Heart of Ellsworth, local banks launch downtown grants

ELLSWORTH — Heart of Ellsworth is partnering with Bangor Federal Credit Union, First National Bank, Franklin Savings Bank and Machias Savings Bank, with support from Bar Harbor Bank & Trust, to launch the 2021 Downtown Grants Program.

The program aims to support entrepreneurs, small businesses, innovators and start-ups. Applications are open online until Nov. 22 and can be accessed via heartofellsworth.org.

As a foundational component of Heart of Ellsworth’s entrepreneurial ecosystem work, five community banks have come together to sponsor this second-year program. This year’s funding cycle supports emerging entrepreneurs and small business owners alike. Eleven mini-grants of $1,000 will be available for start-up or expansion projects to help entrepreneurs and support economic opportunities in the city of Ellsworth. All downtown Ellsworth business owners and area entrepreneurs are eligible to apply.

To help business owners secure future economic opportunities, this grant cycle seeks to support potential projects such as (but not limited to): hiring a consultant or advisor, development of alternative revenue streams, marketing/logo/brand development, website creation, attending a workshop or mentoring opportunity, hiring an architect, engineer or other specialists, purchase of up-date technology-related tools, legal support or other small business needs.

Heart of Ellsworth’s Executive Director, Cara Romano, said, “With the launch of this second-year program, we are highlighting community banks in Ellsworth. These institutions are putting money into the pockets of area entrepreneurs, small business owners, innovators and start-ups in our downtown district.”

“Heart of Ellsworth’s contribution to the program is design and implementation,” Romano continued. “Our community banks know that by investing in our Main Street community they are investing in the future of downtown Ellsworth.”

Interested applicants should visit heartofellsworth.org to apply online and will be asked to submit a funding proposal, business plan (if available) and other information they feel would be helpful to support their funding request.

All information will be kept confidential and only used to determine grant recipients. Jurors will use a score-based system to determine awards.

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