Vote Yes on 4 for Communities for Maine’s Future

On Election Day eve, we at GrowSmart Maine want to reach out with information about Communities for Maine's Future and the Question 4 Bond.

It has been said that Maine's economic development does not hinge on a single "silver bullet" approach, but instead will come with "a silver buckshot" approach, involving a targeted combination of incentives and programs. Question 4 represents just such a plan!

We encourage you to share this information with your friends and neighbors, and to vote YES on 4 tomorrow!

    Programs Included in Question 4

This $23,750,000 bond issue for capital investment to stimulate economic development and job creation will leverage an additional $40,000,000 in private and federal funds. If approved, these programs will have real, immediate statewide impact and will create meaningful, productive jobs in the private sector for Maine workers.

Maine Historic Preservation Committee – $1,250,000
This program establishes a new tool to allow organizations to buy historically significant buildings at risk of destruction, resell the building to a private owner who agrees to rehabilitate it, and put easements in place to ensure the integrity of the building. Upon resale, the money will be returned to the fund, where it will be available for future projects.

Department of Community and Economic Development – $3,500,000
Provides funds to make investments under the Communities for Maine's Future Program in competitive community and economic revitalization projects, which must be matched with at least $3,500,000. CMF focuses on projects that are part of an overall plan for the community and encourages collaboration by numerous community organizations. Funds can be used for a variety of revitalization projects, such as renovating a library or town hall, or installing sidewalks so the downtowns and village centers will offer more to local citizens.

Maine Technology Institute – $3,000,000
This program provides competitive awards for companies to invest in research and development or to commercialize a project, the phase of private enterprise where jobs are created and profits are possible. Partnering with the private sector makes MTI's work essential to growing Maine's economy. Grants must be awarded to Maine-based public and private institutions and must be awarded to leverage matching funds of at least $3,000,000.

Brunswick Naval Air Station Redevelopment – $8,000,000
This program will fund the redevelopment of BNAS to Brunswick Landing: Maine's Center for Innovation The Midcoast Regional Redevelopment Authority will be working with Southern Maine Community College to begin upgrading the former Brunswick Naval Air Station to become a critically needed new campus with an Advanced Technology and Engineering Center. These funds will leverage $32,500,000 in federal funds.

Finance Authority of Maine – $1,000,000
This program requires an equal match for each project for competitive awards to be invested in food processing infrastructure for Maine's seafood and agricultural sectors.

Economic Recovery Loan Program – $3,000,000
Also administered through Finance Authority of Maine, this program provides "gap financing" to assist businesses in their efforts to remain viable and/or improve productivity. The funds are also used for energy related loans, hi-tech loans, and quick response loans following natural disasters. Due to the current economic climate in the state, as well as the outlook through 2011, demand for these funds by Maine businesses as they weather the economic storm will be significant.

Small Enterprise Growth Fund – $4,000,000
The Small Enterprise Growth Fund is a Maine venture capital fund that invests solely in new Maine start-up companies in a wide variety of industries. The SEGF will use the proceeds to assist companies who grow and create high paying jobs within the state.

Helpful links:
Communities for Maine's Future page on our website
– Read more about program specifics, and how downtown revitalization creates jobs, makes downtowns more attractive places to live, promotes energy efficiency and helps to preserve open space.

Summary of Question 4 bond programs from the Kennebec Journal
-Bullet point explanation of each Question 4 program.

Secretary of State's Citizen's Guide to the Referendum Election
-This is a comprehensive guide for all ballot items. Information for Question 4 starts on page 42 of the document.

Where to vote!
-Find your polling place at maine.gov.

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