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Business and Economy

Boston Fed, State Initiative Seeks To Boost Maine Communities

The Boston Federal Reserve Bank and the state on Wednesday announced an initiative to help several Maine communities create long-term strategies to boost their economies.

Gov. Janet Mills, who took part in a webinar, said the Working Communities Challenge will help marshal necessary resources.

“Working Communities Challenge in Maine will stimulate thinking, new thinking and opening eyes throughout government agencies, the private sector and community-based organizations. Normal citizens will be thinking about how they can do things differently, and better, and uplift the communities,” she said.

Mills said Maine has fared relatively well during the pandemic, but it has created both short-term and long-term challenges for communities.

“Leaders of all sectors, nonprofits, business, education, state and local governments, must work together, and towns must collaborate, regions must get together and collaborate to address the economic hardships they’re facing,” she said.

The challenge makes grants available for communities or groups of communities that make a plan to work for economic growth and reduce inequity of opportunity. Every application must include one “priority” community, defined as those with high economic need.

The challenge will be funded with $3.7 million raised by $2.7 million in philanthropic donations, combined with resources from the state and the Federal Reserve.