Maine Historic Commercial District Revolving Fund

0% interest loans for façade improvements and COVID-19 response and management

Main Street America, Maine Downtown Center, and Gardiner Main Street are pleased to offer the Maine Historic Commercial District Revolving Fund, made possible through generous support from The 1772 Foundation, Inc. Over the next three years, the Maine Historic Commercial District Revolving Fund will provide 0% interest loans to Gardiner business/building owners.

About The Program

Who can apply for loans?

Business owners and/or tenants of existing buildings within the defined Main Street district boundaries in Gardiner.

In Brief: How the Program Works

Up to $40,000 is available in Gardiner for 0% interest loans for façade improvement projects.

Loans are repayable over three years on a monthly basis.

$10,000 loan maximum per project. $4,000 loan minimum preferred. Loans up to $25,000 may be considered depending on scope of project. Contact Abby Armato at the National Main Street Center: more information.

Loan repayment deferral is up to 180 days (temporary change)

No match required (temporary change)

Projects related to COVID-19 may be eligible for reimbursement (temporary change)

Interested borrowers will submit a loan application form detailing their project and their match sources, which will be reviewing on a rolling basis.

Annually, loan recipients will be required to report predetermined metrics to MSA.

Borrower financial information will not be shared with Maine Downtown Center or Gardiner Main Street.

What projects are eligible for loans?

All loans must be used towards exterior rehabilitation or improvement of existing commercial or mixed-use buildings within the Main Street district in Gardiner.

Eligible projects include, but are not necessarily limited to:

Façade improvements:

Awnings, roof, canopies, storefronts, doors, paint


Exterior lighting

Window repair

Masonry work


Note: roof repair or landscaping may be covered if it is part of a larger rehabilitation scope that includes the above project types.

Signage for space management related to COVID-19:

Social distancing signage

Curbside pick-up signage

Materials, equipment, and labor to help create additional space adjacent to commercial buildings:

Parklets + pedlets

Sanitation stations

Equipment for interior space management related to COVID-19:

Plexiglass stands at points-of-sale

All proposed façade improvement work must be submitted to and approved in advance by the MDC and MSA and be conducted in accordance with local design guidelines and the Secretary of the Interior’s Standards. MDC and MSA reviewers overseeing this project design review meet the Professional Qualification Standards used by the National Park Service, published in the Code of Federal Regulations, 36 CFR Part 61.

What should borrowers consider when they apply?

Tenant applicants will be required to submit written evidence of building owner’s approval of the application.

As part of the loan application, applicants will be required to complete a Design Review Request form that would require the property/business owner to provide documentation to illustrate the project scope of work.

Applicants will be required to submit financial data and credit history to MSA prior to being approved for a loan. No financial or credit data will be shared with MDC or Gardiner Main Street.

Applicants will be required to comply with all Federal and State Civil Rights and Equal Employment opportunity laws and agree not to discriminate on the basis of race, color, sex, religion, marital status, disability, age, sexual orientation, or national origin.


Annually, loan recipients will be required to report predetermined metrics to MSA. Metrics will vary according to business type. MSA, MDC, and Gardiner Main Street will work with loan recipients to determine which metrics best capture the effects of the project.

COVID-19 Program Expansion

August 2020 Update:

To help provide our downtown business and building owners more access to capital for improvements during the pandemic, this loan program has been modified and expanded. Changes to the property improvement loan Include:

  • Elimination of the match requirement
  • Extended payment deferral up to 6 months
  • Loans allowed up to $25,000
  • Expanded usage for COVID-19 related design modifications inside and outside of your space – such as signage, plexiglass, hand-washing stations

How to Apply

Fill out the Maine Historic Commercial District Revolving Fund Loan Application.

Email completed applications to Abby Armato at:

Applications are now open and will be considered on a first-come, first-served basis until first round of funding is allotted. (Note: this is a revolving  fund, so it will be replenished as users pay off the loan.)

Before filling out the application, please make sure:

  • You have a contractor’s scope of work to submit with the application.
  • You have completed and submitted a Design Review Request form.
This program made possible through a partnership with:


Contact Abby Armato at the National Main Street Center:


Or Melissa Lindley at Gardiner Main Street: or 207-582-3100.