Update 09/04/20: Program Funding Remains Available


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COVID-19 Hardship Small Business

Grant Guidelines


Revised August 17, 2020


What to know before you apply for a grant.

The City of South Portland’s COVID-19 Hardship - Small Business Grant Program is designed to provide financial assistance to South Portland businesses impacted by COVID-19. This includes businesses that have remained open, have furloughed some or all of their employees, businesses that have closed temporarily, and those that are re-opening.  These programs are not intended to substitute for SBA PPP, and EIDL or FAME COVID-19 financing.  

The grant has a total budget of $200,000, funded through a City Council approved appropriation from one of the City of South Portland’s Tax Increment Finance (TIF) Development Funds. Eligible uses for these funds are determined by Maine’s Department of Economic and Community Development (DECD) and administered locally.

The maximum grant award is $2,000.

When to Apply

  • The City will be accepting applications on a rolling basis, subject to funding availability, thru December 31st, 2020.  The City will review all completed applications at mid-month and end of month until all program funding has been allocated  or December 31, 2020.  Grants approved for funding will be funded within 15 days of the Grant approval. 


  • Should additional grant funds be appropriated by the City Council, the Grant Application will be made available with updated submission deadlines.


  • Any unused funds remaining at December 31, 2020 will be returned to the Tax Increment Finance (TIF) Development Fund from which they were originally drawn.


Who is eligible to apply?

1.) For-profit employers whose principal place of business is located within the City of South Portland.

2.) Businesses that were first open and operational prior to March 15th, 2020.

3.) Businesses who employeed at least one individual (may include sole proprietors) as of March 15, 2020 and who hope to rehire additional employees as the performance of the business allows, but not more than one hundred employees.



The application is a fillable online form.  Alternatively, you can submit the form by filling out the PDF application found here, scanning all attachments, and sending via email to buzsupport@southportland.org.


Types of funding being supported

  • Rent/Mortgage Assistance: costs associated with maintaining a business’ physical presence in the City of South Portland.
  • Operating support: ongoing administrative costs such utilities, office supplies.
  • Business Operations: activities that are distinct from ongoing programs that have been established to maintain/expand operations during the COVID-19 crisis.
  • Business License and / or Personal Property Taxes: Due to the City of South Portland
    • Note:  If Business License or Personal Property taxes are to be paid with grant funding, be sure to include a copy of your Receipt for your Business License and/or Personal Property Tax or your License Invoice/Personal Property Tax Bill, if one or both of these have not yet been paid.
    • Capital Expenses: purchases of property, equipment, or building materials that will allow businesses to be operational during the COVID-19 crisis.
    • Personnel Expenses: staff salaries.

What we will not fund, without exception

  • Expenses already incurred.
  • Expenses not associated with business operations.
  • Political campaigns.
  • Lobbying in the form of calls to action on a specific vote.
  • Religious activities: including, but not limited to, religious services, promotion of religious beliefs, or activities that are restricted to church or religious group membership.
  • Regranting to a secondary grantee through a competitive process.
  • Grant Cycle Application intake: City staff administrating the program cross-checks the legal name and address of each applicant and checks for required signatures and form.
  • Eligibility prescreening: City Staff reviews each application to determine if it meets the required grant program criteria.

Application Review Committee Review: A committee comprised of City’s Assistant City Manager, Finance Director, and Economic Development Director will review all Applications. The committee will discuss proposals and make final award decisions as a committee. The City will endeavor to provide the amount requested, as funding permits.

Application Confidentiality

  • Applications will remain confidential and will not be released to parties outside the City.


  • All applicants will receive a letter electronically notifying them if their request has been funded or declined once reviewed.


More Information

  • For more information, contact William J. Mann Economic Development Director at the City of South Portland at wmann@southportland.org .

Ready to apply?



Grant maximum shall not exceed prior year net income – this provision does not apply to new businesses less than one year old as of March 15, 2020.

The City reserves the right to modify these terms at its sole discursion at any time without prior notice. 

 Grant program materials are available in the following languages: