Executive Director Kristina Cannon of Main Street Skowhegan, pictured in February 2018 at the organization’s offices, announced grants totaling $6,000 are available to local businesses with applications accepted up to May 15. Morning Sentinel file photo

SKOWHEGAN — Applications for Main Street Skowhegan’s Technical Assistance Grants are now available for Skowhegan-based businesses.

A total of $6,000 will be awarded to businesses through mini grants from $500 up to $2,000. Those eligible to receive grants include business owners looking to grow their business as well as new entrepreneurs planning to open a business in Skowhegan.

Funding may be used for hiring consultant to help with business planning, hiring a consultant or advisor, marketing/logo/brand development, website creation, attending a course or mentoring opportunity, hiring an architect, engineer or specialist, buying a needed piece of machinery, receiving legal support and other potential business needs. This funding, however, may not be used to hire employees.

The application, available through Main Street Skowhegan’s website, will be open until midnight May 15. Funding partners for this cycle of grants include Skowhegan Savings Bank, Franklin Savings Bank, New Dimensions FCU, Franklin-Somerset FCU, Bangor Savings Bank and Warren Shay.

The grant program kicked off in February 2020. When the pandemic hit just a month later, the organization raised additional funding for COVID-19 relief.

“We’re excited to again offer mini grants to our Skowhegan businesses and entrepreneurs,” said Kristina Cannon, executive director of Main Street Skowhegan. “We had a great group of donors who each pitched in $1,000 toward this year’s effort. A resilient community starts with a thriving local economy, and this grant program will help strengthen our locally owned businesses.”

Businesses that have previously benefited from the Technical Assistance Grant program include Crooked Face Creamery, which received funding to purchase an upright freezer to meet increasing demands, and Bigelow Brewing, which received funding to redesign its website.

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