Small Business Support

Maine has 141,936 small businesses, according to the most current federal data available. 

Of those 141,936 small businesses in Maine, 39,288 have employees. The remaining 102,648 are Maine small businesses that have no employees.

These small business statistics for Maine do not include all self-employed individuals working in Maine.

According to the latest Federal data, the number of self-employed persons in Maine (including incorporated companies that file via Schedule C) was 94,320.

We’re here to help!

The Dead River Collective is dedicated to helping small businesses, from local restaurants to independent makers & creators! We are pleased to offer the following services to any small business in Maine at little to no cost.

  • Product Listings – Do you have an Etsy shop or website where you sell a product? Have it listed in our Marketplace for FREE an boost you sales with a link directly to your item. Increased exposure has never been so easy.
  • Social Fundraising Campaigns – Struggling to make ends meet? Bills to pay? Worried that Covid might close your business? One of our artists will work with you to create a custom design to be featured on any of our regular apparel items. We’ll then create a managed shop for you in our Marketplace so we can promote your link and get you some sales! With every purchase of your fundraising items, you will receive 50% of profits. We only take what’s necessary to cover production costs & help feed hungry families in Maine.
  • Marketplace Independent Shops – Tired of Etsy taking too much from every sale you make? Want to give back to your community? Sell your items with The Dead River Collective and you’ll receive your own independent shop in our Marketplace!

more info coming soon…

Additional Resources

Grants & Local Financing Options

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  • NEW! The Hartbeat of Main Street Grant Program This program supports brick-and-mortar businesses in downtown commercial districts with grants of $5,000 – $15,000. A minimum of 50% of grants will support diverse-owned businesses, including women-owned. Applications will be accepted from October 22 – October 29. 
  • NEW! DECD has announced an emergency grant program for businesses and nonprofits with 50 or fewer employees. These will be funded with $ from the CARES Act. Applications are due 10/29
  • NEW! Rural Relief Small Business Grants LISC is opening the first round of relief grants from small businesses in rural communities with populations of 50,000 or less. These grants especially support those in underserved communities including entrepreneurs of color, women- and veteran-owned businesses. The first round of applications will be accepted from October 26 – November 2. 
  • Bath Economic Relief Bridge Loan Application
    • The City of Bath will offer one-time loans of up to $7,500 in its Economic Relief Bridge Program in response to immediate needs for small businesses impacted by the COVID-19 Pandemic. The loans are potentially forgivable. See more details at
  • Hallowell Business Survival Grant Program,
    • provides grants of up to $3,000 for businesses in the city.
  • Portland Grants & Loans
    • The City of Portland has approved three new COVID-19 grant and loan programs.  Applications are now available online
  • Greater Portland Council of Governments
    • Qualifying businesses and organizations are eligible for loans of up to $10,000 at 0% interest for the first two years. Portions of the loan may be forgiven if businesses meet certain requirements or participate in other GPCOG initiatives. 
  • Westbrook Small Business Emergency Commercial Rent Assistance
    • This grant program may provide assistance for commercial rent or commercial mortgage not to exceed $1,500.00, for businesses with 50 or fewer Westbrook-based employees.