable to the SBA and the export lender.

Use of Proceeds

  • Finance standby letters of credit used for either bid or performance bonds;
  • Finance export development activities such as export marketing and promotional activities, participation in foreign trade shows, translation of product literature for foreign markets, and other activities designed to initiate or expand the applicant's export of its products/services from the U.S.;
  • Provide transaction-specific financing for overseas orders;
  • Provide revolving lines of credit for export purposes, the terms of which must not exceed seven years. In some instances, as a normal course of business, the borrower may use portions of revolving lines of credit for domestic purposes, but no less than 70 percent of the revolving line to be used for export related purposes;
  • Provide term loans and other financing to enable small business concerns, including small business export trading companies to develop foreign markets; and
  • Acquire, construct, renovate, modernize, improve or expand production facilities or equipment to be used in the U.S. in the production of goods or services to be exported from the U.S.

Ineligible Use of Proceeds

Proceeds may not be used to finance overseas operations, other than those strictly associated with the marketing and/or distribution of products/services exported from the U.S.

How to Apply

The application process is the same for the SBAExpress, except the applicant must demonstrate that loan proceeds will enable it to enter a new export market or expand an existing export market. The applicant must submit to the lender a plan that includes projected export sales for the upcoming year as well as the dollar volume of export sales for the previous year.

  • U.S. Export Assistance Center (USEAC)

U.S. Export Assistance Centers are a network of facilities around the U.S. staffed by SBA, the U.S. Department of Commerce and the Export-Import Bank of the U.S. to provide trade promotion and export-finance assistance for small businesses in a single location. The USEACs also work closely with other federal, state and local international trade organizations. To find the nearest USEAC, go to

John Joyce

Regional Manager,

International Trade Programs

U.S. Export Assistance Center

for New England

JFK Federal Bldg., Ste. 1826A

55 New Sudbury St.

Boston, MA 02203

617-565-4305 617-565-4313 Fax

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Surety bond guarantee program

The Surety Bond Guarantee program is a public-private partnership between the federal government and surety companies to provide small businesses with the bonding assistance necessary for them to compete for public and private contracting and subcontracting opportunities. The guarantee provides all incentives for sureties to bond small businesses that would otherwise be unable to obtain bonding. The program is aimed at small businesses that lack the working capital or performance track record necessary to secure bonding on a reasonable basis through regular commercial channels.

Through this program, the SBA guarantees bid, payment, performance and ancillary bonds issued by surety companies for individual contracts and subcontracts up to $2 million. The SBA reimburses sureties between 70 and 90 percent of losses sustained if a contractor defaults on the contract.

The SBA has two program options available, the Prior Approval Program (Plan A) and the Preferred Surety Bond Program (Plan B). In the Prior Approval Program, SBA guarantees 90 percent of surety's paid losses and expenses on bonded contracts up to $100,000, and on bonded contracts greater than $100,000 that are awarded to socially and economically disadvantaged concerns, HUBZone contractors, and veterans, and service-disabled veteran owned small businesses. All other bonds guaranteed in the Plan A Program receive an 80 percent guarantee. Sureties must obtain SBA's prior approval for each bond guarantee issued. Under Plan B, SBA guarantees 70 percent, but sureties may issue, monitor and service bonds without SBA's prior approval.

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The U.S. government is the largest single purchaser of goods and services in the world, buying everything from armored tanks to paper clips. Every year, the federal government awards more than $500 billion in contracts, and a significant share of those contracts are specifically allotted to small businesses.

The SBA works with agencies to award at least 23 percent of all prime government contracts to small businesses, with specific statutory goals for small disadvantaged businesses, businesses that are women-owned or service-disabled veteran-owned, or businesses that are located in historically underutilized business zones (HUBZone).

The agency ensures that small businesses have access to long-lasting development opportunities, which means working with small businesses to help them stay competitive, as well as encouraging federal agencies to award more contracts to small businesses. The SBA features outreach programs, matchmaking events, and online training opportunities; and helps agencies identify opportunities for small businesses.

