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Housing and Community Development Notices

Posted on: April 25, 2019

Community Development Week Spotlight Friday

Today's Community Development Week Spotlight Event features the City of Portland's Economic Development Department, which runs the Business Assistance Program (BAP), helping to create jobs in businesses for individuals with low/moderate income.

Business Assistance Program for Job Creation (BAP) 

The BAP is a grant/match program that assists startups and growing small businesses in the City of Portland with grants for job creation. Through $10,000 grants per full-time job with up to $20,000 grants per business, new jobs are created for low/moderate income individuals. These jobs provide new skills training and solid job experience. The Program also leverages private investment in small businesses through the required dollar-for-dollar match. In Maine we know that small businesses create the majority of the jobs as well as enhance the stability of our neighborhoods and the economy of our cities. The CDBG Program has made the BAP possible over the past five years. Since the BAP was first funded in FY2012, it has helped 37 businesses to create, so far, 91 new full-time jobs. These jobs were created because the grants helped businesses get over the initial costs of hiring when starting a business or the added costs of expanding a business. The grant and matching funds can be used for much more than just wages; they can be used for rent, utilities, insurance, inventory, equipment, furniture and fixtures. In the last two rounds of the BAP (FY18 and FY19), the Program has helped 14 small businesses, half of which are immigrant-owned.

Stories and Impacts

Comments from Business Owners Peter and Orenda Hale – The job creation grant was an essential financial piece to our expansion of Maine & Loire and Drifters Wife into our current space at 59 Washington Avenue. As a small husband and wife business (with no investors) aside from a loan from Bangor Savings Bank we had to make the project work with what little cash flow the business had generated in the first couple years. The money we received from the city for creating jobs was very useful as payroll is our largest weekly expense. Having a portion of that taken care of - was a huge relief as we could then spend money on other essential business expenses and projects associated with opening. Overall, we have been amazed with the opportunities available for small business owners through the City. So, thank you!

Comments from Business Owner Alanna York - The job creation grant afforded my company the ability to hire new employees with a desire to learn but no experience in our industry. As a small business owner, it can be cost prohibitive to take on the time and expense of training inexperienced staff. The grant made it possible for Head Games to train my new staff members to expert level in the beauty industry. This is a really smart way for many people, who otherwise could not afford the expense of higher education, to learn a skill that will provide them with a great income for a lifetime, allowing them to make a bigger and better contribution to society long term.

Comments from Business Owner Yugu Yobo - Greater Portland Home Healthcare Agency offers a unique combination of home health services to the elderly and disabled people in the comfort of their home. … The Business Assistance Grant was such a great source of support for Greater Portland Home Healthcare. The Grant aided in the creation of a full time employment opportunity, Personal Support Specialist course training for new hire employees, and office rental for the Agency. The Agency has employed a full time Personal Support Specialist, who has been working for the Agency for the past year to current. We will continue to work very hard to contribute to the economic growth within the City of Portland…. Thank you for this door of opportunity, which has had a huge step for the Agency to succeed."

Comments from Business Owner Brant Dedaleares - The Job Creation Grant was a big help in the startup for Gross Confection Bar. In the first few weeks of operation in a restaurant, there are many last minute to do’s and the grant helped secure the payroll and afforded me to get those last few things on the to do list without worry.

Comments from Business Owner Abdullahi Ali - As a small business, the grant from City of Portland was a much needed support. It helped us provide required trainings to eligible employees, helped with payroll and rental expenses. The revenue for our business has increased since then and we are in a more stable and stronger position in terms of capacity and human resources because the support from the city. We have hired two full time employees through this grant but we have also hired additional 10 employees who all work in our Portland location. We are so grateful to the city staff and the Portland Development Corporation for helping small businesses like ours thrive in Portland".

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