- April 2, 2020
Sixty-one percent of Maine’s population lives outside of an urban area.
- April 1, 2020
We live in new times. The recently approved $2.2 trillion aid package (CARES Act) is more than two and a half times the size of the 2008 stimulus package, the largest in history at that time. With money flowing out to communities hit by the pandemic at an unprecedented level, we are here to help make sense of how to access funding and do our best to connect you, your business, and your organization to those resources. We want Maine communities and businesses to get their fair share of these funds.
- March 31, 2020
Small businesses everywhere are struggling to make sense of the current world. To understand how these businesses are doing, we are launching a series of short conversations with Maine's island and coastal small businesses as a way to check in with local businesses and find out what's working well and where the bright spots are in this confusing world. In this first interview with Deer Isle-Stonington's 44 North Coffee, owners Melissa Raftery and Megan Wood talk about the changes they've made to keep business going.
- March 27, 2020
Staying connected during this unprecedented time is crucial. Whether it is attempting to continue your work from your home, keeping your child learning by connecting them to resources or to their teachers virtually, or staying in touch with family, now is the time when we have to shift away from in-person interactions to the virtual realm. But with at least 85,000 households in Maine lacking broadband, connecting can be more of a challenge for some than others.
- March 24, 2020
How are you? We don’t ask that enough these days, and it’s the most important question we can ask in troubling times. This is a hard time for everyone, but we know as Mainers we will get through this. It won’t be easy, but we will come out on the other side. As you work through the impact of this international shutdown on your business, know that there are resources available at the federal, state, and local level. In this blog, we highlight some of these and invite you to contact us with any questions regarding access to funding, what might be right for you, or what type of assistance you should be looking for.
- March 20, 2020
In times of crisis, those most prepared can quickly activate established networks to deploy resources and provide support. As the COVID-19 pandemic began to reach Maine, the Island Institute turned to the Maine Islands Coalition (MIC), a network with a 17-year history of helping to solve problems in the year-round islands of Maine. While there are always one or two remote participants in the coalition’s quarterly meetings, Friday, March 20th was the first time in MIC history when the entire coalition came together virtually. The MIC Representatives, joined by other island officials, were asked to answer the questions, “What is your community doing well in responding to the threat of COVID-19, and what resources do you need?”
- March 19, 2020
On Wednesday, March 18, 2020, Governor Mills signed emergency legislation to help the state respond to the coronavirus crisis. The legislation included provisions for delaying town meetings and allowing remote meetings. A separate bill put a $15 million broadband bond on the June ballot. Learn more about the provisions relevant to Maine's towns as well as all of the pieces recently passed.
- January 28, 2020
Having lived in midcoast Maine for more than 40 years, it is quite possible that you know Joe and Mary Devenney, full-time artists living in Jefferson. Maybe you had Mary as your art teacher or saw Joe’s name credited for a photograph in a New England magazine. Or perhaps, you haven’t met them in person, but you have a sense of them through their pottery. Those that know them, know how love surrounds them—a love for their art, love for each other, and a love for life. Thus, I wanted to the know their story—the whole story—the story that brought them to be the artists and couple they are today.
- January 23, 2020
Anyone who has collaborated with others on a project knows that it usually takes a lot more time than simply going it alone does. And if the collaboration involves multiple schools and nonprofit organizations, you're going to need a healthy dose of patience, persistence, and probably some money. This is one of the many reasons why the staying power of the Kelp4Kids after-school program on Peaks Island, run by high school students from Baxter Academy for Technology and Science, is so remarkable. Now in its third year, Kelp4Kids was started by Baxter alum Emma Christman and allows students’ creativity to flourish, while still educating themselves in hands-on, self-motivated ways.