An Act To Attract Entrepreneurs to the State
Sec. 1. 5 MRSA §13056-G is enacted to read:
§ 13056-G. Maine Coworking Development Fund
The Maine Coworking Development Fund is established within the department to strengthen opportunities for entrepreneurship, stimulate innovation in the State by increasing the availability of collaborative workspace environments and address a regional market demand for affordable work environments that support communication, information sharing and networking opportunities. The fund is established to match public and private funds to further the purposes of this section.
(1) Make equity investments and provide technical assistance to revitalize and support residential, commercial, industrial and institutional development, or any mix of such uses, in order to promote collaborative workspaces;
(2) Promote the creation of collaborative workspaces by providing financial assistance for capital investments in underutilized buildings;
(3) Foster collaboration and connections among innovative and creative enterprises by providing central locations for such businesses or individuals to work in an environment designed to promote sharing of resources, experience and expertise;
(4) Support partnerships between municipalities, property owners and businesses to establish such collaborative workspaces; and
(5) Require such collaborative workspaces to provide shared space that promotes the interaction, socialization and coordination among tenants through the clustering of multiple businesses or individuals within the collaborative workspace;
(1) A description of the parties involved in the project, including the professional expertise and qualifications of the principals;
(2) A description of the scope of work that will be undertaken by each party involved in the project;
(3) The proposed budget, including verification of funding from other sources;
(4) A statement of the project objective, including specific information on how the project will promote the use of the space as a collaborative workspace;
(5) A statement that sets forth the implementation plan, the facilities and resources available or needed for the project and the proposed commencement and termination dates of the project;
(6) A description of the expected significance of the project, including a description of the market demand for the type of collaborative workspace proposed in the region in which the space will be located and the number of businesses or individuals that will be served as a result of the project; and
(7) Guidelines for the review and approval of applications that include preferences for applications that propose to redevelop existing properties located in the downtown area of a municipality, dedicate at least 25% of accessible space to collaborative use and support a cluster of at least 5 separate occupants.
Sec. 2. Appropriations and allocations. The following appropriations and allocations are made.
ECONOMIC AND COMMUNITY DEVELOPMENT, DEPARTMENT OF
Maine Coworking Development Fund
Initiative: Provides funds for the Maine Coworking Development Fund to support collaborative workspace businesses.
|GENERAL FUND TOTAL||$250,000||$250,000|
This bill establishes the Maine Coworking Development Fund within the Department of Economic and Community Development. The fund is established to strengthen opportunities for entrepreneurship, stimulate innovation in the State by increasing the availability of collaborative workspace environments and address a regional market demand for affordable work environments that support communication, information sharing and networking opportunities. The fund will match public and private funds to create collaborative workspaces in order to foster innovative communities and spur creative business growth and economic activity. The bill includes an appropriations and allocations section that provides for a $250,000 General Fund appropriation to the fund for fiscal year 2015-16 and fiscal year 2016-17.