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April 27, 2023

Startups and entrepreneurs will be the focus of Central Maine Growth Council program

aerial of town and river Courtesy / Central Maine Growth Council Early-stage and startup businesses will be eligible for grants and technical assistance through the Central Maine Growth Council.

Regions, cities and towns that need to rebuild their economies to address the unique challenges stemming from the pandemic have a new place to turn for help. 

The Central Maine Growth Council in Waterville has been selected to spearhead Maine’s Economic Recovery Hubs and award $700,000 in grant funding to early-stage businesses and entrepreneurs.

The council’s hub will offer technical assistance to small businesses in general and small businesses with a lens of racial, ethnic, and linguistic minority-owned businesses in particular.

It will also administer new business grants and entrepreneurial training; grants will be deployed across four categories, including specifically designed funding for technology and innovation-based businesses. Grant applications will be available on May 1. For more information, click here.

The council will provide resources to include advanced pathways into Dirigo Labs’ competitively selected accelerator program. 

The council is well-positioned to drive impact in local and regional economic development and assist with economic recovery in Maine, Garvan Donegan, the council’s director of planning, innovation and economic development, said in a news release.

“Our diverse platforms and programs, including the Dirigo Labs accelerator program, enable us to provide tailored solutions that meet the unique needs of entrepreneurs and businesses in the region,” he said. “With a talented technical team and diverse network of stakeholders spanning various industries and sectors, we are committed to helping Maine businesses grow and thrive, creating new job opportunities and promoting long-term economic health.”  

The Maine Department of Economic and Community Development created the initiative to stimulate economic development collaboration and mitigate the lasting economic impact of the pandemic. The hub initiative aligns with the state’s 10-year economic development strategy.

people sitting in office
Courtesy / Central Maine Growth Council
The Central Maine Growth Council in Waterville was selected as a regional and state economic development corporation to spearhead Maine’s Economic Recovery Hubs initiative.


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