Communities Rising to the Challenge 2

A series dedicated to highlighting the great work economic development organizations
and entrepreneurial ecosystem builders are doing in response to the COVID-19 crisis.


City of Saco, ME

In order to help Saco businesses impacted by Covid-19, the City’s Planning & Economic Development Department has established a Covid-19 Emergency Loan Fund. This new fund will offer loans of up to $10,000 for Saco businesses and non-profits with 500 employees or less. To help support businesses as quickly as possible, the review and application process has been streamlined, all payments will be deferred for six months, and 50% of the loan may be forgiven after five years.

Funds for this program come from the City’s Tax Increment Financing (TIF) District revenues. We love a great use of TIF funds!


Greene County, NY

When the COVID-19 Pandemic hit, Greene County was in the process of updating its economic development strategy. As they pivoted to provide emergency support for businesses and the economy, the central initiatives within the strategy are guiding immediate, near-term and longer-term actions for economic response and recovery.

In response to the COVID-19 crisis, Greene County launched a comprehensive economic and business development response and recovery initiative:

  • An online business resource center with links to resources and guidelines, updated daily with the most current information available and distributed on multiple communications platforms.
  • An emergency loan fund to assist negatively affected local businesses
  • A special Buy In Greene ‘Open During the Pause’ Campaign connecting consumers to searchable online listings of local businesses providing goods and services during the pandemic
  • A Reopening After the Pause online survey of over 650 Greene County Businesses resulting in A comprehensive Industry Sector breakdown of responses was provide to NYS in advance of their issuance of guidance for re-opening by region.
  • Accelerated investment and expansion of their Virtual Main Street program featuring aerial views, street level video and 360 virtual tours of local businesses and community assets on


Loudoun County, VA

As the Covid-19 Crisis hit, Loudoun County, VA jumped into action and raised a total of $1.4 million to create two COVID-19 Business Interruption Funds:

  • General Business Fund: The $1.215 million grant dedicated to the general fund is divided so that businesses with 3-50 employees will be randomly selected for a $7,500 grant and businesses with 51-100 employees will be randomly selected for a $10,000 grant.
  • Agriculture-Based Business Fund: The Board of Supervisors and Loudoun Economic Development Authority made an additional $185,000 fund available for grants of $5,000 for Loudoun’s agriculture-based businesses that may not otherwise be eligible for the general fund.

Loudoun also launched a brand new podcast that focuses on Loudoun business innovation, resources and news related to the COVID-19 outbreak. Business owners, partner organizations and thought leaders are invited to share their experiences and their vision for the future for the region.



If your community or a community you know is rising to the challenge, we want to celebrate with you. Email Christa at and we'll feature the great work in a future edition of Communities Rising to the Challenge. 

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