  • How government contracting works

Sealed bidding vs. Negotiation

There are two methods the government uses to purchase goods and services, sealed bidding and negotiation. The first method, sealed bidding, involves issuing an invitation for bid by a procuring agency. Under the sealed bidding method, a contract is usually awarded to the lowest priced bidder that can meet the quantity, quality and delivery requirements of the procurement. The second method, negotiation, involves issuing a request for proposal or request for quotation. The business with the best proposal in terms of technical content, price and other factors generally wins the contract.

Types of Contracts

Firm fixed price contracts place the responsibility for the costs and risk of loss on the contractor. Firm fixed price contracts do not permit any adjustment on the basis of the contractor's costs during the performance of the contract. This type of contract is used in all sealed bid and some negotiated procurements.

Cost reimbursement contracts provide for the payment of allowable costs incurred by the contractor, to the extent stated in the contract. The contract establishes a ceiling price, above which a contractor may not exceed without the approval of the contracting officer. Cost reimbursement contracts are used in research contracts that have commercial applicability.

Some contracts do not fit neatly into these two categories, such as time and material contracts (prices for hourly wages are fixed but the hours are estimated) and letter contracts (authorizes a contractor to begin work on an urgent requirement).

Small Business Set-Asides

A "set-aside" for small businesses reserves an acquisition exclusively for small business participation. There are two ways in which set-asides can be determined. First, if an acquisition of goods or services has an anticipated dollar value of at least $3,000 but not exceeding $150,000, it is automatically reserved for small businesses. The acquisition will be set aside only if the contracting officer determines there are two or more responsible small businesses that are competitive in terms of market prices, quality and delivery. Second, if an acquisition of goods or services is more than $150,000, and if it's likely offers will be obtained from at least two responsible small businesses, and if awards will be made at fair market prices, the acquisition is reserved exclusively for small business. Reasonable expectations of small business competition may be evaluated using past acquisition history of an item or similar items.

There are several exceptions and unique rules for specific kinds of small businesses and industries. For R&D small business set-asides, there must be a reasonable expectation of obtaining from small businesses the best scientific and technological sources consistent with the demands of the proposed acquisition. For small business set-asides other than for construction services, any business proposing to furnish a product that it did not itself manufacture must furnish the product of a small business manufacturer unless the SBA has granted either a waiver or exception to this requirement. In industries where the SBA finds that there are no small business manufacturers, it may issue a waiver to the non-manufacturer rule. Waivers permit small businesses to provide any domestic firm's product.


Subcontracting opportunities are a great resource for small businesses, especially to those not ready to bid as prime contractors. Experience gained from subcontracting with a federal prime contractor can better prepare businesses to bid for prime contracts.

Current regulations stipulate for contracts offering subcontracting opportunities over $650,000 for goods and services, or $1.5 million for construction, large business prime contractors must offer maximum practicable subcontracting opportunities to small businesses. Large business prime contractors must submit a subcontracting plan describing how they will successfully subcontract to small businesses.

To find subcontracting opportunities, a list of Federal prime contractors is available through SBA's Subcontracting Directory at and Research the list of prime contractors and determine which are best suited for your business. Develop a marketing strategy, and then contact the Small Business Liaison Officer listed for each prime to schedule an appointment.

  • SBA contracting programs


The HUBZone program helps small businesses located in distressed urban and rural communities, known as Historically Underutilized Business Zones, gain access to federal set-aside contracts and sole source contracts, as well as a price evaluation preference in full-and-open contract competitions. There is a statutory requirement that HUBZone small business concerns be awarded not less than 3 percent of the total value of all prime contract awards. The HUBZone program also establishes preference for award of federal contracts to small businesses in these areas. To qualify for the program, a business must meet the following criteria:

  • It must be a small business by SBA size standards
  • It must be owned and controlled at least 51 percent by U.S. citizens, or a Community Development Corporation, an agricultural cooperative, or an Indian tribe
  • Its principal office must be located within a "Historically Underutilized Business Zone," which includes lands considered "Indian Country" and military facilities closed by the Base Realignment and Closure Act
  • At least 35 percent of its employees must reside in a HUBZone.

