Encouraging Growth & Redevelopment

The City of Lewiston has developed the following programs as an incentive to encourage growth, redevelopment, and create jobs. The following information was obtained from the City of Lewiston’s Economic Development web page http://www.lewistonmaine.gov/127/Economic-Community-Development-Departmen.

Microenterprise Loan Program**

The Microenterprise Loan program is designed to support entrepreneurs, help existing businesses build capacity, develop business in the target area, and increase the tax base. Owner must be low-moderate income or employ 1-5 low-moderate income persons. Eligible activities can include financial start-up support such as: equipment, initial product, working capital, rehabilitation of space to ready for business; general owner support such as: transportation, child care, counseling, peer support; technical assistance; or training to increase capacity. $15,000 at 1% interest over 5 years. May be deferred on a case-by-case basis. 3:1 match.

Economic Development Loan Program**

The Economic Development Loan Program is designed to support business in the target area (census tracts 201-204), increase jobs and services for low– to moderate-income persons, and increase the tax base. Eligible activities can include acquisition, furniture and fixtures, working capital, interior construction to address code violations, machinery, and equipment upgrades. The business must either provide jobs to low-moderate income individuals or provide services to at least 51% low-moderate income individuals. Up to $50,000 at 5% for 10 years. 1:1 match.

Façade Improvement for Historic Preservation**

The Façade Improvement for Historic Preservation allows property owners to redevelop mixed-use properties for commercial and residential purposes and reduce blight. Rehabilitation is limited to the extent necessary to eliminate a specific condition detrimental to public health and safety. Eligible activities can include: architectural design, exterior renovations including entry-way, exterior lighting, signage, window repair/replacement, masonry, repointing, painting, awnings, and roof replacement/repairs related to structural improvements to hold façade in place. Applicant must provide documentation that structure is listed or eligible to be listed on National Register of Historic Places, listed on a state or local inventory of historic places, or designated as a state or local landmark or contributing structure. Up to $35,000. 1:1 match. Deferred Loan payable upon sale of building or transfer of ownership.

Façade Improvement for Commercial Buildings Program**

The Façade Improvement for Commercial Buildings program will enhance the appearance of the commercial area, encourage private investment in storefronts, and assist business owners with rehabilitating storefronts. Eligible activities can include exterior renovations including entryway, exterior lighting, signage, window repair/replacement, masonry, repointing, painting, and awnings. The applicant must either own the building or have written permission from the owner to make changes to the façade. Funding is limited only to commercial portions of the building. Up to $35,000. 1:1 match. Deferred Loan payable upon sale of building or transfer of ownership.

**The City of Lewiston’s commercial programs are supported through Community Development Block Grant (CDBG) funds. In order to meet minimum eligibility requirements, the project must have a funding gap which conventional financing institutions will not cover. The project must also meet one of three National Objectives: Benefit to Low-Mod Income Households, Elimination of Slums and Blight, or Urgent Need (such as recovery efforts after natural disasters).
To find out if your project qualifies, contact Heidi McCarthy, Economic Development Specialist at (207) 513-3126 ext 3276 or hmccarthy@lewistonmaine.gov.

For more information about any of these programs, visit the city of Lewiston’s Economic Development web page http://www.lewistonmaine.gov/128/Commercial-Loans-Grants or contact the Lewiston Economic Development team http://www.lewistonmaine.gov/Directory.aspx?DID=7