Readfield Enterprise Fund (REF) is open for business!
REF Guidelines and Application
If you own a small business in Readfield and have been looking for creative financing to grow your business to a new level, or if you’ve always wanted to start a business and need financing to help get your big idea off the ground, then this exciting program might be just what you’re looking for.
Readfield received a Community Development Block Grant for $150,000 to start a small business revolving loan program, called the Readfield Enterprise Fund (REF). The Select Board appointed a committee of residents, business and finance professionals who set the program guidelines and application criteria and review loan applications. The REF Committee kicked-off the program in 2012, met with many applicants and has made multiple awards. The scope of the committee has recently been expanded and the name changed to the Readfield Enterprise Committee to reflect a broader focus on economic development.
The REF will provide low or no interest loans up to a total package of $10,000 to existing small businesses in Readfield or to entrepreneurs who would like to start a business in Readfield. Each existing or start-up business must have five or fewer employees and the owner must work in the business. The owners also most show that their annual household income is 80% or less than the median household income for Kennebec County. Full details on these conditions are in the REF Program Guidelines and Application, also available at the Town Office.
The Committee also will link small business owners to other technical assistance and financing resources, such as those listed below this section. All REF applicants will need to provide or develop a business plan as part of the application process. There are several places where business owners and people who want to start a business can get help with basic business planning. The Maranacook Adult Ed program often has courses on financial literacy or for starting a business that could be excellent choices for anyone who wants to get a business going or growing. The Town's code enforcement officer, a local crafts business owner, and the Town Manager are all good resources. The Kennebec Valley Council of Governments (KVCOG) and the Western Kennebec Economic Development Alliance (WKEDA) have supported the REF Committee and will provide information about many other possible resources to support local businesses.
Now might be the best time to consider expanding your business or to start the business you’ve always dreamed of owning. Please contact the Town Office for more information or simply download a REF application from this website. A REF loan could help you to build Readfield’s business community and local economy!
Business Counseling Resources
Maine Small Business Development Centers - http://www.mainesbdc.org
Maine Small Business Development Centers (Maine SBDC) provides comprehensive business management assistance, training, resources, and information services to Maine's micro, technology-based business communities. The focus of the Maine SBDC is to assist in the creation and maintenance of viable micro, small and technology-based businesses and the jobs these businesses provide.
SCORE - http://www.scoremaine.org
The SCORE Association is a not-for-profit association of 11,500 (and growing) volunteer business counselors located throughout the U. S. They are dedicated to the formation, growth, support, and success of small businesses nationwide.
SCORE counselors are prepared to visit business owners at their workplace. Be assured that all SCORE counselors honor the client's right to proprietary and confidential information. Each counselor must commit on an annual basis the Association Code of Ethics which includes protecting the confidence between client and counselor.
CMGC/Mid-Maine Chamber Business Visitation Program (BVP)
The Central Maine Growth Council and Mid-Maine Chamber of Commerce conduct proactive visits to Central Maine businesses. These confidential visits are aimed at identifying challenges and opportunities of each business and determining if a program or resource could be brought to bear to assist the business. Additionally, the information collected provides both organizations a macro-level perspective of the Central Maine business climate. If you are interested in a BVP visit please contact the CMGC at (207) 680-7300 or email@example.com