Existing businesses that choose to move to qualified areas are eligible to apply for certification. To fulfill the requirement that 35 percent of a HUBZone firm's employees reside in a HUBZone, employees must live in a primary residence at a place for at least 180 days, or as a currently registered voter, and with intent to live there indefinitely.

SBA is responsible for:

  • Determining whether or not individual concerns are qualified HUBZone small business concerns;
  • Maintaining a list of qualified HUBZone small business concerns for use by acquisition agencies in awarding contracts under the program;
  • Adjudicating protests and appeals of eligibility to receive HUBZone contracts.

For additional information, visit

Women-owned Small Business Federal Contract Program

On October 7, 2010, the SBA published a final rule effective February 4, 2011, aimed at expanding federal contracting opportunities for women-owned small businesses. The Women-Owned Small Business Federal Contract program authorizes contracting officers to set aside certain federal contracts for eligible women-owned businesses and economically disadvantaged women-owned small businesses.

To be eligible, a firm must be at least 51 percent owned and controlled by one or more women. The women must be U.S. citizens. The firm must be "small" in its primary industry in accordance with SBA's size standards for that industry. To be deemed "economically disadvantaged" its owners must demonstrate economic disadvantage in accordance with the requirements set forth in the final rule. For additional information, visit

Service-disabled Veteran-owned Small Business Program

The Service-Disabled Veteran-Owned Small Business (SDVOSB) program has a federal government-wide goal of awarding at least 3 percent of prime and subcontracting dollars to Service-Disabled Veteran-Owned Small Businesses each year. Large prime contractors must also establish a subcontracting goal for Veteran-

Owned Small Businesses in their Subcontracting Plans. These subcontracting goals are reviewed at time of proposal by both the contracting officer and SBA prior to the award of a contract.

When a business's SDVOSB self-certification is challenged, SBA determines if the business meets the status, ownership, and control requirements. The SDVOSB Protest is administered by SBA to ensure that only businesses owned by service-disabled veterans receive contracts reserved exclusively for them.

To determine your eligibility, contact your local veterans business development officer, visit the various program websites, or contact SBA's Office of Veterans Business Development at

Maine Procurement Technical Assistance Center (PTAC)

Maine PTAC works with Maine's small businesses that want to pursue government market opportunities at the federal, state or local levels as a prime contractor or subcontractor. The Maine PTAC is funded by federal, state and local resources.

Maine PTAC provides free counseling on a variety of topics relating to contracting – among them are: past federal procurements, solicitation review, proposal preparation, federal specifications and standards, federal packaging, pre-award surveys, post-award contract administration, federal database registrations, small business program certifications and the General Services Administration Schedules Program.

Maine PTAC also provides a bid match service for a nominal fee

that helps identify current federal, state and local bid opportunities. Maine PTAC also assists companies with subcontractor opportunities and hosts training and networking events.

Companies are urged to register for PTAC services at

For additional information, contact:

Maine PTAC

Eastern Maine Development Corporation

40 Harlow St.

Bangor, ME 04401-5102

207-942-6389 207-942-3548 Fax

Small disadvantaged business

A Small Disadvantaged Business (SDB) is defined as a small business that is at least 51 percent owned and controlled by one or more individuals who are socially and economically disadvantaged.

There is a federal government-wide goal of awarding at least 5 percent of prime contracting dollars to SDBs each year. Large prime contractors must also establish a subcontracting goal for SDBs in their Subcontracting Plans.

Firms self-certify as SDB without submitting any application to SBA; however, firms approved by SBA into the 8(a) Business Development program are automatically certified as an SDB. To self-certify, firms should update their Central Contractor Registration (CCR) profiles and their Online Representations and Certifications Application (ORCA) profiles, at making sure that both profiles reflect their SDB status.

