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Recovery Act Funds at Work 

Stimulus dollars are being used in different ways around the state. A pair of local business owners say their new restaurant is proof of how the small business loan program works.”Machias Savings Bank gave us a call one afternoon to let us know it went through,” says Roy Boothby.Boothby and his wife, Mary, say thanks to the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act, they were able to open a second location for their ACME Pizza and Wing Company, on outer Hammond street on the Bangor-Hermon town line.Provisions of the act eliminate fees and temporarily increase the SBA loan guarantee to 90 percent.”Because with the 90 percent guarantee, that closed the gap between capitalized and undercapitalized, so it made the loan doable, and it actually helped us be in business,” Boothby says.They saved about two-thousand dollars in fees.”They employ 16 people here, so it’s a good turnaround for the money,” says Marilyn Geroux of the Small Business Administration.She says the number of loans in our area isn’t increasing that much, but the amount of the loans is going up.”It’s jumped by almost 69 percent in the amount of dollars loaned, in just the two and a half months since the recovery act,” Geroux says.”One of the things we’re seeing is fewer new businesses starting, there’s some hesitancy in existing businesses to grow,” says Jim Donnelly of Machias Savings Bank.He says ACME’s success could help new business owners see their potential.”They’re just nervous about what’s going on. We want to kind of help them make that next step, which I think will help us all,” Donnelly says.”We’re an example of probably many,” Boothby says. “The good news is, we’re Main Street Mainers in Bangor, and we’re working hard to create a living for ourselves in a very tough economic environment.”