Derek Hebert, Business Services Manager, presents a check to Providence Place Sober Living.
Derek Hebert (left), UCU Business Services Manager, presents a check to Providence Place Sober Living in Portland.

UCU Awards $50,000 in JNE Recovery Grants to Maine Small Businesses

Funding to help small businesses reopen, retain employees and recover from pandemic

ORONO, Maine (June 15, 2021) – University Credit Union announced the awarding of $5,550 recovery grants to nine central and southern Maine healthcare, hospitality, education and telecommunication organizations to help them reopen or stay in operation, hire and/or retain staff, and recover from the COVID-19 pandemic. The grants were funded by Jobs for New England, a program of the Federal Home Loan Bank of Boston.

Grant recipients include a Brunswick-based prosthetics and orthotics manufacturer; a Biddeford-based social services agency; a Portland-based optical supply store; a Cape Elizabeth-based health consulting business; a Portland-based sober living community; a Corinna-based telecommunications installation company; an Orono-based not-for-profit organization; a South Portland-based restaurant; and a Lewiston-based network of dental professionals who provide direct onsite dental care to communities, schools medial offices, churches, nursing homes and summer camps.

“We recognize how extraordinarily difficult the past year has been for Maine small businesses, especially those in healthcare, hospitality, and education,” said Derek Hebert, UCU Business Services Manager. “We are thrilled to be able to provide some welcome relief so business owners can focus on recovery.”

Derek Hebert (L) with Todd Lapointe

Jobs for New England grants are awarded to qualifying applicants through member financial institutions of the Federal Home Loan Bank of Boston. Since 2016, more than 130 financial institutions across New England have used JNE funding to help create or retain jobs and expand small businesses owned by women, minorities or veterans.

“I am extremely pleased and grateful that UCU has been here to assist VIP EYES in staying afloat and making things ‘work’ during these trying times. I can honestly say that VIP EYES would not be where we are today if not for UCU,” stated JNE grant recipient Todd Lapointe of Portland-based VIP EYES.

Derek Hebert (L) with Dewey Hasbrouck

“UCU was eager to help my business from the beginning of the pandemic.  Throughout the past year, UCU proactively delivered information to me regarding COVID-19 SBA business loan options, which was very helpful because I did not have the time to dig up all the information myself! Derek offered amazing assistance on our PPP loan and the administrative process was simple & efficient. Most recently, UCU helped to administer an FHLB grant to my South Portland location that I would not have known about if it wasn’t for UCU,” stated JNE grant recipient Dewey Hasbrouck of South Portland-based Moe’s Original BBQ.

Derek Hebert (L) with Patty Medina

“Being the recipient of the grant from the Federal Home Loan Bank of Boston will enable me to continue to provide a VITAL Health and Fitness program to Seniors. It will enable me to expand and adapt live streaming fitness programs in Cumberland County, Maine.  This endeavor requires additional technical equipment that this grant will make possible to attain,” stated Patty Medina of Fit to Live Senior Fitness.

Derek Hebert (L) with Joy Carren, Gary Lamson and Zack Thomas, on behalf of co-founder Charlie DeRoche

“Providence Place Sober Houses offer a safe and affordable structured 12-Step-based approach to sobriety. In the past ten years, over 800 men have lived with us while establishing a foundation of Recovery…. Thank you UCU, for this $5,000 grant! We will use it for ongoing maintenance, to keep the facilities up to par,” said Joy Carren co-founder of Providence Place.

The JNE Recovery Grant program presents FHLBank Boston and our members with a unique opportunity to assist the local economy in a more direct way by providing cash assistance to help small businesses, nonprofits, and affordable housing owners stay in business and/or recover from the pandemic, according to the Federal Home Loan Bank of Boston.