  • 8(a) Business Development Program

The 8(a) Business Development program is a nine year program established to assist eligible socially and economically disadvantaged individuals develop and grow their businesses. Business development assistance includes one-to-one counseling, training workshops, and other management and technical guidance. There is a statutory requirement that small disadvantaged business concerns be awarded not less than 5 percent of the total value of all prime contract awards. All firms that become eligible for SBA's 8(a) business development assistance are also considered small disadvantaged business concerns for federal contracting. To be eligible for the 8(a) Business Development program, a business must meet the following criteria:

  • It must be a small business by SBA size standards;
  • It must be owned (at least 51 percent) by one or more individuals who qualify as socially and economically disadvantaged, and who are US citizens of good character;
  • It must be controlled, managed, and operated by one or more individuals who qualify as disadvantaged, and;
  • It must demonstrate potential for success (generally by being in business for at least two full years) before applying.

Socially disadvantaged individuals are those who have been subjected to racial or ethnic prejudice or cultural bias because of their identity as a member of a group without regard to their individual capabilities. The following individuals are presumed to be socially disadvantaged: Black Americans, Native Americans, Alaska Natives or Native Hawaiians, Hispanic Americans, Asian Pacific Americans, and Subcontinent Asian Americans. An individual who is not a member of one of these groups must establish individual social disadvantage by a preponderance of evidence. Economically disadvantaged individuals are socially disadvantaged individuals whose ability to compete in the free-enterprise system has been impaired due to diminished capital and credit opportunities as compared to others in the same or similar line of business who are not socially disadvantaged.

Firms owned by Alaska Native Corporations, Indian Tribes, Native Hawaiian Organizations, and Community Development Corporations can also apply to the SBA for 8(a) business development assistance.

So that approved firms can obtain training, counseling, and business development assistance, SBA designates a staff person at a local SBA District Office - geographically near the business.

SBA is responsible for:

  • Determining whether a business qualifies for the 8(a) Business Development program
  • Determining whether a business continues to qualify, during the nine-year term.
  • Approving Mentor/Protégé agreements between 8(a) firms and large businesses.

For additional information, visit

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SBA disaster assistance

The Disaster Assistance Program is SBA's largest direct loan program, and the only form of SBA assistance not limited to small businesses. SBA is responsible for providing affordable, timely and accessible financial assistance to homeowners, renters, businesses of all sizes and private, nonprofit organizations following declared disasters. By law, governmental units and agricultural enterprises are ineligible.

The SBA offers two types of disaster loans—Physical and Economic Injury Disaster Loans.

Home Physical Disaster Loans up to $200,000 are available to eligible homeowners to repair or replace to its pre-disaster condition damaged or destroyed real estate not fully covered by insurance. Renters and homeowners alike may borrow up to $40,000 to repair or replace clothing, furniture, cars, appliances, etc., that were damaged or destroyed in the disaster.

Business Physical Disaster Loans up to $2 million are available to qualified businesses or private, nonprofit organizations of any size to help restore or replace damaged real estate, inventory, machinery, equipment and other business assets to its pre-disaster condition.

The SBA can also lend additional funds to homeowners and businesses to help with the cost of making improvements that protect, prevent or minimize the same type of disaster damage from occurring again.

Economic Injury Disaster Loans (EIDLs) are working capital loans available to qualified small businesses, private nonprofit organizations of all sizes and small agricultural cooperatives that suffered financial losses because of the disaster, regardless of physical damage. The SBA can lend up to $2 million to provide the necessary working capital to help small businesses pay fixed debts, payroll, accounts payable and other bills that could have been covered had the disaster not occurred. The loan is not intended to replace lost sales or profits. The combined limit for economic injury and physical damage assistance for businesses is $2 million.

Military Reservist Economic Injury Disaster Loans (MREIDLs) are working capital loans for small businesses adversely affected when an essential employee is called up to active duty by the National Guard or Reserves. An "essential employee" is defined as an individual (whether or not the owner of the small business) whose managerial or technical skill is critical to the successfully daily operation of the business. The loan limit is $2 million, and the funds may be used to pay necessary operating expenses as they mature until operations return to normal after the essential employee is released from active military duty. The MREIDLs cannot be used to replace lost profits.

For all disaster loans, SBA can only approve loans to applicants having a credit history acceptable to SBA and who also show the ability to repay the loans. The loan terms are established in accordance with the borrower's repayment ability. The law gives SBA several powerful tools to make disaster loans affordable: low interest rates (around 4 percent), long terms (up to 30 years), and refinancing of prior liens (in some cases). As required by law, the interest rate for each loan is based on SBA's determination of whether the applicant has credit available elsewhere (the ability to borrow or use their own resources to recover after the disaster).

