BOWDOINHAM — The Bowdoinham Community Development Initiative is taking applications until Wednesday for micro-grants to help local businesses or organizations respond to the coronavirus pandemic.

This first round of grants offers up to $1,000 for those working to provide food or other basic needs to the Bowdoinham community.

Bowdoinham Community Development Initiative leverages local resources and facilitates collaboration among for-profit, nonprofit and government groups to promote economic and community development.

The organization has given thousands of dollars to local businesses to help trigger community development but worried about the impact of the coronavirus outbreak on its local businesses. While funds for the first round of grants are limited, the intiative hopes to offer additional rounds of community response grants in the near future.

Dave Mention, a board member, said the board recently met remotely to try to find ways to help address those concerns along with concerns of food insecurity and meeting the basic needs of people in the Bowdoinham community. One idea was to redirect some of its minimal funds to small micro-grants to help people find a new way of meeting those needs during the pandemic.

“People talked bout farmers setting up farm stands whereas they used to sell to restaurants and the restaurants are closed now,” Mention said. “So they’re now trying to sell directly to customers and that takes some money, of course, you’d don’t have as a farmer.”

There is a pot of $5,000 for the grants, and Mention said the board hopes it may get some additional funding to expand the grant program as well.

“Right now we have more applications than our funding will allow, and the applications all look like they’re wonderful opportunities so we’re trying to see of some additional funds can be made available to meet some of these needs,” Mention said.

While these grants are all under $1,000 but possibly for someone who is struggling to turn things around, “it’s what you need,” he said.

Mention said there are many opportunities to help businesses in Bowdoinham if others are looking to invest in Bowdoinham community development. All of the money Bowdoinham Comunity Development Initiative garners for its programs and grants goes directly to businesses.

“It’s a great organization and we’re always looking for ways to develop our community,” Mention. “This one wasn’t one we were all that happy about but nice in a minor way to help and develop awareness.”

Applications are due Wednesday, April 8. The funds may be awarded by April 15. Apply by visiting the Bowdoinham Community Development Initiative website,

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