Bangor, Maine – The Maine MultiCultural Center (MMCC), in partnership with Eastern Maine Development Corporation (EMDC) is proud to announce the launch of a program, in collaboration with DECD. This program supports and empowers businesses established after January 1, 2020. The initiative provides technical assistance, grants, and entrepreneurial training to these emerging enterprises, through a vast network of 12 partnered organizations and collaboration with DECD.
In the wake of the unprecedented challenges brought on by the global pandemic, MMCC recognizes the need to foster the growth and success of new businesses. The program provides entrepreneurs and small business owners with the resources, knowledge, and skills necessary to achieve their long-term business goals.
Under the new program, businesses founded after January 1, 2020 with under 250 employees, will have access to response teams composed of the program’s partners. These teams offer support services tailored to each business’s unique needs. The teams comprise planners, community officials, investors, development analysts, and more. These services include:
- Technical Assistance: EMDC and its partners will collaborate with businesses to address their operational and technical challenges. This support covers workforce development, government contracting, climate resilience, and more.
- Grants: Recognizing the financial constraints faced by many emerging businesses in the wake of the pandemic, EMDC will provide grants to eligible companies. These grants reduce financial burdens and provide the necessary capital for growth initiatives.
- Entrepreneurial Training: The program will feature comprehensive training through our partners, empowering entrepreneurs with essential skills and knowledge. Workshops, webinars, and mentoring opportunities will cover business planning, marketing strategies, financial management, leadership development, and more.
“During the pandemic I saw my family’s businesses struggle to keep going with the resources they could get being established. I can only imagine the difficulties facing new businesses who have had to persevere without the same resources.
I am proud to be apart of a program that works with new businesses pursuing stability and success in the wake of COVID.” – Tanner Hanes, Program Manager for the Economic Recovery Implementation Hub at EMDC
“I am proud to empower friends, family, and peers as they embark on their journey to start their own businesses. By connecting them with essential resources, we hope to support our community’s small business owners as they take the next step in achieving their goals.”
– Jaida Bolstridge, Program Manager for the Economic Recovery Implementation Hub at EMDC
Applications open starting July 26th. Visit Eastern Maine Development Corporation’s official website at emdc.org for more information and application guidelines.
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To know more, visit the Community Redistribution Fund Announces 2023 Grantees – Good Shepherd Food Bank
June 5, 2023
- The Portland City Council is meeting this evening at 5:00pm, and a number of items of interest are on the agenda, including: “Recognizing June 2023 as Immigrant Heritage Month” and “Regarding Decommissioning of the Portland Expo as Temporary Emergency Shelter.”
- Speaking of the Expo, it has been reported publicly that no new asylum seekers will be admitted to the Expo starting today as the City works to close the Expo as a shelter by August 16, giving enough time to prepare the Expo for scheduled events in early September.
- The New England Arab American Organization of Maine hosted a forum on hate crimes last Friday, featuring a panel discussion and keynote speakers. According to NEAAO’s Zoe Sahloul, “”Hate crimes in Maine have tripled since 2019… It is time for us to come together and recognize these trends and explore ways we can all work together”
- News Center Maine’s Anne Baldridge on how Portland is seeing large numbers of young immigrants arriving alone as unaccompanied minors and how Lucky Hollander has been a hero for many of them.
- The South Portland Historical Society is presenting an exhibit titled “Immigration in South Portland, Past and Present” at the Cushing’s Point Museum at Bug Light Park.
May 15, 2023
- The South Portland City Council is meeting tomorrow evening, and one topic of consideration will be the continuation of letting motels serve as de facto shelters.
- As was the case last week, there’s no shortage of media coverage for the ongoing situation in Sanford. Pick your preferred outlet, with the important caveat that some of them may have inaccurate information: the Maine Monitor, Maine Public, the conservative Maine Wire blog, News Center Maine, the Portland Press Herald, the Portsmouth Herald, WGME, WGME again, or WMTW.
- There was an emergency Sanford City Council meeting last Tuesday night to address the situation, which again drew a lot of attention: Maine Public, the conservative Maine Wire blog, News Center Maine, the Portland Press Herald, the Portsmouth Herald, WGME, and WMTW.
- Later in the week, a few dozen of the new arrivals to York County were sent by the City of Sanford back to Portland.
April 08, 2023
- A couple dozen asylum seeker families arrived unannounced in Sanford last week, and efforts are underway to figure out the best way to provide services for them, news which was made public by a Facebook post from the Sanford Police Department. “Everybody’s come together to help these families in the situation,” said Major Matthew Gagne of Sanford P.D. “We’re just asking for patience from the public.” And according to our Executive Director, Mufalo: “Our systems are responding to support somebody who is found in need.”
- As part of the Transit Together Plan, Greater Portland METRO is hosting three public meetings this month (one in Westbrook, one in Portland, one via Zoom) for riders and stakeholders.
- last week, Waterville Mayor Joe Coehlo’s, Portuguese heritage, was in the news for shutting down a man who used ‘vile language’ about English-language learners.
- For Androscoggin County residents — “The Drummond Woodsum law firm is hosting a Focus Group at the Lewiston Ramada, 490 Pleasant Street, Lewiston, ME on May 18th from 5-8pm. We are looking for a diverse group of people from Androscoggin County, typical of a jury pool in the area. Essentially, we will present the group with two sides to a case in order to gauge responses from attendees to assist us in preparing for an upcoming jury trial. We will pay them $150 to attend.”
January 17, 2023
- The South Portland City Council is considering a rent control proposal next month. Acknowledging “The council is very concerned overall with the unintended consequences of rent control,” South Portland Mayor Kate Lewis said the proposed rent control amount would be moderate.
- In commemoration of National Human Trafficking Awareness Month, scores of people attended a memorial vigil in downtown Lewiston last Wednesday to raise awareness of the issue. “There are people and resources that want to help,” said Lewiston Mayor Carl Sheline.
- Two months after Samuel Mugisha disappeared from his Portland home, his family is reiterating the need to find him. “What can you say when you have a missing person and you don’t know where they are and if they’re dead or alive,” asked his uncle, Claude Rwaganje. “It’s hard.” According to the Press Herald report, “Anyone with information can call the Portland Police Department at 207-874-8479 or the Westbrook Police Department at 207-854-0644.”
- A new study found the Bangor area needs $5 million annually in housing investments in order to keep pace with demand. Said Jason Bird, a housing expert with Penquis and the Maine Affordable Housing Coalition: “The reality is we as a state and as a nation really have underfunded housing for decades, and now that issue is really coming home to roost.”
- The Brewer School Committee adopted a new policy of celebrating diversity and acknowledging the need for equitable access to resources. “We welcome everyone, period,” said Brewer Superintendent Gregg Palmer, “and research indicates that people learn better when they feel valued.”
- WMTW‘s James Corrigan reported on how Pine Tree Legal Assistance has been working with people facing eviction from hotels this month, which his colleague Terry Stackhouse covered. “The challenge for people who are staying in hotels and people who are month-to-month tenants,” said PTLA attorney Chris Marot, “is that there is this anxiety about what’s going to happen in the long term.”
- Andy O’Brien continued his history of immigration in Maine series for Amjambo Africa, with this installment focused on the Black community of maritime workers in Portland of the early 1800s.