More information on all of SBA's disaster assistance programs, including information for military reservists, is available at

Disaster Preparedness

For small businesses, surviving a disaster doesn't begin with clearing the debris and returning to work.

With proper planning, surviving begins long before the disaster strikes—or before active-duty orders are received. Your planning should include insurance coverage, emergency power, protection of company records, fire safety, medical emergencies, taking care of your employees and continuity planning – how your business will continue during and after the emergency or disaster.

Starting is as easy as clicking on the disaster preparedness page of SBA's website at

The page provides links to resources to help you put together your own emergency plan, preparedness tips, and fact sheets about SBA recovery assistance for homeowners, renters, businesses of all sizes and private, nonprofit organizations.

Additionally, to help small businesses with their preparedness planning, SBA has teamed up with Agility Recovery Solutions to offer business continuity strategies for entrepreneurs via their "PrepareMyBusiness" website. In addition to offering practical disaster preparedness tips, Agility is the co-host (with SBA) of a monthly disaster planning webinar for business owners. Previous webinar topics have included discussions on crisis communications, testing your recovery plan, and using social media to enhance business recovery. Visit to get the schedule for future webinars, view archived webinars, and for more disaster planning tips.

As small businesses are leading America's economic recovery, many of them are investing time and money into their plans to grow and create jobs. Developing a strong disaster preparedness plan should be a critical and integral piece of those efforts. Planning for a disaster is the best way of limiting its effects.

Additional Resources

The SBA has partnered with the American Red Cross to increase awareness in the business community about the Red Cross Ready Rating™ program. Ready Rating ( is a free, self-paced, web-based membership program that helps a business measure its ability to deal with emergencies, and gives customized feedback on how to improve those efforts.

Additional information on developing an emergency plan is available at the federal government's preparedness website

The Institute for Business and Home Safety ( ) has useful tips on protecting your home or business.

SBA participating lenders

Androscoggin Savings Bank (E/PX)

30 Lisbon St./P.O. Box 1407

Lewiston, ME 04243-1407

207-784-9164 207-786-4782 F

Androscoggin Valley Council of Govts. (Micro)

125 Manley Rd.

Auburn, ME 04210

207-783-9186 207-783-5211 F

Aroostook County Federal S&L Assoc.

43 High St./P.O. Box 808

Caribou, ME 04736-0808

207-498-8726 207-498-8202 F

Atlantic Regional Federal Credit Union (E)

55 Cushing St./P.O. Box 188

Brunswick, ME 04011

207-725-8728 207-721-9580 F

Auburn Savings

325 Sabattus St.

Lewiston, ME 04240

207-782-0400 207-782-5444 F

Bangor Savings Bank (PLP/E/PX)

99 Franklin St./P.O. Box 930

Bangor, ME 04402-0930

207-942-5211 207-942-2836 F

Bank of America, N.A. (PLP/E/PX)

10850 White Rock Rd.

Rancho Cordova, CA 95670


Bar Harbor Bank & Trust (PLP/E/PX)

82 Main St./P.O. Box 400

Bar Harbor, ME 04609-0400

207-288-3314 207-288-2626 F

Bath Savings Institution (E/PX)

105 Front St./P.O. Box 548

Bath, ME 04530-0548

207-442-7711 207-442-9137 F

Biddeford-Saco Area Economic Development Corp. (ILP only)

190 Main St., 3rd Fl.

PO Box 536

Saco, ME 04072

207-282-1748 207-282-9574 F

Biddeford Savings Bank (E/PX)

254Main St./P.O. Box 525 Biddeford, ME 04005

207-284-5906 207-282-8977 F

Brewer Federal Credit Union

77 N. Main St./P.O. Box 189

Brewer, ME 04412-0189

207-989-7240 207-989-3440 F

Camden National Bank (E/PX)

2 Elm St./P.O. Box 310

Camden, ME 04843-0310

207-236-8821 207-236-6256 F

Capital One, FSB (PLP/E)

P.O. Box 85015

Richmond, VA 23285


CIT Small Business Lending Corp. (PLP/PX)

1 CIT Dr.

Livingston, NJ 07039

800-713-4984 ext. 6010

714-848-9604 F

Coastal Enterprises, Inc. (CDC/Micro/CA)

P.O. Box 268

Wiscasset, ME 04578

207-882-7552 207-882-7308 F

Community Concepts, Inc. (Micro)

1719 Market Sq.

South Paris, ME 04281


Cooperative Fund of New England (ILP Only)

P.O. Box 3413, Amherst, MA 01004-3413

910.395.6008 / 1.800.818.7833 910-397-2857 F

Damariscotta Bank & Trust Company

25 Main St./P.O. Box 999

Damariscotta, ME 04543-0999

207-563-8121 207-563-8345 F

Eastmill Federal Credit Union

60 Main St.

East Millinocket, ME 04430-1128

207-746-3428 207-746-5881 F

Eastern Maine Dev. Corp. (CDC/Micro/CA)

40 Harlow St.

Bangor, ME 04401

207-942-6389 207-942-3548 F

Evergreen Credit Union (E)

225 Riverside St.

Portland, ME 04104

207-221-5000 207-221-5017 F

First Federal Savings & Loan Association

125 Front St./P.O. Box 488

Bath, ME 04530-0488

207-442-8711 207-443-1383 F

Franklin Savings Bank (E/PX)

209 Main St./P.O. Box 825

Farmington, ME 04938-0825

207-778-2900 207-779-1223 F

Gorham Savings Bank

64 Main St.

Gorham, ME 04038

207-839-4450 207-839-4790 F

Katahdin Federal Credit Union

1000 Central St.

Millinocket, ME 04462

207-723-9718 207-723-8426 F

Katahdin Trust Company (PLP/E/PX)

6 North St.

Presque Isle, ME 04769

207-764-2361 207-764-3425 F

Kennebec Savings Bank

150 State St./P.O. Box 50

Augusta, ME 04332-0050

207-622-5801 207-626-2858 F

Kennebunk Savings Bank (PLP/E/PX)

104 Main St./P.O. Box 28

Kennebunk, ME 04043-0028

207-985-4903 207-985-6034 F

KeyBank National Association (PLP/E/PX/CX)

1 Canal Street

South Portland, ME 04106

207-874-6965 207-842-1296 F

Machias Savings Bank (PLP/E/PX)

4 Center St./P.O. Box 318

Machias, ME 04654-0318

207-255-3347 207-255-3170 F

Maine Family Federal Credit Union

555 Sabattus St.

Lewiston, ME 04240-4195

207-783-2071 207-795-0106 F

Maine Savings Federal Credit Union (E)

27 Western Ave./P.O. Box 347

Hampden, ME 04444-0347

207-862-6500 207-862-6502 F

MaineStream Finance (Micro)

262 Harlow St./P.O. Box 1162

Bangor, ME 04401-1162


Mechanics Savings Bank (E/PX)

100 Minot Ave./P.O. Box 400

Auburn, ME 04212-0400

207-786-5700 207-786-5709 F

New Dimensions Federal Credit Union

61 Grove St.

Waterville, ME 04901

207-872-2771 207-877-0555 F

Granite State Development Corp. (CDC)

183 Newhall Rd.

Wells, ME 04090

207-646-5988 207-641-0981 F

NorState Federal Credit Union (E)

78 Fox St.

Madawaska, ME 04756

207-728-7555 207-728-6731 F

Northeast Bank (PLP/E/PX)

500 Canal St.

Lewiston, ME 04240

207-786-3245 207-782-7230 F

Northern Maine Development Commission (Micro/CA)

P.O. Box 779

Caribou, ME 04736

207-498-8736 207-493-3108 F

Northway Bank (PLP/E/PX)

3278 White Mountain Hwy.

North Conway, NH 03860

603-356-8000 603-356-8014 F

Norway Savings Bank (E/PX)

261 Main St./P.O. Box 347

Norway, ME 04268-0347

207-743-7986 207-743-5377 F

Penobscot Federal Credit Union (E)

205 Main St./P.O. Box 434

Old Town, ME 04468-0434

207-827-3165 207-827-6674 F

People's United Bank (PLP/CLP/E/PX/CX)

850 Main St./P.O. Box 1580

Bridgeport, CT 06604-2366

203-338-7001 203-338-2310 F

Pine Tree State Certified Development Corp.

120 Exchange Street – Suite 205

Portland, ME 04101


Rockland Savings & Loan Association

582 Main St./P.O. Box 585

Rockland, ME 04841-0585

207-594-8465 207-596-7356 F

Saco & Biddeford Savings Institution (E/PX)

252 Main St./P.O. Box 557

Saco, ME 04072-0557

207-284-4591 207-282-7908 F

Sanford Institution for Savings (E/PX)

900 Main St.

Sanford, ME 04073

207-324-2285 207-324-1928 F

The Bank of Maine (PLP/E/PX)

190 Water St./P.O. Box 190

Gardiner, ME 04345-0190

207-582-5550 207-582-8029 F

Seaboard Federal Credit Union (E)

177 Main St.

Bucksport, ME 04416-4076

207-469-6341 207-469-2866 F

Skowhegan Savings Bank

13 Elm St./P.O. Box 250

Skowhegan, ME 04976-1201

207-474-9511 207-474-6423 F

Superior Financial Group (E/PX/CX)

165 Lennon Ln., #101

Walnut Creek, CA 94598-2409

925-296-0500 925-296-0510 F

TD Bank, N.A. (PLP/E/PX/CX)

2 Portland Sq./P.O. Box 9540

Portland, ME 04112-9540

207-761-8500 207-761-8536 F

The County Federal Credit Union

82 Bennett Dr./P.O. Box 939

Caribou, ME 04736-0939

207-498-8756 207-498-4109 F

The First, NA (E/PX)

Main St./P.O. Box 940

Damariscotta, ME 04543-0940

207-563-3195 207-563-3356 F

University Credit Union (E/PX)

139 Rangely Rd

Orono, ME 04473

207-581-1457 207-581-1452 F

Wells Fargo Bank, NA (PLP/E/PX)

1455 W. Lake St.

Minneapolis, MN 55408

612-667-2710 612-316-2322 F

Zions First National Bank (PLP/E/PX)

One S. Main St.

Salt Lake City, UT 84133

800-789-8800 801-524-4805 F

* Preferred Lenders (PLP)

* SBAExpress (E)

* Patriot Express (PX)

* Certified Development

Company (CDC)

* Microloan Lender (Micro)

* Community Advantage (CA)

* Intermediary Lender Program (ILP)

Other resources:

  • Maine Technology Institute (MTI)

The Maine Technology Institute helps grow Maine technology companies by funding innovative, tech-based projects in the state's seven targeted technology sectors that lead to commercialization of new products and services and job creation. MTI's Business Innovation Program provides competitive grants and loans that range from $5,000 to $500,000 and require a 1:1 match. MTI also provides no-cost assistance and guidance to encourage entrepreneurs and small businesses to participate in the federal Small Business Innovation Research/Small Business Technology Transfer (SBIR/STTR) Program. For information contact:

Maine Technology Institute (MTI)

207-582-4790 207-582-4772 Fax

  • International Organization For Standardization (ISO)

Any business in Maine wishing to sell a product or service in the global marketplace should be aware of ISO standards for specific products and for management systems. ISO is a network of national standards institutes from 140 countries working in partnership with international organizations, governments, industry, business and consumer representatives to provide standards for products, services and management systems. ISO registration and certification can mean more international business opportunities. ISO standards can be applied to most all products and industries. Consumers around the world have benefited from ISO standards. To find out whether your business would benefit with ISO certification call the Maine Manufacturing Extension Partnership at 207-623-0680. Or check out their website at:

  • Internet Resources

Maine District Office

SBA Events Calendar

Loan Information

Publications, Library, Resources and Forms

SBA Classroom

Statistics, Reports

Maine State Profile

Business Plan Outline

Size Standards


Online Women's Business Center


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